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Rosa Mundi — 47 Comments

  1. Dear Alistair, Your Rosa mundi looks so very healthy! I wish my roses looked so good. How wonderful you planted a rare rose in a friend’s garden … lucky to have you for a friend.
    All that money in the scenarios you describe … mind boggling! P x

  2. I do like the sunken gardens as they are now, though it’s true you rarely see people using this green space much, even in summer. (Perhaps because Aberdeen summers aren’t all that conductive to park life?) The timing of such an expensive project is one thing – I can’t see it fitting in with an “austerity economy” – but I’m also not convinced the project as it stands will really make the most of this area; as I see it there will be created a large square on the corner by the statue by Union Street, and I’m not sure how they will create life in that open space – or whether it will just be a desert.

    • Soren, the bigger picture does show it to be very modernistic, also not entirely convinced that it is the best choice, however it is so easy to be negative. As for the climate, parks in Aberdeen are generally well used. The sunken aspect of Union terrace does add to the gloom greatly.

  3. Dear Alistair, I am a big fan of rosa mundi too, I’m a fan of all gallicas to be honest. You are right: I’m one of those who dislike striped roses (and flowers in general) but I make two exceptions for historical reasons as well as for shades of red that don’t disturb me: one is indeed r. mundi and the other one is ‘Variegata di Bologna’.
    What to say about the remake of your public gardens? I think the project doesn’t look as good as it should be considering its cost, but this is only personal. The entire World is having a hard time, why wasting money in a project that could be realized better with less? They should set an example here, they should show to citizens that even during recession they are able to improve public service and save money.

    • Alberto, the public space is much larger than the picture which only shows about 30% of the land, there is to be an ice rink, an arts centre and I don’t know what all. With so many cuts at present I am sadly veering towards rejecting the plan.

  4. Alistair what a lovely rose..it looks like striped taffy candy…and that orange rose belongs among my orange blooms…seems the US is keen to change parts of the UK. I can see Donald having a tantrum and leaving…good riddance…the new design is futuristic…I love your historic buildings but we all are faced with trying to update or clean up areas…hope they can add to the history of your beautiful city!!

  5. I was quite concerned when I heard of these plans when I was in Aberdeen over the summer. The gardens as they currently stand may need a bit of restoration and revitalization, but they fit in perfectly with the wonderful architecture around them on Union Terrace and Rosemount Viaduct. One of the really strong features of Aberdeen are that it has such a well preserved town centre, with very few intrusions into the late 18th/19th/early 20th century character. Speaking as someone who grew up in Aberdeen, but hasn’t lived there for many years, I am pretty much the poster child for someone who didn’t appreciate what was there when I lived there, and took almost all of it for granted. It’s only when I return to visit that I sense what a strong sense of identity and culture the city has, which in large part is visible through the historically diverse and interesting cityscape. Now having lived in Canada for nearly 20 years, in a city where the city planning process appears only to be driven by the philosophy that “so long as the city isn’t paying” it is a go, I would urge real caution on the matter. Whilst each generation needs to leave it’s mark, there are multiple different approaches to that, and you don’t know what a great thing you’ve got until it’s gone.

  6. Can you believe I don’t have Rosa Mundi?! But, each time I see her picture, I know that must situation must be changed. I just haven’t sought her out. Soon, though. As for the project – here’s my tongue-in-cheek solution: Sell the sunken park to The Donald, and he can put in his gold course there! More seriously, I am always for gardens and parks, but when they are not visited, and are running down, and this one seems to be due to the fact that it’s sunken and cold, then I think something should be done before it becomes a safety concern. How much money to put into it, though, I suppose is a very controversial area. That’s where I think The Donald could help out! 😉

  7. I’m in the category of people who don’t like stripey flowers but love Rosa Mundi.
    I would vote for the planting scheme to be refreshed by Alastair of Aberdeen Gardening. You wouldn’t charge so much … would you?

  8. I am glad you alerted me to this post. As an architect, I can speak to that rendering. Those are done as a utopian view of what is being sold to the public. You will never see crowds roaming around after the ribbon is cut. If the park now is unused, what do they think will happen with this design? To me, it is very hard and cold looking, but I can not properly judge as I have no first hand experience in the locale. And the money…. extreme.

  9. Hi Alistair, I am obviously rather outnumbered, since not only do I not like stripy flowers in general, I don’t like Rosa mundi either, despite the history!! Ah well, it takes all sorts.

    As to the sunken garden scheme, I don’t really feel qualified to judge, since I’ve never visited the city and don’t know what the impact of funding the project would be, though I got the impression most of the money was being donated. Though I have to say that a quick glance at the winning design makes me like it, and I think the new and the old can be combined very successfully if done well.

