The History Behind Rose Gardens

Any collection of roses can include plants produced by a wide range of breeders, from all over the world. It is possible to reconstruct the stories of these breeders and through them the history behind a rose garden.

The rose garden history project includes talks, trips, a book and greetings cards.


Hopton Hall and Tissington Hall Roses and their Breeders A Talk in Ashbourne.

This talk looks at the history behind two Derbyshire rose gardens close to the route of the Off the Derbyshire Beaten Track tour: who were the breeders of these roses? Were they specialist nurserymen or amateurs, whose rose breeding was a part-time occupation? Did they belong to rose dynasties like the Harknesses or the McGredys? Are these new roses or were they originally developed centuries ago?

The talk provides additional background to individual visits to the gardens at Hopton and Tissington Halls in the rose season.

The talk and the trips can be booked separately.

Dates to be arranged – please contact Frances

Fee: £5.00 


Hopton Hall

The visit to this rose garden will answer these and other questions:

Which rose was named after Sally-Anne Pawsey? Who named a rose after a famous Paris chef? What is the link between a Scottish rose breeder and Her Majesty the Queen? Who bred the RHS Rose of the Year in 2012? Which rose breeders have a blue plaque in Chilwell? Which German rose was introduced into the UK by Wheatcroft Roses in 1977?

There are light refreshments at the Summer House within the rose garden.

In 2019, the garden was open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between mid June and early August.

Dates to be arranged once the 2020 opening details are available – contact Frances.

Price: depends on the entry to the garden in 2020. Frances charges £3 per person.

Tissington Hall

The visit to this rose garden answers these and other questions:

Why was the Harkness rose codename HARroony renamed Amber Queen? Who took over the French rose breeder Joseph Pernet-Ducher’s nursery near Lyons in 1928? Which rose was originally named Joanna Pawsey? Who was Jack Harkness’s commanding officer during the Second World War? Why was the name Peaudouce changed to Elina? Who was the world’s most underrated rose breeder?

Herbert’s Tea Rooms, located in the Old Coach House in Tissington village will be open for delicious light refreshments.

Dates to be arranged. The gardens will be open on certain Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between Monday, 6 July and Wednesday, 26 August. Contact Frances for her availability. 

Price: entrance to the garden at Tissington Hall is £6.00 for adults and £3.00 for children. Frances charges £3.00 for her tour of the roses.


A Tale of 100 Dalemain Roses Wyre Forest Press 2018 £10.00

Available from


These greetings cards illustrate the roses at Hopton Hall, Tissington Hall and Dalemain. They can be purchased at the gardens or directly from Frances.
Price: £2.00

Previous events

Tale of 100 Roses Dalemain, near Penrith, Cumbria: Thursday, 21 June 2018

I will never look at a rose quite the same way again because I will want to know its story.

Guided tours of the roses at Hopton Hall and Tissington Hall in Derbyshire: summer 2018

Hopton Hall & Tissington Hall Roses & their Breeders Ashbourne talk: 10 November 2018, 9 February & 11 February 2019

The Tale of 100 Dalemain Roses & their Breeders Ashbourne talk: 23 & 25 February 2019

Guided tours of the roses at Dalemain: The French Roses & The UK Roses: 2 July 2019 & The European Roses & The American Roses, Plant Hunters & Unknowns: 16 July 2019

Hopton Hall

Tissington Hall