The Rose Arbour

This week I have been enjoying early mornings down in the rose arbour, I head off from the Castle armed with a fork and gardening gloves. As I make my way past the courtyard four of our lovely Nepalese staff (who usually help in the tearooms) come to my aid and we walk down the hill together.

The arbour was one of my bright ideas about 3 years ago:  I wanted to do something in memory of my mother. So with my 5 sisters we put a plan together and decided to also plant a walnut walk leading to the arbour, which will one day be a mass of beautiful and heady scented roses as well as a peaceful place to bring back fond memories. Currently it is a large circle of messy weeds and stamped ground with newly planted roses against the arches.


My bright idea of the arbour, turned out to be something of an enterprise to create. I spent a lot of time clearing and making it a flat area. Then measurements and diameters needed to be worked out, Sid and Sam (great men who help around the Estate) helped do this with lengths of string and lots of walking around in circles.

Now that I have seen the arbour start to develop I decided that I also wanted to under-plant it with camomile seeds which I hope will give much pleasure to visitors as well as myself. Hence why I was weeding! I do not wish to miss the chance to seed the camomile this spring.

It was a large depressing area to face on my first morning, but I divided it into quadrants and off we set, looking up frequently and wishing the grey clouds away. I had marked out one quadrant so badly I thought for a moment the central path would have to bend, but then I realised with relief it was just my bad geometry.

The dogs have loved this project and helped with the digging in their own way although never in the right place.  By 9am, at the end of each mornings weeding work, we were trudging back up the hill to the Castle – with the promise of hot coffee and croissants.

It’s been a huge job, but we have done it! Great job team!

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9 Responses to “The Rose Arbour”
  1. Chaya Green says:

    Thanks for making the blog as I enjoy reading about one of my favorite places to read about. I just on awe at what has been happening at the castle along with the Downton Abbey creation on PBS.

    Blessings to all,

  2. Brenda says:

    It will be lovely.

  3. Jane says:

    What a lovely tribute to your Mother. Thank you for sharing this very personal project. My mother died 20 years ago and friends gave me a huge pot (as I tended to move fairly often) with a Tiffany rose bush. It survives to this day and each year the sweet scent of the roses waft around my patio. It would be lovely if you would post photos of the progress of your project. I hope the weather cooperates for you.

  4. Dear Lady Carnarvon: Hard work pays off. It is good to know you finished your lovely project.

  5. Monica says:

    The sweet sight of a Rose Garden is the best gift … Your Mom would be happy there … The Sweet Memories warm the Heart … My compliments!

  6. Stan Ware says:

    Living in “The Rose City” – Portland, Oregon USA, I can especially appreciate this project and I am sure it will eventually be a beautiful place. Enjoy!

  7. Cynthia Mallinak says:

    The Rose Arbor sounds beautiful. Those type projects take
    hours of work but results can be spectacular.
    With all the beautiful flowers and heady perfumes available,
    there is nothing on Earth quite like the scent of a rose in bloom.
    Maybe you can post some garden bloom updates as Summer progresses.
    Happy May Day!

  8. Brenda Watson says:

    I love the idea that you did something in memory of your Mother. I planted a flowering pear tree, surrounded it with rubber stone squares and a concrete bench in honor of my Mom last year. The tree looks lovely with gorgeous blossoms. It will always be a labor of love for you and your heart will be warmed at the sight of the roses blooming in all their glory.

  9. Hi, we were at Highclere Castle yesterday Sunday with my sister who is visiting from Australia. My husband and I have been before but still enjoyed seeing it again. The gardens are superb and can see where you have started your memory to your mother. Thankfully the weather was quite good although the forecast was for rain. We arrived at 2pm as suggested and got our tickets easily. My husband and I are members of HHA so even better we didn’t have to pay!!
    Although we have memories of our mothers in our hearts it is lovely to plant a little something that we have to remind us of them and especially their love for the garden, which I know my mother was working in on the morning when she had a fatal heart attack in the afternoon.
    We have our tickets for the Heroes at Highclere on August 3rd, my birthday, hope and pray the weather will be as good that day too!! Jackie in Surrey.

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