Whilst I knew to expect Ruston's to neither be a botanical garden nor a full blown commercial garden centre I did still feel rather disappointed with our visit, we mainly went because my partner is a keen gardener who has developed an interest in roses.
On arrival there's plenty of parking and a nice modern building at the entrance which includes the café, function area and also the small classic car and machinery collection.
We were greeted by a really helpful member of staff who also helped us with some local tourist information, we didn't ask for any info but were advised of a good lookout spot to visit.
We went for a walk through the grounds, the areas closer to the reception building are well maintained with signage to identify the rose varieties. As you wander further afield around the property that's when things become a bit of a let down. Many of the rows of flower beds are over run with weeds, there are a lot of old cuttings that have just been left on the tracks between the flower beds. Now in some ways that's OK because you could say the cuttings are being left to rot and mulch and compost. But being a rose garden most of the stuff laying around is dry, brittle, twiggy and thorny and most of the time I ended up scuffing up these twigs and they just got in the way. Overall the areas away from the main building appear to have been let go or are just being maintained to the bare minimum, no information signage either. There's still irrigation to all the areas I viewed but as previously mentioned not much thought being put into presentation and the visitor experience.
It is very telling that there is a real estate agents 'For Sale' sign at the entrance I feel like the place is just ticking over.
Some previous reviewers have mentioned a gold coin entry to walk through the rose beds. We paid $6.00 each, not a gold coin donation.
I try not to write negative reviews but sadly any keen gardener wanting a bit of a horticultural experience will leave disappointed as will someone with no interest in the technical side of things who may have just wanted a nice walk through a garden.
As it stands don't waste your money.
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