Following your very generous support for our Walled Garden Appeal, we are now able to take the first step in our long-term plans for the gardens at West Horsley Place. Using the funds raised so far, we will begin with restoring the rose parterre.

The existing rose parterre, with its central dovecote framed by 4 large box shapes with four pathways leading from the centre in a cruciform shape, was built in the 1930s by Lord and Lady Crewe, Mary Roxburghe’s parents.  They purchased the house in 1931 and set about creating wonderful additions to the garden with sumptuous herbaceous borders and an army of gardeners to maintain them. From the descriptions of the gardens in a 1939 Country Life article, free growing hybrid polyantha roses and bush hybrid teas filled this area.   After Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe inherited West Horsley Place, the gardens were gradually pared down to reduce the upkeep, making them more manageable, both financially and physically.  However, the Duchess was still as passionate about the gardens, as is evidenced in her many letters to RHS Wisley and the exchange of plant information with her friends.

To this end, we plan to re-name this area The Mary Roxburghe Rose Garden.   

The low stone walling retaining the rose beds has collapsed and will be rebuilt.  The roses in two of the quarters are diseased and poorly and will be replaced with a pale pink rose with an old rose style feel, but we will retain the white iceberg roses which were planted at a later date (presumably in the Duchess’ time).  The formal shape of the beds has grown out of alignment and these will be re-adjusted.  Finally, a lavender hedge will be re-instated as part of the original plan.

So far, the Walled Garden Appeal has raised £3,500 which will go towards the restoration of the parterre. However, we still need to raise an additional £2,500 to complete the project and we would like to ask for your help. We are looking for 50 people to donate £50 to sponsor a Heritage rose to be planted in the parterre. Your name will be listed on our website and you will have an exclusive opportunity to meet our Head Gardener, Nicky Webber and see The Mary Roxburghe Rose Garden once it is finished. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, this could make the perfect gift!

Become part of the garden journey by supporting us and see this exciting project come to life. 

SPONSOR A ROSE 

We hope to finish in time for the Shakespeare's Globe performances, so watch this space!