Summer Roses

On it goes - it's the summer of 2018, and the rose season is in full swing. My garden is overflowing - with large climbing roses, smaller fresh-faced floribundas, majestic hybrid teas...

 Paul Transon and Crepuscule, photographed from the upstairs window.
Climbing and Rambling Roses

With roses old and new, pink and purple, yellow and white, perfumed David Austin fluffy pastels, uncompromising and fragrance-free stiff-petalled reds...

Some roses are healthy, covered in shining greenery. Some are spindley, half bald, leaves already sprayed for rust. Oops! There are roses with squillions of petals squashed together, and minimalist, stylish singles.

Some are anonymous roses whose names I've never known, while some (just a few) have labels discretely (and sensibly) buried nearby. Some are really well known - white Iceberg, for example. Others, like striped Guy Savoy, are relatively obscure.

I've bought roses from the local nursery - my newest such purchase is Charles Austin. Being a compulsive rescuer, I've also rehomed many unwanted roses, digging them out of other people's gardens. I often guess the name by the age of the original garden. Hello, Whiskey Mac and Elina. Certain favourite varieties were always found in the suburban rose garden, back in the day.

 Love her!
Sunny Mary Roses

Too many beautiful roses grow in my garden, so I couldn't possibly nominate a favourite - not even a top ten. On sunny days I adore the oranges and reds. Under cloud cover the shell pinks and creams are stunning. But maybe, allowing myself a sentimental moment, I'd choose my namesake, David Austin's Mary Rose. She's a fluffy pink, oh so pretty but oh so cool. Cute, subtle, sometimes neat, sometimes oh so scruffy. Well named? Oh yes...