By | Category: Travel destinations
the roses in full bloom

the roses in full bloom

Where would imagine the largest rose collection in the world to be? In the garden of a stately home? At something like RHS Wisley perhaps? No, you will find it in the town of Sangehausen in Germany.

In this, Chelsea Flower Week, I was surprised me as I felt sure that the largest rose collection would be in the UK and probably in England. To find it in Germany was not what I expected since a rose seems to typify “Englishness.”

Sangehausen, to be found in the Harz Mountains, is in Saxony-Anhalt in Germany. Its town park was chosen in 1897 to establish a rose garden and it opened six years later. Over the years it expanded and today the total area covers just over 12.5 hectares and there are well over 7,500 rose species there plus 350 rare shrubs. Now it is called the Europa-Rosarium and over 100,000 people a year visit to watch the roses across different seasons, seek guidance about their own roses and to enjoy the varieties some of which they will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

By this time of the year some 500 different wild roses are starting to bloom and, on the last weekend of June, there takes place a festival of mining and roses. Mining, incidentally, has nothing to do with roses. It is just that Sangehausen’s other chief claim to tourists is its copper mining heritage which and underground mine tours that allow you to travel for a kilometre underground on mining trains.

But why isn’t the rose garden as widely known as the tulip show – Keukonhof – is in the Netherlands? Maybe it is amongst those that have a special interest in roses but for the rest of us?

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