Why is it we travel miles to visit places but never take advantage of what’s on our doorstep? Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think it is. We talk about beautiful views when on holiday, there are plenty right around us though.

It was due to be a sunny Saturday (it wasn’t all that sunny) and the evening before I thought I need to make the most of it. We don’t get that many days of perfect weather, and for them to fall on a day when I don’t have other commitments and to also have the opportunity to get out is even rarer. I’m not generally the spontaneous kind. I wanted to go out, but didn’t want anything too strenuous. Nothing that took lots of planning or required spending much money.

Facebook has this handy feature where you can search for events local to you, things that are happening within your community. I’m a sucker for a craft fair, food fair, local festival, anything you can wander around aimlessly looking at pretty things and eating tasty food.

Top of the search results was a rose festival at Peter Beales Rose Gardens. When I was looking for something local to do I didn’t expect to find something right on my doorstep. At just over 2 miles away I could walk there if I could walk!

I don’t know why it surprised me so much, this is a place I’m aware of, I’ve been meaning to visit for quite some time, because believe it or not I’ve never been. Yes I know it’s in the same town that I live. This is what I mean about not appreciating what’s close to us. I think it’s because travelling further takes us more planning, organising, setting aside of a date. It goes in the calendar. Whereas someplace just up the road, I think, I’ll go visit there some day, I must check it out when I get time. Like I’m some busy superwoman jet-setting across the globe. I’m not, I’ve always got time, what am I saying.

Anyway we decided to drive, a little mother daughter morning out with my PA in tow. Loading me and my wheels in and out of the WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle) took longer than the drive itself, but I was joking about that would walk there if I could thing.

There was a little queue of cars waiting to park when we arrived, a friendly man in yellow waving his arms sending us this way and that. I wonder if he regretted wearing yellow as much as I did!

He directed us to a space I didn’t realise was reserved for disabled until I left and saw this sign hiding behind a tree. You’d think we were part of a secret club!

A black sign with the icon of a wheelchair and the text parking is standing on the ground behind a tree

We entered through the gift shop, I’m not sure if this is the only way of entering but it’s great for tempting you right from the start! There were some lovely things inside, quaint and shabby chic, your usual garden centre suspects.

Inside the gift shop area, the walls are a dusty pink, there is a rustic looking table with drawers, on it sit a selection of things to buy, behind and cushions for sale

Wooden shelving displays various cups and mugs that are for sale. Patterned cushions are displayed to the left

In the outside shop area there is still a roof for shelter. A stack of rustic pots for planting are on display

I wheel out onto shingle, not too deep but some of it a little bumpy. This may have become a mission had the whole place been surfaced like this, but after browsing rows of potted plants we came to the reason this place got its name.

Pot plants on wooden benches. The ground is shingle.

The Rose Gardens.

This was mostly on grass, fairly smooth to wheel around.

A smooth bright green grass pathway leads though the roses. Rose bushes in pinks are on either side

A wide open space of grass with various flower beds and roses going off into different areas

Winding through the separate areas and archways reminded me of The Secret Garden. We all read that as a child didn’t we? I remember at school going around the class reading paragraphs. In fact I’ve just added it to my read-again list.

A photo taken in the distance with roses trailing around to the right

Close up photo of a rose bush with pink roses in bloom and buds

It was just glorious, I can’t think of a more fitting word. It would be the dream to have this as my garden, maybe I shall when I live in my windmill!

The layout of the garden got your senses working. Some roses were low to the ground, some grew much higher, others were trailing over archways and tunnels. In one place steps let up onto a metal structure with another fabulous view I could only see in photos.

A metal archway trailed with pink roses. There are petals on the ground.

A metal tunnel with roses overheard. There a people walking through in the distance.

A photo taken from the top of a raised platform, looking down steps towards myself and my PA

A photo taken from the top of a raised platform, looking down into the gardens. It shows far out it the distance.

A little bridge led across a pond with fish in and a water feature. I couldn’t access this myself but Mum explored and took photos for me to see.

A view of the pond from behind a black metal fence. There is a sculpture of a plant in the centre of the pond and flowering plants all around.

