Bucket List of Rose Gardens in England

Now, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty with overseas gardens featuring my favourite plants, roses! Today’s post features English rose gardens, exemplified by David Austin rose, Heritage, the main feature photo for this post, while French rose gardens are discussed tomorrow and those of Italy and Germany on Thursday. This is just a small selection of the huge number of rose gardens in England and no doubt, there are many other wonderful gardens to visit, but here goes…! Firstly, the holy grail of old rose gardens: the National Old-Fashioned  Rose Collection at Mottisfont Abbey

Mottisfont

North Romsey, Hampshire SO51 0LP

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont/features/mottisfonts-rose-garden

These beautiful  walled gardens hold over 500 varieties of pre-1900 once-flowering Old Roses, which reach their peak in the last two weeks in June, as well as some newer repeat-flowering rose varieties as well. They are open from March to October and attract over 350 000  visitors.

It was created by Graham Stuart Thomas (1909-2003), a plantsman, nurseryman and garden writer and one of the most important figures in 20th-century British horticulture. As a 22 year old foreman at the Surrey nursery, T Hilling and Co. in 1931, he was mentored by 88 year old Gertrude Jekyll, who shared her knowledge about plants, plant groupings, methods of cultivation, colour theory and garden design as art. While at Hillings, he in turn influenced fellow employee, Peter Beales, my next entry!

It was around this time that Graham began to collect old shrub and climbing rose varieties, many of which had fallen out of favour, because they only flowered once during the season.

In 1956, Graham became a partner and director of Sunningdale Nurseries, a position he held until 1971. He established a collection of old roses, sourcing them from all over the world, trialling and selecting the best for British conditions and listing them in his nursery catalogue ‘The Manual of Shrub Roses’.

He went on to write 19 garden books, including his famous trilogy: Old Shrub Roses 1955 (constantly updated and reprinted); Shrub Roses of Today 1962; and Climbing Roses Old and New 1965, all illustrated with his own drawings and paintings.

Graham was an informal advisor to the National Trust from 1948 , when he worked on their first garden, Hidcote Manor, being appointed as their official garden advisor from 1955 on. He was also responsible for the restoration of over 100  gardens, including Sissinghurst Castle (http://www.countrylife.co.uk/gardens/country-gardens-and-gardening-tips/the-history-of-sissinghursts-roses-58258), Stourhead and Mt Stewart, Ireland. He was awarded an OBE for his work with the National Trust in 1975 and the Dean Hole Medal from the National Rose Society in 1996, and is even remembered in the name of one of David Austin’s beautiful golden roses Graham Thomas (photo below).

When he wanted a site to preserve his collection of old roses, he sought permission from the National Trust to use the old walled kitchen garden at Mottisfont. By 1974, he had created a garden that combined roses with a mix of herbaceous perennials in attractive colour combinations to give a season-long display and which showed his strong sense of design and his immense knowledge of plants and love of roses. Planting schemes were based on form, foliage and texture, as well as flower colour.

A gateway set in a sunny, rose-covered wall leads to the first rose garden, with deep box-lined borders, full of rambling roses (Wichuraiana and Multiflora) and climbing roses (Noisettes and Climbing Teas) and clematis, trained on the high brick wall behind, as well as on arches, pillars and pergolas, and beds filled with Bourbons; Hybrid Perpetuals; Chinas; Scots Roses; and a few Rugosa Hybrids.

The main paths crossing the site converge on a central round pond and fountain, surrounded by eight clipped Irish yews, the box-edged paths creating four quadrants each with a central lawn,  to house his Gallicas, Damasks, Portlands, Albas, Centifolias and Mosses, under-planted with many of his favourite perennials, chosen for their structure, scent and wide colour palette.

Agapanthus, aquilegias, geraniums, iris, poppies, eryngium and peonies mingle with pinks, allium, bergenias, lilies, campanulas, erigeron, yarrow, phlox, scabiosa, nepeta, lavender and naturalised purple, pink and white Linaria purpurea. The centres of the borders are a mass of soft blues, pinks and whites, whilst stronger yellows, oranges and dark pinks draw your eye along the length of the border. In June, the roses are accompanied by striking spires of white foxgloves. The northern section of the walled garden, with its wide paths, is deliberately planted with a cool colour palette to provide a counterpoint to the central rose garden.

The gardeners dead-head all our modern varieties and any old-fashioned  roses that flower more than once, but otherwise leave the hips on the old roses for Winter feed for the birds.

It is an excellent place to study the differences in all the different old rose types: the Gallicas with their large sweetly-scented flowers, up to six inches across; the Damasks with their soft grey-green leaves and pink and white flowers; the Mosses with their resinous stems and buds; and the Teas and Musks with their distinctive scents.

Here is a YouTube videos of the garden , showing its design clearly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-QZExHApYw.

The rose Graham Thomas is on the left of the walk and is the climbing form.BlogEngRosesReszd2014-10-25 09.52.59BlogRustonRenmkReszd2014-10-25 09.53.19Peter Beales Roses

London Rd, Attleborough, Norfolk NR17 1AY

https://www.classicroses.co.uk/

Peter Beales (1936-2013) was a British rosarian, author and lecturer and a leading expert on species and classic roses. He worked under Graham Stuart Thomas, later succeeding him as foreman, at T Hillings and Co., Chobham, Surrey,  then the home to the most comprehensive collections of old roses in the United Kingdom.

