Through the long cold winters and hard working springs, this is the week I wait for. In a good year, when nature keeps everything is well watered, the temps are low and the afternoon sea breeze keeps the air moving, peak rose week can last for a month! The shrubs are huge, the foliage is clean, the flowers are gorgeous and the fragrance wafting through my window as I write is sensuously stunning.
There is enough rose interest in the garden now to write at least six Sixes…here are my current favourites.
1. Graham Thomas. One of the oldest of my English roses, this was planted in memory of my tough little sister who passed away before her time in 2000. Every one of her 38 years was a bonus. She loved yellow.
2. Zephirine Drouhin. ZD the first succumbed years ago from being planted in the flood zone. This cutting on higher ground survived, producing foliage last summer and flowers this year. The thornless rose is wonderful in a vase.
3. Mme Plantier. Another survivor, this time from the feet of construction professionals and their tools. She is highly fragrant and very unruly, over-run by several similarly wayward clematis. Jackmanii is photo bombing.
4. Leander. A big strapping lass of a rose starting apricot and fading to buff, with a lovely fruity aroma.
5a Heritage. Quintessentially David Austin. Perfect shell pink.
5b Abraham Darby. Also one of the best David Austin roses in its day. I still love its changing colour and strong scent. Underplanted with germander and the odd weed…
6. Cuisse de Nymphe (Great Maiden’s Blush). Another of the great old roses, my original shrub is huge, scents the whole street and produces very easily rooted suckers. consequently I have a number of these around the place, none as large and impressive as the mother. She only flowers once a year, a huge, generous flush of buds, perfect flowers and fallen petals. Great hips too if left un-pruned after flowering. This last one is for grandma. She would know why, but I am not telling.
Catch up with what is going on down the garden path by looking at the comments section of the Propagator’s blog. http://www.thepropagatorblog.com
Have a great gardening week.