Nothing can compare with the sights and scents of a traditional english rose garden in full bloom throughout the summer. There is an abundance of flowers, delicate confections in pinks and whites or deeper velvety reds, each with its own rich and individual exotic perfume.
This area is planted throughout with 'English’ roses. The result of hybridising the wonderful older roses with modern repeat flowering varieties to get the best features of both. They include: 'Belle story', 'Perdita', 'Chaucer', 'Gertrude Jekyll', 'Mary Rose', 'The Countryman' and 'Wife of Bath', all in shades of pink. 'LD. Braithwaite' and 'Wenlock' in crimsons, and 'Winchester Cathedral' in white. Drink deeply of their heady perfume. Breathe in the scents of summer...
The old rose garden at Levens Hall is charmingly set in an intricate pattern of low hedges and enticing winding pathways. The tree at its centre is the Maidenhair tree Ginkgo biloba, a unique survivor. Once known only through fossil records, the species was re-discovered in China in 1758. The Levens specimen in the centre of the rose garden is about 60 years old. Unusually for a conifer, the Ginkgo is deciduous and has flat fan shaped leaves which turn a lovely yellow colour before falling in the Autumn.
The Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides nearby was only discovered in China in 1941, and introduced to this country in 1948. Our tree was planted in the early 1950s, and is a very fine specimen. This conifer also has fine autumn colour before losing its leaves for the winter.
Throughout this area are planted some of the newer pieces of topiary, in training for the past fifteen years or so, and now playing their part in the centuries old display.
At the Northern end of the garden is 'Beaumont’s House', built onto the old stables for the garden's designer Monsieur Guillaume Beaumont in 1701. It is still the Head Gardener's house today. An interesting vertical sundial hangs on its wall marking the passage of time. There is an old Wisteria sinensis trained here too, which is a breathtaking sight when draped with flower in late Spring. More unusually, another Wisteria has escaped the wall nearby, and reached the very top of the Lime tree it is using for support.