It’s not often we get so excited about something horticultural but this is the first ever of its kind and will bring lovers of the beautiful roses a very special treat. The first ever Rose Festival for the National Gardens Scheme will be taking place at Ringmer Park and we are so there!
Renowned gardener and National Garden Scheme in East & Mid Sussex rep Geoff Stonebanks caught up with garden owner Michael Bedford for us to find out a bit more.
“For the first time in recent years, we are opening the garden for the NGS in mid-June,” explains Michael, “which is when the garden should look its best, due principally to the very large number of roses which should be flowering.
“The garden is saturated in roses – over 600 of them – and they’re found mixed with other flowers and shrubs in a variety of borders and dedicated gardens. Overall the garden measures something approaching eight acres.
“The principal set-piece rose gardens is the dedicated Rose Garden itself, featuring some three hundred and fifty HT roses planted in five large beds, each dedicated to one variety.
“Then there is the 125 foot long Shrub Rose border in which there are over thirty varieties of rose, mostly planted in groups of three which have been basket-woven in the winter months to maximise the density of their flowering. Many of these roses are of long parentage and would have been familiar to our Victorian forbears.
“And the third dedicated area is the pergola, also some 125 feet long. Here a range of climbers and ramblers jostle with each other, and clematis, to produce a dense florescence. And in mid-June wherever you are, you will be surrounded here by roses at the peak of their beauty and the air full of their fragrance.”
Rose Festival, throughout June