The Garden Guide

Book: London Parks and Gardens, 1907
Chapter: Chapter 11 Inns of Court

Roses in the Temple Garden

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With such a tradition the Temple Garden should never be without its roses. They are one of those friendly plants which will do their best to fight against fog and smoke, and flower boldly for two or three years in succession: so a supply of red and white, and the delightful Rosa mundi, the "York and Lancaster," could without much difficulty be seen there every summer. Certainly some of the finest roses in existence have been in the Temple Gardens, as the Flower Shows, which are looked forward to by all lovers of horticulture, have for many years been permitted to take place in these historic grounds. How astonished those adherents of the red or white roses would have been to see the colours, shades, and forms which the descendants of those briars now produce. The Plantagenet Garden would not contain many varieties, although every known one was cherished in every garden, as roses have always been first favourites. Besides the briars, dog roses, and sweet briars, there was the double white and double red, a variety of Rosa gallica. Many so-called old-fashioned roses, such as the common monthly roses, came to England very much later, and the vast number of gorgeous hybrids are absolutely new. Elizabethan gardens had a fair show of roses with centifolia, including moss and Provence roses, and York and Lancaster, Rosa lutea, musk, damask, and cinnamon roses in several varieties; and as the old records show, the Temple Garden was well supplied with roses. All these probably flourished there in the days of Shakespeare, and would readily suggest the scene he immortalised.