June is a wonderful time to admire Jay Robin’s Rose Garden at Borde Hill, designed by RHS Gold medal winner Robin Williams in 1996 and named after Andrewjohn and Eleni Stephenson Clarke’s daughter.
With 750 David Austin rose plants and 100 varieties filling the air with a glorious fragrance, the Rose Garden at Borde Hill is a real feast for the senses. This year, Jay Robin’s Rose Garden has come into flower two weeks early due to the very warm weather.
During our Roses in Bloom weeks, and throughout the summer, we’ll will be offering hints and tips to help visitors grow their own beautiful roses at home. In addition, David Austin roses from the Garden’s Plant Nursery will be available to buy at the Gift Shop. David Austin roses are repeat-flowering, and with deadheading will continue to flower and provide colour through to the autumn months.
About Jay Robin’s Rose Garden
Williams’ design ensures that the Elizabethan chimneys of Borde Hill House are immediately noticeable as visitors walk into the garden, making a spectacular backdrop to the vibrant planting. With a lavish display of over 100 varieties of David Austin roses, the Rose Garden has been designed with formal beds set in a geometric framework bordered with lavender and red brick paths and also by box replacement plants like Teucrium chamaedrys and Euonymus japonicus ‘Jean Hugues’.
The Rose Garden is a riot of colour and scent during high summer and has been designed on a colour wheel of white, yellow, pink, orange, and red roses, nestled between small trees and framed on two sides by topiary and 100-year-old yew hedges. As a nod to the original style of the 1902 plantings, wooden trellises are covered with rambling roses underplanted by delphinium, peonies, and digitalis.
At the heart of the Rose Garden is an arresting fountain statue of Aphrodite, installed in August 2020 and sculpted by artist Brendon Murless. The life-size copper figure is studded with roses and holds a bouquet from which the water bursts.
Many of Borde Hill’s plants owe their introduction to the plant hunters, including Frank Kingdon-Ward. A beautiful pink rose, bred in India from Rosa gigantea and named after the plant hunter, was planted in 2016 against the brick wall beside the Yew topiary. Other rose species are the pale pink ‘Brother Cadfael’ and ‘Fritz Nobis’, rich-pink ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and dark-red ‘Chianti’ roses.
This season Borde Hill has replaced some of the rose shrubs due to climate change creating very cold, wet winters and very dry summers. After recommendation from David Austin, Borde Hill has replaced them with more robust varieties, including The Lady Gardener, Roald Dahl, Imogen and Olivia Rose Austin.
The Rose Garden is one of the great attractions at Borde Hill, adding to the rare collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias and Champion Trees.
Find out more about Jay Robin’s Rose Garden here