#52: The Rose Garden

-Welcome to the Rose Garden. My name is Gertrude and I will be your tour guide for today. It’s a pleasure to have you with us. I have been working here for the past ten years since my late husband Gerald passed away – something to fill up the time– finally I can do what I like, ladies! I trust a few of you will know what I’m talking about. There’s only so many socks that a woman can pick up! I started off as a volunteer in the shop, where we will drop you at the end of the tour. Everyone who goes on the tour receives a 15% discount on any purchases over £30. Perfect for those early Christmas presents for loved ones and the neighbours! We’ll start at the beginning: the history and origin of the Garden, before exploring some of the unique features of this particular gardens – it’s why people come back year after year. We’ll talk about some of the challenging times – when the Henry Family were declared bankrupt and had to sell their land to the neighbour – right up to when the National Trust bought the Garden and the House to the North there. We work through almost 200 years of history and horticulture. We’ll start with Lord Henry of Earlsthorpe, his wife Imogen and their four children, Marlo, Anne, Elizabeth and Frederick. The official story is that while Imogen was away, recovering from a chest infection, Lord Henry had the Garden designed, planted and crafted for the time she returned, but we know now from looking through diary entries and old records that there was actually another woman for whom the Garden could have been made. On the next estate lived Rebecca Horton, also married and with three children, but in love with Lord Henry. We suspect that this love was reciprocated and thus a Garden was born. A symbol of his love for the woman he couldn’t have. Let’s walk and we’ll see the pictures of the Henry and Horton families and look at a few of the diary entries that exposed the truth of this undercover affair. ENDS

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