HALF PRICE OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Smelling of roses

13:21 22 May 2015

Huntington rose

Huntington rose

TippaPatt

The colour and scent that June brings to us is impossible to envisage in the depths of winter. But here it is and let us revel in it because like all good things it is only transitory. You can’t have Christmas every day.

There is an art to growing any plant. When it comes to roses, surely the varieties with a strong scent are the ones to opt for. Then you need to visualise the sniffing procedure : there’s an art to a really good sniff. THE most important thing to remember is that the nostrils should, if possible, be at the same height as the flowers when you are sitting down.

This is where the arbor comes in handy. An arch over a bench means that you can entertain climbing roses like ‘Compassion’ (apricot and copper with yellow highlights), ‘Constance Spry’ (bright pink), or ‘Guinee’ (very dark crimson), or indeed ‘Souvenir de Docteur Jamain’ that prefers semi-shade to prevent its dark ruby-red flowers from becoming scorched by the sun. Roses can be planted out in the garden when in flower so long as the roots are disturbed as little as possible. The ground must have been well prepared beforehand, thoroughly enriched with manure. Judicious feeding and watering will also help them during their first summer. If you have never tried to grow strongly scented old-fashioned roses, try Roseraie de l’Hay (crimson purple), Belle Poitevine (magenta pink) and Blanc Double de Coubert (white). A sumptuous mixture indeed.

I well remember a chat I had with the well respected rose guru Peter Beale who has very sadly died in recent years. He first became fascinated by roses during his five mile walk to and back from school every day (irrespective of the weather) and studying the wild roses growing in the hedgerows. He was very keen on growing roses in pots, a subject that is music to the ears of people with very small gardens, balconies or roof gardens. Some of the roses he showed at Chelsea had been growing in the same pots for six years.

He said that so long as you gave them a good start in life you had a far better chance of success. He planted his containerised roses in John Innes Compost No.3, fed and watered them regularly and gave them a spring top-dressing. He never found pot-bound plants to be a problem, and Portland roses like ‘Jacques Cartier’ and ‘Comte de Chambord’, and climbing forms of Noisette ranked among his greatest successes. Apparently one major factor that puts people off from growing roses in pots is that they prove so prone to the fungal disease ‘black spot’.

Peter always felt that we should all learn to become more laid back about diseases and say to ourselves “What’s a few black spots amongst friends ?” He was a firm believer that if a rose succumbs to disease we should throw it away rather than spraying it with chemicals. He told me the most important thing you should do to to a newly planted rose is to cut it back hard when first planted in order to promote basal growth. It’s always good to talk to the gurus.

Lilac

An evening walk at about nine o’clock clutching a cold glass in hand and with the sweet smell of freshly cut grass underfoot is a joy. Then a wood pigeon joined by a cuckoo, the latter always more distant, the heady lilac scent makes you stop and smell deeply. June brings with her such a plethora of floral treasures that there is more than enough to feast the eyes upon. I find lilac one of the best scents of all. I can never understand how anyone can walk past it without sinking their nostrils into those large, magnificent flowers.

Lilac will grow in the coldest of climates. I noticed it growing in practically every garden I saw in St Petersburg where winter temperatures fall to minus 20 degrees on a regular basis. This is not altogether surprising as this hardy genus hails from regions of S.E Europe to E. Asia. Introduced to Britain during the late 16th century, lilacs prove to be perfect trees for the smaller garden as they do not exceed 4 – 5m (13 – 16ft) in height. Yes, their flowering season is brief. It is, therefore, the perfect tree for training a rose up and over it to ‘give’ it flowers later on in the summer. Such marriages are made in heaven.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Shop with us at Great British Life

More from Homes & Gardens

Yesterday, 10:00
Chris Beardshaw's garden

Cotswold gardeners are celebrating after a clutch of top awards at The Chelsea Flower Show which saw Andy Sturgeon winning Best Show Garden.

Read more
The Grade ll listed home of Deirdre and Henry Boyle

Sixteen years ago, a young couple drove along a remote country track to discover their Cotswold fairytale home, with its 23 acres of wild countryside, lying at the end

Read more
Cotswold Interiors
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
An orangery lets light into this beautiful Cotswold home

There is so much availability on the market for windows and door manufacturers with a variety of materials, the thought of replacing them can be nerve racking to say the least. These top tips will help to ensure the company you choose will produce a good job at a realistic rate

Read more
This fairytale cottage has benefited from having a much bigger and more substantial porch built on,

Have you ever wondered what the pretty thatched cottages of the Cotswolds look like inside? Well now you can find out...

Read more
Cotswold Interiors
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Carpetwise Curtainwise Furniturewise

We caught up with family firm Carpetwise, Curtainwise and Furniturewise for some expert home decor advice.

Read more
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
The Broadacre Estate - NGS

As part of the National Gardens Scheme, Broadacre will be opening its gates to the general public on 17 April.

Read more
Monday, April 11, 2016
Cotswold Garden Route

To celebrate The Year of the Garden in 2016 and National Gardening Week which runs from today 11 - 17 April, the new ‘Cotswolds Garden Route’ leaflet has been produced to encourage visitors to explore the gardens of the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, April 11, 2016
Duplex House Sistrans

Self building an eco home in the Cotswolds could be more than a distant dream once you learn the benefits of sustainable building and how to integrate these ideas into your new house. Here are five reasons to opt for green construction over traditional designs

Read more
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Sudeley Castle © Gordon Robertson CC BY 2.0

Whether you're an avid gardener or a lover of all things outdoors, we pick some of the most beautiful gardens in the Cotswolds we think are definitely worth a visit.

Read more
Thursday, April 7, 2016
10 simple ideas for a beautiful garden this spring (Trudy Wilkerson/Shutterstock)

From the best flowers to plant in spring to inspiring cottage garden style – we reveal 10 things to do this month in the garden to ensure an awesome outside space

Read more
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Walk In Shower Company

Your bathroom is one of the busiest rooms in the home, so it has to be a space that works for you. From easy access showers to a full refurbishment, bathroom expert Phil Dawes from the Walk In Shower Company shares some inspiring ideas.

Read more

Sponsored:JLT Personal Risks

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Matthew Dixon © Shutterstock

No ordinary possessions, no ordinary insurance broker.

Read more
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
MRK Services was commissioned to restore all of Hidcote garden's oldest furniture

We’ve been behind the scenes with family-run business MRK Services, who were set the onerous task of restoring some of Hidcote’s oldest and most precious garden furniture.

Read more
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Alan Titchmarsh at RHS Malvern

RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2016 welcomes a pedigree of show garden designers competing for prestigious RHS accolades including Gold medals and the coveted Best In Show.

Read more

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area




Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search