Roses as Permanent Displays
Roses are best seen in permanent gardens, which give a much better idea of their potential for general display than you can get at nurseries, where the plants are all maidens. (Some nurseries do, of course, have their own display gardens, which offer equally good opportunities for you to assess the qualities of mature plants.) The following are a few of the best places to see permanent displays in the United Kingdom.
Queen Mary’s Garden, at Regent’s Park in London, is considered to be one of the outstanding gardens for rose display in this country. (Modesty forbids me to say anything more, as it was under my care for about 15 years.) It contains about 40,000 plants, some in large formal beds, many in fixed borders. A large collection of climbers and ramblers forms a background to the main formal garden, and many more scramble into trees.
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew have an interesting collection ofin beds of various sizes, and includes examples of pegging down of older varieties in beds. A large pergola displays a selection of climbers.
The Royal National Rose Society’s Garden in Chiswell Green Lane, on the outskirts of St Albans, provides an opportunity for members of the society and visitors to see the widest range of roses in the British Isles from June to September. The roses range from species and their hybrids, through the old garden roses, modern shrubs, and climbers, to modern hybrid teas, floribundas, and miniatures. A large pergola provides a display of climbers old and new. In the trial grounds roses from all over the world — no doubt including many future favourites — can be seen. Award-winning roses from these trials are planted at selected gardens in various parts of the country to assess their performance under different climatic conditions.
These gardens — all of them well worth a visit in any case — are at: Roath Park, Cardiff; Saughton Park, Edinburgh; Pollock Park, Glasgow; Harlow Car Gardens, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire; Heigham Park, Norwich; The Arboretum, Nottingham; Borough Park, Redcar, Cleveland; Rotten Row, Victoria Park, Southport, Lancashire; Vivary Park, Taunton, Somerset. The City ofBelfast Rose Trials Gardens at the Sir Thomas and Lady Dinon Park, just outside the city, has a splendid collection of more than 20,000 plants of different types, including.
In recent years the Royal Horticultural Society has created a display of modern roses at its garden at Wisley, in Surrey. Older roses are also grown in other parts of the garden.
Many public parks and gardens all over Britain provide evidence of our enduring love of roses. They are far too numerous to identify here by name or place, but I should perhaps mention the city of Aberdeen’s reputation for outstanding displays of roses, and also the National Trust, many of whose gardens have splendid collections of the older roses.