Peter started his own nursery at Swardeston, Norfolk, in 1967, raising bedding plants, then breeding his own roses, moving to the current site at Attleborough in the late 1970s, when the business outgrew its premises.

He specialised in old-fashioned, rare and historic scented  roses, growing 1 200 different varieties at his nursery. He won 19 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show over his lifetime (now 23) and was the President of the Royal National Rose Society from 2003 to 2005. He was given the highest RHS award, the Victorian Medal of Honour, in 2003 and an  MBE in 2005. He is also the holder of the National Collection of Rosa Species, holding more than 100 types of wild species roses in Britain. He has written a number of books including Classic Roses  in 1985 and Visions of Roses in 1996, see: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.

We also own his romantic VHS video titled ‘A Celebration of Old Roses‘, in which he attributes the start of his love affair with Old Roses with the Alba rose, Maiden’s Blush, at his childhood home. In lieu of this rose, since I don’t have a decent photo yet (!), I have featured another famous old Alba, Alba Maxima (see below).

In 2015, Peter Beales Roses launched the Peter Beales Garden Centre, a specialist rose and plant centre, selling roses, shrubs, climbers and herbaceous perennials. It also has a two acre display garden, a gift shop with garden supplies, tools, books and rose-related products, and a licensed tea room and restaurant. I would love to visit their nursery and display garden in June. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/tours-courses-events/our-gardens/our-gardens.html.

The gardens show historic, rare and contemporary roses, growing in unison with complimentary plants like foxgloves, salvia, campanulas, iris, daisies, nepeta and anemones. The roses are displayed along paths and arches, including the iron St Albans Walkway, comprising of four arched walkways, joined together at the centre of a six metre gazebo. There is also a specially designed wildlife garden, pond, children’s woodland play area and stunning observation turret.blogelegantalbasreszd20%2014-10-27-13-07-44David Austin Roses

Bowling Green Lane, Albrighton, Wolverhampton, WV7 3HB

http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/

http://www.davidaustinrosesaustralia.com/australian/handbook.pdf

David Austin (1926-) is the other big name in the United Kingdom rose world. He started rose breeding in the early 1950s, releasing his first commercially available rose Constance Spry (a cross between a Floribunda, Dainty Maid, and Gallica, Belle Isis) in 1961, followed by Chianti (a cross between Floribunda, Dusky Maiden, and Gallica, Tuscany Superb) in 1967 and Shropshire Lass in 1968.

His early roses were once-flowering in Spring and early Summer, but by 1969, he had  produced a series of remontant varieties, bred by back-crossing Constance Spry with other Floribundas and Hybrid Teas, their names based on Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales. For example, Wife of Bath; Cantebury; The Prioress; and  The Yeoman.

David’s aim was to produce a rose combining the best of the old Gallica, Damask and Alba roses (form, character, disease resistance and scent) and new Hybrid Teas and Floribundas (repeat-flowering and wide colour range).

Since founding David Austin Roses in 1969, he has introduced over 190 new rose cultivars of English Roses. They are named after:

Family Members eg his wife, Pat Austin; his father, Charles Austin and his mother, Lilian Austin; his daughter, Claire Austin; his son, James. L. Austin, and James’ wife, Jayne Austin; and grand-daughter Olivia Rose Austin, the daughter of his other son, David Austin Junior;

Well-known Rosarians: Graham Thomas; Gertrude Jekyll; Constance Spry; and  Trevor Griffiths;

Geographical Landmarks in Britain: Winchester Cathedral; Windermere; and Glamis Castle;

British Gardens: Harlow Carr; Munstead Wood; Wisley; and Kew Gardens;

Historical Ships: Mary Rose (Henry VII’s flagship); and The Mayflower (the English ship that transported the Puritans from Plymouth, England to the New World in 1620);

Historical Characters and Famous People: William Morris; Charles Darwin; Charles Rennie Mackintosh; Sir Walter Raleigh; Thomas a Beckett; Anne Boleyn; Vanessa Bell; and today’s famous actress, Dame Judi Dench;

The works of writers:

Chaucer: Chaucer; The Pilgrim; The Nun; The Reeve; The Friar; The Yeomen; and The Squire;

Shakespeare: William Shakespeare; Wise Portia (The Merchant of Venice); Sweet Juliet (Romeo and Juliet); Prospero (The Tempest); Desdemona (Othello); and Cordelia (King Lear);

Christopher Marlowe: Christopher Marlowe; and Leander;

Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbevilles; and Jude the Obscure (photo below); and

Coleridge: The Ancient Mariner.

