Toowoomba definitely deserves its title as The Garden City, not only for its Carnival of Flowers, its historic houses and their beautifully landscaped surrounds, but also for its Rose Garden at Newtown Park. Saturday 23rd October saw the 21st Celebration of this beautiful public space hosting the display and recognition of the Animals at War, including the Light Horse infantry.

The recognition of the contribution of the horses, donkeys, messenger pigeons and dogs in the military both historically and currently was supported by the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation, and those who attended the ceremony were treated to the flag raising and release of pigeons in the area where the memorials proudly stand.

Set amidst the beds and beds of roses which are the showcase pieces of the Queensland State Rose Gardens, Newtown Park has a mighty military history. The entrance to the Park on the Holberton Street side has a fine display outlining the history and development of the various buildings and memorials. This is definitely a worthwhile stopping point.

Of course the 21st birthday celebration was paying tribute to the history of the establishment of the Rose Garden as the State’s museum and guardianship of this favourite of flowers. The care and nurture of its future is in safe and expert hands. Its layout is a showcase of varieties, colours, arbours and perfumes. Very few visitors can resist soaking up the heady perfumes of the traditional blooms, or marvelling at the more modern hybrids or new colours.

You don’t have to wait for the next anniversary to visit – though October certainly puts on a dazzling display. There are plenty of shady picnic areas, and strolling through the gardens is a real life relaxation when you ‘stop and smell the roses.’

Thank you Toowoomba!