1.6ha rose garden to open soon

RHS landscape architect Alistair Baldwin tasked with creating a stunning garden at Wynyard Hall

Wynyard Hall: rose garden plan
Wynyard Hall: rose garden plan

A £1.6m rose garden in north-east England containing 3,000 David Austin roses will be opened to the public on 4 August.

The walled garden at Wynyard Hall Hotel in the Tees Valley was established by the Marquises of Londonderry in the 19th century.

Current owner Sir John Hall tasked RHS landscape architect Alistair Baldwin to create a stunning rose garden as well as helping to generate additional revenue through a visitor centre, cafe and shop. Consett contractors Swinburne Horticultural Services carried out the build, which started in 2013.

Along with water features, statues and terraces, the 1.6ha garden features 120 different species of David Austin roses, chosen with the help of expert Michael Marriott. Plants were selected for reliable performance, disease resistance, good scent and usually repeat flowering.

Baldwin insisted on adding perennials, grasses and shrubs, supplied by Bedale wholesaler Colour Your Garden, to extend seasonal appeal. But the roses must still hold court, he insisted.

"I have developed a palette of plants that create in effect a backdrop for the roses, allowing the flower form, texture and colour of the roses to dominate but at the same time providing a harmonious accompaniment," Baldwin explained.

Climate varies within the garden. A south-facing wall is planted with heat-tolerant species while the north-facing wall harbours plants that cope with cool, shade and damp. Plants benefit from a half-metre of good topsoil, along with "untold quantities" of digging, well-rotted manure and mulch.

Design detail - Grid pattern for crop rotation

The original walled garden at Wynyard Hall would probably have followed a simple grid pattern for crop rotation. This is referenced in the new design, as is the evolution of walled gardens across Europe.

Landscape architect Alistair Baldwin said: "The grid pattern of the eastern end of the garden is reminiscent of the rigid geometry of the traditional kitchen garden, while the babbling rills echo the calm of Moorish oases. Cedar wood pillars lend immediate height and create the effect of a cloistered walk."

Hedges were also strategically planted across the garden to slow the cold air as it sinks down the site's 6m slope.

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