An Intoxication of Roses.

I’m not sure what the collective noun for roses is but I think ‘an intoxication’ is as good as any. A couple of years ago I wrote about amazing rose garden planted in an old lime quarry which I visited many years ago where over 500 roses had gone wild to create a Sleeping Beauty wilderness of breathtaking beauty. They weren’t pruned or fed but they all looked very healthy. Here is the link. Everything’s Coming up Roses. I think I should like to do the same thing here when I am too old and frail to garden, I shall just let the roses take over and do their own thing. And I can’t think of anything more beautiful. In fact the front garden is already beginning to look that way because I don’t like working there in the time of the plague because of over -enthusiastic puffing joggers and cyclists and garrulous neighbours coming too close. So it is getting wild and woolly and the roses are taking over. These ones along the front of the fence look like Hybrid Musks to me but I am not sure. Whatever they are they are useful because they are repeat flowering.

The gate is guarded by this alba rose and Clematis ‘Contesse de Bouchard’.

Further up we have darker pink ones. I’m not sure of the variety but it travels around as do all the ones in the front garden.

The purplish rose is ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ which is not really blue, thank goodness. Who wants a blue rose?

Rosa’ Rhapsody in Blue”

There are two weeping pears ‘Pyrus saliciifolia in the front garden which are useful for growing roses up. The first one has ‘the rambler ‘Veilchenblau’.

Rosa ‘Veilchenblau’

Next to it is’ Felicite Perpetue’.

Rosa ‘Felicite Perpetue’

In the yew there is a climber ‘Karlesruhe’ which is repeat flowering.

Rosa ‘Karlsruhe’

Of course any self respecting Tudor house has to have roses round the door even if the front of the house is late Georgian.

Let’s go round into the back garden now where apart from next door’s cat Luther there is nobody to disturb us.

The roses were three weeks early this year and they started in late May instead of their proper time in June. I did try a little video to show some of them and several friends seemed surprised that I posted it as it was so shaky and jerky. Clearly I have a lot to learn. The Pianist said I would get trolled if I put it on Youtube but my blogging friends are such nice, kind, people and everyone was very polite. So I might have another go sometime. But I didn’t manage to get round all my roses. So here are some more. Everyone who comes to the garden falls for the David Austin rose ‘Summer Song’, it is such a rich colour.

Rosa ‘Summer Song’

Nearby is another David Austin, this time a paler shade of peach. It is ‘Evelyn’,

Rosa ‘‘Evelyn’

We all love David Austin roses, they are unbeatable. I have quite a few and my favourites are ‘Grace’ ‘Teasing Georgia’ and ‘Munstead Wood’ which is such a fabulous rich colour.

Rosa ‘Grace’
Rosa ‘Teasing Georgia’
Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’

But then how could I leave out beautiful Lady Emma Hamilton’ who has gorgeous flowers, leaves and stems?

Rosa ‘‘Lady Emma Hamillton’

And I also have ‘Mill on the Floss’ ‘Gentle Hermione’ ‘Anne Boleyn’ and ‘Imogen’ and they are all just as beautiful.

I have a special liking for single roses and ‘Sally Holmes ‘ blooms all summer long as long as you dead head her.

Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’

Of course most roses need full sun to really do well and in a mature garden one runs out of sunny spots. But on the other hand there are plenty of trees and here nearly every tree has a rose running up it. The lovely pure white single Rosa leavagata ‘Cooperi’ has scaled the wall and is heading into the greengage tree. This rose needs a sunny spot but I love for its healthy green leaves as well it its flowers, but it is very prickly.

Rosa laevagata ‘Cooperi’

Nearby towering over the greenhouse is a seedling I grew from a Kiftsgate rose and it clearly has ambitions to grow as big as its parent. It is growing up a holly and I find these make good hosts for rambling roses.

It is fun to grow roses from seed because you never know quite what you will get. This next rose grows at a much more sedate pace and is very pretty. I don’t know who its parents were.

Some of the rambling roses I have growing up apple trees are now enormous and I wonder how the poor trees will manage if they get any bigger.

Rosa ‘Treasure Trove’
Rosa ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’

And although ‘Phyllis Bide’ looks wonderful scrambling over the arches into my secret garden I am not sure how long they will be able to support them. I shall have to do some hard pruning.

‘Blush Rambler’ is climbing up the stump of the cherry tree I had chopped down. I think it looks lovely with the dark leaves of the Forest Pansy.

Albertine’ is an old wichuraiana rambler, bred in 1921 in France. It is still a popular one and rightly so. It has a lovely perfume and beautiful coppery pink flowers. It is easy from cuttings. Incidentally, now is a good time to take rose cuttings whilst they are still flexible. Take ones about the thickness of a pencil.

Rosa ‘Albertine’

Climbing roses are not as rampant as ramblers and so they can be grown up smaller trees or bushes. I love the single flowers of ‘Mermaid”

And I adore the complex shape and gorgeous colour of ‘James Galway’ which a fellow blogger identified for me.

Rosa ‘James Galway’

‘Lady Hillingdon’ has scrumptious flowers which look as if they have been dipped in tea. She is too idle to hold up her heads though.

Rosa ‘Lady Hillingdon’

I have more than sixty roses so I can’t write about them all here but you can see my obsession is gradually taking over. They get minimal care, a bit of pruning and I do feed them once a year . I never spray and if any rose suffers badly from blackspot or rust then they have to go, I haven’t got any room for invalids.

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50 Responses to An Intoxication of Roses.

  1. pbmgarden says:

    They’re all lovely.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Rambling roses can be so overwhelming. We will be moving some of ours over winter because they are now in a confined space, from which their wickedly thorny stems lean out onto a walkway. They will get more room to spread, but nonetheless, will get pruned back annually. It might be nice to let some go wild in the canyon, where their old growth below will deteriorate as fast as new growth develops above.

    • Chloris says:

      I couldn’t prune my ramblers even if I wanted to, they are too high up. But I like to let them do what they like, they always look beautiful. But I do prune my climbers.

      • tonytomeo says:

        There is a rambler rose that grew up with a small grove of redwoods in Santa Cruz. Now it is about forty feet up. The bloom is not even visible from below.

  3. Anna says:

    Oh what a fabulous array of roses Chloris. Your garden certainly must smell intoxicating when they are at their peak. I’m green with envy. Here I’m waiting for the first flower of ‘Summer Song’ to unfurl. It’s progress has been impeded by the inclement weather of the last few days. When I say first I think that it could be the one and only – bought as a bare root plant last autumn it has a tall leader bearing the single flower and no signs of any other flowers lower down yet. I saw it at a show a couple of years ago and was smitten. I like your no nonsense approach when it comes to the sickly.

    • Chloris says:

      I find that Summer Song grows tall and thin rather than bushy like so many others and it needs support. The flowers are fabulous though. Don’t you have room for some ramblers or climbers? They are great if you run out of sunny spots for shrub roses.

  4. in says:

    Much agree! Beautiful!

  5. Martha says:

    Like you, I love single roses, and you have some beautiful ones. Ramblers fascinate me, if for no other reason than the word rambler! I have always wanted to grow Rambling Rector, but I don’t think it would be happy here in the foothills of North Carolina. I hope you and the Pianist are staying safe from Covid and that someday we will be able to travel again. Your garden was the highlight of a trip I took several years ago with Marian StClair. You and the Pianist are such warm hosts! My best, Martha Strain Shelby, NC USA

    Sent from my iPad


    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Martha we are both well, but we never go anywhere, we were supposed to be go to France next week but that’s off now. I am glad you enjoyed the garden, it was lovely to meet you all and I hope that one day you will be able to come again. I have made a lot of changes and new planting since you were here. Keep safe and best wishes from me and the Pianist.

  6. Kris P says:

    Oh my, you do have a LOT of roses! I’m a little in love with ‘Summer Song’. I can’t say I’ve seen anything like your display here but then ramblers in general are uncommon, at least in my part of the country. I don’t think I’d ever even heard of a “rambler rose” before reading UK garden blogs.

    • Chloris says:

      Ramblers are so useful for covering trees like holly which don’t look very exciting. I am surprised that you don’t have them there. They make such an impact in the garden and the scent is divine.

  7. Steve says:

    Great collection of roses. I thought I had a lot but nothing like as many as you have!

  8. Veronica says:

    I loved this post on Roses as I too love them best. My mother’s cousin (Wilfred Wright) was a celebrated rose grower in Formby and won the Southport Flower show every year . However that was the previous generation. I would have loved to have walked past all your beautiful roses and absorbed the perfume .maybe next year !!

    • Chloris says:

      And I am so disappointed that you can’t come this year and also we were
      looking forward to coming to see you to celebrate your special event in your garden. And I would love to see your new veg garden. You do have illustrious rose relations, perhaps a love of them is in your blood.

  9. This is so full of ideas. I’ve never grown a rose up a tree and conveniently I have a bare weeping pear, so I might experiment with that. I don’t grow many roses in fact, because I hate working among thorns. However, I have a Lady Emma Hamilton coming next week … and your Summer Song does look lovely.

    • Chloris says:

      Well if you toss a rambler up into a tree you don’t have to worry about thorns. A weeping pear is a perfect host. Lady Em is a fabulous rose.

  10. I don’t recall ever seeing so many roses in a single garden before, nor so many that are so huge,and certainly never growing through trees as yours do. The fragrance must be intoxicating this time of year. They are all so beautiful – thanks for sharing!

  11. No room for invalids? Ruthless!
    What an incredible array of roses and all so beautiful. The garden must smell wonderful

  12. Amanda Clowe says:

    I love this post Chloris ! I can remember visiting your garden for the first time and falling in love with roses. I’d never seen so many single blooms before – or so many amazing roses entwining themselves in trees ! You certainly inspired me and continue to do so. I have just taken my very first rose cutting – of a beautiful orange rose called ‘Simply the Best’. Fingers crossed. If successful, I would love to do some more. Perhaps Grace and Phyllis Bide ? – which are probably my favourites from your garden.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Amanda. I find some roses strike easily from cuttings and others are stubborn. I haven’t tried Grace or Phyllis Bide yet but I will give them a try

  13. Amanda Clowe says:

    Hello Chloris
    I was just investigating a single rose I photographed the other day in Christchurch Park in Ipswich, as I thought it looked very similar to your image of ‘Wendy Holmes’
    When I looked the rose up online, I could only find Sally Holmes ?
    It’s so beautiful – I was interested in growing it …

  14. alison41 says:

    what a magical garden you have – thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. Your title was perfect: I couldn’t believe the wide variety of roses you have in your garden. And as for Summer Song: what a gorgeous colour – I have never seen anything like it. The combined perfume must be wonderful.

  15. Cathy says:

    Fabulous! Your garden is beautiful all year round Chloris, but the roses really must be the highlight. Thank you for showing us just some of them!

  16. Cathy says:

    I haven’t managed a video of mine as I had hoped as the wind and rain have put paid to some of the best displays – but they will get better again in due course. I have so enjoyed reading this post and see I have some way to go before I catch up with you on the obsession as I am only at the 40ish mark (different varieties that is) – I need to go down the tree route more, I think! Did I tell you I got Phyllis Bide after you sold me to her merits? She has replaced Pink Perpetue at the front – still very small, but she has a handful of blooms. Thanks for sharing all your lovelies, Chloris

  17. hb says:

    Your roses are magnificent. Very much enjoyed seeing your collection. They do not look in any way neglected!

  18. Chris says:

    What a lovely lot of roses you have, I have quite a few but space is limited in my garden. You have given me an idea though, we have two old apple trees in our garden and whilst they do bear fruit most years, I am wondering about trying a rose up at least one of them. How do you manage pruning, dead heading etc when they are way up in the top of the tree ? Not agile enough to be climbing trees these days.

    • Chloris says:

      Well if you have two old apple trees that would be ideal. I don’t prune or dead head the roses growing up trees, they just do their own thing and always look wonderful.

  19. susurrus says:

    You definitely need a collective noun for these! ‘An intoxication’ is as good as any, but as a photographer I know you’ll smile when I suggest ‘a bounce’. Your close up of Albertine caught my eye because the flowers are so shapely. Your Phyllis Bide is much taller than mine which is confined to a pot, but has given me a lot of pleasure this year.

  20. An intoxication, indeed! Truly enchanting! I believe all roses are brambles at heart so they should do well to run wild. I love ‘Wendy Holmes’ (any relation to Sally?) and ‘Blush Rambler’ especially.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Jason. I can’t imagine where Wendy came from, of course it’s Sally Holmes. Usually, I call her Sally but for some reason I’ve told everyone this year that she is called Wendy. I will change it straightaway and let’s hope no one noticed. I’m really embarrassed.

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