Contracts for the reduced Royal National Rose Society garden will be signed this month.
RNRS trustee John Adkins told Horticulture Week that contracts for the estimated £3 million raised from the sale of 18ha of its land (HW, 18 September ) will be signed in a few weeks and development should start “early next year”.
The garden will open on a much-reduced six-hectare plot next summer after a deal to sell RNRS land and property to developer Catesby Properties.
Adkins said the new St Albans gardens will be designed by a “bona fide” British designer. He added: “It will be sustainable if we have the right visitor attraction. It’s now up to us.”
He said the gardens will have “fewer roses physically” than its current 30,000, but “hopefully not too many fewer varieties, depending on the design”.
Adkins made a plea for positive publicity following a negative story in The Daily Telegraph, which revisited a project stemming from American businesswoman Bonnie Masterton. Masterton is still promising £9 million for a Princess of Wales memorial garden years after she first broached plans.
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