ONE of the country’s leading experts on rose growing is visiting Exmoor this week to share his knowledge with West Somerset gardeners.

Simon White has worked for more than 40 years for Norfolk firm Peter Beales Roses, which is recognised as the world leader in classic roses and has been a well-renowned grower and breeder of roses for more than 50 years.

Beales has the largest collection of roses in the world and primarily sells bare root roses and many old traditional classic roses.

It grows 250,000 roses a year from seed in fields rented from a local farmer and has grown millions since 1968, including shrub, climbing, modern hybrid tea and floribunda roses that are now growing all over the world from small city gardens in London to hundreds of acres in Japan.

Mr White has amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience of growing roses during his career.

Now, he is to speak at a meeting of Dulverton Gardening Club on Thursday evening, April 20, which is being held in Dulverton Town Hall from 7.30 pm.

He will cover planting, feeding, pruning, and general care, and will bring with him a selection of roses and sundries for sale on the evening.

Gardening club secretary Roger Hammond said he hoped as many people as possible would attend the talk, which was was free for club members and £4 for non-members.

Mr White is vice-chairman and past president of Norwich Horticultural Society and sales manager for the RHS award-winning Peter Beales Garden Centre, in Attleborough, Norfolk.

He will explain that given the right conditions, it was not true that roses were difficult to grow. 

Mr White said: “I have a passion for the rose and would like to share this passion with others.

“The late Peter Beales started the rose nursery in 1968 and started to specialise in the old fashioned style of shrub rose and climbers and ramblers.

“Today, we list over 1,100 different varieties, which is possibly the largest collection of roses grown commercially in the world, with over 250 which are unique to us and cannot be purchased anywhere else in the world.

“We have over 2.5 acres of display gardens at our nursery and garden centre where we showcase most of our collection combined with a vast selection of perennials, shrubs, and clematis.”

The display gardens are free and open to the public seven days a week throughout the year and attract visitors from all over the world.