Royal National Rose Society Gardens to open in June

Five-hectare "dictionary" for Herts site

Royal National Rose Society (RNRS) has bounced back from the brink of oblivion to unveil new gardens with 8,500 roses, trees, ponds and a 60m-diameter flower-clad pergola. The RNRS Gardens are due to open in June following a funding crunch that forced a four-year closure of the site and almost sunk the group, which has 5,000 members across the world. The 5ha gardens near St Albans would be a “dictionary of roses” and trace the history of the plant, said chief executive Richard Adams. The site cost more than £500,000 to landscape. The design for the gardens was by Michael Balston. “We want a dictionary of roses where people can see lots of varieties and find out how they work in the gardens and alongside other plants like Clematis,” said Adams. He added that new additions to the site included a garden dedicated to the Queen Mother. The project was funded by selling half the original 25ha site to Butterfly World, which would create Europe’s largest butterfly park, he said. The Royal Entomological Society was also due to move it headquarters from London to a refurbished mansion on the site.

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