ROSE lovers and gardening enthusiasts are preparing for a grave class in winter pruning.
Ballarat New Cemetery will once again host sessions next week for those keen to learn the art of pruning from garden designer Kylie Blake. With more than 2,500 roses through the cemetery, there are plenty of subjects for practice.
This follows two demonstration sessions on pruning fruit trees with Ms Blake, working through apple trees, nashi pears and the cherry orchard.
Ballarat Cemeteries Trust chief executive Annie De Jong said cemeteries were community spaces and it was important for people to feel welcomed, not just in times of grief.
For us, cemeteries are beautiful open spaces for people to visit but there is still a lot of stigma on death and dying.- Annie De Jong, Ballarat Cemeteries Trust chief
"For us, cemeteries are beautiful open spaces for people to visit but there is still a lot of stigma on death and dying," Ms De Jong said.
"Lots of people walk their dogs or ride through the cemetery...There are great open space for recreation purposes, respectfully."
Ms De Jong said the pruning classes were a way of giving back and inviting the community in. People are welcome to pick the fruit, when ripe, and many do so for social welfare initiatives like Food is Free Laneway.
Cherries are particularly popular in season but the new cemetery also had almonds, plumes, lemon, apricot and quince trees. Olives are grown in the Greek Orthodox section at the request of the Greek association. Apples and crab apple trees can be found in Ballarat Old Cemetery.
Ms De Jong said a former cemetery manager loved the flowing fruit trees through the grounds - teaching people to prune on them was another way to enjoy the trees. Similarly with the roses.
Ballarat New Cemetery has about 200 rose varieties throughout the grounds. For those who choose a variety not in stock for a loved one, Ms De Jong said staff would make their best efforts to source it. The cemetery has also just finished a path upgrade through the rose garden to make it more accessible for visitors.
Ballarat New Cemetery rose pruning sessions are on Tuesday and Thursday, from 2pm. Bookings: 5332 1469.
YOU MIGHT LIKE
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.