Sunday, 15 June 2008


I love Roses. Not the stiff,angular Hybrid Tea types, or the awkward Floribundas. The sort I adore are the billowing,voluptuous old fashioned roses. Lush, silken petals, sending clouds of intoxicating perfume into the air.
I had always been vaguely aware of different sorts of roses, but in 1986, I went to the R.H.S. Chelsea Flower Show. In the Main Pavillion, I came face to face (as it were) with Peter Beales wonderful display of scented, old fashioned roses. But you couldn't buy at Chelsea (from the display stands). However, later that year, I met the Peter Beales stand again at the Bath and West Show. So, I bought a Souvenir de la Malmaison Rose, and a Baroness Rotheschild. That was it - I was hooked!
^ This Rose is Stanwell Perpetual. It's not overly popular,because the leaves have odd little marks and spots,as though it has black spot.But it dosn't. A super short climber, with a lovely,slightly sharp scent.

<- Gertrude Jekyll. A beautiful David Austin rose. She looks authentic, smells fabulous, and is fairly problem free.

<- Another David Austin-Eglantyne. Just wonderful. I have two in my garden.

<- And here is Isphahan. Unfortunately, when I bought this, I forgot to check whether it was remontant. It's not. So we get one amazing display in June,and that's it. Most of my Roses are repeat flowering. I think I have fourteen different roses in the garden. Only Isphahan, and Pauls Himalayan Musk, are once-only bloomers.
With all of these roses in bloom, along with three different Honeysuckles, three different varieties of Philadelphus (mock orange) and a drift of white sweet rocket, it's like walking in a bowl of pot pourri. Bliss....

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