A day at the RHS London Rose Show – full & fragrant with five excellent talks … #RHSLondon #Roses



Clifton Nurseries Stand
Fryers Roses Stand
Claudio Bincoletto

Claudio Bincoletto is at the show each day and I’m sorry that I’ll miss his talk tomorrow afternoon (at 4pm now I think) –

Roses and their exotic scent: preparations to preserve aroma, and the ancient
secrets of rose water, rose jam and wild flower cordials,
Claudio Bincoletto, Master Forager
I’ll also miss Peter Scott from the Historic Roses Group (who were as welcoming as ever today) and who is talking tomorrow.


Simon White from Peter Beales gave us a breakneck 45 minutes A – Z of roses – a talk that usually takes an hour and a half – but there was much to enjoy, plenty of information and it was super to see his passion for roses coming through as he talked about his time with Peter Beales and his time at the Norfolk Nursery.

This was followed by something a little more academic but there was much to learn and some surprises too – Brent Elliott, the author of this new book The Rose – is signing copies too



Brent Elliott talked about the creation of rose gardens (as opposed to growing roses in gardens) and the 19th Century in particular. He is a Historian at the RHS Lindley Library and brought some fascinating insights into the horticultural history of the rose and busted some myths too (I’ll come back to these another time…) and was an enlightening talk. His new book, The Rose, will be sure to be on my bookshelf soon.



Michael Marriott (below) followed with a typically forthright exposition on using roses in all the ways possible in our gardens – and David Austin roses in particular – with plenty of pictures and ideas for gardens to visit (Wollerton Old Hall and Shropshire gardens naturally).

Roses in rose borders large and small; with companion, herbaceous perennial partners and the plant combinations that work well; choosing the right climbing roses and cautionary tales for some of the large ramblers; in containers; as hedges and; standards. Pests and Diseases too. And a pithy remark or three about his least favourite roses. A lot to cover in 45 minutes! I’m chuffed he remembered me (even without my trademark hat) though perhaps at one time he might reasonably have thought I was stalking him, our paths seemed to cross so often.

I’ll see him and the David Austin team at the end of June (and maybe at Hampton Court Flower Show) when their Shropshire rose gardens ought to be a complete – and rather glorious – riot.




Joseph Ford gave us a demonstration of rose pruning, from the formative autumn pruning of roses planted this season, to ongoing maintenance of shrubs & climbers, ramblers too. There were not surprisingly, a raft of questions afterwards (which is all too familiar!) and was completely unfazed.




Rosebie Morton here, from the Real Flower Company,  giving the last of the five talks I saw today – and an excellent and lively finish it was – on the joy of scented roses. How her company began; her favourite roses and their scents; companion planting; keeping fresh-cut flowers fresh and all the while creating a hand-tied bouquet. Marvellous. A charismatic speaker with a passion for scented roses and a wealth of knowledge and experience, it was a treat to finish my day which began with a quiet chat with the co-curator and organiser of the event – Rachel de Thame (and I did not ask for a ‘selfie’!)


Quite a few roses about on the stands though many have suffered from the chill weather and lateness of the rose season outside of London. A couple of exhibitors had to pull out as they didn’t have sufficient stock in flower, which is a shame; after the weekend when temperatures are set to reach 25 degrees C, the situation might be different


RHS HQ in Vincent Square



Other properties in Vincent Square and a rather fine Fuchsia – and the train home….


and the 2016/17 Handbook of Roses … mine all mine –


2 thoughts on “A day at the RHS London Rose Show – full & fragrant with five excellent talks … #RHSLondon #Roses

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