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Jun 09 • 2013 • ButterflyGardenRNRSRoseRoyal National Rose SocietySocietySt Albanschiswell

GREAT NEWS FROM THE RNRS

EVERYTHING is coming up roses for a threatened St Albans tourist attraction which faced closure because it could not resolve parking difficulties. The Royal National Rose Society (RNRS), which has its internationally-known gardens in Chiswell Green, warned last August that not only the garden but also the society itself would have to close if it could not get permanent parking for visitors. But this week RNRS chief executive Roz Hamilton and John Breheny, chairman and chief executive of civil engineering company Breheny which now owns 95 per cent of the neighbouring Butterfly World, announced that agreement had been reached between the two parties not only about parking but also other collaborations including joint ticketing and discounted entry to both attractions. A delighted Roz said: “We need to build on the positiveness of both sides because we can complement each other so much. I think it is good for both organisations, not just locally but from a tourist perspective.” St Albans council leader, Julian Daly, who had brokered several meetings between the two parties, also welcomed the agreement. He said: “I think together they will be much more successful than individually. It has taken a long time but this is the next stage and a sensible step for everyone.” The agreement follows years of rancour between the two parties which left the Gardens of the Rose unable to open for more than a few weeks in the summer because it could not get planning permission for anything other than temporary parking for visitors. Negotiations about using car parking at Butterfly World, which was built on land sold by the RNRS to founder Clive Farrell, kept stalling and the impasse led to a decision by the RNRS that closure would be inevitable unless the situation could be resolved. RNRS president Bernard Williams said this week: “We could not survive with just a six-week opening period. We have to be open for the whole season.” When the Herts Advertiser revealed that the RNRS and its gardens might have to close, we launched our Keep the Roses Blooming campaign and support poured in both to this newspaper and the RNRS. Breheny’s purchase of the majority of Butterfly World resulted in round-the-table discussions and the two parties agreed that parking for garden visitors would be on the Butterfly World site and joint ticketing arrangements introduced. Although it is too late for the gardens to open for more than a limited period this summer, from next year it hopes to open all summer long as well as get a licence for wedding ceremonies to be performed there. Mr Breheny said on Monday that when his company became the majority shareholder, it had become aware that there were problems in the background between Butterfly World and RNRS and was keen to resolve them for the benefit of both parties. He confirmed that the butterfly biome, which was to have been the centrepiece of the project under Clive Farrell’s plans, would not be built in the current financial climate but it was hoped that Butterfly World would open as an all-year-round attraction in the near future. The limited opening period at the Gardens of the Rose in the past few years had hit the RNRS hard because even in those few weeks of opening, it raised more income from visitors than from membership. Eighty per cent of its visitors are from overseas as the gardens house one of only two rose trial grounds in the world. The gardens celebrate their 50th anniversary this July during the 2013 opening period from June 8 until July 29. Butterfly World will remain open until November 3 this year.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

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Oct 15 • 2012 • GardensGrenNationalRoseRose NewsRoyalSocietychiswell

Rose News From Around The World

UK

Gardens of the Rose

Latest News

HOPES are rising that an end could be in sight for the car parking problems which have plagued the Gardens of the Rose in Chiswell Green.

St Albans council leader, Julian Daly, and planning portfolio holder, Teresa Heritage, arranged a round-the-table meeting last month with the Royal National Rose Society (RNRS) and the neighbouring Butterfly World to try and resolve the parking issue.

And RNRS chief executive, Roz Hamilton, said that as a result the situation was “looking positive”. They should know by the end of the year if they can share parking with Butterfly World, extend their opening hours and look at obtaining such valuable assets as a wedding licence which would ease the RNRS’s financial plight.

The rose gardens in Chiswell Green Lane have been forced to limit their hours of opening in the summer for several years because of the parking issue which followed the sale of part of the RNRS land to Butterfly World.

It has meant that the RNRS has to rely on temporary permission from the district council for visitors to park there for a period of only weeks.

But with the annual opening of the gardens the biggest money spinner for the RNRS, Roz said in August that the society had already agreed it could not continue and would have to close the gardens as well unless it obtained planning permission for 30 adjoining permanent parking places.

The closure warning in the Herts Advertiser prompted numerous letters of support both to this newspaper and the RNRS and Cllr Daly said at the time he was going to make another bid to bring all parties together around the table.

Roz said this week that Butterfly World had agreed in principle to share parking, a decision which was awaiting ratification from the company which has the mortgage on the land, and admitted that the situation was, “looking positive”.

Another round-the-table meeting will be convened in early November. Should the issue still remain unresolved, the RNRS will go ahead with submitting their application for 30 permanent spaces which had been due to go to the council this month.

Roz praised all the people who had backed the RNRS and wanted to see the Gardens of the Rose remain open. She added: “I want to thank everyone for all the support we have had.”

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

www.countrygardenroses.co.uk

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Aug 17 • 2012 • HarewoodMaryMemoryPrincessRoseRose NewsRoyalYorkshire

ROSE NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

UK

NEW ROYAL ROSE

A new rose is being launched in memory of a Yorkshire Princess who made her home at Harewood.

The Rosa ‘Yorkshire Princess’ is named after Princess Mary, who lived at Harewood for more than three decades.