Since then, the roses have been further separated into four groups:

Old Rose Hybrids: These have the appearance of Old Roses, but are recurrent, with a wide colour range eg Brother Cadfael; Eglantyne; Jude the Obscure; LD Braithwaite; and  Sharifa Asma;

Leander Group: Wichuraiana parentage; Larger bush with arching growth; Suitable for pillar or use as a low climber eg Golden Celebration; William Morris; and The Alnwick Rose;

English Musk Rose: Iceberg and Noisette parentage; Pale green, slender and airy growth, but musk scent absent in most cultivars eg Evelyn; Heritage; Graham Thomas; Lucetta; and Windermere;  and

English Alba Hybrids: Tall, blue-leafed bushes eg Shropshire Lass; and Cordelia.

He has written a number of books about Old Roses (eg The Heritage of the Rose 1990; The Rose 2009/ 2012) and his English roses (eg: Old Roses and English Roses 1992; David Austin’s English Roses 1993/1996 and The English Roses : Classic Favourites and New Selections 2007). See: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.

He has won 23 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and was awarded the RHS Victorian Medal of Honour in 2003; an OBE in 2007; and was named a ‘Great Rosarian of the World’ in 2010.

His two acre ( 0.8 ha) display gardens (http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/plant-centre-and-gardens and http://www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/david-austin-rose-gardens showcase 800 varieties of roses: Old Roses; Climbing Roses; Rambling Roses and 150 English Roses, all growing informally within clipped evergreen hedges. Here is a map of the display gardens, from page 272 of his 2007 book: The English Roses.BlogEngRosesReszd2017-09-29 09.24.38The garden is divided into a number of smaller themed areas, including: the Long Garden; The Victorian Walled Garden; the Lion Garden; the Renaissance Garden; the Patio Garden; and the Species Garden. For more on the display gardens, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ox0PZPv1V98 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Zy3oY0KpFU.

bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-22-17-03-14And now for three private gardens: Kiftsgate; Elsing Hall and Mannington Hall.

Kiftsgate Court

Chipping Campden, Glos GL55 6LN, United Kingdom

http://www.kiftsgate.co.uk/

Map: http://www.kiftsgate.co.uk/garden-map/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8r6dOOB58Y

Famous for its Kiftsgate Rose, this garden is worth visiting for all its other roses, as well as the rest of the garden. This Twentieth Century Arts and Crafts garden is set on the Cotswolds escarpment, overlooking the Malvern Hills, and has been in the same family (three generations of women) for over 75 years.

The house was built from 1887 to 1891 by Sydney Garves Hamilton, who developed a paved formal garden in front of the portico. It was bought by Jack and Heather Muir in 1918. Inspired by Lawrence Johnston’s Hidcote Manor next-door, Heather developed  the garden organically, rather than drawing a precise plan on paper. She started by extending a lawn from the formal paved garden, then built steps in the steep wooded  bank to the lower garden, 150 feet below. She planted hedges of yew and copper beech to create a series of interconnecting gardens, each with its own character. She developed a Yellow Border and a Rose Border and built a summerhouse with views to the west.

Her eldest daughter, Diany Binny, took over the garden in the 1950s, adding a semicircular pool to the lower garden; redesigning the White Sunk Garden to include a small pool and wellhead fountain; and opening the garden to the public on a regular basis.

Dinny’s eldest daughter, Anne Chambers, and husband John have been responsible for the garden since the 1980s and have built a very modern Water Garden on the old tennis court.

Kiftsgate is a typical Arts and Crafts garden with wide herbaceous borders, a four-square garden and terrace, a White Sunk Garden, a Yellow Border, a Rose Border, a rockery, lawns and a bluebell wood. See the website, especially the diary and the map, for more details.

The areas that particularly interest me are :

The Orchard and Wild Garden with Camassias and Tulipa ‘Jan Reus’ blooming under the Spring blossom of heritage apples, medlars, quinces and pears, as well as the Bluebell Wood, filled with English Bluebells, Fritillaria meleagris, wild garlic, Anemone blanda and the odd grape hyacinth inside the entrance gates;

The wide Double Borders of small trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in pinks, mauves and purples with grey foliage;

The White Sunk Garden with white shrubs: Deutzias, Carpentarias; Hoherias and Staphyllea, underplanted with a riot of colour provided by erythroniums and trilliums in Spring, followed by Summer-blooming anemones, helianthemums, dioramas, santolinas and self-seeding Allium christophii. Roses include: R. sericea ‘Heather Muir’, ‘Diany Binny’, R. soulieana, R. alba semi-plena, White Wings, R. brunonii ‘La Mortola’, R. cooperii and ‘Lady Godiva’;   and most importantly of all:

The Double Rose Border, full of old-fashioned, species and modern roses, with a low hedge of Rosa mundi bordering the central lawn path, as well as astilbes, asters and grasses. Some of my favourites are there: Mme Hardy; Stanwell Perpetual; and Honorine de Brabant. The original Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ rose, planted in 1938 and named by Graham Stuart Thomas in 1951, is said to be the largest in England at over 24 metres wide and 15 metres high and covering three trees. It is covered with panicles of white roses in mid-July. Apparently, 410 flowers were counted on one panicle alone, so it would certainly be a wonderful sight! The Mutabilis on the house wall, climbing 30 feet up to the eaves, would also be spectacular.

