The Chapel is surrounded by a garden of old roses, perennials and medicinal herbs. Each rose has been donated in memory of a friend or relative who has been associated in some way with the Chapel. The garden, being part of the reserve, is maintained by Botanic Gardens staff.
The Old Rose Gardens were largely the vision of Judy Turner with Tricia Robertson and Melissa Skene providing help and support. Judy chaired the committee that was responsible for the creation of the rose gardens. Hybrid Musk roses were planted from 1990 onwards, each rose being donated by those who wish to commemorate colleagues or friends who had links with the Hospital and Nursing.
Over 27 varieties of Old Rose can be seen in the gardens. They include Pax, Buff Beauty, Autumn Delight, Prosperity, Ballerina, Penelope, Felicia, Cornelia, Edit Cavell, Iceberg, Madame Alfred Carriere, Kathleen Harrop, Nancy Steen, Queen Elizabeth, Peace, Loving Memory, Julischka, Katherine Mansfield, Gertrude Jekyll, Mary Rose, Madame Issac Pereire, Dainty Bess, Pink Grootendorst, Hansa, Poseraie de l’Hay and Rose de Rescht.
Judy Turner has produced a publication “The story of a special Old Roses Garden” which documents the development of the gardens and records for each rose those who donated it and to whom it is dedicated. It is available from the Chapel during opening hours.