A commemorative rose has been planted at Charles Dickens’ last, and favourite, home, Gad’s Hill, by his great-great granddaughter, and students from the now independent school.
Mrs Marion Dickens proudly positioned the ‘Charles Dickens Rose’ in the authors’ original rose garden, now lovingly maintained by Gad’s groundsman.
Dickens’ Trust trustee and former publisher Mrs Dickens said: “My great-great grandfather took great pride in his garden at Gad’s Hill and his favourite flowers were vivid red.
“When we chose a rose to bear his name, it had to be as dazzling and dynamic as he was, and this bright scarlet bloom on a long stem, described as a high performance variety, reflects his famous energy perfectly.”
Members of the Dickens’ Trust and Dickens Fellowship ably assisted Mrs Dickens and the Gad’s students during the ceremony, which was also attended by Gad’s Headmaster Mr David Craggs.
Sponsored by Charles Dickens’ Centre trustee Chris Spree, the hybrid tea rose is available to buy online at www.styleroses.co.uk/buy-plants/charles-dickens, with proceeds going towards the development of a public museum and visitor centre at Gad’s.
Mrs Dickens continued: “Its lovely foliage which ages from dark red to glossy olive green is equally striking. In future we hope to recreate the rose garden at Gad’s Hill and plant a whole bed of ‘Charles Dickens’, which should start to come into flower on the anniversary of his death in early June each year.”