Because I do not have the Kiftsgate Rose and am featuring Mutabilis in my post on Italian and German rose gardens, I am featuring William Morris, the name of the founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement and remembered by a David Austin rose, which we are growing in our Moon Bed.bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-17-09-52-09Elsing Hall

Elsing Hall, Elsing, Dereham NR20 3DX, UK

http://elsinghall.com/gardens.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6_dKJz66a0

Elsing Hall is a medieval manor house, near Dereham, Norfolk, dating from 1470, complete with a fully functioning moat with an arched access bridge. The house is set in a small park with old beech, plane, oak and lime trees and newer plantings of specimen conifers, sweet chestnuts and birches.

The 20 acre garden, including the 10 acre arboretum, was established over 30 years ago by Shirley and David  Cargill in 1984 with a number of different areas: a Wild Meadow; Bog Garden; Autumn Garden; Moat Walk; the formal Osprey Garden; a Walled Garden; Arboretum; a medieval Stew Pond, South Terrace Lawn and the village cricket pitch.

It has a unique Gingko Avenue and a maturing Pinetum, but its main claim to fame is its huge collection of over 400 Old Roses covering the walls of the house and walled garden, as well as filling the borders, including: Rambling Rector, Albertine, Francis E Lester, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Adélaïde d’Orléans, Veilchenblau, Mme. Alfred Carrière, Cardinal de Richelieu, R. gallica officinalis, Souvenir du Dr. Jamain, Charles de Mills, Empress Josephine, Alba Maxima, Great Maiden’s Blush, Celestial, R. centifolia, Fantin Latour, Ispahan, Kazanlik, Blanche Moreau, Mme Grégoire Staechlin (see photo below), Königan von Dänemark, Phyllis Bide, Constance Spry and Roseraie de l’Hay. The Moss roses lining the Stew Pond are particularly romantic and include Général Kléber and Maréchal Davoust.

The property is now owned by Patrick Lines or Han Yap and the garden is open to groups of 20 or more people by arrangement. It also had an Open Day on the 25 June 2017 and there is guest accommodation in the restored old stables/ coachhouse: http://www.bookcottages.com/cottages/105-1165-elsing-hall-old-stables.htm.

I would love to visit the garden in June, when they are in full bloom, but the other seasons hold promise as well: Snowdrops and aconites in January/ February; drifts of daffodils in March and April, camassias, bearded irises, delphiniums, tulips and peonies in May and the herbaceous borders in July and August.

For more on this lovely garden, read pages 42-47 of the February/ March 2016 edition of the English Garden on: https://www.chelseamagazines.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/TEGFebMarch2016.pdf.

BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9498

My last rose garden for this post is:

Mannington Hall

Saxthorpe, Near Itteringham, Norfolk, NR11 7BB

https://www.manningtongardens.co.uk/

Another moated  medieval country house, dated 1464 and owned by Robert Walpole, the 10th Baron Walpole, Mannington Hall is another 20 acre garden famous for its old roses, with over 1000 varieties. In his book, Visions of Roses, on page 43, Peter Beales describes it as ‘one of the finest and most important collections of historic roses in the world’.

The one acre walled Heritage Rose Garden is a living museum of 1000 years of rose history.  It includes:

Species Rose Border against the entire south wall: R. moyesii Geranium, R. chinensis Viridiflora and R. omeiensis pteracantha;

Medieval Garden: Wattle entrance hurdles and fences,  covered with R. moschata and Rambling Rector; Circular beds of Gallicas (R. gallica officinalis, Rosa Mundi (see photo below), Jenny Duval); Albas (Great Maiden’s Blush); and Damasks (Quatre Saisons; Kazanlik) with Scots Rose, R. pimpinellifolia;

Classical Garden: Roses from 1700 to 1836: Centifolias, Mosses, Bourbons and Noisettes: Champney’s Pink Cluster; Blush Noisette, Aimée Vibert and Desprez à Fleurs Jaunes;

Jekyll Garden: Octagonal garden made up of trellises covered with ramblers and climbers popular with Gertrude Jekyll: Dorothy Perkins; Debutante, Minnehaha, American Pillar, Cupid, Silver Moon and Elegance;

Between the Wars Garden: Hybrid Musks: Ballerina, Buff Beauty, Felicia and Belinda;

Modern Rose Garden: Iceberg, Peace, Piccadilly, Silver Jubilee, Constance Spry, Graham Thomas, Chaucer, Mary Rose, Frühlingsgold, Parkdirektor Riggers and Margeurite Hilling; and La Mortola.

Outside the Heritage Rose Garden is:

Victorian Garden: Mosses, Hybrid Perpetuals: Baronne Prévost and Empereur de Maroc; and Bourbons: Belle de Crécy, Boule de Neige, and Mme Isaac Pereire;

Sweet Briars: Meg Merrilees and Lady Penzance;

Rugosas: Blanc Double de Coubert and Roseraie de l’Hay;

Post-Modernist Garden: Recent rose varieties;

Temple Garden: Rambling Rector; and  Pimpinellifolia collection;

Shrubberies: Trial roses from the 1980s: Sadler’s Wells; William and Mary; John Grooms; and Gallica hybrid, Scharlachglut, scrambling 20 feet into a Kanzan Cherry;

Moat banks covered in R. wichuraiana and Fru Dagmar Hastrup;

House gardens: Mixed borders backed with 10 foot walls, including Golden Showers, James Mason, Kiftsgate, R. bracteata, Ramona and Guinée; Formal beds of Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; and a R. banksiae lutescens against the south wall of the house. This garden actually has all four Banksian roses: Single and Double Whites and Single and Double Yellows.

