One of the world’s leading classic rose growers, Peter Beales, has died aged 76.

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The Norfolk rose specialist won a total of 19 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, and was given the Royal Horticultural Society’s top award.

He started the rose business, which is now based at Attleborough, exported around the world.

In 2003, he was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour by the RHS in recognition of his success as a rose grower and also promoting gardening.

Mr Beales had started Peter Beales Roses on a one and a half acre site at Swardeston, near Norwich, with his wife Joan.

An announcement on the firm’s website, said: “With deep sadness, we regret to inform you that Peter died in the afternoon of Saturday January 26.”

He started the business at Swardeston in 1968 and was initially raising bedding plants before the rose breeding programme was started.

Within three years of starting, Peter Beales Roses received a silver medal at the Royal National Rose Society’s autumn show at Westminster before collecting the gold medal two years later.

In the late 1980s, the nursery moved to Attleborough after outgrowing the Intwood Nursery.

Before starting the firm, Mr Beales completed two years’ National Service with the army and trained as a nurseryman at LeGrice Nurseries in North Walsham before obtaining a post as a nursery manager in Surrey.

He met his future wife, who died last September, while he was completing National Service and the couple married after a six year courtship and moved from Surrey to Norfolk.

While he was the public face of the company, his wife played a full part in the business and typed the manuscripts of his authoritative books.

Mr Beales, who had written his autobiography, Rose Petals and Muddy Footprints, published in 2008, had kept busy right up until his death both as the chairman and also a well-known lecturer. He lectured around the world including Japan, America, France, Bermuda and Germany.

Mr and Mrs Beales, who were married for 51 years, have a son Richard, who is the firm’s managing director, daughter Amanda, and four grandchildren.

5 comments

  • Peter was a true gentleman and leaves me with fond memories of him judging at our local annual flower show. His knowledge on roses was immense and I thank him for his guidance over many years

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    Bob McKibbin

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • What a very sad loss. A great rose man in every way. The knowledge he takes with him is vast. A very sad day for Norfolk. RIP.

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    Johnny Norfolk

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • My partner works at Sweet Briar Garden Centre, and was deeply saddend at the death of Peter, in which im sure like many of the rest of his colleagues. I didn't know Peter myself, but from what I have been told, he was a very knowlegable and kind man. I'm sure he will be missed by many, and hope the rose centre keeps on going in his name. RIP.

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    mercedesman

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • I was privileged to nurse Peter when he became unwell and will always retain fond memories of a truly gentle man. My sincere sympathies to all his family and friends.

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    Janice

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • As a First Responder I had the pleasure of meeting Peter more than once. He was a true gentleman, gracious to all, who will be missed.

    Report this comment

    Andy H

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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