Jay Robin’s Rose Garden
Hundreds of David Austin roses create a delicately scented feast for the eyes
Jay Robin’s Rose Garden
Designed by RHS gold medal winner Robin Williams in 1996 and named after Andrewjohn and Eleni Stephenson Clarke’s daughter, this ‘Garden room ‘now has over 750 fragrant David Austin English roses and is a real feast for the senses.
Williams’ design ensures that the Elizabethan chimneys of Borde Hill House are immediately noticeable as you walk into the garden, making a spectacular backdrop to the vibrant planting.
At the heart of the 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.
Dig a Little Deeper
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 of low box hedging, Eonymus ‘Jean Hugues’ Loddon Blue lavender, Teucrium chamaedrys and softly curving paths and walks.
The 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, we have used wooden trellis covered with rambling roses, delphinium, peonies and phlox.
Many of Borde Hill’s plants owe their introduction to 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 you will uncover here are the pale-pink ‘Brother Cadfael’ and ‘Fritz Nobis’, rich-pink ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and dark-red ‘Chianti’ roses.
This is one of the most labour-intensive areas at Borde Hill because the beds are mulched annually and weeded by hoeing (fine in summer, but tricky when the clay soil becomes waterlogged in autumn), while the roses are given a granular feed twice a year and a foliar feed later in the season. A new approach to the pruning regime is being trialled to create a slightly different look with the aim to make the roses higher in the middle around the lollipop bays and lower at the edges. The process will take three or four years, with more mid-season pruning needed to achieve the desired shape.
Plants of Interest
- Prunus serrula
- Malus sargentii
- Rosa ‘Sanders White’
- Rosa ‘Home Run’
- Rosa ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’
- Maackia amurensis
The ideal place for children to explore, learn and find joy in nature
Plan a fun-filled day for you and your family in the great outdoors, come rain or shine. Enjoy the perfect balance of fresh air and big open spaces to roam in, then refuel at the Gardeners’ Retreat Cafe, enjoy a picnic in the Garden or by the lakes or treat yourself to a delicious ice cream from the Gift Shop.
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Members enjoy unlimited access to the Garden, Woodland and Playground throughout the open season, as well as free entry to highlights from our varied events programme. Visit time and again and enjoy free family trails during the school holidays, exclusive open days and monthly Garden newsletters.
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Our Garden & Grounds
Set within 383 acres of heritage listed Parkland, our formal Garden captivates and delights visitors with a series of intimate 'Garden rooms'. Beyond the formal Garden you can explore Woodland walks, the South Park and our lakes with outstanding views across the Sussex High Weald.
As a small, independent Garden Charity, we rely on your kind generosity to help fund our projects and to continue to grow sustainably, protecting our natural heritage for generations to come. 'Reinventing Borde Hill' is our most ambitious project to date and your support will help us to achieve exciting plans to benefit our local community.
It would make a huge difference if you would consider supporting us by making a donation – thank you.