Still Too Many Roses?
Roses, roses, roses... It's early summer, and all the Moosey roses are blooming. Again the vexed question pops up, and needs answering - can a garden have too many roses? Too much of a good thing? Too many of these beautiful shrubs?
I could blame the climbing rose Crepuscule on the pergola. This season the ratio of apricot to green (that is, bloom to leaf) looks like a hundred to one. What's happening? Obviously this rose has no restraint, and is too busy balancing itself on the pergola to think about other matters.
Cecile Brunner in the driveway is hopelessly pink, smothering its host, a tall weeping cherry tree. This year I've noticed her sweet fragrance for the very first time - is the Moosey nose finally maturing? And now that Clair Matin by the side of the house has space and light, thanks to some serious tree pruning, it is covered in flowers. What a rewarding rose! Big and pink, but not too big - and not too pink. Just perfect!
The house roses are a mixture of all colours - whites and pinks seem to be the most popular. The darkly brooding pink Othello rose fills the house patio with its heady perfume. Othello is my favourite Shakespeare play as well as my favourite fragrant David Austin rose.
Constance and Phyllis
Nearby neighbours pink Sparrieshoop and Constance Spry are busy climbing through the small trees above the septic tank. Phyllis Bide is fluffy and beautiful - this is the first year she's covered her archway properly. Good girl! This is an important milestone in a climbing rose's life, and I was starting to worry about when she'd achieve it.
Pick me! Pick Me!
It's not just my climbing roses which are grabbing my attention. The David Austin pastels are in full cry, shouting out 'Pick me! Pick me!'. The Rugosas are equally eye-catching - yellow Agnes and Frau Dagmar Hastrupp are filling the Hen House Garden with splodges of strong colour, flopping and leaning all over the other shrubs and trees.
Unknown David Austin English Rose
If I have too many roses, there is a simple reason. I keep buying new ones - my in-coming stock definitely exceeds the out-going. I also deliberately create actual rose gardens - for example, the new Birthday Rose garden, enjoying its first summer. Those big, blousy, bossy Kronenbourgs are hard to ignore. I can imagine subtle gardeners throwing this rose out.
Even More New Roses!
I haven't even mentioned the new rose avenue - thirteen expertly welded steel archways which lead into the middle of the Hazelnut Orchard. These climbers, most of them old-fashioned varieties, are waist high and barely flowering. Give them a few years and this paddock will be totally transformed.
Phyllis Bide on her Archway
I have had some notable rose failures in my garden, though - like New Dawn the rust-monster, and the lifeless red Dublin Bays which suddenly, for no reason, sulk, croak and dismally die. All the better to enjoy the roses which do perform with healthy pride, as they trail and climb, hang and lean, drape and strangle, all to show off their lovely blooms.
The Roses in the Willow Tree Garden
Too many roses? I don't think so!