I grumbled in my last post about roses that had been planted in my garden with silly names. Most of them had to go, along with all the gawky, scentless hybrid teas. But there are still lots of beautiful roses with no labels, and Shakespeare is right they smell as sweet as those with names. And yet… I cannot love them so much without knowing what to call them. All along the picket fence in the front garden there are healthy vigorous roses. I think they are Hybrid Musks called ‘Moonlight’ but I am not sure.
And you see the little pink one, bottom right? It suckers and travels all over the front garden. If it finds a tall shrub it climbs. It is very pretty but what is it? I suspect a gallica, maybe ‘Gloire de France’ but I really need to know.
And look at this gorgeous rose which grows through a viburnum. I would love it so much more if I knew what to call it.
I have one Moss rose, but I am not sure which. Moss roses are centifolias which have a moss-like growth on their sepals which makes their buds very attractive. They first appeared as mutations in 1720. My favourite is ‘William Lobb’ which reminds me, I don’t have him here. I must find room for William. But meanwhile which is this one?
I think this next one is an alba as it has the typical healthy blue-green leaves. It looks like ‘Queen of Denmark’ to me. It grows tall so I give it a lobster pot support made of hazel twigs and tie it in horizontally.
I showed this one a few years ago and someone kindly identified it for me as ‘James Galway’ I love it because it is so full and frilly. It is a climber and grows into a holly. It is a David Austin rose and thank goodness the previous occupants of my garden discovered David Austin and I have quite a collection of these wonderful roses which I have added to over the years I have been here.
Here are a few of my favourite David Austin roses.
I used to have a rose garden filled with old fashioned roses and I still grow some as they are unbeatable for scent and shape. Here are a few of them.
I love single roses too and the China rose, Rosa mutabilis blooms all summer long. Here it is with the tall spires of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’.
Another single rose which blooms all summer long and has lovely glossy leaves is ‘Sally Holmes’. I grow it next to the silvery foliage of Berberis temolaica. Sally is one of the roses that I wouldn’t be without.
Because I love single roses I like the modern series of single roses with a dark centre with ‘eyes’ in the name. So I have ‘Smiling Eyes’ even thought I think it is silly name. But then it grows not far away from Hydrangea ‘Pinkie Winkie’ and you can’t get much sillier than that.
And never mind silly names, the name ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is a black lie, it is not blue at all and anyway who wants a blue rose? But it is a lovely antiquey- lilac, a sort of faded purple and I love it.
I could go on all day talking about roses but I will finish with a rambler which wasn’t out when I wrote about climbers and ramblers but it is looking stunning right now climbing up the stump of the huge cherry which I had cut down.
Oh dear, I haven’t even mentioned quite a few beauties but I have to stop somewhere. When I am too old to garden I shall just fill it all up with huge roses and let them scramble everywhere and I will be known as the ‘Mad Old Rose Woman’. Well, I probably am already.
If you can identify some of my mystery roses I should be very grateful and then despite what Shakespeare said they will probably smell even sweeter.