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Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

Well well good morning one and all and we are back to the weekend once more! Thankfully it’s a weekend I am seeing again, confused? Well last Saturday I did something rather silly but does show how dangerous gardening can be and how whatever you are doing, you need to think about it at all times, what did I do? Well I was replacing a fence at the in laws, which involved using a 6ft solid iron bar that weights about 25kgs and is about 11/2″ thick to help lever out lumps of concrete. Normally I am good with it pulling it down to either side of me, this time I pulled it towards me, for some reason I pulled it towards me, it came free of the concrete and smacked me on the head with some force, lucky for me I escaped with just concussion but it really could of been a lot lot worse! It did take me up to yesterday to feel back to normal, just left with a lump and a slight dip in my skull. It just shows that gardening isn’t just a carefree hobby or Job but one that in milliseconds, can turn into one that can have life changing repercussions, so be safe this week in the garden

Anyway enough of the be careful stuff and onto the the plants

img 0839 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

One of my first salvias to flower and one of my favourites, I love the dark rich flowers offset with the dark flower stems on Salvia Bordeaux, one of two bargain rescues at £3 last year

img 0838 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

Rosa falstaff and me have some history which sadly I can’t say in public but never less she is a stunner and one of the best Austin roses I think!

img 0835 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

My clematis last year were crap to put it lightly, first year after planting and they were mildewed rubbish, this year is another matter and Rosalyn is the first one to flower for me

img 0834 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

And she is growing though one of my last roses to flower, the rare blushing lucy, this once flowering rambler is Just starting to open now

img 0841 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

This Geranium is a total stunner! But also a total pain in the backside to over winter, it the 4th time I have tried to grow geranium joy and you can see why I want too, let’s hope I am lucky this time

img 0837 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

Let’s finish with another geranium, this ones called brook side and is a great geranium, flowers all summer long and so easy to grow and look after

That’s my six for the week, I hope you enjoyed them and don’t forget to pop over to the memes host, the wonderful, the king of the cuttings himself, The propagator!

 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.
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The glory of the moss roses

rosa common moss1 The glory of the moss roses

Moss roses are a distinctive group of roses, their flowers fill the air with fragrance whilst the soft sticky growth that covers their buds, act as sellotape on anything that passes by. The moss roses are indeed part of the larger centifolia group of roses but these roses at sometime, produced sticky soft growth to ward off sap sucking insects like aphids. The rose breeders during the 1800’s leaped apon this natural deviation and bred even more roses that were covered in this sticky soft mossy type growth. Some as a result were slightly less sticky than others!

 The glory of the moss rosesThis mossy growth is basically formed from the glandular projections that cover the Rose stems and buds, this is what gives the roses the scent. In moss roses this somehow took a slight turn and became this soft sticky fragrant growth, which to many smells of spicy apples.

The moss roses were introduced to the uk from Europe in about 1700 and indeed many 100’s were bred although sadly we only have a handful of that figure left

Well here’s 10 great moss roses to give you a taste of what this fabulous plant can bring us, some grow to a few feet tall while others make 8ft quite easy. They are indeed a great group of roses to grow

mousseline 2 The glory of the moss roses

Mousseline was bred in France in 1855 and repeat flowers thoughout the summer, fragrant and gets to about 4ft tall

general kleber 3 The glory of the moss roses

General kleber was bred in France in 1856, great quality blooms which are highly scented, flowers in June and July only. grows to about 5ft tall and is great rose for a large pot

rosa celina  The glory of the moss roses

Celina was again bred in 1855 in France, smells Devine but does suffer quite badly will mildew but the striped flowers are stunning to say the least

rosa henri martin5 The glory of the moss roses

Henri Martin, bred in France in 1863is one of the real stunners of this group, it’s flowers are one of the darkest of the moss roses and changes to a deep red as it ages. It is well scented, can can be successful grown either as a supported shrub rose or as a climbing rose

rosa oeillet panache3 The glory of the moss roses

Rosa oeillet panache is the only stripped moss rose left now sadly, it’s fragrant flowers only born during June and into July. It is a sport off the common moss rose

