It is definitely rose time!

There is so much to see in the garden at the moment and Six on Saturday is simply not enough.  However, as we move from May to June it is the roses that are in the ascendency and I really couldn’t have a six this week without them.  I spent today cutting the grass and repeatedly stopped to smell the roses as I went past each time.  The grass cutting took rather longer than usual!

Here are six that I have chosen to highlight today – there could have been so many more.

One:  Boscobel


This is a beautifully fragrant English Shrub Rose (also known as Auscousin).  This group of repeat flowering roses sits in front of a Cornus kousa which is also flowering wonderfully this year.


Two:  Rhapsody in Blue


Perhaps a slightly weird colour for a rose (it is on the way to blue but definitely not a true blue).  It is certainly a talking point and I think goes very nicely with the purple leaves of the Cotinus coggygria.

Three:  Comte de Chambord


This is a very fragrant shrub rose that we planted as part of our 25th wedding anniversary rose garden.  Now over 15 years old they are still going strong (as are we!).  They combine very well with the Persicaria bistorta in the foreground and the brick red ‘My Castle’ lupins.

Four:  Rambling Rosie


About three years ago now we converted the old flower growing area of our floristry business into a more aesthetically pleasing flower garden.  We simply love growing flowers.  We have planted a couple of climbing roses over two new pergolas and it has taken them a couple of years to really get going.  This year they are full of flower buds and ‘Rambling Rosie’ I hope will really perform this year.  Fingers crossed.

Five:  Rose ‘Festival’


I have a bit of a soft spot for this rose.  It is one of a number the roses that I received as a leaving present when I left the East Malling Research Station in Kent and moved up to Horticulture Research International at Wellesbourne in 1992.  It is a lovely rose and seems to be very healthly despite its age.  In the foreground here is the pink Kolkwitzia which the bees absolutely adore with the white mexican orange blossom (Choisya ternata) behind.


Six:  Paul’s Himalayan Musk


It has proved quite difficult to photograph this rambling rose which creeps its way up through the trees and shrubs and pops out flowers where you least expect it to have reached.  It is a lovely, strongly fragrant rose with small blooms in large drooping clusters. The colours of the individual blooms change as they age from blush pink towards white.


That’s it for this week.  I strongly suspect that roses may well appear again in the coming weeks.

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.



The new rose garden begins to flower – very exciting!

When we started this blog last September we described our dreams and plans to create a beautiful new flower garden.  Our intention was to move away from a cut garden focused purely on growing cut flowers for sale in regimented straight beds to a more aesthetically pleasing space, still a cutting garden but somewhere that you want to stop, sit and enjoy.

During the winter we spent many hours preparing the ground and setting out the new layout, planting the new formal hedging and building the new rose arches.  In March we started to plant out all the new roses we had spent many happy hours choosing from the catalogues.

Despite all the challenges with the weather during the long cold, wet winter and now the heat and drought of mid-summer, the new roses are developing wonderfully.  Behind the new short clipped hedge we have planted a selection of pink and white roses ranging from deep dusky pink through mid-pink to pure white.  All have been chosen for their scent, repeat flowering and suitability for cutting.

All four varieties have been flowering for some weeks now and with regular dead heading are continuing to repeat flower.  The foliage seems to be disease free so far.

Here are the four varieties we have planted in this area:

Rose "Sweet Parfum de Provence"
Rose “Sweet Parfum de Provence”
Rose "Prince Jardinier"
Rose “Prince Jardinier”
Rose "A Whiter Shade of Pale"
Rose “A Whiter Shade of Pale”
Rose "White Perfumella"
Rose “White Perfumella”

We have written previously about our plans for enhancing the garden in the evenings with white blooms that shine out in the dusk and with scent that hangs in the air ( Zaluzianskya – Twilight Scent ).  These light coloured blooms have been introduced as part of these plans with the aim of illuminating the walk around the garden at dusk.

Honey Pot Flowers are wedding and celebration florists based in Warwickshire in the United Kingdom specialising in natural, locally grown seasonal flowers. We grow many of our own flowers allowing us to offer something very different and uniquely personal.



New additions to our garden of Roses

I think it is fair to say that we already have a large number of roses throughout the garden – but there is always room for more!  With the redesign of the cutting garden we are taking the opportunity to include a range of new fragrant varieties that we don’t currently have.

We have over 70 new bare rooted roses to plant.  Clearly they are not yet in flower but we thought it would be nice to wet your appetite with pictures of what is to come.

