A brief history of historic roses

Comparatively few of the hundred or more rose species found in the wild have contributed to the make up of present-day garden roses. The principal parent species are: Rosa gallica Rosa moschata Rosa fetschenkoana Rosa canina Rosa chinensis Rosa gigantea Rosa foetida  Rosa multiflora.  Significant sub-groups derived from Rosa arvensis Rosa pimpinellifolia Rosa wichurana  Rosa […]

centifolia rose

My Favourite Roses by Graham Stuart Thomas

In his book of 1894, The Book of the Rose, A. Foster-Melliar attributed this verse to Sappho, a Greek poetess who was born about 600 BC.
“Would Jove appoint some flower to reign
In matchless beauty on the plain…

rose du roi portland rose

Repeat-flowering old roses part I by Peter Harkness

Much ink and many words have gone into defining the term “repeat-flowering”. For my purpose I take it to cover any rose that can be depended on in a normal season to bear blooms in summer and in autumn. Today we take such behaviour in a rose for granted, but in terms of rose history […]

Old Blush China rose

Repeat flowering old roses part II by Peter Harkness

The true heralds of the age of repeat-flowering roses are the Chinas. And by now the story has moved well into their era. Indeed, as early as 1529 what, according to Graham Thomas, appears to be a pink China rose was depicted by the Florentine painter Angelo Bronzino, but as far as anyone knows it […]

My favourite roses

by Graham Stuart Thomas Would Jove appoint some flower to reign In matchless beauty on the plain, The rose (mankind will all agree) The Rose the Queen of Flowers should be. In his book of 1894, The Book of the Rose, A. Foster-Melliar attributed this verse to Sappho, a Greek poetess who was born about […]

What are historic roses?

Historic roses are timeless and beautiful old roses from past centuries which continue to deserve a place in today’s gardens, however large or small. With their classic “old-fashioned” charm and graceful forms, the soft petals and delicate colours of old roses are often accompanied by a deliciously rich and powerful fragrance. Many old roses are […]

Our publications

Historic Rose Journal Twice a year all our members receive the Historic Rose Journal free. It publishes informative articles on old roses, their history, cultivation and merits, reviews interesting new books, reports on the group’s varied activities and publicises future shows and events. For more information please contact editor@historicroses.org  Illustrated booklets As well as the Historic Rose Journal, […]

Benefits

The Historic Roses Group is a friendly international group of rose enthusiasts, run by volunteers and funded entirely by subscriptions from our members throughout the world. HRG members can: gain tailor-made advice on how to care for their roses exchange ideas and knowledge with fellow rose-lovers join our day visits to specialist gardens with old […]

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 […]

Autumn pruning and cuttings workshop

John Wood, head gardener at Hinton Ampner, held an autumn pruning and cuttings workshop in 2015 at these magnificent National Trust gardens, which was very well attended. After a presentation on the history and development of the estate, and a copious afternoon tea, John led members on a tour round the gardens.