I’m not sure when I first realised how much I loved roses but I do remember my grandfather having a rose patch at the back of his garden, it was a cutting garden, and in my hunt for tennis balls that had made their way over the fence from the neighbouring tennis courts, I’d be distracted in my hunt by the scent wafting past me.
The first rose garden I put in was at the farm in Fowey and when I moved to the new garden at Duchy of Cornwall Nursery last autumn it was my biggest panic - how was I going to bring them all with me!
In truth, a number of them were given away to friends and family and I dug up a small collection which I now have lovingly named ‘the old girl’s’. I decided that I would create a new rose garden at Duchy and choose a few varieties that were new to me. Whilst I would love to own each and every rose that David Austin produces, please don’t tell me I’m the only one with this goal?! I did have to be rather selective as I only had space for 80.
So, what made the list you ask and how do you choose from all those varieties? Well they have to be repeat flowering because, in all honesty, I want roses for a long season, they must have a scent – there is simply nothing sadder than a rose without scent and they need to be as disease resistant as possible, we are in Cornwall remember!
The new varieties I added were Emily Bronte, Roald Dahl and Clare Austin. At the moment Roald Dahl is proving himself to be an outstanding gent in the garden putting on the most incredible floral display – I think I’m rather in love!
Finally, before I leave you to the tricky job of rose selection just remember most roses do like a sunny spot and don’t like to be too crammed in. New roses will need to be well watered in when first planted and keep on top of the deadheading! At the end of the first flowering, which will be the end of June here in Cornwall, give them a feed and this will encourage repeat flowering later in the season.
Happy rose growing x
To find out more about The Garden Gate Flower Company visit HERE.