    • Hi Janet, you are not the only one who has a dislike for Rosa Mundi. The sunken garden thing still requires about 70 million of public money. I agree, the new and the old can work well together as long as its done tastefully.

  10. Alistair, Donald Trump is an embarrassment to me as an American. The bright side is maybe his project over there is keeping him from inflicting another of his monstrosities on us (just kidding, you don’t deserve him either). Who cares where Jack Nicholson plays golf? Maybe your photos are overly flattering, but I love your sunken gardens. The futuristic thing is awful for an historic place like Aberdeen (did Donald design it?) Couldn’t Aberdeen use the money to restore the existing gardens and change them in ways to make them warmer and more inviting, add increased police protection to make them safe until more people start using them, and launch a major publicity campaign encouraging people to visit? Your tycoon could then give the remaining 40 million to people who are truly suffering during this economic downturn.

  11. Hi Alistair. I just adore the Angele Pernet rose. What a beautiful golden orange color. It is a shame that few go to visit the Sunken Gardens. The picture of it is beautiful. If nothing works out right the “Donald” will file bankruptcy again. LOL! They are wanting to add more of the windmills here too and in most of the states it is just not practical. I am not sure I want to rely on the wind when it comes to technology. I am so old fashioned. LOL!

  12. What a lovely rose, and good to hear how reliable it has been for you. The sunken garden seems to look good as it is already. I understand the opposition to its redevelopment, as you’ve just said its mostly due to timing. If this development was proposed at, say in 2003 then it would a resounding yes from most of the residents.

  13. Alistair, how wonderful to come to your blog and see a lovely picture of Rosa Mundi. You are so lucky to be able to grow it, gallica roses hate my climate… Your specimen is gorgeous. I am surprised you are able to grow Angele Pernet, I thought Pernetianas love dry heat. I guess I was wrong :). Do you have blackspot?

    Thank you for more wonderful picture of Aberdeen and for the story.

    • Masha, thanks for the visit, Angele Pernet did perform quite well in the first year and if anything the Summer was even cooler than normal, however I am not so sure how it will do long term.

  14. I’m not a great fan of Rosa Mundi but I’ll have Angele Pernet in my garden, any day! AS to the recent controversy over the gardens. I don’t think all that money on a new scheme could be justified in the present climate. This great rush to throw money at projects like parks and um some trams somewhere. And as for the “baldie headed one” and his golf course…

  15. hmmmmmmm Alistair I just am not so sure about all this expensive (and maintenance ad infinitum) and almost alien form of landscaping and planting. Have studied landscape but the further I travel from my learning the nearer I seem to get to inding massive expenditure unholistic. Merely perhaps being Mrs badtempered new year? Fill it with R mundi?

  16. Like many commenters, I am not a big fan of striped flowers, but I do like your Rosa mundi. Its relatively compact size is an attractive feature too.
    I have mixed feelings about the park re-developement. It strikes me that the new design will not age well. I find that there are lots of dark nooks and crannies in the design (under the raised bridges and staircases) that are likely to draw the ne’er-do-wells right back to their old location.
    As far as I can see, it is not so much that you need a new park, but rather more reasons for people to go to the old park: perhaps outdoor summer theatre, a small wading pool/water park for children, a themed summer festival like a Renaissance festival or weekly farmer’s or antique market.

  17. I think the sunken gardens look lovely as they are. I am always stunned at the amount of money these big scale redevelopments seem to cost. I don’t think they represent value for money. I think a lot of places suffer from what I’ve termed the Bilbao complex. Councillors, architects and planners seem convinced that everywhere needs an iconic building or development like the Guggenheim in Bilbao. It did work for Bilbao but redevelop everywhere like this and they will no longer be iconic but just another expensive development. A big urban water park is planned for Bradford costing millions and yet they say there is no money to fix the library that is falling down. I do despair sometimes. Beautiful rose photos by the way.

  18. Hi Alistair, i can’t say much about the gardens, but i love Carolyn’s comment! What i can fully relate with is the magnificent colors of those roses. I haven’t seen a variegated rose and that one is really awesome.

  19. Alistair, that Rosa mundi is lovely. I had two in my rose garden in Nashua (sold that home when I married Steve) and adored them – hoping to plant one here this year as we add more heritage roses to our gardens.

    As for the proposed garden design, I gasped a bit myself at the price, but then again, I have no concept of the size of the project nor the amount of work involved. As a lover of history, it would be hard for me to become enthusiastic about such a futuristic appearing plan. Perhaps the image doesn’t do the proposed plan justice, but I like the “vintage” look myself. (Of course, that is me, and I don’t live there!)

    • Cathy the whole project takes up much more space than the impression which the picture gives. I think if it goes ahead and on completion it may well have that initial wow factor. However after a short time as with these massive shopping malls we may well be saying, I preferred the town centre as it once was.

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