PLANTS OF INTEREST

Old fashioned roses If you could only plant one plant in your garden, and you wanted a beautiful flower to look at that will flower for up to 6 months with a heavenly scent, which is also quite happy in -17c. The choice is without a doubt an old fashioned cottage rose (nowadays known as Davis Austin roses). David Austin being the nurseryman who spent his life producing improved and new varieties. These fantastic roses are coming into flower just now with their majestic rosettes of full of scent. The better varieties will repeat flower all summer long, in my own garden, the last flowers of last year were encased in snow. I try out new varieties in my garden to see how they stand up to living in the midlands and I must say Sophy’s roses which have red to deep pink rosette shaped flowers, bushy short growth and excellent healthy growth is my new favourite. I think the scent improves every year, or it could be that I have given up smoking and can smell things again. Under plant with Nepeta, but use a low growing variety. Nepeta ‘walkers low’ is very attractive.

The generous gardener even in a container, given support as it makes a short climber preforms exceptionally well, under plant with your choice of summer colour. An extremely healthy variety with large, cup-shaped flowers of pale pink. It has won awards for its fragrance.

This year the brand new rose Wedgewood is looking promising. They are in limited supply but we managed to secure a few for this year. This is what the breeder had to say about it, “the Wedgewood rose, is the most beautiful we ever bred. The variety is also, insofar as we can tell almost completely free of diseases, something that can be said of only a very few roses”. It is vigorous and upright making a large shrub or growing to 10ft if trained as a climber. It was introduced to commemorate Wedgewood’s 250th anniversary.

These roses deserve a good home; we have gone to a lot of rounds to choose only the best and grow them on in our own nursery, in the best compost to give you the best blooms. Make sure you plant them in good soil, which has been enriched with FYM… No need to give them any further feed in the first year, as we put long-term slow release fertilizer in the pots. However roses are greedy they all love a feed of rose fertilizer in July, prolonging flowering time. Sometimes you can get a slight smell in the mornings of garlic in the garden centre and this is because we spray our roses from time to time with garlic extract. It acts like a probiotic for plants. That’s why our roses have strong shiny leaves. They are resilient to diseases and greenfly attack. It’s also totally organic. The David Austin roses also can make a spectacular hedge as they are not pruned back hard like ordinary roses. Two choice ramblers for repeat flowering which is unusual for ramblers are Paul Noel which has full pink fragrant flowers and Phyllis Bide salmon pink, flushed yellow with a pleasant fragrance and there are many more.

June