Once upon a time the Royal National Rose Society (founded in 1876) fell into financial difficulties and had to sell off a large chunk of their land at Chiswell Green near St Albans. This became the equally famous Butterfly World, but unfortunately it meant that the Rose Society lost vehicle access and parking rights to their property. They relied on a gentleman's agreement and this was their undoing.
In spite of a short lived renaissance the future of the Rose Society looked doubtful. Without enough paying visitors and a limited opening period because of the short flowering season of many roses, their future looked uncertain.
However the "Angel of the Rose" waved her magic wand, and now the future looks good. An agreement with the new owners of Butterfly World means visitors now share the entrance with Butterfly World, where a large parking area is now available. A new chapter of co-operation now exists, which will surely benefit both parties. Plans for next year and beyond are in hand, and I wish them both a prosperous future. It will also mean the Gardens of the Rose will open longer, BUT this year it closes on July 28th so hurry along to their site. The garden looks better than ever and the recent warm and sunny weather had benefited the growth of the roses. The gardens are well established with many garden ideas to inspire. Many roses in pots are for sale.
Someone has counted over 15,000 rose bushes and 72 arch rose pergolas with several water features – Heaven for gardeners surely. Lots of places to see and stare – many shaded areas. Very good access for wheelchair users.
Entrance is £6, but you may obtain a free Tea Room Ticket which is valid for 1 hour – you have to walk through the rose garden to get to the Tea Room, but I didn't tell you that! Surely this will have to cease? Actually the home made produce is excellent and fairly priced. There is an adequate seating area, much in the shade. Young men in shorts provide an excellent service!
Unfortunately on the day of my visit the disabled loo was blocked or something, and the smell was quite unpleasant. I am sure this was fixed quite quickly.