There is also a Knot Garden with scented plants, including Bourbon, Louise Odier, Modern Shrub Rose, Anna Pavlova, and a number of R. eglanteria varieties; a Sensory Garden with plants selected for touch, sound and taste, as well as smell and colour; and a 4.3 hectare wet Wildflower Meadow.  It is also possible to stay there with a small low key glamping venture called Amber’s Bell Tents: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/18353490 and http://www.ambersbelltents.co.uk/mannington-hall.

bloggallicasreszd50image-240Tomorrow, I will be posting my bucket list of French Rose Gardens.

Fabulous Rose Books

Since roses, and particularly Old Roses, are the major focus of my blog this year, I thought it would be useful to discuss a few of my favourite rose books, as a start to my monthly posts on books this year, as well as to provide a reference point and future reading material for those readers, who share my passion or whose interest is piqued! Note: The name Old Roses refer to Heritage or Old-Fashioned  Roses, mostly hailing from the pre-1900s, rather than chronologically old or new bushes!   First up,

 ‘Classic Roses’ by Peter Beales 1985 and 1997

This thick heavy book is THE Old Rose bible and if you can only ever get one rose book, this is it! I could not manage without it! In fact, I actually have two copies: My much-battered original 1st edition hardback from 1985 (photo 1) and an updated, revised and enlarged 2nd edition paperback (photo 2) given to me by my Mum, from whom I inherited my passion for roses (passing it on in turn to my daughter Caro!) in 1997. The first edition includes chapters titled: the History and Evolution of the Rose; Roses in the Landscape; the Cultivation of Roses and a detailed Dictionary of all the major rose cultivar groups and their members; as well as having an appendix of all the major rose gardens in the world at that time.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-208

The 2nd edition is very similar in content, but includes different photographs, more roses including ground-cover or procumbent roses and extra information. For example: the Early Development of the Modern Rose; the Mystery Roses of Bermuda; and Rustling Roses, as well as a World Climatic Map, Height and Colour Charts and lists of Rose Societies and Rose Producers and Suppliers throughout the world in the back.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-218

I consult these books constantly when planning new rose gardens or ordering new roses, though do be aware that Peter’s height and width specifications are for the cooler British and Northern European climate. I find my roses are often much taller and wider here in sunny warm Australia. For example, Mutabilis, my ‘butterfly’ China rose is specified in Peter’s book as 90 cm tall and 60cm wide, whereas I have seen huge shrubs of it here in Australia. Walter Duncan has a bush at least 2 m tall and 2 m wide in his Heritage Garden (photo below).blogrosebooks20reszdimg_9737blogrosebooks20reszdimg_9512 Having said that, Peter Beales (1936 – 2013) was, and still is (through his books), THE  Old Rose authority in the United Kingdom, having grown them from the age of 16 years. He has a wonderful nursery in Attleborough, Norfolk and has been awarded 23 Gold Medals by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 1989 to 2016. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/ . Even if you (like me!) cannot visit the nursery, it is well worth exploring this site for its wealth of information on roses and their cultivation. I would have loved to wander round his beautiful, romantic display gardens, but I do have a delightful old VHS video produced by Peter Beales called ‘A Celebration of Old Roses’ , set to the dreamy music of Elgar. While no longer available, the Peter Beales website does sell a DVD called ‘Growing Roses with Peter Beales’, which is out of stock at the moment.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-232 Peter also wrote a lovely large coffee-table book titled ‘Visions of Roses 1996, which explores a large number of exquisite rose gardens in the world, including La Bonne Maison in France; Helmingham Hall and Nymans in England; and Ninfa in Italy (see photos below of its front and back cover). The photography by Vivian Russell is superb and there are boxed descriptions of specific roses. It is a beautiful inspiring book with some wonderful ideas and of course, stunning roses! I would dearly love to purchase his autobiography, ‘Rose Petals and Muddy Footprints’, published in 2008.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-219blogrosebooks25reszdimage-222

David Austin is the other BIG name in roses in the United Kingdom and is possibly even better known to the general public than Peter Beales through his breeding of English Roses, beautiful constantly- flowering roses with all the best attributes of Old Roses. Fortunately, he is still with us, now the ripe old age of 90 (born 1926)! He too has his own nursery on the other side of the country at Albrighton, Wolverhampton in Shropshire, and has won 22 Gold Medals from the Chelsea Flower Show. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/. I have two of his books :

David Austin’s English Roses: Australian Edition 1996 by David Austin

The English Roses: Classic Favourites and New Selections 2009 by David Austin.

