The Rose Garden

The rose garden in bloom

In June you can smell the rose garden well before you see it; scented clouds of lemony Turkish delight greet you as you enter the garden.

The highly perfumed rose garden
Visitor smelling the roses

History

With over 600 rose bushes representing 115 varieties, it’s no surprise that the scent of roses carries a long way throughout the garden, particularly on a warm summer’s day when the flowers are gently heated by the sun.

A rose garden was created by Maud Messel in the 1920’s as part of her romantic vision for the planting schemes to surround the medieval style house. She filled it with herbs and old fashioned roses, sourcing many of the plants from gardening friends, swapping cuttings and plants from a variety of rare species.

Roses framed against yew hedging
Roses framed against yew hedging

Design

This winter we’ve been busy pruning, matching the heights of the plants and trimming and cutting so that the layout is aesthetically pleasing. We’ve removed some of the modern varieties that weren’t in keeping with the original design and replaced them with pink and blush colours that would have been favoured by Maud.

Our planting scheme favours perfumed and repeat flowering varieties and we under plant with lavender, geranium and nepeta - flowers that are subtly scented and have a strong visual impact.

Nymans rose garden sculpture
The rose garden fountain

Fountain

The fountain at the centre of the garden, sculpted by Vivian ap Rhys Pryce, was commissioned in 1989 by Anne Rosse and Alistair Buchanan. Once the garden was complete it was officially opened by Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones, Maud's grandaughter. 

The rose garden in bloom
The rose garden in bloom

Sit for a while on one of the benches, soak up the sunshine and breathe in the essence of summer, all the while listening to the play of water from the fountain and the birdsong from the trees in the surrounding garden.