Elsenham WI members explore an A to Z of roses

Simon White from Peter Beales Garden Centre with some of the roses he brought to Elsenham WI

Simon White from Peter Beales Garden Centre with some of the roses he brought to Elsenham WI - Credit: Elsenham WI

Members of Elsenham WI were treated to a talk on 'The A to Z of Roses' from Simon White of world-renowned rose producer Peter Beales.

The talk was held at an 'open meeting' of Elsenham WI, which meant that members could invite friends and family to come along. About 50 WI members, partners and other guests attended.

Simon has worked at Peter Beales Garden Centre since 1981, and is garden centre manager as well as president of the Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural Society.

His talk include a variety of tips on how to get the best from your roses as Simon worked his way through the alphabet, as well as accompanying photographs of roses and interesting anecdotes about the history of the company.

Peter Beales Garden Centre sells 1,100 different varieties of rose, 400 of them unique, at the site in Attleborough, Norfolk, which also has a wildlife centre, nursery and rose garden and is host to the national collection of rose cultivars.

Although the founder of the company that bears his name passed away in 2013, Peter Beales Roses continues to win awards and accolades, having amassed 27 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Simon told the group that a good name will often sell a rose more than its colour and fragrance, and that sales of the 'Queen's Jubilee Rose' have no doubt been buoyant this year.

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Members were also advised to stop deadheading roses, as otherwise you will not get the often vibrantly coloured rosehips that appear in the autumn.

At the end of the talk there was a competition for the best rose as well as the usual raffle and refreshments.

Moyra Jackson, president of Elsenham WI, said: "The WI is here to inspire you, hopefully in an informative and fun way. It was really interesting to hear all about the history of Peter Beales Roses as well as benefit from Simon’s expertise in growing and selling roses.

"It was particularly lovely to have a meeting that was accompanied with the fragrance of the different roses that Simon brought along.”

Elsenham WI is always keen to welcome guests and new members. For more information, look in the village magazine, Elsenham News, email elsenhamwi@gmail.com or search for Elsenham WI on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.