Challenge They rose to the
It’s officially England’s favourite flower and if you want to see some beautiful examples, follow LINDA VINEY to Mawdesley
Storm Hector swept through Bob and Margaret Mercer’s garden in Mawdesley the day before I arrived to take photographs. ‘I was on tenterhooks about what damage would have been done,’ Margaret told me. ‘Although some plants were knocked down, thankfully, the roses recovered quickly and, apart from losing some petals, all seems well.’
Although I knew roses were a major feature and their fragrance filled the air, I could see the garden had much more to offer,
all set against a backdrop of Harrock Hill and a cypress tree majestically overlooking the area.
Bob, a farmer and agricultural engineer, was never into gardening but his favourite flower has always been the rose. Margaret had always wanted a beautiful garden and moving here was a good way of encouraging now retired Bob to get involved.
The rose collection of at least 80 varieties from English shrub and climbers, mostly from David Austin, are found all round the garden with a central display supported in a wrought iron gazebo made by Bob. Roses are well known to be tolerant, surviving in extreme conditions.
When you think of an English cottage garden it’s the first flower that comes to mind – no wonder it was voted as the favourite plant in the BBC Gardeners’ World survey.
When Margaret and Bob moved here ten years ago they demolished a breeze block garage and it wasn’t long before they discovered the existing patio and lawn were on concrete – 105 tons of it.