I’ve always loved roses, but lately I’ve become bit obsessed by all things rosey… ‘Rose’ perfume by Paul Smith is a great favourite and I’ve taken to drinking Twinings ‘Rose Garden’ tea, having been introduced to it by my daughter.
I wish I could grow more roses in my garden, but the conditions don’t suit many varieties.
However I do use them as often as I can in my client’s gardens, over pergolas, up walls and through trees as well as in borders …. they’re such versatile plants.
They’re also good for creating atmosphere in a garden, I think it’s because we have such a conection with them. Clients may ask for a particular rose to remind them of their grannies garden, or one for a special anniversary. They make us think hazy summer days and romance, and we all want to be reminded of that don’t we.
This is ‘Munstead Wood’, I love the sultry, dark red and it has a heady, strong scent.
But there are a number of misconceptions about roses that can put people off growing them:
They only look good in a classic style garden:
They can look fabulous in a contemporary style, like the one at the top of the page showing roses planted in geometric blocks, designed by Andrew Wilson for Saville Garden in Surrey.
They’re prone to pests and diseases:
It’s true that many older varieties can be problematic, but there are lots of new varieties that are resistant to the usual rose diseases.
These are some of the lovely new varieties that have replaced older ones:
|Older varieties:||Newer more disease resistant varieties:|
|Buff Beauty||Teasing Georgia|
|Comte de Chambord||Gertrude Jekyll|
|Golden Showers||Gardeners Glory|
|Blush Noisette||Perennial Blush|
|Fragrant Cloud||Pure Poetry|
- Pruning is difficult:
It’s really quite straight-forward: remove any dead or diseased growth in February, aiming for an open shape. Remove dead flowers regularly during the summer to encourage new ones.
This is a new variety called Boscobel from David Austin Roses, it has a sweet scent and beautiful tight buds, perfect for a small vase.
Generally roses are happiest in a sunny, open position in good, rich soil. Though species roses (the original, wilder ones like dog-roses) are much tougher and will grow in poor soils, these also look great in more informal, rural settings.
There are lots of different types and sizes, so do a bit of reading up to make sure you get the right one for you and your garden.
Plant them between late autumn and the end of the winter. They’re hungry plants, so prepare the ground well before you plant them, adding lots of rich compost to the planting hole.
Rose ‘Gertrude Jekyll’, the sweetest, most feminine pink, named after the famous garden designer .
I hope this encourages you to plant and enjoy roses in your garden.
I’ve been invited to judge roses for the British Association of Rose Breeders, so I’ll be reporting back to you about the best new varieties next month.
Image of The Saville garden courtesey of H.T.A.
All other images: Jill Anderson
The David Austin website useful information
Information above about new rose varieties from Pococks Roses