Barnardo’s bloom boost for charity after Chelsea - North Herts experts create a new rose to help mark good cause’s 150th year

Phil Harkness

Phil Harkness - Credit: Archant

A rose created by experts in Hitchin will be showcased at next week’s Chelsea Flower Show – and go on to raise charity cash to help children in need.

Syrie Barnardo, the wife of children’s charity founder Thomas Barnardo,

Syrie Barnardo, the wife of children’s charity founder Thomas Barnardo, - Credit: Archant

The latest ‘celebrity’ creation from Harkness Roses on Cambridge Road honours Syrie Barnardo, the wife of children’s charity founder Thomas Barnardo, in the body’s 150th year.

The pink-apricot climbing rose has been called Sweet Syrie, and was grown by managing director Phil Harkness. He said this week: “I hope it will provide pleasure in many gardens, act as an aide-memoire to gardeners across the country and help keep a living awareness of Barnardo’s for years to come.

“It is a great privilege for us to be associated with Barnardo’s as a part of its 150th anniversary.

“I believe it is an outstanding charity that has proved itself to generations of children.

The Sweet Syrie rose create by the experts at Hitchin's Harkness Roses

The Sweet Syrie rose create by the experts at Hitchin's Harkness Roses - Credit: Archant


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“The work of Syrie and Thomas sowed seeds that grew into the charity Barnardo’s is today.

“This beautiful and strong rose is a fitting tribute to her tireless work, helping children off the streets of London to a sweeter future.

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“Calling the rose Sweet Syrie is meaningful, as Syrie means to bring love and a new start in life – and its long-lasting flowers have a gorgeous perfume.

“The rose is beautiful, large blooms change colour with a blend of pink and apricot from summer to autumn – reflecting the changes Barnardo’s see in the lives of children helped by the charity.”

Harkness, which has its headquarters situated between Hitchin and Letchworth, is one of the UK’s oldest rose growers and breeders with nearly 140 years of experience.

It has created many roses named in honour of charities and celebrity supporters, with the Lynda Bellingham, Princess of Wales and Letchworth Centenary among those on offer.

The firm is run by Phil – who is the fourth generation of his family to take on the mantle – and has more than 200 varieties in stock.

To buy Sweet Syrie and others in the catalogue visit the Harkness Roses website.

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