Royal National Rose Society goes into administration

The oldest plant society in the world, formed in 1876, and its world-renowned Gardens of the Rose have closed.

Administrators are Stephen Goderski and Peter Martin at PKF Geoffrey Martin and Co in London.

The gardens are based near St Albans. RNRS is a membership organisation, with members drawn from professional and amateur gardeners and horticultural businesses in the UK and around the world.

The gardens were due to reopen for 2017 on 10 June.

Royal patronage commenced in 1901 with Queen Alexandra and continued through to the late Queen Mother.

The gardens were redesigned and replanted in 2007; previously the gardens were planted solely with rose varieties, but the refurbishment saw the installation of a large formal garden featuring approximately 15,000 roses alongside companion planting. The gardens celebrated their 50th anniversary in July 2013.

The £500,000 redesign of the 5ha garden was by Michael Balston and was opened by garden writer Peter Seabrook. It was built by Adam Frost Landscapes and planting designs were by society members including Peter Beales, Brigid Quest-Ritson and David Stevens.

Work was funded by selling half the original site to nearby project Butterfly World, which closed in 2015.

Latest accounts for the year to 31 December 2015 showed a deficit of £35,000.

Seabrook said the closure was "terribly sad".

Harkness Roses' Philip Harkness said: "It is sad news. It's difficult being a single species plant society now. The overheads to run the place were not matched by the income from membership."

Peter Beales Roses nursery manager Ian Limmer said: "We are all devastated to hear of the society's demise. It's a terrible shame. The gardens are a beautiful site and it is so sad to think they may not be available for the public to visit."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

GroSouth 2017 update

GroSouth 2017 update

First-time and established exhibitors are preparing to showcase products and services at this year's show in West Sussex, Gavin McEwan reports.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Peter Seabrook looks forward to garden centre pepper-tasting weekends.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles