Rose ‘Arthur Bell’ is a delightfully fragrant yellow climbing rose. It is a floribunda type rose which has these delightful rose buds with a subtle red strip. Each of these buds opens to a rich yellow flower which then fades to pale yellow. This means that at any one time the rose has a range of delightful new rose buds and a mix of strong and pale yellow flowers on the same plant.
We have had this climbing rose for over 15 years and to be honest it was beginning to show its age. This year (in an attempt to give it one last chance) we pruned it back quite hard and gave it a good feed. It has responded extremely well producing a number of strong new shoots and is flowering well once again. It is an old friend and a firm favourite.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the most spectacular roses in the old rose garden is the pink climbing rose Constance Spry. It is heavily scented and produces masses of beautiful blooms. The plant is now some 15 years old and performs wonderfully year after year if pruned annually. It is certainly quite a vigorous rose and needs plenty of space- it is currently over 2 metres high and at least the same across.
Today’s rose from the garden is the large flowered climbing rose Ena Harkness. It has striking Hybrid Tea crimson-red flowers that are enormous and seems to have done particularly well this year.
One of the down sides of this rose is that the flower heads are very large and seem to be too large for the flower stalks to support. Because of this the flower heads do tend to hang downwards and face the ground rather than show themselves to full effect. However, this is still a very lovely rose.
Today’s rose is the charming rambler ‘Emily Gray’. A lovely dusky golden-yellow bloom on dark green foliage. It is slightly fragrant.
We grow this rose along a rope rose arch to the back of the house where we can admire it from the kitchen. I think it is a very sophisticated coloured rose. The blooms are medium in sized but not all perfectly the same in shape. In my view this gives it its charm. The darker buds are particularly lovely.
To celebrate June I thought it would be a bit of fun to showcase each of the roses around the garden as they emerge.
There is no better place to start this sequence than with one of my absolute favourites – ‘Margaret Merrill’. A very reliable white, repeat flowering Floribunda rose with a beautiful, strong fragrance. It has long stems that are ideal for flower arranging.