The Countess of Warwick loved her roses. She planted a roserie at Stone Hall, her hideaway cottage the other side of her estate, and each rose had a Tudor rose shaped label, with a relevant quote from a poem. An 1886 magazine article says that at Easton Lodge there were 2300 bush and pillar roses in the rose garden; while another from 1894 said there were “but few private gardens in which such numbers of fine blooms are grown”. The articles name a number of the varieties present, giving us a good list to work from for their reintroduction!

We cherish the few roses we inherited, like the white climber, high up in the crab apple tree by the archive building; and we are taking every opportunity to plant more. Sue planted this rosa xanthina, canary bird, in the Italian garden to bring early colour and she has planted others there too to provide bright spots. Many of the old fashioned varieties that we planted in rose beds in the walled kitchen garden are thriving too, as is the green flowered rose, rosa viridiflora, which was donated to us because it’s the variety which Edward, Prince of Wales, used for his button hole when he visited Easton Lodge.