These photos are for anyone who, like me, can’t visit the RHS London Rose Show this weekend.
Curated by Rachel de Thame, the second annual show at the RHS Lawrence Hall, promises to be a “celebration of England’s favourite flower.” I’m really sorry to miss out, as Rachel tends to have an eye for all things elegant, and is well known for her knowledge and passion for roses.
Instead, I’m beavering away at work – but in my tea break, I thought I’d share my photo album of Ninfa.
I was lucky enough to be invited on an Italian gardens tour at the beginning of May. Family commitments and work means I’ve not ventured abroad for around 10 years. I’m not complaining, I love British countryside and gardens.
But when a friend decided to celebrate her birthday with a tour of gardens, and invited 12 pals along, I couldn’t turn down the chance to go along.
We spent a week touring the gardens of Lazio near Rome. On our last day, we visited Ninfa.
The garden planted among the ruins of the ancient town of Ninfa, is the work of generations of the Caetani family, most notably, Princess Lelia. Virtually every wall, tower and tree is draped in roses. They look as if they have grown naturally-all on their own- with no help from anyone.
The approach to the garden is down a path with white rambling roses engulfing the boundary wall.
It was our lucky day. Our guide was the Director’s wife, Stella. Wherever there was a Sign saying no entrance, Stella lifted the rope barring our way and ushered us through. What a treat to see the secret areas of the garden, not open to the public. Such kindness is always appreciated, and never forgotten.
The whole garden is filled with such fragrance.
American Pillar, possibly. So beautiful against the blue/green walls. All the roses look so healthy.
Rosa Mutabilis- an old fashioned China variety-quite often called the butterfly rose.
The garden of Ninfa is open infrequently to protect its delicate environmental balance. More information from http://www.fondazionecaetani.org. We travelled on a bespoke gardens trip organised by Success Tours www.successtours.com accompanied by tour manager Wendy Viney. We had the most luxurious coaches ever and the best driver, Enrico (who saved our lives at least five times a day).Coaches by http://www.corsiepampanelli.it . We stayed at Villa Vecchia Hotel http://www.villavecchia.it
Read more about Ninfa in RHS Lessons from Great Gardeners by Matthew Biggs, published by Mitchell Beazley. www.rhsshop.co.uk
Look out for next year’s RHS London Rose Show. http://www.rhs.org/shows-events/rhs-london-shows/rhs-london-rose-show. I’m determined not to miss it next time.
Have you been to any gardens that have had a big impact on you?