New rose upholds family tradition at famous gardens

A long-standing family tradition is being upheld at Borde Hill gardens, Haywards Heath, with the planting of a new rose.

Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 3:54 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:07 am
Jay Robin Stephenson Clarke and Alfie at Borde Hill gardens SUS-170620-144810001

The shrub rose - named Alfred - is being planted to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the rose garden at Borde Hill.

Designed in 1996 by RHS gold medallist Robin Williams and initially planted with 450 David Austin Old English roses, there are now around 750 roses in the Jay Robin rose garden. Jay is the daughter of Eleni and Andrewjohn Stephenson Clarke and the rose garden was named after her as part of a long-standing tradition throughout the five generations of the Stephenson Clarke family at Borde Hill to have various parts of the garden attributed to their members.

Now Jay is a mother herself, to five-month-old Alfred, and a fragrant Alfred Colomb Rose - by rose breeder Peter Beales - is being planted in the garden in his honour - adding to around 100 varieties of roses already in place.

This week (June 19-25) sees a week of celebrations at Borde Hill to mark the 21st anniversary, with escorted tours of the Jay Robin Rose Garden displaying its roses of varying hues from white and soft yellow to pale pink and crimson along with a plethora of beautiful scents.

Rose plants and gifts are also offered for sale and several rose-themed artworks have been especially created as part of the 2017 Sculpture Exhibition. Art societies have been invited to record the beauty on canvas and there are daily guided tours of the Elizabethan mansion for individuals and groups.

The rose garden has now become one of the great attractions at Borde Hill, adding to the gardens’ rare collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias and champion trees.

Entry to the Jay Robin’s Rose Garden 21st anniversary celebrations is included in the normal price of a garden entry ticket but house and garden tours cost an extra £3.50 per person and advance booking is required.