Building on the legacy: Bells Horticulture & Peter Beales Roses

Early February, Bells Horticultural announced their acquisition of the award-winning roses, British family business, Peter Beales Roses.

Peter Beales Garden Centre

Bells Horticultural was established by the Bell family in the early 1960s. The Lincolnshire company is headed up by the sixth generation of family members since its formation, who oversee an active arable farm and modern glass house production, which utilises both green energy in the form of biomass and solar, rainwater harvesting systems, full program of recycling and peat reduction initiatives.

The two businesses, which have over a century of growing and cultivation between them, are thrilled to now be entering future flowering seasons together. According to Bells Horticulture, the joining of forces with the legendary rose grower is an exciting but natural progression.

Retail Director, Holly Bell, says: “Having long admired and respected the work of Peter Beales and his famous roses, it is a dream come true for us to be joining forces with the devoted team there. There is a lot of natural synergy between our two family businesses, which are united by a rich heritage together with love and respect for British horticulture. We are very excited about the future and committed to nurturing the exceptional reputation and ethos of Peter Beales Roses to the very best of our ability, both locally and worldwide. 2024 is already shaping up to be a blooming good year for us all!”

The Peter Beales business consists of a thriving garden centre close to Attleborough in Norfolk, where it has been based since its foundation by Peter Beales himself in 1968. The site incorporates a spectacular two-acre rose garden, home to the National Collection of Species Roses (Rosa Spp). Free to enter to the public, each year the garden welcomes visitors from all over the world, all wanting to view the hundreds of champion roses that are grown to perfection under the watchful eye of Nursery Manager, Ian Limmer. Ian is pleased to be staying with the business under its new ownership and is now looking forward to this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where he has high hopes of scooping a 29th gold medal for Peter Beales Roses.

Blending the ancient and the modern

With Peter Beales enjoying an impeccable reputation as one of the top rose growers in the world – famous for such varieties as Queens Jubilee, St Ethelburga, Ivors Rose, Frilly Cuff, and Everest Double – the importance of maintaining this legacy has not been lost on the Bell family. They and their dedicated team are fully committed to keeping an infinite passion for roses at the heart of Peter Beales and building on that legacy with their own expertise and resources.

The rose breeding programme, which has brought some of the most historic varieties back from near extinction, will continue to grow strong alongside ongoing development of the Peter Beales’ Modern Classics range. These Modern Classics blend the glorious beauty of old English roses with all the disease-resistance and vigour that horticultural science can deliver, for hardier plants that flower abundantly and bring joy to the world for longer.

Ian Limmer says: “We will keep on doing what we do best: cultivating champion roses which combine a genuine historical value with the best of modern breeding techniques. Thanks to the new investment and resources that Bells Horticultural can bring, we will expand our breeding programme and work towards safeguarding more heritage roses, as well as developing unique new plants which build on the superb legacy of Peter Beales.”

RHS Chelsea 2024 Showcase

Peter Beales have an impressive record of 28 gold medals to its name and preparations for RHS Chelsea 2024 are underway – promising their largest display yet of over 100m sqm of roses.