james veitch The glory of the moss roses

James veitch is a little stunner, bred in France around 1864, it barely gets to 2ft in height and flowers all summer long although sadly the flowers aren’t the most highly scent of the group. It also grows well in pots

little gem The glory of the moss roses

Little gem is One of my favourites as well, wonder scent and gets to about 3ft high in the garden, it’s featured in my six on Saturday a few times now. Bred in the uk in 1880

rosa common moss1 The glory of the moss roses

Muscosa is the father of them all, this stunning rose has been around for over 400yrs now, it can get to nearly 4ft in size and flowers just the once

rosa shailers white muscosa alba1 The glory of the moss roses

Shailers white Mose rose is a sport off the common moss and can indeed at times revert back to the pink form just as the pink form can at times throw up this white form, again highly scented and once flowering. Though to of been around since 1790.

james veitch2 The glory of the moss roses

William lobb, well I am saving the best to the last, one of the most highly of scented and beautiful of all the moss roses, indeed is one of my top ten roses of all time, bred in France in 1855 it a big rose growing to over 6ft as a shrub or 8ft as a climber. It works well trimmed as a shrub or having the long stems pinned down, but it is as a climber it performs best as. It flowers on and off all summer long

I hope you enjoyed my brief look at moss roses and this will led you to enjoy, study and hopefully grow many of these stunning plants. There are lots more available than I can list or feature here but this is just a taste for you all

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Six on Saturday, 16th of June, 2018

img 3004 Six on Saturday, 16th of June, 2018

Ahh back to Saturday once more, it’s been a busy week to say the least and lead to not a lot of time spent in my own garden but that’s the delights for the time of the year, plants and ideas are there, just need to be added to the garden! I would do it this morning but off to work again this morning but at least I have fathers days off only thing that’s worrying me is the lack of rain, both my front and back gardens are looking a little tired already, even though I am watering young plants and recent planting’s, I won’t water the established plants as I hope they should be big enough to look after them selves, tough love

This weeks six comes from my own little space so I hope you will enjoy my little 6

img 3001 Six on Saturday, 16th of June, 2018

I have always had a soft spot for campanulas and it is many due to this lovely form called persicifolia and it’s a great form to grow with roses and in the front of the borders

img 3008 Six on Saturday, 16th of June, 2018

Rosa iceberg was in the garden when we started renting it about 8yrs ago now, was a rather poor specimen and now its stunning!

img 3003 Six on Saturday, 16th of June, 2018

Geranium palmatum is one of the half hardy hardy geraniums, confused? Well add me too that list, comes from the canary island but has been growing in mine for 4 years, could of been longer but it’s still going well. The foliage is stunning as well and evergreen!

img 3006 Six on Saturday, 16th of June, 2018

I have a huge soft spot for moss roses and this is one of my favourites, Eugenie Guinoiseau scented with a little bit of repeat flowering

img 3004 Six on Saturday, 16th of June, 2018

And how can anyone not love staychs Byzantina or lambs ear, these tactile plants to me are the unsung hero’s in my garden, their silver foliage does such great work in the borders and then it flowers

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Cat mints are another favourite of mine (really need more space to grow all the plants I love!) this is a slightly different form called nepata nuda and is new this year

well that’s me done for this weeks six, next week I shall hopefully finished a couple of things in the garden so hopefully will showcase them but that said it’s another manic week planned but I hope you all have time to enjoy your gardens and are time out to read about others too, the memes founder has some great sixes every week so why not pop over to mr propagators and take a look

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Gallica roses, forgotten gems

rosa camuyeux 1 Gallica roses, forgotten gems

Once flowering roses are having a hard time of things of late, mainly as there are some great repeating roses that do have some great scent as well. But let’s not forget these beautiful roses, some of which, have been around for many hundred if not thousands of years. Yes they may only flower once but that is also a good reason to plant them in our gardens, it’s something positive to look forward to each June, seeing the rose slowly open and that delightful fragrance hitting your nostrils, either from close up or from a distance. These roses also have a flower unlike no other, the shape and the way some of the petals are formed within the flower, some are quartered, some semidouble. The colour range may also be limited to the pinks and reds but does that matter, not too me I may add. But anyway, enough of me singing their praises, you can see for yourself below, with 10 great forms just showing you a little of what they have to offer

charles de mills 05f Gallica roses, forgotten gems

Charles de Mills is a famous and well grown form, just look at the flower shape and colour!

alain blanchard1 Gallica roses, forgotten gems

Alain Blanchard is one of my favourites too, great for bees the the mottling on the flowers is quite special

rosa camuyeux Gallica roses, forgotten gems

There a several stripy galliacas, Camuyeax is one of my favourites

rosa lycoria2 Gallica roses, forgotten gems

Lycoris with it’s green button eye is quite distinctive

complicata Gallica roses, forgotten gems

While complicata is one of the daftest named forms, nothing complicated about this rose

rosa cosimo ridolfi  Gallica roses, forgotten gems

Look at the colour of Cosimo Ridolfe

rosa belle isis3 Gallica roses, forgotten gems

Belle Isis is one of my favourites and just look at her, the Greek goddess

rosa tuscany3 Gallica roses, forgotten gems

Tuscany also needs no introduction, been around since the 16th century at least

rosa president de seze 3 Gallica roses, forgotten gems

President de Seze is another great form

These were also the first roses to really be hybridised, many by the French but also the English, German and Italian gardeners. This breeding has been going on for hundreds of years and sadly what remains today.

These are also pretty tough roses, Rosa gallica grows naturally in sandy free draining soil so these types will take some poor soils. One word or warning though, on their own roots they do like to spread out a little, well more than a little, so always worth buying budded Plants unless you have a lovely sunny bank on free draining soil you would like covered!

They also pretty disease free, some forms suffer more than others but on the whole they can be pretty black spot and mildew free.

In all that are a cracking plant to grow so why not give them ago

20180226 202933 Gallica roses, forgotten gems
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Six on Saturday, 9th of June 2018

I love this time of year more than any other time, I think it maybe just because I have a deep deep love of roses, wild flowers and Hardy Geraniums, for those plants, it’s the time of the year that the both of them are at their peaks during this month. But that said, I think this time of the year is when the gardens have really come to life, the range of greens from the new foliage looks green and fresh, so many flowers are just hitting their first peak and it’s not only the garden this is happening. A drive around the hedgerows in the country, they will be filled with the soft white of cow parsley, the odd bit of blue of geranium pratense and if you are really lucky, a area of orchids. These native plants are also just coming to their best now.

Not doing too much in my garden at the moment apart from enjoying the flowering plants and the scent my roses are filling the air with, nothing nicer than relaxing in the garden with a cuppa or beer and enjoying the garden, well that’s until I spot a weed or a spent bloom I missed a few minutes before. That said my six below may disagree with me! Now I will say that there maybe one or two roses below, that’s my little warning for this week but tough it’s my six and I love them!

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Well that’s torn it! My forsythia needed pruning and after months of mental turmoil about whether it should stay or go now, if it’s goes there will be trouble but if it’s it could be trouble, so darling let me know, should it stay or should it go, well sorry The Clash, it’s gone, now what the hell do I do with this space!!

img 2957 Six on Saturday, 9th of June 2018

The first rose this week, Rosa Magna Carta is a Heritage rose and it repeat flowers thoughout the summer, smells stunning and looks gorgeous, great rose

img 2962 Six on Saturday, 9th of June 2018

Even with my next plant I have got roses sneaking in, Geranium Patricia is a stunning hybrid that is one of my favourites and works so well with my roses. Flowers all summer long and I planted this as memory plant for my partners Nan who sadly pasted away a few years ago, a lovely lady called Patricia

img 2964 Six on Saturday, 9th of June 2018

Souvenir de Jeanne Balandeau is again a highly scented repeat flowering heritage rose, just look at the beauty of this plant

img 2967 Six on Saturday, 9th of June 2018

Linaria Lucy’s Pink is another new plant for me, brought from a small nursery last year, I love the pink flowers that seem a little larger and wider spaced than other linarias,

img 2970 Six on Saturday, 9th of June 2018

I always feel that the flowers of sempervivums look very much like the alien bursting out of the person in the film alien, but that said they also look very beautiful. Also once the individual rosette flowers, it then sadly dies but with so many new rosettes coming up, the plant is never lost.

Well that’s my six done, I hope you enjoyed them and look forward to seeing you next week, I may of started planting up the font space caused by hurricane Tom or started another project…..

until then, happy gardening and don’t forget to pop over to the host of the Meme mr propagator https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com Just be careful he doesn’t try and propagate parts of you

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The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

img 5467 1 1 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

I was lucky enough to spend the last day at the RHS Chelsea flower show after winning a couple of tickets from Griffin Greenhouses. It was my first visit to Chelsea since 2005 so I was very excited to see the delights the show has to offer. This is always seen as the foremost flowershow in the uk, if not the world, so it a great place not just to see the new trends and thoughts coming though but also the new plants. It is also a great place to meet the growers on the stands in the grand marquee. But things have also changed with the type of sponsors on the garden, with more and more charity’s using the show to highlight their work and the plight of people from around the world. These gardens really do help to bring the work or highlight the issues that they are raising so well and it is amazing to see their message being highlighted by the skill of the designer and the beauty of plants and materials. This was my favourite from all the charity gardens img 5421 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018img 5419 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018img 5417 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018img 5415 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

The Supershoes, laced with hope garden. This garden was designed reflecting a child’s cancer journey and of course their family. I thought the winding seat and most wonderful mural painted on the back, all leading to the statues at the back of a child and parent was a excellent idea with the underplanting being a mix of lupins, irises, alliums, geums reflecting the dark and also bright moments of the cancer journey, yes colours could of been done from the darker side of first being told that you have cancer to the lighter moments saying you are cured but every journey is different and child have the ability to find joy in the most darkest of times. Well worth checking out Supershoes charity at www.supershoes.org.uk

The main avenue show gardens were indeed stunning gardens, so well designed and built, they did all however suffer from the same problem at the time of my visit, everyone wanted to see them and it was like a polite rugby scrum to get up close to look at them, with every space made by departing viewers, fought by pushing and elbowing until you got to the front. Even when you got there, you had to contend with the airplane photographers, you all know the ones who stick their elbows out at 45 degree angles to take the pics and you end up with a nice pic of their elbows. Tbh I gave up after 3 goes, found it too much for me and it’s such a shame the RHS couldn’t find a better controlled way to let people admire the gardens, a slow moving line maybe? That way you could see the gardens the full length as they are designed and built to be seen instead of a little segment whilst having an elbow inserted into your side. That said, the ones I did see were rather very good and here’s a selection below of some of the great designs and building I got close too

img 5210 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

This was the first one I saw and it was sponsored by the show sponsors M&G investments, designed by the very talented Sarah Price and but by Crocus. Its Mediterranean style garden, focused on plants that need less water, really well thought out garden that won a gold metal.

img 5397 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

I loved the planting on this garden designed by Jo Thompson, built by Bespoke Outdoor spaces and sponsored by Wedgewood. I felt the garden was a lovely cool space that I certainly could relax and enjoy in. Another gold medal here

img 5427 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

This garden sponsored by Greenlip, designed by Dr Catherine McDonald and built by landform consultants was filled by members of the pea family with the lupins really stealing the main show. I loved the fact that the whole garden was filled by the same family, showing off the whole diverse forms of the pea. Another gold medal garden

img 5463 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

This garden designed by Laurie Chapworth and Patrick Collins, sponsored by Creativiersal and built by Tendercare, the Wuhan water garden was designed to be seen from all sides and was inspired by the natural and city environments in the Hubei province in China, I liked the idea but did find it a little bit of a mix for me. It won a bronze medal

img 5467 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

Now this was a stand I wanted to play on and I will be honest and say it was the only one I saw, I would love to add to my own little garden, it was designed and built by Architectural Plants, the treehouse garden was just divine, great planting and a stunning well built tree house, just perfect place! Can just imagine my work office up there, sliding down when I ran out of cake and tea!