The pond with a small fountain water feature in the centre

Fragrances came from all directions. One particular rose smelt just like Turkish delight. I know Turkish delight can be rose flavoured, but.

The deeper into the gardens I got the more I regretted wearing yellow. So covered in bugs I was I could have been a Lady Gaga costume. I looked like a wheeling nature reserve, an alive still life!

There were talks about gardening and roses, also the opportunity to take part in painting workshops. This was right up my street, I’d have taken part if I was a little more prepared.

Two artist easels with paintings on canvas standing in the gardens.

Having studied art for I forget how many years, I’ve always enjoyed photographing, drawing and painting, particularly from nature. I have a fascination with flowers even though I know absolutely nothing about them!

Who knew how many layers a rose could have. Let alone how many types of Rose there are.

A close up photo of a large pink rose with many many layers of petals. There is a rose bud just underneath.

I could smell a barbecue. I resisted the urge to stop for a burger. Although I do enjoy a good barbecue I feel they are often one of those things that smell amazing and draw you in, only to often let you down. The same goes for chips and bacon.

We came to the craft fair (the reason I discovered this beautiful place), lots of handmade goodies to inspire me to get creating more. I tasted all the chutneys and pickles, obviously, and purchased a few. Because that’s what I do. The seller informed me that these condiments are permanently stocked at Peter Beales Rose Gardens. Why did he have to tell me that?!

A craft stall with miniature felted animals

A craft stall selling small cacti in various styles on pots.

A stall called The Garden Party selling chutneys and pickles

I enjoy being in the outdoors and around nature. Life is so buzzy and busy and in the digital world, it’s good to take a break from screen reality and be around real physical pretty stuff.

It was easy to forget I was still in the town I live and could be home in just a couple of minutes. I must make more effort to appreciate my local area. Like this other tranquil discovery Urban Jungle.

Peter Beales Rose Gardens is lovely for a midweek wander or a picnic with friends. There is a fairly large café too, which has recently been refurbished. I didn’t give it a go this time as the queues just to get in were really long, probably added to by the event. It would have been quite the mission to wheel through to a table without disturbing people mid pour of their brew. I’ll definitely be going back for a cream tea sometime though, assuming they do cream teas.

An image to pin. A close up of a pink rose with the title text Pickles, Bugs and Turkish Delight - Peter Beales Rose Gardens placed over
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An image to pin. A close up of a pink rose bush with the title text Pickles, Bugs and Turkish Delight - Peter Beales Rose Gardens placed over
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20 thoughts on “Pickles, Bugs and Turkish Delight – Peter Beales Rose Gardens

  1. I am the same way off to see every place else and oh yeah I’ll see home later. The gardens are lovely. We have the Public Garden right near where I work. I should really take some pictures and do a post to show off some place pretty at home. Thank you for the idea. Still hot and humid here! 39 degrees earlier this week with the humidity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am resisting the urge to google Peter Beale, the name rings a bell from years ago.
    Anyway, one benefit of visiting a rose garden in a wheelchair is; your nose is at the perfect height. Totally ideal. Wish I knew what rose smelt like Turkish Delight, I’d order it, that sounds perrrrfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I Googled Peter Beale and top of the search was Eastenders?!
      Yes I was the perfect height for all the fantastic fragrances. Next time I visit I’ll try and remember to get the name of this rose!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like a gorgeous place. I love fry and Cadbury Turkish but not fond of eating the real stuff. Rose and flavours like it as not my favourite to eat but divine to smell. FB is brilliant for letting you know local events. I rely on it in holiday times. Glad you had nice local day out!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It can be great finally getting to check out places that you know of / are quite close by, but years go by and you’ve never been. What a pretty place! You’re right about the smell of BBQs, chips & bacon – it can be so very, very tempting, and quite pricey, but so hit and miss as to whether it’s even edible 😆 That said, this place sounds really good so I imagine a bbq wouldn’t be a disappointment. Thanks for sharing it with us – it’s made me want to see if there’s a rose garden near where I live now!
    Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to have found somewhere I can just nip to for a bit when I get the urge. Easy to get there, chilled, pretty and doesn’t take lots of effort of lots of time.
      I hope you find someplace similar.

      Liked by 1 person

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