Only one day so far in December with more than 40 views, and no-one to blame but myself. Rule number one is ‘Blog regularly’ and it is more than three weeks since my last post. And that with my material waiting to be used…
First up is the great fascination – and disappointment – of this summer: not one but three self-sown roses, all of which have buds that never opened. I posted on this rose, growing over a rosemary bush in the Rosemary Borders, at the end of last autumn, but ascribed its unwillingness to open to the lateness of the season. I was wrong.
Here it is a week later. The little flower-spider (did you notice it?) long gone and some of the buds chewed by goggos (bugs) – and one bud making a concerted effort to open… It got no further. I find it interesting that three self-sown roses are near identical, some lighter, some darker, and all have flowers that don’t open. Never heard of this before.
Next up is the easiest of roses from cuttings, the vigorous climber ‘New Dawn’. It’s pale pink buds fade to near white, and growing into a thicket next to the water lily pond, it carried literally hundreds of blooms, and will continue to flower all summer. It is followed below by some shots of the neighbours.
One of the great modern classics, and named after the man who dominated the National Trust gardens during the 80s and 90s – Graham Stuart Thomas, bred by David Austin. He has proved a stalwart in my garden!
Down in The Garden Celebrating an Imperfect Universe two ‘Tausendschons’ grow into trees – a Prunus purpurea is the perfect foil to the slightly mauvey pink flowers, and on the other side of the garden the beautiful stems of Pride-of-India play host to the blooms. But as the leaves become denser, the repeat flowering – if indeed it happens – tends to go unnoticed. Which makes the surprise in spring so delightful. But perhaps someday, as has happened in other parts of the garden, the roses will grow through the trees and drape themselves happily on the outsides instead of skulking in the shadows.
We move back to near the waterlilies – that is them just visible below at the end of the axis. We are looking down the Beech Borders where for a few weeks in November and into December the old pink Damask rose, ‘Ispahan’ (from which I believe Attar of Roses is made in Bulgaria), scents the air. The paler rose near the centre is again ‘New Dawn’. In the next photo we are looking up from right near the waterlilies.
And here is ‘Ispahan’ in all its rich dishevelment!
So far ‘Graham Stuart Thomas’ is the only rose here we did not grow from cuttings or seed. Here is one more – and the last: the magnificent Hybrid Tea ‘Just Joey’.
‘Jacques Cartier’ one year struck beautifully from cuttings – there are over 30 plants massed outside ‘The Plett’ and their scent often wafts all the way to the big house, for this mid-19th century Portland rose is a repeat flowerer. Below that, a detail shot.
Struck from a cutting by a friend, ‘Veilchenblau’ the first ‘blue’ rose, was introduced over a century ago. A rambler, it strikes easily and I must take cuttings to take into my new life.
Aunty Corrie’s Rose is propagated from runners rather than cuttings. Its scent and colour and general robustness are magnificent, but unfortunately it flowers for only a few weeks. I have never been able to identify it and name it for my aunt from whose garden nearby here it first came. It is almost certainly an old rose, predating 20th century Hybrid Teas and Floribundas.
Take note of the windowsill just showing in the last picture. It is of ‘Sequoia Rose’ growing outside the guest room. I have often written about it. I dedicate this picture to a young lady, turned one this week, whose bedroom this will hopefully one-day become. She crawled purposefully towards the open window, pulled herself up against the burglar bars and tried to pick a bloom. I helped her, then put it in her hair. A real picture moment, but a camera was not handy…