The Queen’s Gardener

Hector Rose [1826-1872] was Head Gardener at Floors Castle from 1857 to 1868. He was born in Cawdor, the son of a village shoemaker:

The early career of Hector Rose is not clear – though prior to taking up post at Floors castle he was gardener at Dalkeith Palace for the Duke of Buccleuch.

The Head Gardener’s House at Floors Castle is incorporated into the walled garden:

It was in this house that Hector Rose lived with his wife and where four of their six children were born.

Hector Rose was highly regarded by the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe.

In August 1867 Queen Victoria visited Floors Castle and was shown around the garden. It was on this visit that she met Hector Rose.

At Floors, Queen Victoria took afternoon tea in a summerhouse that had been specially built for her:

Floors castle gardens wowed the Queen.

By 1867, the Queen’s Head Gardener at Windsor, Mr Ingram, was in failing health. In 1868, Queen Victoria asked Hector Rose if he would be Head Gardener at Windsor.

The following extracts come from the reporting of a celebration on the 16th April 1868 of  the  appointment of Hector Rose as Head Gardener to Queen Victoria:

The 1871 census for Windsor finds 44 year old Hector with his wife Eleanor in the Head Gardener’s House and their six children:

The following year Hector Rose died:

Since the time of Hector Rose, the gardens at Floors castle and Windsor have, season in and season out, continued to flourish beautifully: