About the HRG

The Historic Roses Group recognises the importance of unique and beautiful older roses. Its aims are: to encourage interest in timeless historic roses to enable everyone to grow and enjoy roses of the past today to explore the rich history of older roses and promote further research. The Historic Roses Group was founded over a […]

Visit to Daws Hall

HRG members have been enjoying some great day visits to gardens – our first since last year. At Daws Hall, Suffolk, members met owner Major Ian Grahame, who showed us round his beautiful nature reserve and gardens, which local school groups also visit to learn about conservation. Our visit even featured in the local press!

Celebrating Shakespeare and roses

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet…”.

Juliet’s romantic musings on her balcony introduce the most famous love-scene in Shakespeare’s plays.

Ellen Wilmott

Trailblazing women in roses

It’s well known that some of the most famous old roses were named in women’s honour, but women have also been trailblazers as collectors of roses and other plants.

Visit to Mottisfont Abbey

The National Trust’s Mottisfont Abbey, Hampshire, holds the National Collection of pre-1900 old shrub roses in its beautiful walled garden. The virtual tour of Mottisfont’s rose garden brings back memories for HRG members of a delightful visit there. HRG members gathered there one June evening in 2018, when Jonny Norton, the new head gardener, welcomed […]

Sussex garden visits

The gardens of Richard and Jill Hunt at Halnaker Park Cottage have many glorious climbing, rambling and shrub roses in a spacious setting, once part of the nearby Goodwood Estate.

The character of the English rose by David Austin

Just after the war, I bought a bush of the Rosa pimpinellifolia hybrid ‘Stanwell Perpetual’. A chance cross with a Portland rose, it had the unique quality within its group of being repeat flowering. Its most striking features were its double soft pink flowers of old rose appearance and its delicious fragrance. It struck me […]

Rosa gallica 'Officinalis'

The first Gallicas raised in France 1804-1815 by François Joyaux

Up to the end of the 18th century the gallica garden varieties seem scarcely to have been appreciated in France. Botanists were only interested in Rosa gallica, named thus by Linnaeus in 1759 because a specimen had been sent to him from France. So far as growers were concerned, they were interested only in R. […]

Scots roses by Peter D A Boyd

Scots Roses are cheerful little roses. They have a special character that is very appealing and to those who make their acquaintance, they are a delight and may become a passion! Although the individual flowers are only about 5cm (2 inches) across, they are usually produced in such profusion that a single shrub can provide […]