Gallipoli Rosemary: Helping grow our Avenues of Honour
By Gabrielle Stannus
With Anzac Day just around the corner, find out how our growers and retailers are using one very special plant to raise funds to preserve Australia’s Avenues of Honour.
Seeking to preserve Australia’s Avenues of Honour, TREENET needs all the help it can muster. Through sales of its Gallipoli Rosemary, our growers and retailers are making a difference to TREENET’s campaign to protect these living war memorials.
At that time, David was informed by the hospital gardener that the rosemary he was inadvertently removing from the hospital grounds was an original plant brought back to Adelaide by a wounded soldier repatriated from Gallipoli in 1915. For decades small sprigs of that digger’s rosemary were worn to honour the fallen on Anzac and Armistice days. After the Repatriation Hospital was established during World War Two, cuttings were taken, and it was grown into a hedge on the hospital grounds. Upon learning of this plant’s significance, David took his own cuttings and started growing this rosemary at his native plant nursery.
Ballarat Avenue of Honour (Image: By John from Redcliffe, Australia - Ballarat Avenue of Honour at Dusk-01+, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91774244)
This Gallipoli Rosemary is now sold around Australia through Australian Perennial Growers (APG), with 50 cents from every plant purchased donated to the Avenues of Honour project. Neil Woodward from APG says that this growers’ network is proud to support this cause and that the plant itself provides great value to growers and retailers looking to market it. “Whilst Gallipoli Rosemary comes to the forefront for Remembrance Day and Anzac Day, it also sells year-round. It looks great twelve months of the year and is edible,” says Neil, adding that growers only need to wait for size to be obtained in production and not flowers.
The Avenues of Honour aims to honour the memory of every individual who has fallen in the service of Australia. Originally launched at the 5th National TREENET Symposium in 2004, this national project set out to document, preserve, promote and reinstate the original Avenues of Honour and to establish new commemorative trees coinciding with the ANZAC Centenary in 2015, including the Gallipoli landings and the end of World War I. Delegates at this symposium planted a hedge of rosemary bushes grown from cuttings collected by David Lawry, TREENET’s Co-founder, whilst he undertook a landscape project at the Daw Park Repatriation Hospital in South Australia in the late 1980s.
Facey’s Nursery in Victoria has been growing Gallipoli Rosemary for five years. “We love supporting this cause. “I think it is so terrific because it takes us back to our heritage and honours the people who sacrificed their lives for us,” says Raelene Trimble, Director of Facey’s Nursery, “It brings a piece of Anzac home for those people unable to travel to Gallipoli. It also beautifies our towns.”
“Our daily activities are very rewarding as we are always contributing to the environment and gardeners’ wellbeing,” says Raelene of being involved in the greenlife industry.
“To be able to give something back to the community in addition to this and assist valuable causes is something we are passionate about,” Raelene concludes.