New National Plant Collection of Rosa for Plant Heritage

Leading plant conservation charity, Plant Heritage is delighted to welcome a National Collection of Rosaintroduced by Joseph Pemberton and John Bentall between 1912 and 1930 to its scheme.
The Collection, which is held at Saint Francis Hospice, Havering–atte-Bower, Essex has been established by head gardener David Collins who wanted to bring the collection back to its place of origin.

The hospice is located on the estate that was formally owned by the Pemberton family from 1840 untill 1944. The roses were created on the estate by the Rev. Joseph Pemberton and John Bentall. Joseph Pemberton had no children and on his death in 1926 the estate passed hands to his relatives. His last surviving niece, Emily Ann Pemberton-Barnes left the rose fields to the Bentall’s on her death in 1944, but the Bentall family sold them when they became unprofitable and the roses were destroyed.

 David, has spent the last 18 months returning some of the collection to the walled Victorian gardens of the hospice and continues to research new plants to add to the collection. Speaking on the collection David said: “So far we have around 40 varieties in the collection, but there are more to collect.  One we like to add to the collection is ‘Rosaleen’, 1933 (Bentall) which is currently in California, USA.”
The Pemberton roses are known for their continuous flowering and are highly scented. The roses tend to flower from June to November and most of the hybrid trees grow up to 1.5m tall whilst the bushes will grow to about 2m tall.


Speaking on its new national collections status Pam Court, Chief Executive of Saint Francis Hospice said: “Saint Francis Hospice is delighted to have re-instated part of the collection of Pemberton and Bentall roses where they originated. David Collins has worked hard researching, obtaining and planting the roses in order to conserve them and enhance the hospice environment for patients, staff and visitors. Although we have found around 40 varieties of the collection we are hoping to locate more and are looking for funding as well as information.”

Saint Francis Hospice is an independent charity that provides specialist care for people living in Havering, Brentwood, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge who have complex needs related to life–limiting illness. Every year the hospice cares for more than 1,500 patients. It costs around £7.7 million a year to run the hospice, a third being funded by the NHS and the remainder being raised through fundraising.

Plant Heritage Plant Conservation Officer, Mercy Morris said: "I think that David has put an enormous amount of work into researching this collection, and it demonstrates that a National Collection is not just an accumulation of plants, it is the history, knowledge and research behind the plants. It is very satisfying to have collections of this nature in the scheme.”
Viewing of the Collection is by appointment. Please call: 01708 753319.
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