We went to friends for supper at the weekend. There had been torrential rain throughout the day but by early evening all was calm and, being of sturdy British stock, we ate outside.
Our hostess, Janet, grows the beautiful rose, Blairi No. 2 up the front of their house. I took a cutting a couple of years ago which is doing well. (Alban, centre with the beard, and Angela, will be opening their garden for charity on July 3rd - I'll be there with my camera!)
We sat outside until gone eleven, eating, talking, laughing, long after the sun had disappeared into the water.
Most of the roses in my garden have been grown from small sprigs from my previous home and from friends' gardens or holidays. Here is Janet's Blairi cutting.
It's a China hybrid from 1845, with one good display now and a few random flowers following throughout the summer. It is perfumed and, as you see, can withstand a bit of weather.
Not so 'Cinderella'. Ironically, she is one of the few roses in the garden that I've actually bought! The grower told me she was delightful and I dare say she is, given better conditions than this country can provide. My Cinderella is obviously still waiting for her prince to come and take her away from the wet weather that causes her head to droop and her petals to ball into a soggy lump.
Other roses are far more resilient. Charles de Mills is a very sturdy fellow (and a bit of a thug, he suckers like mad.)
Although many petalled, Rosa Mundi also stands up quite well to rain and wind. I think it wonderful to have a rose in my garden that has been on record since the the sixteenth century.
Some roses leave me cold. This stiff, thorny, scentless character couldn't care less about rain and storms.
It's banished to the studio wall outside the gate!
Favourites grow close by the house.
'Iceberg' has no perfume but is a constant flowerer throughout the summer and such a clean, clear white that I grow her both as a floribunda and a climber.
And she doesn't mind a soaking!
For one great, glorious show 'Paul's Himalayan Musk' takes some beating. As soon as it's finished flowering I cut mine hard back.
But it's back the next year, just as prolific as ever.
I love roses!