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.

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About the HRG

The Historic Roses Group is a friendly international group of rose enthusiasts, run by volunteers and funded by subscriptions from our members throughout the world.

It organises a number of excellent tours and lectures each year. Please see the Events page for more details.

The aims of the Historic Roses Group 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.

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Every year we offer day visits to gardens in different parts of the country. Participating in them offers an enjoyable way of socialising with other members as well as seeing gardens of special interest to rose-lovers.

We also organise week-long tours for members to visit interesting gardens with roses, both in the UK and abroad.

Upcoming events and garden visits

HRG publications

As well as the Historic Rose Journal, we have produced illustrated booklets by specialist writers on many aspects of historic roses.

Benefits of HRG membership

Benefits include tailor-made advice, day visits and workshops, and the opportunity to meet fellow rose lovers.

Join the HRG

It's easy for you to join online with an annual, five-year or lifetime subscription. Or you can pay by post if you prefer.

Top 10 starter roses

Are you new to old roses? Try our top 10  starter roses for their repeat-flowering, fragrance, beauty and disease-resistance.

A brief history of old roses

Find out more about the rose groups that have evolved to form the backbone of this popular garden flower.

Where to see historic roses

Here are some suggestions of gardens and national collections of historic roses in the UK that you can visit and admire.

Chairman's top 10

Old roses, both shrub and rambling, that will give several weeks of colour as well as having a wonderful fragrance.

In Memoriam: Michael Charlesworth 1940 – 2022

It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the death of the Historic Roses Group’s much-loved chairman, Michael Charlesworth.

As many of you may know, he had weathered serious illness in the past few years and had been undergoing dialysis for three days every week in hospital. His partner, Johnny Greechan, informed us that at the weekend Michael suddenly took a turn for the worse, and he slipped away during the early hours of Monday 17 January in Yeovil Hospital. Our chairman since 2014, Michael had been working tirelessly on HRG matters, despite his health problems, right up to the previous Friday.

Click below to find out how to donate online to the Yeovil Hospital Charity at the HRG's JustGiving page.