Tuesday 14 June 2016

Talking about roses

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!


  1. me too - my gertrude jekyll has given me such joy but the rain has battered them so badly. my shropshire lad has done ok but i think we just need to get to know each other - i need to know how to grow from a cutting too

    1. Torrential downpours continue and plants are looking quite forlorn. I hope we're going to get a summer!
      I just bung a sprig of rose in the ground and hope for the best. Some take, some don't.

  2. Stunning roses. I can't grow them where I live as they all succumb to black spot, but there is a new variety at the city house called a drift rose or a Knockout rose that keeps n booming. But, yours are the stuff of rose dreams.

    1. I think that some of the modern varieties are far more disease resistant. My Zephirine Drouhin is a hopeless case with hardly a leaf left on her.

  3. Wonderful roses bet you the perfume from these flowers was wonderful too.

    1. The perfumes are subtle, you don't get a huge waft as you pass by, you have to put your nose to the flower - part of the pleasure!

  4. In my garden in Laguna I ad beautiful roses .Mostly Icebergs growing over my fence and gate. I miss them so much.
    I adore your Cinderella Roses the color and shape.
    I have to have the gardner tell where I can plant some roses. we have to worry about the critters that will climb up them to attack us.
    Nothing is ever really easy living here.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

    1. Dear Parsnip, critters that attack - that's scary! Instead please enjoy my roses without the need of weeding, pruning, getting scratched by thorns or squishing bugs! (It's VERY wet and green here and Cinderella is MISERABLE, her flower heads rotting in a sodden ball.)

  5. I love roses too - you can't beat a rose fragrance on a warm June day (not that we have had many of those so far!) Your roses are beautiful.
    Best wishes

  6. Great photos, I love roses as well.

  7. What a beautiful garden! I'm inspired by Janet's lovely roses.
    By the way, thank you for your advice about a madame alfred carriere to my previous post! I've never seen it but found it on the Internet. It looks lovely! Next month, I'll make a short trip to northern part of Japan where roses will be still in full bloom. I'll look for it blooming,thank you!!