About the Event
Rose Celebration Weeks: 18th June 2018 – 29th June 2018
The romance of Borde Hill Garden’s rose collection is set to wow visitors this year in the garden’s 125th anniversary year as 750 plants and 100 varieties of David Austin roses bloom in a myriad of colours from soft pink through to deep crimson and from yellow to bright red in a setting inspired by the Garden’s Edwardian predecessors.
Four generations of the Stephenson Clarke family have lived in this historic Tudor house near Haywards Heath. The garden is probably best-known as a plant hunters paradise, as it contains many rare shrubs and trees sent home to Colonel Stephenson R Clarke by the great plant hunters including George Forest and EH Wilson. However, in the summer, it’s the roses that take centre stage at Borde Hill.
Inspired by a 1902 ‘Country Life’ article which detailed the roses grown at the country manor during Victorian times, Borde Hill’s custodian, Eleni Stephenson Clarke, commissioned Robin Williams (senior) to create a new rose garden which she then filled with over 100 varieties of David Austin roses.
The Jay Robin Rose Garden comprises formal beds bordered by box and lavender, red brick paths and is highlighted with plantings on obelisks and trellises. The design has formal and informal elements with high yew walls.
Eleni Stephenson Clarke says: “The photographs from the early 20th century of the house and garden showed a gorgeous display of roses and this really inspired me to bring back the rose to Borde Hill. I chose David Austin roses because they are truly spectacular in their variety and they have such wonderful longevity.”
Head gardener Andy Stevens says: “The Jay Robin Rose Garden is undoubtedly the main highlight of the summer displays at Borde Hill – the sight and fragrance of over 750 David Austin doses is something to behold.”
The garden contains the most valued and most popular roses developed by David Austin.
The garden contains some of the most important of the David Austin varieties including Gertrude Jekyll, Winchester Cathedral and Graham Thomas which were all introduced in the early to mid 1980s and are said to be responsible for the success of David Austin’s business. The rose garden also contains some of the most popular roses sold in the last 12 months in the UK including Olivia Rose Austin, Lady Emma Hamilton, Darcy Bussell, Lady of Shalott and Munstead Wood.
The addition of the mixed herbaceous border in the Jay Robin Rose Garden was inspired by Helen Dillon’s planting and contains roses, blue delphiniums, aconites, salvias, blue asters and actaea.
Two recent rose borders designed by noted rosarian Charles Quest-Ritson and plantsman Dr Tony Lord were planted in early 2011. The Gold Standard Roses, kindly donated by BARB (British Association of Rose Breeders) are healthy and floriferous, varying from very strong to pale cream colour and are planted together with unusual shrubs and perennials.
Rose Celebration Weeks at Borde Hill Garden will run from the18th June 2018 – 29th June 2018. Head Gardener, Andy Stevens, will be available on certain days during to offer advice and tips on choosing, growing and caring for roses. Old and new photographs, depicting the evolution of the rose garden over the last century, will be on display. Short tours will be given free of charge on the 20th and 27th June and tours of the house are planned during this time. The house will be decorated with rose displays and visitors will be able to see family memorabilia from Colonel Stephenson Clarke’s travels as well viewing the fine furnishings