News from our Head Gardener



Roses Take Centre Stage

The Rose Garden at Arundel Castle comes into its own at this time of the year, as roses take centre stage throughout Britain.

In the Castle Gardens Rose Garden, the roses have a wonderful array of colour and scent, enhanced by the dramatic backdrop of the ancient Castle which is reflected by the gothic archways and seats that blend aesthetically with the Castle’s original gothic windows. It is positioned on an elevated bank, currently filled with wildflowers and grasses, giving a feel of both grandeur and calm.

Scent from the roses lures you up the rose lined path of the small hedging rose ‘Harlow Carr’ and the larger ‘Wild Edric’ just beyond the gate into the garden. Within the rose garden we have a variety of roses, shrubs, climbers and standard roses. 

For a powerful scent we have the beautiful old fashioned ‘Mme Isaac Pereire’ with crimson cup shaped flowers and in contrast the very tranquil white ‘Winchester Cathedral shrub rose with well-shaped bushy growth and nice foliage. It also looks good just about anywhere - it’s particularly beautiful in a mixed border mingling with other plants and perennials.

We have planted standard ‘Munstead Wood’ roses - the flowers start off light crimson in the bud but, as the centre gradually reveals itself, it becomes a very deep velvety crimson while the outer petals remain rather lighter in colour. These roses stand proud above the white Winchester Cathedral rose to give a colour contrast. A pretty climbing rose is ‘Adelaide d’Orléans’ which clambers across the rose archways with small pink buds that open to beautiful semi-double flowers that quickly fade from creamy pink to creamy white and look stunning. We have also planted ‘St. Swithans’, ‘Generous Gardener’, ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, ’Gertrude Jekyll’, ‘Rosa Blanc Double de Courbert’ and ‘A Shropshire Lad’ within the Rose Garden.

The tranquil Fitzalan White Garden has beautiful white roses including ‘Claire Austin’,’ William and Catherine’,’ Iceberg’,’ Winchester Cathedral’ and Tranquillity, planted amongst Lupins, Delphiniums and wonderful textured plants.

In the Walled Gardens, within the Cut Flower Garden, we have a special display of roses, mostly named after well-known gardeners and nurserymen such as ‘Graham Thomas’, ‘Geoff Hamilton’, ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and ‘Alan Titchmarsh’. Mixed in amongst these we have some wonderful Delphiniums including ‘Blue Sky’, ‘Black Knight’ and ‘Galahad’. We have filled our hazel arches with lovely scented ‘Sweet Peas’ which our volunteers pick constantly and can take some of them home - the more they’re picked the more they flower!

History of Roses: Here in England, the rose is most recently associated in sport as the emblem for England and is in fact the national flower for Britain. Roses have an extensive history, going back literally millions of years with fossil evidence recorded, they feature in just about all nations across the globe in one way or another, in Roman & Greek in mythology, or as a highly decorative emblem in Asia. Here in Britain the rose became significant during the 'Wars of the Roses', 1455 to 1485 with the house of Lancaster represented by the red rose, who fought against the house of York represented by the white rose, hence producing the Tudor Rose seen so often in stain glass windows, paintings, carvings and our stately homes here in Britain.  There are some excellent books and articles produced on just how significant the rose is in Britain and throughout the world today.

A few tips from the Castle Garden team:

·         Deadheading is essential at this time of year, especially with roses, as it encourages the plants to produce new flowers.


·         Apple and pear trees if you have found small shrivelled fruits on the ground don’t be concerned because this is a natural occurrence of the tree shedding excess fruit and is known as “June Drop”.


·         Continue to mow your lawns weekly.


·         Lupins and Sweet Peas flowers can be kept going for an extra six weeks by deadheading continuously. Although the flowers will reduce in size, they will give a great display through most of the summer months.











Cat in hat