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Sensory tours of the famous rose garden

Visitors to Hever Castle & Garden’s annual Hever in Bloom celebration this year will be treated to a scented tour of the rose garden.

Neil Miller says: “We love to take visitors around the sumptuous rose garden in June and this year we will be delivering a tasty experience – one based on the heavenly scent of the roses and the myriad of culinary possibilities.”

The rose tour has been extended this year to include the newly planted border beside the theatre containing damask roses grown by poet Emily Dickinson in her own garden at ‘The Homestead’ in Amherst, Massachusetts. rose

Neil Miller adds: “The damask rose (Rosa damascena) has been used for centuries to make scented oils and rose water, as it is powerfully fragrant – a single flower will scent an entire room!”

The inspiration for this area of the garden came from Hever’s owners, the Guthrie family, and Mrs Guthrie’s love of Emily Dickinson’s poetry.

Mrs Guthrie says: “Emily was a very interesting lady with a passion for horticulture and it occurred to me to have some of the roses that she loved at Hever. The roses grown by Emily in the 19th century was the old-fashioned shrub variety that flowered just the once, but the ones we have at Hever are more developed. They have an amazing scent and the hips and leaves turn with the autumn colour.”

Hever Castle & Garden’s annual celebration ‘Hever in Bloom’ has built a reputation for delivering one of the best displays of roses in the South East and 2018 promises to be a bobby dazzler with new roses taking centre stage. Three hundred ’Love struck’ roses have been planted in the formal rose garden; this beautiful scarlet rose was named ‘rose of the year’ for 2018 at last year’s RHS Hampton Court. The team have also planted 100 new Caron Keating roses to commemorate her life.

Visitors to this year’s Hever in Bloom (26 June – 1 July 2018) will be able to enjoy the displays in the gardens and in the Castle itself. They will be able to pre-book a scented tour of the garden with one of the rose experts at Hever, taking in the different scents and strengths of perfume as they traverse the gardens designed and built by William Waldorf Astor at the turn of the 20th century. Visitors will be offered the opportunity to learn the basic principles of distilling the flower’s oil, enjoy a tasting of various rose inspired recipes and peruse the collection and buy a locally sourced rose flavoured gin at the shop.

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