GATHER YE ROSEBUDS WHILE YE MAY
You all know by now that I like roses, so it will come as no surprise that it is (almost) wall to wall roses this week.
1. Rosa Gentle Hermione
This is the kind I really love. Soft colours, beautiful cup shaped blooms, with a complex little rosette of petals in the centre, and a gorgeous scent too. You'll have guessed that it is a David Austin rose even if you aren't familiar with this particular one.
2. Rosa Buff Beauty
I'm also intrigued by the history surrounding roses. Each comes with its own potted biography telling you who bred it and in what year. This one dates back to 1939. It's warm peachy tones work well with the orange day lily, one of the few plants here when we moved in.
3. Rosa Margaret Merril
Growing roses has its down side and that down side is blackspot. I've read about many 'magic formulas' for keeping it under control, but having grown these for a good few years now, I thought I would share with you the benefit of my experience, and I'm hoping you will share yours with me.
I have found that the amount of blackspot or rust that a rose suffers from is almost entirely determined by the variety of rose itself. You can help it along by mulching, feeding and spraying with fungicide, and it will look better for it, but it will still get blackspot if it's prone to it.
By way of illustration, in the centre of the rose garden are about twenty Margaret Merril roses, all purchased at the same time from the same supplier. Among them are two that are different to the rest. Their flowers have a pale pink tinge and their foliage is healthy and disease free.
|The healthy Pale Pink Rose|
|The less healthy White Rose|
So despite having the same location and treatment and having been planted at the same time the White Margaret Merrils gradually succumb to blackspot over the course of the season whatever I do. The Pale Pink ones remain healthy. My conclusion? Keep on spraying, feeding, mulching or whatever you choose to do because your roses will thank you for it. But don't fall for the 'Do this and you will never have blackspot again...'.
4. Rosa Felicite Parmentier
If you want a healthy disease free rose then plant an Alba. That's one piece of advice I have found to be true. They smell wonderful and their flowers are composed of hundreds of tiny petals.
Although they flower only once so you do need to gather those rosebuds for 'this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying'.
5. The Velvet Rose
It is hard to think about the old roses without thinking of Vita Sackville-West who did so much to promote them. I was looking for a quote of hers where she compares them to Persian carpets, wine and pansies, but alas I couldn't find it. She did write an article about this rose though.
'Tuscany is more like the heraldic Tudor rose than any other. The petals, of the darkest crimson, curl slightly inwards and the anthers, which are of a rich yellow, shiver and jingle loosely together if one shakes the flower.'
If, like me you admire deep dark roses, you may like Rosa Prince Charles (I'm assuming Bonnie Prince Charlie but I could be wrong), a Bourbon rose from 1842. It's described by Trevor White Roses as being 'Tyrian Purple' which I find completely irresistible.
|Rosa Prince Charles|
My first foray into the deeper hues was Rosa Burgundy Ice. Gorgeous colour, although a bit spindly, and it picks up the deeper flecks in the Astrantia.
|Rosa Burgundy Ice|
6. Rosa Compassion
We cater to a catholic taste in this Rose Garden, so this arch is swathed in Rosa Compassion, a beautiful peachy climbing Hybrid Tea, with that lovely Hybrid Tea fragrance.
While Tuscany may have reminded Vita of Tudor flowers, this one seems pure 1950s to me. I can picture an elegant lady in Dior arranging a bowl of these.
That was a hard post to write. Mr B has asked me few times why I was taking so long, but there is just so much to choose from and such hard decisions to make about what to leave out.
Should I have included the picture of the rambling rose growing quite wild in the next field?
Should I have written about how the Long Border is doing?
Alas, I couldn't do that as I have used up my Six. So until next week..... Thanks as always to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.
PS if you sign up to this blog by email you may find you no longer get them. This is due to Blogger discontinuing the service sometime in July and not me I'm afraid. I'll be here though, posting each Saturday.