For the new cutting garden beds

Rose “Sweet Parfum de Provence” (syn. Rosa ‘Line Renaud’)

Line Renaud by Patrick Velasco

By Patrick Velasco (Line Renaud) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Rose “Fragrant Delight”

Rose, Fragrant Delight, バラ, フラグラント ディライト, (14333667298)

By T.Kiya from Japan (Rose, Fragrant Delight, バラ, フラグラント ディライト,) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Rose “Prince Jardinier”

Prince Jardinier by Karl Gercens

By Karl Gercens (Rosa ‘Prince Jardinier’ (2)) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Rose “A Whiter Shade of Pale”

Rosa 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'

By Arashiyama (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Rose ‘White Perfumella’

Rose White Perfumella

By Style Roses – live image feed from 

For the new rose arches in the cutting garden

Rose ‘Rambling Rosie’
Rose Rambling Rosie

By David Austin Roses – live image feed from 

Rose ‘Blush Rambler’

Rosa Blush Rambler2UME

By Ulf Eliasson epibase (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (, via Wikimedia Commons

For the terraced garden at the front of the house

Rose ‘Scented carpets’

Rose Scented Carpets

By David Austin Roses – live image feed from 

Additions to the existing garden

Rose “Absolutely fabulous”

Rosa 'Absolutely Fabulous' IMG 4413

By Captain-tucker (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Rosa ‘Virginia McKenna’

Rose Virginia McKenna

By Notcutts – live image feed from

Rose “Fellowship”

Rosa 'Fellowship' J1

By Jamain (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Planting roses: To bury or not to bury (the union) that is the question!

It is the time of year for planting bare root roses and I have noticed recently that there seem to be a range of views and opinions on how deep bare root and potted roses should be planted.  Some argue that when planting roses the union, the point where the scion is grafted onto the rootstock, should be above ground whilst others indicate that best practice is to bury the union below ground.   As I am just about to plant a large number for bare root roses I thought it was timely to see if there is any consensus on this issue and perhaps try and understand what is behind the various recommendations.

Commercial growers rapidly multiply up their stock by grafting a named rose variety (the scion) onto a vigorous rootstock rose.  The point at which the two are grafted together is the graft union.   Commercial growers take this approach as it allows them to create a large number of roses very rapidly from a small amount of plant material as the scion can be as small as a single bud.

However, when planting bare root or potted roses should you leave the union above ground or bury it below the surface?

Both David Austin Roses and Peter Beales Roses indicate that the rose should be planted so that the union is below the soil surface (about 1 inch below).  Similarly, Monty Don on Gardeners’ World recommends that the union is planted below the ground.  He argues that this is to reduce the growth of suckers from the vigorous rootstock thus preventing them sapping the energy from the variety rose you actually want to encourage.  He also plants this way to reduce root rock.  The FineGardening website similarly argues that the union should always be buried to minimise root rock and indicates that the additional buried canes will help secure the plant and reduce potential damage to small roots by the wind.

The American Rose Society offers an interesting discussion on this topic.  In addition to the issues of suckering and wind rock mentioned above, burying the union may encourage the scion to create its own roots and it is argued that for some varieties own-root roses may in fact be healthier and more vigorous in the longer term producing more canes.  The article argues that if you prefer not to deal with stakes or maintaining the graft then you should consider burying the graft.

Conversely the American Rose Society article also cites reasons for not burying the union suggesting that a rose growing purely on its grafted rootstock will produce larger blooms.  It also indicates that some varieties do not perform well on their own roots.

The Royal Horticultural Society seem to offer different views in different publications.  On the RHS website the recommendation is to “ensure the union is at soil level” and that planting below soil level increases the risk of rose dieback.   However our copies of other RHS publications (RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening (ISBN 0-86318-979-2) and RHS Plant Guide to Roses (ISBN 0-7513-0269-4)) advocate planting the union 1 inch below soil level.

My conclusion therefore is that this is not a black and white issue and there appear to be a variety of reasons (or opinions) why you should or should not bury the union when planting roses.  The right approach may in fact differ depending on your growing conditions and the varieties you wish to grow.  “You pays your money and you takes your choice” as they say and it is really up to you which authority you feel you wish to follow.

For us I think we have good reason to continue to follow our current practice of burying the union when planting our roses.  It has certainly worked well for us over the years in our growing conditions and is recommended by the big suppliers we buy most of our roses from.  As with many gardening topics I am sure the debate will continue.