How to Graft A Rose

Thu 14 July 2022, 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Two deep red roses against a green background.

(Photo credit: Gabriella Hirst/The Old Waterworks)

To mark the planting of an ‘Atom Bomb Rose’ as part of the University’s arts collection, we invite you to join us and graft your own rose, which you will be free to take away after the event.

A rare variety of rosa floribunda developed in 1953, the Atom Bomb rose was so named to mark Britain’s new status as a nuclear power. The rose planted at Loughborough forms part of How to Make a Bomb, an ongoing work by the artist Gabriella Hirst and The Old Waterworks in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. The project aims to bring the ‘Atom Bomb’ rose back into circulation to encourage a public care-taking for and scrutiny of the violent legacies and historical traumas of atomic armament, via gardening and planting. From one of the few remaining ‘Atom Bomb’ rose specimens to be found globally (sourced from the Fineschi Rosarium rose archive in Northern Italy), Hirst and curator Warren Harper have been propagating new generations of ‘Atom Bomb’ roses at The Old Waterworks since 2018, which are then distributed via workshops, exhibitions, guerilla gardening and community led initiatives.

This event will also include a discussion of the project so far, and an introduction to the planting of a rose at Loughborough.

Food and drink is provided free of charge.

This event is supported by The Old Waterworks.

Photography and filming will be taking place at this event. If you do not consent to your photo being taken/being filmed and this being used for publicity purposes, then please alert the photographer/event organiser on the day. 


Booking is free but strongly recommended and can be done here. Please note that roses are limited, and we will only be allowing one rose per household. There is an option to book for the event without taking away a rose: please use this if you are not the ‘lead’ booker from your household.


The event has step free access, but part of it will take place outside. While the area is grassed and relatively flat, it won’t be totally even. If you have any questions about this, or specific access requirements, please let us know via the booking form or by emailing David Bell on

The Old Waterworks logo


Gabriella Hirst

How to Make a Bomb and Ecological Thinking Visiting Artist Read more

Related Projects

Ecological Thinking

A programme of artist commissions and events exploring what creative and collaborative methodologies can bring to ecological study. Read more