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Red Rose Day: The UK’s Top Rose Gardens

12 June 2018 | Emily May

June 12th is Red Rose Day, the perfect opportunity to show your affection to your loved ones with a blooming great bunch of the most romantic, but thorny flowers of them all. Alternatively, you could “stop and take time to smell the roses” by visiting a radiant rose garden from our handy guide!

Coughton Court Rose Garden, Warwickshire
Recognised as one of the finest in the world, the rose garden at Coughton Court garden was designed by Christina Williams in 1996 for her mother, Clare McLaren-Throckmorton, the house’s current owner. It was the first British garden to receive the Awards of Garden Excellence from the World Federation of Rose Societies in 2006, and Williams went on to scoop even more botanic recognition when she won a Gold Medal and Best in Category (urban courtyards) at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2010. Her Coughton Court creation includes a winding labyrinth, with a statue of Fair Rosamund – legendary mistress of King Henry II – at the centre, surrounded by swathes of rosa mundi roses in her honour.

Image Credit: Bill Alloway via the National Trust wesbite
 
Coughton Court Rose Garden is located at Coughton Court, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5JA
 
Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
Previous home of renowned writer Vita Sackville West (who was also a friend and lover of Virginia Woolf!), Sissinghurst Castle was where the poetess indulged her passion for old roses, developing a rose garden with her husband and fellow author Harold Nicolson, whilst also planting climbers to weave in and out of the castle walls. A true romantic, Vita declared herself to be “drunk on roses” – so you may be destined for a bit of a long winding walk around Sissinghurst’s ground if the flora affects you in the same way! Evidently, some of the varieties planted by the Sackville-Wests have now died or been replaced, but some – including the Mme Alfred Carriere  - have lived on in memory of their previous proprietress.   

Image Credit: Louise and Colin via Flickr
 
Sissinghurst Castle Garden is located at Biddenden Road, near Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 2AB
 
RHS Garden Rosemoor, Devon
Despite featuring in the name, Rosemoor is not entirely dedicated to the flirty flower, but is in fact a National Garden complete with woodlands, a Cherry Garden, a Stone Garden, arboretums and much more. However, it is especially celebrated for its two outstanding rose gardens. There’s The Queen Mother’s Garden featuring modern roses, and the Shrub Rose Garden which features older, more traditional varieties. Don’t miss their Rose Festival starting on 16 June 2018 a month long celebration including rose inspired and infused treats at Rosemoor’s Garden Kitchen, and a journey of scented discovery in their specially designed rose trail.

Image Credit: Royal Horticultural Society via their website
 
Rosemoor is located in Torrington, EX38 8PH
 
Bateman’s Rose Garden, East Sussex
This oak beamed house situated in the East Sussex countryside was the one-time home of literary legend Rudyard Kipling and his wife Carrie. Although the house dates back to the 17th Century, it was the Kipling couple who introduced the rose garden and lily pond, after Rudyard won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. Fun fact: Kipling kept note in his visitors’ book of anyone who fell in the pond! Budding botanists may be disappointed that there are no plant labels, as the National Trust feel this detracts from the presentation – Kipling didn’t tag his plants as the garden was meant to be a peaceful sanctuary and family garden – but a member of the team should be on hand to answer your plant queries.

Image Credit: Rod and Di via Flickr
 
Bateman’s is located at Bateman’s Lane, Burwash, East Sussex, TN19 7DS

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