I selected St 'Ethelburga' rose to be a feature plant in my Chelsea Flower Show Garden 'Thinking of Peace' intitially because of its colour, flower size and shape, it's fragrance. Then, I discovered it has a story.
Peter Beagles introduced this rose in 2003 at the request of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners to help restore hope and peace to the heart of the City of London. The rose is named after the church of the same name in Bishopsgate, London. Built in the 15th Century, St Ethelburga’s Church was one of only two remaining medieval churches in the City of London that survived both the Great Fire of London and the Blitz. In 1993 the church was largely destroyed by an IRA bomb but was restored and became the St Ethelburga Centre for Peace and Reconciliation.
In addition to being a poignant symbol, the ‘St Ethelburga’ rose is very beautiful: it is a continuous flowering modern shrub rose with very full, soft pink, old fashioned flowers that have a wonderful strong fragrance.