A Road Trip - Episode 3.2 to Iford Manor for the Rose of the Year 2023 reveal

Here we are at the end of our journey.  Originally we were going to go east from our original destination but an invitation arrived that was too good to miss which read:  'Would you like to come to Iford Manor for the reveal of the Rose of the Year 2023'.  My love of roses is well documented and I had been delighted to be invited to the Rose of the Year 2022 reveal last year, so I would have been heart-broken to have missed this event.

There were a couple of details I had to confirm before I could say yes, but once the lights all changed to green our road trip route was amended and excitement began to grow.  I was also excited to be visiting Iford Manor again as I think it is a very special garden.  I have a real thing about Italianate gardens and this is a superb example created by its then owner Harold Peto and restored by the current owners, the Cartwright-Hignett family.
It is a garden I wish in many ways I lived closer to so that I could visit more often, and yet at the same time it being a distance makes it a special treat.
I love the steps and vistas that lead me to explore.
I can never resist an open doorway...
especially when I know there will be delights inside.
so many delights.
and here is the lovely Marilyn from RosesUK, an organisation that promotes roses and rose breeders and our hosts alongside Iford Manor for the day.  We raised a glass to the Rose of the Year  2023, Peach Melba bred by Kordes Rosen.  This is a climbing rose which will grow to around 2 metres tall.  This means it is well behaved and can fit in a reasonable space with an obelisk to support it. 
It is a beautiful peach colour that fades delicately as the flowers age.  It also has the most wonderful scent.  This is a rose to plant where you can sniff it.  The Rose of  the Year competition is not subjectively judged on prettiness and scent, but is a point based system where the one with the most overall points wins.  As it happens, this one is outstandingly beautiful and has fantastic scent.
We were treated to a history of the house and gardens by William Cartwright-Hignett and an overview of the gardens by the Head Gardener Steve Lannin.  Then we were treated to lunch in the superb restaurant on site. 

After lunch we were released into the gardens to explore and I of course ended up at the plant sale stand where I bought a rather nice begonia thurstonii.
Best of all I also came home with a gifted Peach Melba rose.  Which of course meant I now needed to buy a support for it, oh deary me how will I cope......

....I coped rather well, but more of the rose support in a later post.

A big thank you to Marylin and Iford Manor for hosting this wonderful event.  It really was such a special day.

So ended our couple of days away: three days, two nights and five gardens.  We agreed we would not wait another seven years before setting off garden-bothering again.

Take care and be kind.

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