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Heritage Roses at Harris House

Home > Toowoomba > Exhibitions | Gardening | Historic Houses | Indoor
by Rachel Timmins (subscribe)
I am a chief writer for Weekend Notes, a copywriter, published poet and Editor of poetry magazine ‘Fruit Salad’ (on hold). I also write children's fiction and inspirational pieces.
Published May 7th 2018
Walk through history & roses
Heritage Roses at Harris House Toowoomba
Heritage Roses and a peek around Harris House; pictured centre, the Toowoomba Rose.


Love roses? Especially the old-fashioned climbing kind? Coupled with historic Harris House, the Heritage Roses exhibit presented by the National Trust and Heritage Roses in Australia Inc was a walk through history and beauty.

Heritage roses exhibit Harris House
Heritage roses are defined as roses that grew prior to WWII.


Heritage Roses

Heritage roses are defined as roses that grew prior to WWII. Among several varieties in the exhibit were Ballerina (hybrid musk 1937) and Bloomfield Abundance (floribunda 1920), plus a more recent bloom, the Toowoomba Rose (floribunda 1993). Gorgeous paintings of heritage roses, stunning flower arrangements in antique vases and antique furnishings were delightful additions.

If you'd like to try growing your own heritage roses and would like to know what's available, you can see over one hundred varities in the Queensland State Rose Garden, Newtown Park. Tea roses, china and early hybrid teas are patterned in beds and over archways.

Bonita Cattell of Heritage Roses in Australia was on hand at Harris House to answer questions. Membership forms were available to join Heritage Roses, whose motto is 'friendship through old roses'. You could just find your own roses pictured in their calendar. Copies of their quarterly were available, The Journal of Heritage Roses in Australia. The Spring edition features Scots roses in Australia.

Harris House Toowoomba City Clifford Street
Harris House is on the corner of Margaret & Clifford Sts, Toowoomba.


Harris House

Harris House was originally owned by Montgomery Ivory, 1911. His whimsical architectural tastes are apparent in the decorative gables. Harris House is in the Marks style of architecture with strong influence from the Queen Anne Federation style. Floor tiles, lead lighting and tall chimeys are some of the special features. Peach-coloured crockets decorate the veranda's pillars, there are extensions on the house, ornate fireplaces and unique ceiling mouldings.

In the early 1900s, the building was purchased by John Mitchell Harris, a draper. His daughter Neva lived at Harris House throughout her life. After her passing, it was rented out by the Byrne family and then donated to the National Trust.

Harris House architechtural style Toowoomba
Peach-coloured crockets, extensions on the house, ornate fireplace, unique ceiling mouldings and veranda.


Harris House for lease talk garden National Trust
Helen of the National Trust gave a talk on the history of Harris House.
The National Trust will be leasing Harris House from June 2018. Minor flaws were pointed out, but they are negligible and easily repaired. Contact the National Trust of Australia (Queensland) for more information, on 7 5534 0873.

Shop, Eat & Win

Heritage Roses sold a limited number of books on related subjects. A beautiful quilt was raffled. Handmade soap by Heritage Home and a limited number of books were for sale. Devonshire tea on the veranda rounded off the visit very nicely, thank you.

Harris House veranda
How does Devonshire tea on the veranda of Harris House sound?
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Why? Learn about Harris House and smell the heritage roses, join Heritage Roses in Australia.
Phone: 0412 114 102
Where: Toowoomba City
Cost: Gold coin donation ($1-$2)
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