Munstead Wood has a mysterious drama all of its own with its deeply crimson, velvety petals - about 74 of them - contained in a cup that becomes more shallow as time progresses. The rim of the cup has petals that are marginally paler than the rest of the flower. The buds are tightly furled and pure points of darkness. Later the golden stamens are an obvious part of the flower's charm before it fades to be replaced by yet another wonderful flower all summer. The leaves are similarly alluring commencing as bronze-red and slowly becoming a healthy, vibrant green. The shrub is quite spreading and low growing but has a bushy habit and holds its flowers upright and strongly. Munstead Wood has an old rose fragrance with lots of reference to fruity blackberry and damson notes. Another RHS AGM winner in our range of roses for sale
Munstead Wood flowers are too luscious to be a nursery rhyme flower; it is much more boudoir-worthy and is a florist's dream of a rose. Include it in any cutting garden. Grown at the front of a herbaceous border Munstead Wood creates a chiaroscuro effect if combined with lighter shades of rose like the lovely Desdemona or the climbing Claire Austin or contrasted with white spires of foxglove or lupins. The colouring of Munstead Wood roses framed in their beautiful foliage also glows when in front of dark backgrounds like yew or privet hedges if grown on the sunny side of those hedges, You can also introduce a truly English underplanting of dianthus or pinks. The fragrant petals would also look gorgeous strewn down a table or crystallised for decorating puddings.
It is in Surrey and was the home of Gertrude Jekyll the garden designer who collaborated so successfully with Edwin Lutyens the architect. Munstead Wood was where Jekyll did most of her designing for over 400 garden commissions and it provided inspiration and the location for her garden nursery where she somehow had the time to breed plants too. A prolific and exacting writer, she was still there, writing professionally in her late 80's. She is buried close to Munstead Wood, at St John's, Bushridge.