Proving that nature waits for no-one (lockdown or not) Blenheim Palace’s stunning Rose Garden is in full bloom – several weeks ahead of schedule.
The beautiful floral display, one of the best on record at the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site, coincides with British Flower Week, which runs until 21st June.
The circular rosarium, which was created by the 7th Duke of Marlborough in the early 1870s, is home to more than 1,800 roses – most of them chosen for their strong fragrance.
However, the bumper blooms are providing an added challenge to Blenheim’s team of gardeners.
“The Rose Garden does look amazing, but it’s a non-stop task keeping it looking its absolute best,” said Blenheim’s Head of Gardens, Hilary Wood.
“We’ll have to de-head approximately 12,000 times – cutting off the faded blooms to encourage more blooms to flower throughout the season.
“It is usually in full bloom towards the end of June or early in July, however the early rain in February, followed by prolonged periods of sunshine and warm weather, has meant it’s already been a bumper year for flowers; particularly the roses,” she added.
The Grade 1 Listed Rose Garden is contained within a circular walk, surrounded by blue cat mint and arched over by slender hoops supporting climbing white roses. At its centre is a fountain within a circular pool and surrounded by symmetrical beds; each filled with a variety of different roses.
The Rose Garden, along with much of the 2,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland and formal gardens are open to the public, all visitors must be pre-book online.
Home to the Dukes of Marlborough since 1704, the Oxfordshire Estate was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
The Palace was designed by Vanbrugh in the Baroque style, and financed by Queen Anne on behalf of a grateful nation, following the first Duke of Marlborough’s triumph over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession.