Well as it’s coming into the main rose season, so I decided to change the Plant of the week to the Rose of the week to really highlight some of the beautiful, historical, romantic and scented of all our garden plants.
Decided to start it all off, with one of my most favourite of all roses, Climbing Lady Hillingdon. From childhood, this beautiful rose has adorned all of main houses I have lived in and still even now, I have one flowering delightfully flowering away in my back garden
There are two forms of this beautiful tea rose available, a bush form and the climbing form, the bush form was bred first in 1910 by the English Rose breeders Lowe and Shawyer, using Papa Gontier and Mme Hoste as parents. It sported the climbing form in 1917. This Hardy rose has the most beautiful plum coloured young foliage that turn a dark green colour when they mature, the young stems are also this lovely plum colour before going a dark red/brown colour. The flowers have a great tea rose shape, with pointed buds that open into the soft apricot colour that keeps on flowering from May up to the first hard frosts. The scent of her ladyship is often described as ‘freshly opened tea with a hint of Apricot). Growthwise, it can get up to 20ft tall over a bit of time, her ladyship does need a couple or 4yrs to settle into her new home before growing away quite strongly. soilwise, most soils do fit her ladyship as long as it’s not too wet! She does prefer a nice sunny spot on the wall of a house. Pest and disease wise, the normal Rose diseases do effect her a little but she’s not over susceptible to them. Please see my earlier blog on managing foliage problems on roses.
Rosa ‘Lady Hillingdon’ was named after Alice Harbord-Hamond, born 1857she married the 2nd Baron Hillingdon in 1886, where they lived in their Norfolk estate, Overstrand Hall, built by Sir Edward Lutchens on land given to them as a wedding present by her father. She was most known from a section of her diary where she wrote ‘I am happy now that Charles calls on my bedchamber less frequently than of old. As it is, I now endure but two calls a week and when I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, close my eyes, open my legs and think of England.’ In 1912
Rosa ‘Climbing Lady Hillingdon’ can be found growing in many gardens, although there are 3 lovely speicmens at Mottisfont Abbey gardens, 1 in the walled garden, 1 near the cellarium and 1 I planted on the lodge house at the top of the drive. Buying wise, both David Austin Roses and Peter Beales can supply