From the August 1999 Newsletter…
Thursday 1st July 1999
About 40 members and guests enjoyed a wonderful afternoon touring The Gardens of the Rose, near St Albans in Hertfordshire.
On entering the gardens, which cover some 20 acres, the senses of sight and smell were rewarded with a palette of colour together with the most breathtaking fragrances of some 30,000 rose plants, which date from the 15th century to the present day.
We strolled along President’s Walk, pausing frequently to appreciate the wonderful perfumed roses that brought us to a large round pond filled with huge pink, white and gold lilies.
In several of the rose beds, various experiments were being carried out, to test combinations of soils, feeds, and methods of planting, using identical roses to identify the best methods to produce the finest blooms and hardiest bushes. We chatted to one of the gardeners, a great character with a large ginger beard, who gave numerous tips and advice, he concluded by telling us that his dream was to have Charlie Dimmock on his staff!
The afternoon was made complete by a scrumptious “Hertfordshire” cream tea, served in a marquee, where everyone had a chance to chat and compared their experiences while exploring the gardens.
Some of the particularly interesting exhibits on view included:
The French Gallicas Roses which are probably the oldest known cultivated roses
The Great Double White or Jacobite rose of Bonnie Prince Charlie
“Officinalis ” which is likely to hav been the Red Rose of Lancaster of the Wars of the Roses, which was originally grown as a medicinal plant.
As we explored the grounds, we noted some of the names that in many cases seemed particularly appropriate, these included: –
Strawberry Ice an attractive mottled pink
Remember Me a particularly vivid orange
Warm Welcome another Orange coloured small bush
Polar Star well known white classic
Flower Carpet a delicious bright pink
Sun Seeker another nice pink bloom
Sweet Memories a beautiful classic cream
And last but not least, one that especially caught our eye, in a combination of pale orange and pink, was – Pensioner’s Voice.
© Copyright British Society of Perfumers 1999