Rose of the day – The Pilgrim

This climbing English Rose was planted in the old rose garden about 15 years ago.  What we call the old rose garden was originally built and developed to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary.  As we approach our ruby wedding anniversary this year it is so lovely to see that most of the roses we planted back then have grown away strongly and are still producing beautiful displays year after year.

The Pilgrim produces quite large soft yellow rosettes of the form that typifies a David Austin English Rose.  It is repeat flowering with a medium strength fragrance and blooms from June into early autumn.

 

Rose of the day – Malvern Hills

David Austin describes this as a ‘repeat flowering english rambling rose’.  It is supposed to grow to some 15 feet and we have planted it to scramble over a new seating area.  We planted this rose about 2-3 years ago now and in reality it has been very slow to get going.  This year we are seeing some strong fresh shoots so we hope that it will now grow away and cover the trellis with clusters of small delicate lighty-fragrant yellow blooms.

The flowers are quite small (see below) but if it flowers as abundantly as the catalogues suggest it should be an absolute picture on the edge of the orchard.  Fingers-crossed that the new strong shoots allow the plant to really get going.

P1030159 Malvern Hills

Rose of the day – Prince Jardinier

We planted a number of bare root Prince Jardinier roses in the new flower garden last year.  For this garden we have deliberately chosen roses with a powerful scent that we can enjoy as we move around this area in the summer months.  Prince Jardinier is certainly performing as expected and has a lovely perfume.

We have grouped these roses with three other varieties (A whiter shade of pale, White perfumella and Sweet parfum de Provence) to give a mix of deep pink through to white.  Prince Jardinier has delicate pink outer petals with a transition to a more intense pink centre.

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Rose of the day – Charlotte

Today’s rose is the English shrub rose, Charlotte.  This plant is probably in excess of 20 years old now and grows at the back of the house in full sun.  The flower bed is quite dry during the main summer months and the plants have to compete for moisture with the neighbour’s leylandii hedge.

Flowering at the moment (early June) it has soft yellow blooms and repeat flowers for most of the summer.  It has a delicate but not powerful fragrance.    Although it does not seem to flower as prolifically as some other roses in the garden it comes back reliably year after year producing a steady flow of two or three blooms at a time.

Rose of the day – Festival

One of the great advantages of having worked at the East Malling Research Station in Kent and also the experimental horticulture station at Efford in the New Forest is that you could buy up excess hardy nursery stock for the garden.  This ‘Festival’ rose is one such acquisition. Now approaching 25 years old these plants still grow strongly every year.

Growing to about 3 feet in height, ‘Festival’ has medium sized red flowers with an interesting white fleck.  The dark, glossy foliage seems to be very clean and contrasts well against the blooms.  Not very scented but we have found it to be a very reliable garden plant.

Six star plants for early June

This week’s Six on Saturday highlights six very different plants that have caught my attention this week as I have worked in the garden. A few showers of rain have brought the garden to life without damaging the blooms.


One: Nemesia cheiranthus ‘Masquerade’ (Long eared Nemesia)

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This is a first for us this year.  It has a tiny flower, perhaps not much bigger than your thumbnail, but in only a few short weeks it has grown up from seed (sown on 25th March) and is already flowering profusely.  We have included this in our patio pots and it seems to be settling in nicely.  As well as being a charming little flower it is the movement of the stems in the gentle breeze which adds to its character.


Two:  Lupins

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We have a range of lupins across the garden but this one (name unknown) is particularly striking in the old rose garden.  It is a scrumptious colour and goes so beautifully with the foxgloves.


Three:  Nigella damascena (Love-in-a-mist)

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We have grown Nigella damascena and Nigella hispanica for a number of years to include in our country flower bouquets.  It has now seeded itself across much of the flower garden and we are happy to allow it to develop amongst more established plants.  It is very easy to weed out if we have too much of it growing in the wrong place.  Both the flowers and the resulting seed heads make excellent additions to any bouquet.

We have also seen a significant increase in goldfinches in the garden in recent years.  Whether this is a result of the increased availability of niger seeds who knows but it is a happy coincidence.


Four:  Aquilegia ‘Blue Star’

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As with Nigella, we love to let the Aquilegias seed themselves throughout the cottage garden.  They are definitely an important part of our spring garden but they do tend to be consistently in the pink/purple ‘granny’s bonnet’ range.

To introduce a slightly different form and colour range we sowed Aquilegia ‘Blue Star’ seeds last year and put the plants out last autumn.  These have established well and are now producing these lovely delicate flowers.  For some reason these choicer varieties have tended to be short lived perennials and have not always lasted very long in the garden.


Five:  Clematis ‘Voluceau’

P1030113 Clematis Voluceau

Over nearly 25 years we have planted a large number of different clematis throughout the garden.  Some have absolutely romped away whilst others have only had very limited vigour.

I don’t recall seeing this Clematis ‘Voluceau’ for many years but Carol assures me it has been there all along. This year it has sprung into life. It was probably planted over 15 years ago and has gently chugged way over the years without any great show.  It may be that we have recently cleared, improved and fed the rather tired bed that it sits in.  I am not sure the picture really shows off the real-life velvety plum purple of this variety.  It has a really rich colour.


Six:  Astrantia

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Another favourite from our commercial flower growing days.  These intricate, pin-cushion, rose coloured flowers are always a joy.  They seem to like our soil and come back reliably year after year as long as you keep the weeds at bay.


The Six on Saturday meme is hosted by The Propagator. Click on the link to be inspired by what other plant lovers are enjoying this weekend.