Saturday, 7 May 2011

I never promised you a rose garden....but I might have promised myself.

I've always had a soft spot for roses.  They were a prominent feature of my parents' garden, and my mother still hangs on to her "Rose of Tralee" and has a gorgeous small flowered climber that was moved from my grandmother's house some 30 years ago, after having already been moved from my great-grandmother's house before that.  And in my native city of Aberdeen (that horticulturally minded municipality that won the coveted "Britain in Bloom" title so many times that it became something of an embarrassment to the competition, such that the town had to withdraw from competition to allow other less floriferous locales at least a fighting chance of winning), roses were everywhere.  I mean everywhere.  Every single boulevard, hard shoulder, roundabout (aka traffic circle), municipal park or any other small patch of land owned by the city, was reliably adorned with the most amazing roses.  And then, of course, there were the "proper" rose gardens in formal parks and public gardens, the zenith of which was the rose mound at Duthie Park.

What was really even more remarkable is that despite what might seem like a tough climate for roses, the canny folks at the Parks and Recreation department actually afforded the roses sufficient resources (i.e. an army of summer students) to properly take care of them and provide the appropriate regimen of pruning, feeding, dead-heading and winter protection that allowed the city to be swathed from end to end in a perfect, free-flowering carpet of colour.

I haven't had the opportunity to grow roses much in my garden, partially due to lack of space, but more so because there was too much shade in my front garden for roses to thrive.  However, now that the locust tree has been removed, I've taken steps to put things right, and have planted a mini-rose garden today.  I chose three main specimens, all with slightly different characteristics, and in varying shade of yellow, and I'm using yellow carpet roses to fill in.  Here are my selections:

Graham Thomas - David Austen Rose

I'm hoping for some pleasant fragrance, a lovely warm golden yellow and old world charm from from Graham Thomas, who made quite a mark on the British gardening scene through the 20th century - a good summary of his activities is available here.

Elina Hybrid Tea
Caramel Fairy Tale

I hope Elina will provide a lighter, clearer yellow, with a classic high pointed flower shape and good continuity of flowering.

I'm looking for masses of amber-yellow flowers on tall vigorous growth from Caramel Fairy Tale.  The jury may still be out on this one, since I'm not totally convinced the colour will be quite what I'm looking for, but I'll reserve judgement until I see it for myself.

The yellow "flower carpet" roses may be rather generic, but they are very low maintenance, highly reliable and covered in masses of flowers throughout the whole summer, so in their role as "filler", they should work out perfectly to help everything work together.

 For contrast, I've planted a purple-ish, lilac-ish  "Arabella" clematis ( in the centre of the rose garden), and I'll likely fill in any spaces with blue Victoria salvias, which always look lovely with yellows or oranges.

Only time will tell if these combinations will actually work in practice.  I'll report back in July.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    All this flowers, thats looks perfect form! Thanks to sharrings this beautiful flowers whit us.