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Art & roses entwine for June 2022: Hever Castle & Gardens

An artistic slant is added to this year’s Hever In Bloom as 4,000 roses come into flower

This summer, Hever Castle & Gardens’ summer celebration will place roses in the foreground and focus visitors gaze upon these rich and wonderful blooms which number 4,000 at the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.

Visitors to the Rose Garden will be able to smell the roses and enjoy botanical art workshops and rose buttonhole workshops as part of Hever in Bloom.

Known as the ‘queen of the flowers’, roses have symbolised love, beauty, royalty and sensuality in art through the centuries for artists from Shakespeare to Renoir, from Nicholas Hilliard to Emily Dickinson.

Head gardener Neil Miller will be leading visitors on a garden tour with a difference this year and explains; “With the rose inspiring so much of art and literature we felt that it was entirely fitting to have an artistic focus for this year’s Hever in Bloom.”

Hever gardener and artist Felix Green, will delight visitors as he delivers a botanical art workshop twice daily in the Rose Garden and Neil Miller and his team provide twice-daily tours of the heavenly space.

Neil explains: “Felix is a talented member of our team and not only is he a fantastic gardener but he’s also a wonderful artist too so it will be wonderful to see what he creates during his ‘artist in residence’ spot in the garden during Hever in Bloom.”

The sumptuous Gardens at Hever Castle provide the perfect canvas for the rose in the month of June as these special flowers bloom proliferously with Rosa Ballerina in the Tudor Garden, ‘Anne Boleyn’ by David Austin producing a misty pink sea of blooms beside Half Moon Pond and thousands of floribundas and standard roses delivering an awe-inspiring display climbing the columns and blooming from the beds of the Rose Garden in the Italian Garden.

Head gardener Neil Miller is well-known within the horticultural world for his encyclopaedic knowledge of roses. He says of this time of year: “June is the pinnacle of the flowering year for many of us at Hever as 4,000 roses are placed firmly within the centre of the picture modelling horticultural perfection for the viewer. The scent in the Rose Garden in June is something to behold; it’s a heady combination that adds even more to the visual spectacle.”

Poetic License

Within the formal areas of the Gardens at Hever Castle, there are many different varieties and species of rose from the huge floribunda roses to the climbers and standards of the Rose Garden to the romantic shrub roses in a border created to celebrate the most famous female American poet, Emily Dickinson who was a lover of these single-flowering plants. The huge shrub rose border at Hever is an interpretation of the roses that would have grown in Emily’s New England garden including varieties such as the Damask rose, Grenville rose, Hedgehog rose, Blush rose, Cinnamon rose, Galico rose and Sweet Briar.

Visitors to the famous gardens will be encouraged to explore the Rose Garden and take part in an art workshop with Felix, find the shrub roses in the large border inspired by Emily Dickinson and also head to the Castle to enjoy mixed floral displays within the walls.

Symbol of the Tudors

This year Hever in Bloom will also encourage visitors to step inside the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and take a closer look within the walls of the Castle where they can study the Tudor roses that adorn the woodwork in the Inner Hall and the blooms incorporated into the decorative ceiling work.  

 Beloved of ancient cultures, the Greeks and Romans, the rose is perhaps most famously associated in history with the Tudor dynasty and it’s fitting that the 16th century Hever Castle owned portrait of Anne Boleyn depicts one of England’s most famous queen’s holding a red rose.  Created during her daughter Elizabeth I reign, the portrait hangs in the Long Gallery at Hever Castle.

 Eagle-eyed visitors to the Staircase Gallery will be able to see the Tudor Rose detail on the sleeve of the portrait of Elizabeth I as well as a pair of lovingly embroidered shoes decorated with roses, while visitors to the Long Gallery will be able to spot the Tudor Rose in the stained glass window there.

Meadows ablaze with colour 

And while the rose is central to Hever in Bloom this year, there is plenty of floral areas delighting visitors in June including drifts of perennials in the herbaceous borders and in Faith’s Garden, and as visitors wander further afield around Lake Walk they will come upon colourful meadow flowers.

For those with adventurous companions in tow, the team at Hever Castle will be opening up Woodland Walk (just off Lake Walk) so that an additional 25 acres of outside space is available to visitors this summer.


Floral art

Visitors will be able to learn how to put together a rose buttonhole with former deputy head gardener Emma Fuller, of Fuller-Wilke Florals, worked with the gardening  team at Hever for many years before setting up her floristry business.  The workshops will be held twice daily within the Rose Garden.


Hever in Bloom will run from: 20th June – 26th June

Daily Tours of the Garden will commence at 11:30am and 2pm

Felix Green will be giving his botanical art workshops at 12 noon and 2:30pm

Rose buttonhole workshops by Feuller-Wilke Florals at 12 noon and 2:30pm

Maps of the Gardens are available at the entrance huts and information desk. 

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