A rose garden has been unveiled at Glyndebourne in honour of Lady Christie on Thursday May 30.
Named the Mary Christie Rose Garden, it is the first new garden at the opera house since 1994.
It features the Rosa Glyndebourne, a bespoke new variety developed in 2012 by Harkness Roses as a signature plant for Glyndebourne.
There are 850 rose bushes including old fashioned shrub roses such as Louise Odier and Blanc Double de Coubert together with modern hybrids such as Munstead Wood and Princess Alexandra of Kent.
Each year in early spring the garden will be filled with tulips.
Two stone pugs, sculpted by Glyndebourne’s prop-makers in the mould of Lady Christie’s prized pet, play amongst the roses, and at night the gardens will be illuminated with subdued lighting, created by its lighting team.
The garden was designed by Glyndebourne’s garden adviser John Hoyland in consultation with Gus Christie and his wife, soprano Danielle de Niese. Lady Christie offered her advice on the choice of roses.
Lady Christie was married to Sir George Christie, who was executive chairman of Glyndebourne from 1959 to 1999, for more than 50 years until his death in 2014.
Their son Gus Christie, executive chairman of Glyndebourne, said: “Together my parents made Glyndebourne into what it is today.
“My mother was deeply involved in everything, but in particular the gardens, a vital part of the Glyndebourne experience, so naming this new rose garden in her honour is the perfect way to pay tribute to her incalculable contribution.
“It has been a true Glyndebourne production with many different departments contributing their skills in creating this garden.”
John Hoyland, Glyndebourne’s garden adviser, said: “I hope people will agree that it’s a fantastic addition to the landscape here as well as a fitting tribute to Lady Christie and I’m looking forward to seeing people’s reactions to it when the Glyndebourne Festival opens in May.”
The new rose garden was funded by Glyndebourne members and friends of Lady Christie.