More than twenty five varieties of rose bush are planted in the gardens. The arbours, built from hazel and willow, are in keeping with the medieval period and make an ideal setting for wedding photographs. Varieties in the formal rose garden include old-fashioned species such as Rosa Mundi, Rosa Ricardii II and a selection of Damask roses such as Isfahan and Rosa York and Lancaster. The basic principle of the thirteenth century writer Albertus Magnus, was to have plants “to delight the sight and smell” and this area certainly echoes this philosophy.
The main borders surround the bowling green and are full of many beautiful flowers and shrubs which were found in this country before 1600. These include globe flowers, mallow, wormwood, clary, catmint, poppies, clove pinks and periwinkle. Many of the specimens have fascinating pedigrees. The hollyhock, for example, was introduced to this country in 1255 by Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I and the variety we have at the castle, Althaea rose nigra is an incredibly deep purple, almost black.
Some species such as Monkshood are poisonous, so please resist any injudicious temptation to nibble the plants!
The whole garden has been surrounded with a hazel wattle fence which ties all the areas together, protects them from wind and sets off the garden to perfection. The wood was cut from our own hazel coppice which has been brought back into a 7-10 year rotation to provide materials for us as well as a haven for wildlife.