I love these books for their photography alone, as well as background information about the different varieties. blogrosebooks25reszdimage-209

They are such beautiful roses and form the basis of my Moon Bed. I would love to visit his display gardens one day, but in the meantime can enjoy a taster through his wonderful photographs in the 2009 book !blogrosebooks25reszdimage-216

Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix are also very well-known authorities on all things to do with the garden. In fact, they have produced a wonderfully informative series of books on garden plants from shrubs to perennials and bulbs and … roses!

Roses: The Garden Plant Series by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix 1994

The Quest for the Rose by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix 1993

A more compact rose encyclopaedia than Classic Roses, the Rose guide contains colour photographs of the cut flowers, as well as rose shrubs and their landscapes. I also find this book useful, as it has a large section on the more modern roses : Hybrid Teas, Floribundas and Miniature Roses.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-213

The Quest for the Rose is a BBC book, which was made into a film, about their research into the history and origins of the rose, including their journey to the foothills of the Himalayas in Western China to find wild relations of China and Tea roses. It also has interesting snippets about all the important rose breeders, an area about which my knowledge is fairly sketchy!blogrosebooks25reszdimage-217

The other rose encyclopaedia, which I should, but do not have in my rose library is : the RHS Encyclopedia of Roses by Charles and Brigid Quest-Ritson 2011, described as: ‘the definitive A-Z guide to over 2,000 species’. For a look at the cover, see : https://www.dk.com/uk/9781405373852-rhs-encyclopedia-of-roses/. I have borrowed this book from the library, but as the number of new rose breeds increases exponentially every year, I suspect this five year old publication is already outdated and since my major interest is Old Roses, I feel I have it adequately covered by the books that I already have!  Maybe, I will access the online version, found at : http://www.b-alexander.com/encyclopedia-of-roses.pdf.

My next book hails from across the English Channel in Lyon, France :

La Bonne Maison: Jardin de Roses Anciennes by Odile Masquelier 2001

La Bonne Maison is a beautiful old rose garden, developed by Odile Masquelier, a French authority on heritage roses , over the past 50 years. As she recounts in her book, she spent the first six years of her life toddling after her mother in this old orchard and vegetable garden high on a Lyons hillside, before rediscovering it and buying the old property in 1966 as the mother of two young children.  Over the years, the city has expanded and it is now a residential area, dwarfed by a huge block of flats behind.blogrosebooks25reszdp1190564 While it is highly unlikely, I will get to visit her garden in the physical sense, my daughter Jen acted as my proxy on her first European trip in the Spring of 2012.blogrosebooks25reszdp1190543 Unfortunately, it was a little too early for the roses, but she did get to see some beautiful Spring blossom and bulbs (mainly tulips, narcissi and early peonies) and the bones of the garden, as well as meet the charming Odile with her 13 year old grand-daughter, who did speak English and gave Jen a guided tour of the garden.blogrosebooks25reszdp1190593 She bought me her book as a much-desired and hinted-for birthday present. Unfortunately, unless you are fluent in French or can get it translated, this beautiful book is for French readers only! I spent a wonderful week translating it all and it was well worth the effort! Fortunately, Odile does have a website with an English version. See: http://www.labonnemaison.org/  and click on the English Version link.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-223

This wonderful garden is also described in The Secret Gardens of France by Mirabel Osler 1992, along with a chapter dedicated to the rose garden of Andre Eve, a very prominent French rose breeder in Pithiviers, SW of Paris, famous for ‘Les Roses Anciennes de Andre Eve’. See French website: http://www.roses-anciennes-eve.com/epages/rosesanciennes.sf .blogrosebooks30reszdimage-235

While on the subject of French rose writers, Eléonore Cruse has a beautiful wild rose garden called ‘La Roseraie de Berty’ in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Southern France, and has  written a number of books including: Roses Anciennes and Les Roses Sauvages. For information about these books and Eleanor’s garden,  see : http://www.roseraie-de-berty.com.

And now to a number of books by Australian collector, Susan Irvine, who used to own Bleak House, a Victorian nursery from which I sourced many of my old roses in our old garden at ‘Creekside’ in Armidale.

Garden of a Thousand Roses: Making a Rose Garden in Australia 1992

A Hillside of Roses 1994

Susan Irvine’s Rose Gardens : Garden of a Thousand Roses with A Hillside of Roses 1998

Fragrant Roses 1996

Rose Gardens of Australia 1997

The Garden at Forest Hall 2002

Rosehips and Crabapples: A Rose-Lover’s Diary 2007

These are all delightful books, in which Susan writes about her long-term love affair with roses! The first book describes the garden she developed at Bleak House, Malmsbury, Victoria, while its sequel  ‘A Hillside of Roses’ follows the formation of her second garden at ‘Erinvale’, Gisborne, Victoria, which also housed her collection of Alister Clark roses (photos and description in the appendix).blogrosebooks30reszdimage-227

In 1998, both titles were published in the one book: ‘Susan Irvine’s Rose Gardens : Garden of a Thousand Roses with A Hillside of Roses ‘.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-233

