The Dutch Garden - Take time out to smell the roses

Sir Walter Scott Roses

The Dutch garden, which underwent an extensive restoration project and officially reopened in 2012, now boasts over 200 roses, eighty of which were planted in 2018. Framed by four herbaceous borders which are designed to give the feeling of length to the garden, the four main rose beds each hold forty five David Austin roses.

Springhill's Gardener Warren Marten is passionate about his project of rejuvenating the Dutch Garden at Springhill and sharing the impressive display of roses within it's walls.

'Only when you come and look upon these beautiful plantings will you get that feeling of awe and peace that this garden so effortlessly portrays'

The Dutch garden, which underwent an extensive restoration project and officially reopened in 2012, now boasts over 200 roses, eighty of which were planted in 2018. Framed by four herbaceous borders which are designed to give the feeling of length to the garden, the four main rose beds each hold forty five David Austin roses.

Discover what lies within the walls of The Dutch Garden
Entrance to Dutch Garden
Discover what lies within the walls of The Dutch Garden

On entering the garden you will first be greeted by one of Warren's favourite roses. Introduced in 2006 this fine specimen is named after the acclaimed ballerina and principal at the Royal Ballet, Darcy Bussell. David Austin said himself that it was one of the best and healthiest red roses he had ever bred, flowering freely and continually throughout the season. The deep rich crimson rosettes with their fruity fragrance upon short bushy growth never fail to impress.

Rich crimson Darcy Bussell
Darcy Bussell Rose
Rich crimson Darcy Bussell

Continuing clockwise you will come upon Sir Walter Scott, introduced in 2015, the result of a cross with a Scottish rose. Named after the much admired Scottish novelist, it’s rich pink flowers create a perfect old style rosette and a lovely old rose fragrance. Add to this the prolific flowering and the tough robust health of this rose and success is inevitable.

New addition to the Dutch Garden display - Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott Roses
New addition to the Dutch Garden display - Sir Walter Scott

Moving on, Molineux, an English Musk Rose, will greet you with its delicate yellow neat rosettes and a growing habit which hints at the old Tea Rose in its breeding, plus you cannot mistake its wonderful musky fragrance. Introduced in 1994 and named for Sir Jack Hayward, former Chairman of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, ‘Molineux’ being the name of their stadium, this rose is another reliable repeat flowering winner with good disease resistance, its only weakness being it tends to suffer more in colder weather.

Molineux - an English musk rose
Molineux Roses
Molineux - an English musk rose

Not to be ignored is the Winchester Cathedral, a beautiful white sport of ‘Mary Rose’. It produces masses of medium sized, old rose fragranced rosettes which are sometimes mixed pink and white. Named after one of the finest cathedrals in Britain, this repeat flowering rose definitely gives an amazing show, inspiring a feeling of awe just like the magnificent building it is named after.

The magnificent Winchester Cathedral
Winchester Cathedral Rose
The magnificent Winchester Cathedral

Rosa Gertrude Jekyll, one of the new roses at Springhill, was first bred by David Austin over 30 years ago. This rose is named after the influential garden designer and horticulturist Gertrude Jekyll.

Magnificent rich coloured Rosa Gertrude Jekyll
Rosa Gertrude Jekyll
Magnificent rich coloured Rosa Gertrude Jekyll

The worlds favourite rose, Rosa Graham Thomas

A stunning specimen, named after the world famous horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas, one of the most influential gardeners of his time. A frequent visitor to David Austin nurseries, he chose this rose himself. He gathered a collection of old roses, predating 1860, which forms the basis for the national collection of roses at Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire. The gardens that he designed there he described as his 'masterpiece'. Graham Thomas was also the gardens advisor at Springhill during the early 1970's and lots of roses that he chose for the gardens can still be admired today.

Voted the worlds favourite rose - Rosa Graham Thomas
Rosa Graham Thomas
Voted the worlds favourite rose - Rosa Graham Thomas

This is just a taste of some of the roses in the Dutch Garden. There is so much more to see on your visit. Come and view the wonderful climbing, rambling roses that cascade down and along the garden walls, or spot those that peek through the many herbaceous plants that fill the borders with colour throughout the summer.

There is also the famous but unassuming Macartney Rose (Rosa bracteata). It is written that Springhill’s specimen was the first to be brought to Ireland at the end of the 18th Century by the Ambassador to China, Lord Macartney, and that he planted the rose in The Dutch Garden himself.

Warren would be delighted to speak to you about the special and valued rose display at Springhill.

Come and speak with him between 2-3pm every Thursday throughout June and enjoy a complimentary sample of rose cordial produced from fresh flowers in the garden.