Thursday, 27 June 2013

Drum roll for the English roses please ...

After pondering over catalogues in the dark days of winter, I chose seven bare root roses, and three container grown plants. I planted them very carefully and lavished well rotted horse manure on them. When Spring finally came, I watched for the first leaves, and was very relieved when all of them began to grow. I have nurtured them and kept them weed, pest and disease free, and they have grown strongly since those first leaves appeared. They are now beginning to flower and I am embarrassingly excited by this, and have the urge to tell total strangers in the street!

Today, 'Munstead Wood' has opened its first bloom :

Gardening is so much about hope and optimism, and I envisaged this flower as I laboured in the cold and the bare soil. There is so much deferred gratification, we gardeners are probably a psychologist's dream !

This is how they all started :

That's enough, I'm sure you get the picture ! I can almost feel that icy soil now !

I have been interested to see how the growth of the bare roots compared to the container grown roses, and have found that although the bare roots were obviously slower to take off, there is nothing between them now, as the growth of the bare root plants has been phenomenal.

But, this heap, I think, is the star of the show :

The English roses I planted were :

Winchester Cathedral      (white)
William Shakespeare       (dark red)
Teasing Georgia              (yellow)
Shropshire Lad               (pale pink)
Munstead Wood             (deep red)
St Swithins                      (pale pink)
Sceptered Isle                   (light pink)
Tess of the D'Ubervilles    (dark red)
Wisley                                (pale pink)

I also planted:

bare root hedge of the old Gallica rose 'Charles De Mills'   (dark red)
Rosa Mundi   (bi-colour crimson / white)

This is the 'Charles De Mills' hedge when it went in :

And here it is now, just about to burst into glory :

I had one left over when planting, so I tucked it in a more sheltered part of the garden and it is already flowering :

I couldn't miss out including a photo of 'Geoff Hamilton', although he is a couple of years old now, but blooming beautifully, despite the rain (so far ...)

Also in bloom at the moment are :

Buff Beauty.

I think this one is 'Pink Profusion', but I have lost the label, so have probably made that one up !

All my other new babies are waiting in the wings, with swelling buds that are going to open any day ... except for ... poor old 'Tess' who is really struggling ...

Interestingly, she is the most expensive rose I bought, and I got her from a very reputable nursery. They would be happy to replace her, but I feel , all is not lost yet. She is about a quarter the size of all the others, and although looking happier of late, she is still sickly. Note to self - must remove dead stem, as that won't be helping !


  1. I also have Wm Shakespeare and Sceptre D'Isle. :o) My roses are fighting blackspot thanks to our wet spring and humid environment. Your bare roots look like they've been mighty happy in that cold soil. So beautiful!

  2. Thankyou ! Are yours blooming now ? They are my favourite plants in the whole garden. I am a member of a Facebook page called 'The magnificent rose' and it is just photos and info about roses,it is fantastic !

  3. Hang in there, Old Tess!!!

  4. Lol ! She is making some growth now and is a little happier, but, boy, did she have a slow start !

  5. Your roses are gorgeous, I like David Austin and OGR's too, always so full and usually fragrant too. I was supposed to get a red Gallica but was sent the wrong plant so still don't have one, but my Rosa Mundi has made some suckered plants that reverted to the deep pink/ fuchsia color. Those Gallicas are really vigorous, they will spread out nicely for you. Mine are slowly trying to take over the garden.

  6. They are all fantastic aren;t they Hannah ! Can you take out the suckers for rosa Mundi or are you enjoying the reverted flowers ?


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