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.'

Tuscany Superb

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.


  1. Such beautiful roses - it was like a stroll through the gardens at David Austin Roses, such beauty all around.

    1. Thanks Paddy. I enjoy a good visit to the David Austin Rose garden.

  2. Great selection. Funnily enough, I just saw Gentle Hermione today for the first time in a client's garden. Or to be precise, ready for me to plant in a client's garden!

    1. Your client might want to invest in a plant support too. It's taken a few years to get sturdy enough to support itself.

  3. Amazing choice of roses ! This arch with the rose Compassion is gorgeous and I can't forget to say in conclusion that the wild one of the last photo is a success ...

  4. How lovely. Your roses are behind ours, so while you're still enjoying Compassion, mine has had to be completely dead-headed (but has obligingly sent up a fat new shoot with loads of buds, another good thing about this rose). But if I had to chose one, it would be Tuscany Superb, such a rich colour and so nicely contrasted with those golden stamens.

    1. Thankfully we don't have to (choose one that is).

  5. A beautiful selection of roses. Gentle Hermione's blooms are particularly lovely. I'm thinking I should have planted our Compassion rose somewhere other than by the shed door as it's already getting rather big after just one year in the ground. It's such a healthy and floriferous one though.

    1. I have one growing freestanding too and I've kept it to about 6ft. It doesn't seem to want to keep going and going like some (Mme Alfred!) so hopefully you should be OK.

  6. A lovely rose post, most of them are in my garden too so we have similar tastes. I first fell for old roses after reading VSW and going to Sissinghurst. But as you say, some roses are susceptible to rust and black spot whatever you do and the worst ones have been evicted here. Christopher Lloyd said a thick mulch of grass cuttings helps to keep the spores under control. But my opinion is there are plenty of healthy roses so why struggle with sickly ones?

    1. Wise words indeed. I think Louise Odier may be on her way out. The description of it in the catalogues to so tempting I fell for it twice, but it grows very poorly here and covered in blackspot.

  7. Beautiful Roses. I wish I had room for more of them. The few I have are D A ones but they do get blackspot. Too dry, I think.

  8. Of course I could not pick a favorite rose! They are all so beautiful! Black spot is my bane. I don't use chemicals, so I use a milk/water solution. Unfortunately, once they get it, forget about it. I should probably only plant black spot resistant roses (but find it so hard to resist others)!


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