In the process of going out to photograph roses, much else can happen. Hence this rather random post. But let’s start off in the Beech Borders, where ‘Isphahan’ perfumes the air. I promised a close-up of this rose, which starts off the purest of bright pinks before fading to a softer, paler but still lovely colour. For a few short weeks it is a winner.


Recent trips around the garden have varied from misty rain through darkening dusk and bright early morning sun – so forgive some inconsistencies!

Beech borders

Looking up the Beech Borders towards the beech which gives this area its name, and the bench from which one looks down on the lily pond. The last of our azaleas blooms in tandem with the roses.

New Dawn at lily pond

Turning around from the above scene, yellow and pink water-lilies with ‘New Dawn’ making its way through a tree beyond.

Beech borders 2

Halfway up the Beech Borders. The pale rose in the centre is again ‘New Dawn’.

Cannas 1

On a very different tangent, the large canna bed, replanted at the end of last summer, is coming into its own. I love the Roberto Burle Marx-ish tropical rhythms of the massed leaves, especially early in the summer; there are green, red-brown, yellow/green and pink/red-brown/green leaves in this composition. Beyond the lawn is the Lower Rosemary Border where the swathes of meadowmix annuals are just starting to flower. Hopefully there will be many more pics later in the summer. Meanwhile the first flower not a white alyssum (and rather photoshopped) is included below…. Beyond the meadowmix is the Rosemary Hedge with the Upper Rosemary Border showing above it – the white is a candelabra of yucca flowers, and beyond that again but not visible, the New Old Rose Garden which will feature anon.

Cannas 2

Spot the spade – and the hopping logs in the Garden Celebrating an Imperfect Universe just beyond the cannas.

Cannas 4

Textbook examples of plants benefitting from backlighting. This time spot the gable.

Cannas 3

A precocious bright red canna already in flower – and more signs of a gardener at work – and below the first of those annuals!

First flowers in the meadow planting

Let us proceed to the New Old Rose Garden. Below is an overview.

New Old Rose Garden

More roses will be planted this summer, filling gaps and replacing those that did not survive transplantation. I’m quite pragmatic. Many roses will not be replaced; rather I will try new varieties, and duplicate those that have done well and I’ve been able to propagate myself. The only criteria is that they should be bushy old-type (thus often very modern) or interesting genuinely old varieties. And then the underplanting with perennials must proceed!

View from within Rosemary border of Roses

Photographed from within the Upper Rosemary Border, this shot looks across the Mothers’ Garden, hopefully to be planted with its roses within weeks.

Louis and Taubie in the New old Rose Garden

Here Louis and Taubie sit picturing the Mothers’ Garden all planted up…

Louis and Taubie in the New old Rose Garden 2

Here they are again, seen through the Aunty Corrie Rose which is undoubtedly my favourite with its glorious colour and scent – what a pity that it lasts for only a few short weeks!

Ellensgate rambler

Of course there are other roses too. Here is the unnamed rambler beginning this year to make a show around the window of the Ellensgate Garden.

Roses roses everywhere

And here is its parent – a seedling which grew through a myrtle bush in the lawn –unplanned, untameable, inappropriate and almost impossible to eradicate – and quite frankly I love the cussedness of this chance encounter. Beyond in the border grow a circle of five ‘Ballerina’ roses, one of the few features predating the makeover of this bed 5 or 6 years ago.

From Ellensgate

Open up the camera, and this is what you see – I am standing outside the gate to the Ellensgate Garden.

Cardinal Hume and lychnis - again

Down again to the border: directly above the pot in the above picture, here is a better shot than last week’s of ‘Cardinal Hume’ and his floozy –Lychnis calcedonica.

Freddie's dam with roses

Further afield the  roses on Freddie’s Dam are looking lovely.

The bridge

In fact much at Freddie’s Dam is looking lovely, and the first of the white hydrangeas are starting to flower.

Makou Dam

And the Makou Dam is not looking too shabby either!

So let’s amble back up to the house, and take in the end of a perfect summer’s day from the stoep…

Sunset over the garden



2 thoughts on “ROAMING FOR ROSES

  1. Those cannas look magnificent. So envious. I tried 3 Canna ‘Wyoming’ in pots this year and they were pretty miserable efforts. Summer just wasn’t warm enough. Swathes are definitely the way to go! And so nice to see the roses, fleeting though they are.

    • You’ll be really envious, Dan, if I tell that this morning I noticed growing alongside another swathe of cannas AND flowering three self-planted yellow arum lilies – the one with the spotted leaf which grows wild here – Zantedeschia albomaculata. Jack

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