img 5406 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

This garden just bowled me over by its design! Yes it is designed with cricket in mind, sponsored by British Council, designed by Sarah Eberle and build by Belderbos landscapes, it was designed with both India and England’s love of cricket and the dreams of young Indians growing up in India, won a silver gilt medal

img 5400 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

I loved this garden by Kazuyuki Ishihara, sponsored by G-Loin. The Japanese hospitality garden is just so full of detail, from the moss right though to the waterfalls and just the natural look of the garden, made it look like it had been there for years, it was the only garden I saw that made me feel it had not just been build, stunning stunning garden, won a gold medal and best Artisian garden

img 5409 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

And my last of the gardens I am highlighting, this is my style of garden! Called the A very English Garden, designed by Janine Cribbins, sponsored by The Claim Guys and built by Andrew Louden. Everything about this garden is brilliant, the planting, the very high standard stone work, it is indeed another garden I could see me doing at home. Really really impressive garden won a silver gilt medal and people’s choice of best artsian garden

This is the end of the second part of my 3 part look at Chelsea 2018 show, I hope you enjoyed it

20180226 202933 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018
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Six on Saturday 2nd of June 2018

img 2861 Six on Saturday 2nd of June 2018

June! June! It can’t be be June already but the garden is proving me wrong, with so many of the June plants showing me it’s June, with the roses really starting to get going and their fragrance is starting to fill my garden. But what a week it has been, very hot and sunny and then it rained and boy did it rain! My glass left on the patio table, had 65mm in it after just being outside for 12hrs. This time last week I was heading up to Chelsea for the flower show and I had a great time there, so many stunning plants and gardens too see and inspire from. Not had to do much in the garden this week, it’s all just ticking by nicely, I do have some plants to add to the garden and now the soil is a little moist and I hopefully will get them in, I also need to plan and plant up my front door pots, just can’t decide what to put in there this summer, seen one plant I like to use and slowly adding a list together. One thing that has been decided is the removal of the forsythia in the front garden, that’s going by by this weekend!

Right enough waffling, I need my cuppa and weekend toast and the little one is of the same opinion! Again this weeks 6 is going to be a rose feast with a few others added but my roses are going away nicely now and need to be shown off!

img 2861 Six on Saturday 2nd of June 2018

First one is a rose I planted last year and is just so beautiful to look at and the scent is stunning. Champion of the world is a Hybrid perpetual rose and that will repeat flower all summer long, it’s been around since 1894

img 2862 Six on Saturday 2nd of June 2018

Let’s have a poppy now, never sowed them, they just appeared in extension of the flower bed when I did it last year. Poppy seeds last for years and years in the soil, just waiting to be exposed and when it does, boom there they are!

img 2863 Six on Saturday 2nd of June 2018

Rosa iceberg is one of the most popular hybrid teas grown, this is one of the only plants now left in the front garden I haven’t added too

img 2848 1 Six on Saturday 2nd of June 2018

Now this little sod has been in my first alpine container for the past 3 years, just sat there doing nothing and now it’s decided to flower and how lovely they are indeed, if you want to grow it and wait for 3years, it’s called Bergeranthus glenensis

img 0771 Six on Saturday 2nd of June 2018

Rosa little Gem is a beautiful moss rose, bred in 1840, flowers Just once but the scent and flowers are amazing and it works well in shade as well as full sun

img 0772 Six on Saturday 2nd of June 2018

Now this is one of my favourite roses, flowers on and off all summer with these scented flowers, pretty disease free and tough as old boots. It is a rose that should be and deserves to be grown wider, such a great garden plant, it’s name is Amanade paternotte!

Well that’s my six for this week, I hope you enjoyed them and have a great weekend gardening, I know I will 😀 and enjoy the other six on Saturday over at the hosts site https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

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Six on Saturday 26th of May

img 2832 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Another busy week in the sun, well mostly sun and warm, ideal for hoeing off the weeds and dying in a few minutes, one of my favourite jobs is hoeing, that feeling of going though the bed, in a smooth calm action, with the sun on your back, only thing that beats it, is of course, hoeing a bed full of scented roses, total bliss!

Anyway I am writing this on Friday evening, excited like a excited thing that is indeed very excited, why you may ask, well I am off to The RHS flower show at chelsea, all thanks to those great people at Griffin Glasshouses, who ran a competition for a couple of tickets on Saturday and my name came out! It’s made my week! I have only been once and that was many many years ago. I am sooo excited I could crush a grape!