The daughter of King George V, Princess Mary married Viscount Lascelles in 1922 and lived at Harewood from 1930 until her death in 1965. The then Princess Royal became known as ‘The Yorkshire Princess’.

She was a keen gardener, and the results of her love of nature remain as a legacy in the gardens of the stately home.

The Princess’s life is being celebrated with an exhibition at Harewood, and now she is also being remembered with the new rose.

Trevor Nicholson, head garden-er at the estate, said: ‘Princess Mary was a very keen gardener and plantswoman, who made a significant impact on the gardens here, introducing many elements that our visitors still enjoy today. “As patron of the Royal National Rose Society from 1953 to 1965, Princess Mary indulged her love of roses, so to mark this year’s special Royal Harewood exhibition, a rose was the ideal way to create a lasting tribute.

“The pure white petal, soft blush centre and sweet scent give a traditional feel, in keeping with old-style roses and perfect for a Yorkshire Princess.”

The bloom will be launched at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show in September.

Show director, Martin Fish, said: “HRH Princess Mary was patron of the North of England Horticultural Society for nearly two decades, so it is particularly fitting that we should launch a rose dedicated to her during this special Diamond Jubilee year.”

Rosa ‘Yorkshire Princess’ will be planted at Harewood to commemorate Princess Mary’s contribution to the gardens, and will be available to order online from November at dickson-roses.co.uk or from the Harewood Shop in summer 2013.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site.

Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

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May 19 • 2012 • ChelseaDroughtFlowerJubileeRose NewsRoyalShowWeatherWettestgardeners

Rose News From Around The World

UK

Chelsea

POOR WEATHER AT CHELSEA CAUSES PROBLEMS

The Royal Jubilee rose looks worryingly floppy and the Turk's head lilies won't open on the penultimate buildup day

It was a mild, calm day at the Chelsea flower show on Friday, which is more than could be said for the gardeners. With a bitterly cold winter followed by a hot, dry March and the wettest April on record, plus the odd slash of hail and sleet in the last weeks of the buildup, their nerves were shredded.

Nigel DunneTt's rainwater-saving drought garden was built while rain was coming down in torrents. Now the rain had stopped, he had to fill the pools with tap water, and it was so dark that his swaths of Turk's head lilies would not open. "They will open," he said determinedly, "and if they don't, they look very nice as buds."

According to young David Austin, his arms full of a rose bush almost as tall as himself, this was "the worst Chelsea, no question, the worst". Old David Austin, founder of the eponymous rose-growers and still a flower show regular at 86, would be along any minute to check his work. All their show roses had to go back into heated glasshouses to persuade them to bloom in time, and some did not like the treatment at all – including Royal Jubilee, a new rose that is looking worryingly floppy before the Queen's visit on Monday evening.

"A lot of patience. A lot. But no swearing," Darren Share, head of Birmingham council's gardens, said firmly. The centrepiece of the Brum garden is an old Mini, confiscated from a colleague's wife and now planted all over with sedum. "Done her a favour. I reckon we saved somebody's life when we took the engine out of that."

If the plants all die in Tony Heywood and Alison Condie's Glamourland, it would be an artistic statement more than a disaster. Their concept garden is about the struggle between natural and artificial worlds, with a soundtrack nightmarishly mixing birdsong and computer game noises. So far nature seemed to be winning, Condie conceded, down on her knees tidying the ground-cover plants that were being pecked to pieces by birds, and breathing in a heady reek of fox pee.

Diarmuid Gavin was reclining on a sofa 12 metres (40ft) up in the air, giggling. "Anywhere you like – astonish me!" he chirped as one of his gardeners staggered past, weighed down by pots of lilies. Last year he created Chelsea's first and almost certainly last flying garden, hauled into the air by a crane. While working on that he was walking along the river past Albert bridge, which was swaddled in scaffolding while being refurbished, and had a brainwave for this year's show: the hanging gardens of Babylon, on five levels and 24 metres tall, involving 4.2 miles of scaffolding and trees sprouting out at wild angles.

The way up is by alarmingly swaying lift past the first-floor vegetable garden, second-floor bar and third-floor potting shed, to the rooftop. Down, for the brave, is by stainless steel tube slide, inspired by Carsten Höller's at the Tate. "I'm going to do something really special next year, I've got it all in my head, just you wait," Gavin said. "It'll be a surprise."

In truth, the only way he could surprise Chelsea is if he brings a neat rectangle of nicely mown lawn, with a few daisies to add excitement.

She probably would not say it too loudly in front of the gardeners, but the weather struck the deputy show manager, Sarah Easton, as pretty perfect. "No watering this year, so we're really happy," she said, "and the result of all that rain is that it all looks incredibly lush for visitors."

In the wretched weeks of April, she had a mud crew scraping the top level of soil off the show garden sites and a puddle crew on standby to pump out developing lakes. "Incredible camaraderie" developed as a result, she said.

Early visitors included Daniel Chamovitz, American author of What a Plant Knows, and a bit startled by the trench warfare of Chelsea on the penultimate buildup day: "Wow. More plywood than plants." He was charmed by a tiny Japanese-designed, moss-covered cottage. "What does moss know?" he pondered. "Moss doesn't really care. Give me water and light and let me just sit here and hang out and photosynthesise, that's what moss knows."

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

www.countrygardenroses.co.uk

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