Dublin Rose Festival.

St Anne’s Park lies close to the lovely coastline on Dublin’s northside, its 300 acres owned by the Guinness brewing family until purchased by Dublin City Council in 1939. The parkland is full of mature trees and children populate it, playing happily in the woodland or riding their tricycles.

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But situated deep in the park is one of Europe’s finest rose gardens – 25,000 plants grouped into hybrid tea, floribunda, climber, shrub and so on.

There is a special section with the newest unnamed varieties of roses, to be judged by an international panel of judges for the prestigious International Rose Trials held this week, followed by the Dublin Rose Festival this weekend with rose growers, nurseries, the Federation of Beekeepers, Dublin Community Growers and many other attractions such as Art studios and workshops.

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The focal point of course will be the roses, laid out in large concentric circles, with crosspaths of rose pergolas descending down to the lower garden, the perfume in the air intense.

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Rest awhile on the benches, surrounded by Rosa ‘Ballerina’.

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These are some of the varieties which caught our eye this week :

Clockwise from top left : Rosa ‘Chinatown’, ‘Bonsoir’, ‘Irish Hope’, ‘Just Joey’ and ‘Sunset Boulevard’.

The lovely salmon-pink floribunda ‘Sexy Rexy’ was looking good, bred in NZ by Irishman Dr Sam McGredy and named jokingly after one of his friends Rex Hotchin during the trials – the name stuck!

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This is a busy family park, mothers gather for coffee by the Red Stables, dogwalkers and joggers amble through.

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But deep in the heart of this park, the rose garden provides a welcome quiet haven.

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Rosa ‘Peace’.

The Dublin Rose Festival 2014.  Sat 19th – Sun 20th July. Free entry.

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