Right on to the first of the six and I was going to apologise for the amount of Geraniums in this weeks 6 but I won’t, why? Cause they are all brilliant that’s why,

img 2832 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Geranium Orkney Pink, how stunning is that!

img 2825 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Time for a quick rose, this was the first one to flower for me last year, second this year Louis XIV, stunning colour, stunning scent, doesn’t stop flowering all summer

img 2827 Six on Saturday 26th of May

This six puts me in dreamland well Geranium dreamland, cracking newish form, featured in last years 6 but what a little stunner

img 2835 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Allium aflatunense is just starting to flower, moving on from the purple sensations that are just going over, cracking looking plants, supplied by Geetee bulbs

img 2834 1 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Geranium renardii is one of my favourites, the leaves are so tactile and soft and as pictured here, the flowers are so loved by bees as well as us. It makes great groundcover as well

img 2829 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Penstemon artic Fox is one of my favourite white penstemons and it works so well as white foil to many plants, great form indeed.

Well that’s my six for this week, I hope you enjoyed them, right I am off to the train station to catch a train! Will catch up with you all later, have a great weekend and enjoy the other six on Saturday over at the hosts site https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

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Opening of the first one!

cbefb2d9 9c32 4281 b017 ccba742a11fd 1855 0000005f6988bf09 file 1 Opening of the first one!

This time of year, to me is very special. I love the starting of life that this time of year brings, whether it’s the bright fresh green foliage at is now covering the countryside, in all its different shades of green or the sound of young hatched birds squeaking in their nest. For me it is the real time of change, spring becomes early summer and there’s 3 things that to me, herald in the start of summer, the first is the swallows arriving back from Africa, with their chatter filling the gardens with joy, next is the ear drum bursting sound of screeching as the swifts appear once more over ahead. Their short term stay is far too short but to me is the true sound of summer.

95555351 a8f7 4813 abd4 4ba97fa51093 1855 0000005f4e1736f9 file 1 Opening of the first one!

The last thing for me is the opening of the first rose in my own garden, yes I have seen a few early roses out in other peoples garden it the opening of the first rose in my own garden is always a special occasion and that final part of the summer jigsaw arrived for me yesterday with the opening of a very special rose!

cbefb2d9 9c32 4281 b017 ccba742a11fd 1855 0000005f6988bf09 file Opening of the first one!

We came back home yesterday after a day at the seaside, to be welcomed in by Climbing Lady Hillingdon flowering away in our back garden. She is always an early rose but it is a rose I have long loved and it has been a special rose in our family, for it was this rose that brought about my dads love of roses back in the 70’s and one that has been grown in every family garden since, including mine now in chandlers ford. For those who don’t know her, here’s a blog from last year Climbing lady Hillingdon that dwells on her history. She is one of the finest apricot roses you can grow and it was wonderful to have her lady ship welcome in the summer by adding the last piece of the jigsaw to my summer jigsaw. Now at last, the rose season will start up once more and the scented delights will fill our gardens with colour and scent once more.

20180226 202933 Opening of the first one!
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Underplanting roses- part 2, a few idea

img 3948 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

In last weeks post, (just here in case you missed it I spent a bit of time going though the ideas behind underplanting roses and it’s advantages, this week I shall be be looking at a range of under planting that will suit a wide range of roses and of course their different colour flowers. This list isn’t meant to be a bible but just a mere stepping stone into the future path of plant discovery. Now this blog could cover a few hundred plants but I shall keep it short at around 12 Plants just to give you a few ideas to get things started

Geranium pratense ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’

img 4974 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

Now I could go on about the history of this Hardy Geranium and how it’s not the real form but let’s leave that to another blog, Geranium pratense ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’ tends to flower just the once mainly but it can repeat a couple of times during the summer months. It’s light blue stripped flowers do tend to suit single coloured roses, either in pastel colours or it can just about get away with the darker reds too

Eryngium giganteum

img 6694 1 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

is much better known as Miss Willmott’s ghost. This biannual appeared the year after Miss Ellen Willmott visited a garden as she had a habit of spreading the seed in a garden during her visits. This is one of the most useful silver plants to have in the garden, it just works with any colour and almost any Rose! It is very good at self seeding itself all around the garden but it is easily removed if it’s in the wrong place. As it is a biannual, it will just form a rosette of leaves in the first year and then flower and die in the next.

