More old photos are coming to light of the old rose garden which we have started to clear at the Hopwood garden. Students have been working hard to clear thirty years of weed and tree growth as we have made links with historians, archaeologists, old tenants and lovers of the hall who each have their story, and many have long forgotten images of the hall and its gardens. We'll show you the old glasshouses soon and possibly the old gardener who once tended this place. Yet, what of the rose garden? How did it come about? Was it always a rose garden?
The answer to that is simply, 'no'. It's clear from the photos from over one hundred years ago that the rose garden has slowly changed from an ornate echo of a French parterre to a sunken garden, more in line with an Italian garden. Oh, how fashions change.
Then by the late Edwardian period we have moved from the Victorian to something more rural in taste. A pied a terre for weekend shooting and arts and crafts inspired rampages. Yes, those hard lines are softening and the shape of the garden we have is there. The classical stage shape, a promenade that fuses the Tudor alongside the arts and crafts beside the Renaissance style beds, the box has been ditched - they probably foresaw the blight - and there seems to be a mix of annuals in between a few roses.
Here we are, 2009 and the garden and house are in dire straits - not the band - the garden has a few old tired roses in it. We can still see them today in the part of the garden beyond the fence and in the coming weeks we will work with those that own the hall to find a long term solution to the ground beyond the fence. To bring it back to life and hopefully in time, the house.
If you're interested in volunteering with us at Hopwood Hall gardens, do contact Andrew via our contact page.