In ‘Fragrant Roses’, Susan discusses 62 of her favourite roses (including modern roses), many of which I also love. It is always interesting comparing notes about favourite roses with other rose lovers and wonderful when you meet people with a similar taste and selection of favourites!*blogrosebooks50reszdimage-225‘Rose Gardens of Australia’ is a particular favourite, as it has formed the basis of many of our Australian pilgrimages like David Ruston’s Garden in Renmark; Red Cow Farm in the Southern Highlands (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/12/20/a-garden-weekend-in-the-southern-highlands-part-1/); Carrick Hill and Heide (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/02/09/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-historic-homes-and-gardens/) ; and Bolobek and Cruden Farm (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/08/02/part-2-favourite-private-gardens-historic-gardens-part-2/), as well as Walter Duncan’s Hughes Park, though by the time we visited him, he was living in his new garden at the Heritage Garden, near Clare. We still have plenty more places in the book to visit like Ruth Irving’s Al-Ru Farm at One Tree Hill in South Australia and Heather Cant’s florist garden at Gowan Brae, near Bowral, NSW !  All in all, it is a lovely browsy coffee-table book like Peter Beales’ ‘Visions of Roses’. There is even a Select List of Roses for Australian Gardens  with landscaping suggestions, descriptions and comments for each rose in the back.blogrosebooks20reszdimage-229

By the time Susan wrote ‘The Garden at Forest Hall ‘ (1996), she had moved to a beautiful old derelict Georgian sandstone mansion at Elizabeth Town, near Deloraine, Northern Tasmania, where she restored the house and revived the neglected  garden, the experience documented in her diaries from 2003 to 2005, the basis of her book ‘Rosehips and Crabapples’. She collaborated with photographer Simon Griffiths for her last three books and his photographs are superb.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-228 In 1994,  Susan received the Australian Rose Award from the National Rose Society of Australia and in 2001, became a Life Member of Heritage Roses Australia. She even had a rose named after her in 1996 : the Hybrid Gigantea rose called ‘Susan Irvine‘, which is very fitting given that she has had so much to do with the collection and conservation of Alister Clark roses, many of which involved R. gigantea in their parentage. While it is unlikely any more books will be forthcoming (Susan is in her late 80s), she has certainly left a legacy of beauty in both her gardens and her writings. I particularly loved the antique-looking thick paper and presentation of her final diary.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-226*With reference to the preferences of different rose lovers, especially when it comes to favourite roses, I really enjoyed reading Roses: A Celebration by Wayne Winterwood 2003, in which  34 gardeners and rose lovers write about their favourite rose. Contributors include: Peter Beales, Graham Stuart Thomas, David Austin, Christopher Lloyd, Mirabel Osler, Ken Druse and Dan Hinkley.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-211

Growing Old-Fashioned Roses in Australia and New Zealand by Trevor Nottle 1983

This was one of my first rose books- in fact, it was published the year we were married (so it’s a very old book now!), but it did the job and was very well-thumbed at the start of the increased popularity of Old Roses in the 1980s, before all the luscious rose books came into print.

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Trevor Nottle is a South Australian rosarian, garden historian and heritage consultant, who has written 17 gardening books, many about old roses and Mediterranean and dry-climate gardening, including another book we own : ‘Plants for a Changing Climate’. See his blog at : https://trevornottle.wordpress.com/.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-234

Two more definitive influences in the development of my rose passion and knowledge were : Gardening with Old Roses: An Australasian Guide by Alan Sinclair and Rosemary Thodey  1993   and  Climbing and Rambling Roses: A Guide for Cultivation, Selection and Care by Sally Allison 1993.

The authors of both books hail from New Zealand, a country well-known for its beautiful rose gardens. Alan Sinclair has a huge private rose garden and nursery ‘Roseneath’ , north of Auckland in the North Island, while Sally Allison has been  a past President of Heritage Roses NZ and has a 10 acre country garden Lyddington, near Rangiora, 27 km north of Christchurch on the South Island. Alan’s book is a very useful reference on landscaping with Old Roses, as well as their care and history and has lovely photographs by Rosemary Thodey.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-205 Sally’s book is an excellent guide to climbing roses and ramblers with good notes on their history, cultivation and care, and support and display, and has a terrific dictionary, backed up with her photos, as well as a list of rose gardens to visit in New Zealand.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-204Another early guide (and somewhat soiled copy!) was The Book of Old-Fashioned Roses by Dr. Judyth A. McLeod 1984, a very simple  publication, which relies solely on its written descriptions to entice the reader and is more like a catalogue than an illustrated guide. Judyth is a passionate garden historian, who has written a number of books on Old Roses, lavender and heirloom and cottage garden plants and also had a nursery at Grosevale, in the Lower Blue Mountains, near Richmond called Honeysuckle Cottage, from which we bought some of our old Armidale roses, unavailable through Bleak House, back in the 1990s. Unfortunately, the nursery has now closed, but you can see a video clip about the nursery from 2012 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQm1rlhG_Hk.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-214