Digitalis purpurea f.albiflora

img 5112 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

Another biannual is the beautiful Digitalis purpurea f.albiflora or the pure white foxglove. This plant gives you so much height within the border and is important mixed in with the shrub roses and their range of pinks and reds. These towers of white help to give the border some height and purity to the border. One word of warning, if you want just the pure white forms be certain to remove any with any hint of purple!

Sisyrinchium striatum

012 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

This is a odd looking plant with iris like leaves and dainty light yellow flowers followed by black seedheads. It’s colour and strap like leaves makes it a good plant to mix in with roses of a wide range of colours,from white to dark red. As well as working with a wide colour range, it works well with a wide range of heights, again with roses ranging in height from 45cm to 2m. It does selfseed a little but is easily replanted into the correct place

Campanula latiloba

img 6699 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

This delightful campanula comes in a few different colours, Hidcote Amethyst is a amethyst colour, the main form is blue and the white form called alba is also a very good plant to use and it will cover a wide range of roses. It will also flower for May weeks from May into August depending on the year and weather

Anchusa azurea

bed09ab2005 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

The Italian bugloss as it is more commonly called is a bright blue perennial that will repeat flower during the year. This blue colour works again with so many colour forms of roses. It has hairy leaves that may cause a rash on some people ie me! It grows to 50cm in height and can be cut down after flowering to encourage more to come through.

Dianthus old garden hybrids

img 4141 1 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

These small plants add more to the roses than just their beautiful range of pink flowers that fill the air with a clove like scent. They also bring a great shade of grey needle like foliage to the party. Their small size makes them ideal for planting around the edges of the roses and through smaller roses. They also do a great job at the front of the borders by helping to hide the bottoms of the shrub roses, which can be a little unsightly but don’t tell them please

Geranium psilostemon

img 5058 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

Geranium psilostemon needs a little more careful partnering although used correctly it can really uplift the surrounding roses. It’s difficulty comes from the colour and the height, it surprisingly works well with a range of pinks and white flowers just the sheer brightness can at times over power the surrounding plants. The other thing to watch out for is the height, it can grow to 1.2m which can over power a lot of roses, so again it needs bearing in mind when using

Penstemon ‘Pensham Wedding Day’

img 5124 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

Penstemons are great plants to have in the garden anyway but they make great additions to the Rose beds. As they repeat flower throughout the summer, they make great companions to repeat flowering roses and this white form suites pink and red flowering roses.

Penstemon ‘Hidcote Purple’

penostemon hidcote purple Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

While the purple form of Penstemon Hidcote Purple works so well with white and pale coloured roses, again it’s repeat flowering helps to bring colour to the borders even after the roses have finished flowering

Tanacetum parthenium ‘Flore Pleno’

img 3948 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

The double flowered version of feverfew is one of the most underrated plants we grow in the garden, this double version just flowers all summer long with attractive lime greenish foliage again really helps to set off the darker greens of the roses and other plants. The flowers are like tiny buttons and are quite delightful. It does self seed a little but that’s what friends and plant sales are for. It does have one advantage of attracting aphids to them and away from the roses. Works with a wide range of rose colours, indeed not many colour flowers it doesn’t work with

Cotinus coggygria

img 1106 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

We all need a little bit of purple foliage in the garden don’t we and Cotinus is the best at this. It is indeed a large shrub that is ideally suited for the bigger garden but it can be kept coppiced back each year to form these larger purple leaves and I have found a light prune in July keeps them down a little in size and helps to bulk up the size of the plant. Works well with a wide range of rose flowers.

This is just a small drop in the ocean of what you could do, the only thing that should stop is time and cost. Don’t be afraid of trying things that may sound silly like using Dahlias and other half Hardy Plants, they can and do work, it’s just getting the right combination. So please give it a go and enjoy growing roses in a way that enhances all the plants in your garden.