Monday, November 14, 2011

Arundel Castle, England, Part I

As my own garden is winding down and looking pitiful in parts due to autumn and the rains that we got lately, I was looking at photos from our trip to England in June this year to cheer me up with the sight of beautiful gardens, plants and, of course, roses. So I thought I might share some pictures from England with you here on my blog, again. Maybe you are also longing for some color and spring-ish garden scenery, which might be more likely for my readers in the northern hemisphere than for those in the southern hemisphere, where you have you own spring right now. Still I hope that everyone reading this post will enjoy the photos from England. 

Today I would like to take you on a tour of the grounds of Arundel Castle located in West Sussex. The Castle is famous for many things but not necessarily for the gardens. I loved the gardens and come to think of it I have to say it certainly was one of my favorite public gardens that we visited on that trip. 

(you can click on the photos to enlarge)

You were entering the sight through this old gate at the bottom of the property. I was already smitten by the charm of these old outbuildings.

After passing through the gate you had to walk up a winding small road to get to the Castle's entrance or to the gardens. The Castle itself is sitting on top of a hill and is of a giant size, which unfortunately I was not able to capture to the full extend on my photos.

This photo is more true to how Arundel Castle really looked walking up that road. The mere size of the Castle is just mind boggling. You literally had to look up to the towering building above you and couldn't help but to feel small and insignificant in contrast to the huge Castle. I guess, this is an effect that was desired by the architect and he more than succeeded.

Below the Castle to the left side the first cultivated garden that you came across was a formal rose garden planted with mostly older rose varieties. I liked the layout and the planting scheme quite a bit even though I would never choose a formal rose garden design for my own humble garden at home. I love the neatly clipped boxwood hedges, the towering obelisks conquered by climbing roses, the silvery leaved standard trees and, of course, the roses themselves.

Parts of the outer beds were planted with white Rugosa roses. Hard to beat in their beauty, aren't they?

There was a wired bug that I had never seen before on a leave of this rose.

The flowers of the white Rugosa roses were so pure! They seem to be irresistible to me. Too bad that I can not grow Rugosas in my own garden in San Diego. I tried with 'Purple Pavement', but it simply hated the alkaline soil and water that we are having and is long gone to a better home. 

I liked that the paths were topped with a layer of gray/white gravel, which I preferred over grass paths. Unfortunately there were no or almost no labels on the roses. So a visitor only could guess what their names might be.

Altogether I loved the varieties of roses that they had chosen for this garden even though some of them did not look too happy. Maybe the roses planted in the middle beds are still relatively new? Or they are simply not suited that well for this climate?

Having a closer look at the hedging of the beds and the lower plantings. I like that you hardly could see the ground in the flower beds.

Close-up of one of the plants in the bed of the photo above. It shows an almost white hardy geranium. I really like these plants, since they look good even when they are not in bloom, because the leaves are so pretty. Must make a note to myself to get more hardy geraniums for my own garden. So far I only have one and that is definitively not enough.

The big green hedge in the background provides such a calm and soothing effect for the garden. When the roses are more in flower it will be the perfect backdrop to show off the beautiful blooms.

I am almost a hundred percent positive that this rose is 'Mme. Isaac Pereire', one of my all time favorite Bourbon roses. The fragrance is to die for. When I look at the photo I still remember bending down to this particular flower and inhaling the incredible fragrance. What a treat for the senses!

Another bloom of the rose that I believe to be 'Mme. Isaac Pereire' bathing in the sun. Simply gorgeous!

And one more shot of the same rose. I just adore the plump round buds and the sumptuous blooms.

Seeing the formal beds from a different angle.

A photo of one of the climbing roses growing on an obelisks with the castle in the background. Would love to know what variety this is...

Before we walked away to explore the other areas of this grand garden one last look back to the formal rose beds. Picture perfect, don't you think?

See you in the garden!



  1. Bardzo mi się podobają angielskie zamki. Niestety byłam w niewielu ( okolice Londynu). Piękne zdjęcia zamku i ogrodu.Pozdrawiam

  2. Lovely post, Christina ! Beautiful garden, so very english ... I wonder, how can I make my two roses, that I grow on obelisks, to look like this ...

  3. Thank you so much for this tour of a lovely castle garden. Even though I'm not a formal garden person either, I do love visiting them. Whenever I see a rose, I put my nose right down to the bloom and am either disappointed because of no scent or totally delighted with a scent that sends me to a bit of heaven.

    Have a great week and keep posting pictures from your wonderful travels.


  4. Hey Christina,
    Thanks for the beautiful photograph's of your trip. The castle is beautiful. And about you are explaining about the fragance of the rose I wish we could close in the smell with our photo's. Especially at this time of the year.
    Have a great week.
    gr. Marijke

  5. What a wonderful entrance - and the castle looming overhead does make one feel like a serf! I do love the formal rose beds. I adore clipped hedges, and the cone shapes in the corners give it even more interest. I love the obelisks. I wonder how often those roses have to be trimmed to stay at that perfect height. The silver leafed standards are beautiful!

  6. Giga, thanks for leaving a comment! There is something special about English castles, isn't it? I am glad you liked my photos.

    Thanks Dani! I hope your roses that you grow on obelisks become as tall as those are on my photos. I really do think that roses need a lot of fertilizer in warm climates to reach their full potential and water, of course.

    FlowerLady, thanks for your kind comment! I am also always a little disappointed, if a rose has no fragrance to tickle my nose, no matter how beautiful the flower itself might be. That is why I try not to buy roses anymore which have no scent. Thanks for your encouragement to post more photos from England! Will do :-)! Have a great week, too!

    Marijke, thanks for your nice comment! That would be something if we could not only sent photos over the internet but fragrance, too. I remember terribly missing the fragrance of the roses in winter, when I was still living in Germany, thankfully here in Southern California if you plan well you always can have a rose to smell. Even though it will be very few, though. Wishing you a great week, too!

    Holley, thank you! I also admire the clipped boxwood hedges and agree that the cones give them something special. But I would be hopelessly overwhelmed to try something like this in my own garden. I guess I better stick with my more informal garden style. So much more forgiving!


  7. Hello,
    I visited your blog today. Your photos are so pretty, and I also love roses, especially the red rose. While I was reading, I noticed that you are from the San Diego area. We are fron Southern California too. I enjoyed your pictures from England. My daughters went to England a couple of years ago, and had such a fun time. We started a new blog, and we would love it if you could visit us and follow. I would enjoy coming back to visit with you and seeing all your photos. Maybe you could take a picture of the beautiful red rose for me. I hope to hear from you, and have a nice evening.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  8. Hi Sheri, welcome to my blog! Thanks for your kind words about my photos. If you are interested in a specific rose photo I am happy to let you use it, but would request that you give me credit for it in case you would like to publish it on your blog. I will check out your blog, when I have a moment!


  9. Christina, I so agree with you - our photographs can make us happy when it's cold and wet outside! You obviously had a wonderful trip. England has everything what I love - age, stone, topiary, knot gardens, etc., etc. I remember how happy I was to read a comment from one gardener who said my garden had a look of a London garden. Thank you for the pictures!!!

  10. Tatyana, thanks for commenting! Sounds like you are an Anglophile like me, too ;-)! The Brits just know how to garden thingy and that for centuries. I also love the ancient buildings that you can find everywhere in England. So much charm, so much history!