Through the Rose Arbour: Notes From a Gardening Life 2001 by Rosemary Houseman is a delightful little book, into which to delve headlong, her prose rambling amongst stunning photos, which document her journey into the world of Old Roses. She started her own nursery The Rose Arbour in Melbourne, Victoria in 1982.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-212An even tinier rose guide is the pocket-sized  A Little Guide to Old Roses by Hazel le Rougetel 1992. It is a sweet little book with hand-coloured illustrations of 28 iconic and favourite Old Roses. Hazel le Rougetel (1917 – 2010) wrote and lectured about old roses and was a founding member of the Historic Roses Group. Ros Wallinger wrote a piece about Hazel’s life on Page 4 of the Spring/ Summer No. 4 Newsletter for the Hampshire Garden Trust. See: http://www.hgt.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Spring-Summer-newsletter.pdf.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-202blogrosebooks25reszd2017-01-14-17-00-09The Old Rose world is a close-knit community and it was not surprising to learn that Hazel was good friends with Peter Beales and Graham Stuart Thomas, another foremost authority on Old Roses in England. He wrote the foreword to her book  A Heritage of Roses 1988, as seen in the photo above. Graham Stuart Thomas himself wrote the definitive Shrub Roses of Today back in 1962 , reprinted in 1963, 1967, 1974, 1980 and 1985. He has written a further 13 books on Old Roses and gardens and can lay credit to being responsible for the revival of interest in Old Roses. Graham Stuart Thomas (1909 – 2003) was heavily involved in the restoration of National Trust properties like Hidcote Manor and Sissinghurst Castle and their gardens, his pièce de résistance being the establishment of the National Collection of Old-Fashioned Roses at Montisfont Abbey : see https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont  and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/5819075/Graham-Stuart-Thomas-and-the-Mottisfont-old-roses.html.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-220 He actually met the renowned Arts and Crafts garden designer Gertrude Jekyll (1843 – 1932), revising her 1902 book Roses for English Gardens by Gertrude Jekyll and Edward Mawley in 1983. While bought more for its historical interest, it is still a worthy addition to my rose library, representing a very different era in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when old roses were merely the garden roses of the day and Hybrid Teas were just starting their ascendancy to world domination.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-201-copy Famous writer and gardener, Vita Sackville-West (1892 – 1962), was also a passionate admirer of Old Roses, planting 194 different types of old roses in her garden at Sissinghurst Castle by 1953, and while she did not publish any specific rose books, she does refer to them in her more general garden musings like my copy of V. Sackville-West’s Garden Book 1968.  See : https://sissinghurstcastle.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/roses-are-blooming-part-1-2/  and  http://www.gardensillustrated.com/article/plants/15-roses-sissinghhurst-castle.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-203Two more English books on Old Roses with beautiful photography are:

Designing With Roses by Tony Lord 1999, a sumptuous book with stunning photographs of roses and their gardens and

The Rose Gardens of England by Michael Gibson 1988 

Michael Gibson (1918 – 2000) was a well-known author and passionate rosarian, who specialized in roses and rose history and even though a little out-of-date, many of the rose gardens mentioned still exist and are open to the public, so it is definitely worth consulting if you are planning a tour of English Old Rose gardens in June and then googling your choices on the internet to confirm their continued existence and opening hours.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-221 He also wrote The Book of the Rose 1980, another great find from the secondhand bookstore with an excellent section on rose history and lovely illustrated plates. He once described the rose Fantin Latour, which was rediscovered and named by Graham Stuart Thomas, as “ one of the most beautiful roses of all”.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-206

See: https://www.countrygardenroses.co.uk/about-us/rose-gardener/2011-03-04-rose-of-the-week-7/, a link which leads me very neatly to the books of Antonia Ridge (1895 – 1981),  specifically  The Man Who Painted Roses about the life of French artist Fantin Latour (1836 – 1904), who painted many still-lifes featuring roses (see: https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Painted-Roses-Pierre-Joseph/dp/0571105548  ), and my very favourite  For Love of a Rose, a delightfully written, slightly old-fashioned and quaint story of the creation of the Peace Rose and the Meilland and Paolino families behind it. It is a lovely happy read- everyone is decent and hard-working and it just makes you feel good!blogrosebooks50reszdimage-201I could not finish this blog without referring to one of the most famous French rose painters of all, ‘the Raphael of Flowers’, commissioned by Empress Josephine between 1817 and 1824, to paint all the roses in her famous rose collection at her chateau at Malmaison : Pierre- Joseph Redoute (1759 – 1840). Redoubte’s Roses is one of the largest books in our library and contains full-page  reproductions of colour plates of 167 roses with a brief description of each rose and its history.blogrosebooks20reszdimage-231

And finally, Naming of the Rose : Discovering Who Roses are Named For by Roger Mann 2008  is a fascinating read and gives more insight into the romance behind this beautiful flower.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-224

Next week, I will be discussing my favourite Old Rose websites. Till then…!

Postscript: I am adding in The Rose by David Austin 2012, a belated Christmas gift and the most beautiful and comprehensive book with chapters on Species Roses; the Old European Roses; Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; Polyanthas, Patio Roses and Miniatures; Shrub Roses and Ground-Covers; Climbers and Ramblers; and his own English Roses (with details and photos of 18 new roses), as well as information on how to grow these roses in the garden, companion plants for roses; maintenance of roses; and flower-arranging in the home. The photographs are so sumptuous and would be enough to convert any rose sassenach into a true believer!

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