Landmarks come up smelling of roses

Sweet smelling roses have captured the hearts of countless gardeners since medieval times. And it seems only fitting that two much-loved and prestigious Norfolk buildings have now been immortalised by having roses named in their honour.

Sweet smelling roses have captured the hearts of countless gardeners since medieval times.

And it seems only fitting that two much-loved and prestigious Norfolk buildings have now been immortalised by having roses named in their honour.

Peter Beales Roses is launching the Wymondham Abbey rose at its Attleborough nursery in June to celebrate the 900th birthday of the former Benedictine priory, which was founded in 1107. It is a vivid pink repeat flowering climber with a delicate fragrance.

The Norwich Theatre Royal - a scented red shrub rose - is making its debut at the Chelsea Flower Show on May 22, and will help raise funds for the theatre's 250 Appeal to fund a £10m revamp. .

Both plants were bred by Amanda Beales, whose father Peter founded the family firm which specialises in old-fashioned varieties.

“It is not every day you get to name a rose after a 900-year-old abbey. It's a lovely building and a landmark which deserves a rose, so we were delighted to do it,” she said.

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“All 200 tickets for the launch on June 9 have sold out and, rather than raising money for the abbey, we thought it would be nice to donate a rose to everyone there.”

It was her brother Richard's idea to produce a rose for the Theatre Royal to help support its refurbishment appeal.

“Richard was sitting in the theatre during a performance and it suddenly occurred to him that it would be lovely idea to do something for their 250 appeal. It will premiere at Chelsea, and a percentage of the sales will to go to the appeal,” she explained.

Two more new varieties from the Attleborough nursery will also be introduced at the show.

Celebrity Esther Rantzen will be launching Faithful Friend, a modern yellow shrub rose in aid of the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf charity which was founded 25 years ago. Rachel's Delight is named for Rachel Flood, ex-president of the Canadian Rose Society and a close friend of the Beales.

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