Meet Sandy Roy and Rob Roy
New Zealand born Floral Artisan Sandy McKinley and Melbournian Rob Roy, Trentham’s own Bob the Builder, are founders and custodians of Acre of Roses. Sandy and Rob’s story is one of deep friendship rooted in their mutual Celtic heritage blossoming into an enduring partnership via a series of serendipitous events and connections that lead them to where they are today.
Sandy left her career as a marketer to pursue her childhood passion for flowers when she moved next door to a renowned and newly retired florist who trained and mentored Sandy to open her own floral studio where she created a successful business growing her own peonies and crafting events and weddings in the region. When the opportunity to purchase 1,000 mature heritage rose bushes arose Sandy & Rob grasped at it to fulfil their vision. Rob, experienced in restoring historic homes and no slouch in the floral arrangement department himself, set about renovating their cosy Miner’s Cottage with the same tenacity he applied many years earlier breaking in horses. He says it’s been kind of the same thing. Hard work but incredibly rewarding to see raw beauty realise its potential.
And just like that An Acre of Roses was born.
An Acre of Stories
Acre of Roses has been brought to life in collaboration with the help of a very talented community of local gardeners and creative souls. More than a beautiful cottage and garden, it’s become an acre of stories narrated by the property and people who have contributed to its growth. Tim Pilgrim, the horticulturalist behind Paul Bangay and The Estate Trentham’s productive gardens, is the resident gardener. Together Sandy and Tim have developed the land to include a potager; fruit trees; herbaceous borders; a wildflower meadow; the roses; and beehives to pollinate it all.
When Rob brought home a windfall of local salvaged bricks local artist and stonemason, Tom Hamlon, was invited to create a folly that was inspired by Sandy’s fascination for ruins, and her family stories of an ancient castle on a clifftop that was the family seat at Rathlin Island in Ireland; and, of the local region’s gold rush ruins. Tom created a folly that is a rustic idyll and gateways the romantic wildflower meadow beyond. The interiors of the Miner’s Cottage have been decorated and styled by Belle Hemming-Bright of Inside Story: @inside_story_
I do not know what is with this amazing location and gorgeous property, The Acre Of Roses - simple name, simple town, simple down to earth people working on the garden...
Our small crew of two models, two media crew members and one make up artist / hair stylist got so inspired by it air and the whole feel around the garden and the grounds... I do not know what to say and how to explain it - while walking in the gardens that very early sunrising morning of our shoot on 31 January I felt the energy that was coming out from the Earth as if someone's soul soaked in through the ground and turned into the liquid gold, natural gems and crystals of cosmic beauty... My mind was boosted with ideas immediately.. .As I was driving back home, thought "Trentham is one magical place.... I will never forget it... " If it was only myself I would understand but he whole crew was feeling pretty much the same... I think I expressed it the right way with the words that I had in my mind...
Recommend everyone to visit.. our photos and the BTS video are coming up...
// biggest thank you: Sandy Roy and Robert Roy
first video: PRIDE productions / Andrew J Liu