One Perfect Rose

Perfect rose at a flower show arranged against foliage

The exquisite bud-within-a-flower form of this rose makes it a winner on the show bench. Labelled Rosa ‘Dr. John Dickman’, this flower only has a hint of the mauve colour I’ve seen in other pictures – perhaps that’s the effect of the light level in the marquee, or it may be that the flower will develop more pronounced mauve tones as it matures. It’s a miniflora rose, which means that the leaves and flowers are larger than a miniature rose but smaller than a floribunda.  Continue reading

The Very Fragrant Rose ‘Gertrude Jekyll’

Pink rose with a beautiful rosette shaped flower

On Sundays, I’m sharing a square cropped picture of a pink rose as part of Becky’s Square In September challenge. We are invited to dip in and out of this daily challenge as we please. She’s looking for a post where the main photograph is square and the subject is In The Pink.

Several people have asked if the roses I’ve been sharing this month are especially fragrant. Last week’s was not, so I promised a highly scented one for this week and I have kept my word. Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ has as strong and lovely an Old Rose fragrance as anyone could hope for. Scratch and sniff!

(It might work, if you have an active imagination).

Square In September: ‘Wisley 2008’ Rose

Cluster of pink roses with open rosette shapes

Three, shapely, pure pink rose sisters spent their brief lives bouncing together in a pretty cluster in a rose garden. As you see, I visited them in their prime.

Unlike many of the larger, heavier, multi-petalled varieties, the flowers of Rosa ‘Wisley 2008’ face upwards and outwards to show off their rosette forms. Those who read last Sunday’s post may be disappointed that the leaves are ‘just’ mid green, more remarkable for their tendency to resist disease than for their colour, even when grown in a rose garden where the proximity of others makes it easier for rose nasties to spread and take hold.  Continue reading

Rosa ‘Scepter’d Isle’ at Bodnant Garden

Pink rose with chalice shaped blooms

Rosa ‘Scepter’d Isle’ caught my eye during our visit to Bodnant Garden in Wales this week. The garden opens until 8 o’clock in the evening some Wednesdays during the summer (please check details online before visiting) so we could arrive fashionably late and still enjoy a (very) warm evening stroll.

We had planned to go a week or so earlier – given the choice, I prefer to catch the roses slightly before their peak when they are at their freshest, before the garden has time to need dead-heading. Winds gusting at 35-40mph put paid to that idea. Although the rose garden was a touch further on, it was still looking lovely, with rambling roses in flower on the many pergolas.   Continue reading

Plant Heritage At Risk As Rose Society Enters Administration

Rose with rosebud

The UK’s Royal National Rose Society (RNRS), which was dedicated to preserving a wide variety of roses for future generations, has gone into administration. Its rose garden, home to over 5,000 varieties including hybrid teas, climbers, ramblers and shrub roses, was due to re-open for June-July but will remain closed to visitors for the foreseeable future. The society’s long heritage dates back to 1876, making it the oldest specialist plant society in the world, but in recent years it had struggled to recruit new members.   Continue reading

Roses at Greenwood Cemetery, Jackson, MS

White cemetery rose

I often visit cemeteries on my travels. My sweetheart is drawn to them, looking for curiosities such as green men, weeping angels and tough plants. At first I thought it was all a bit ghoulish, but several years on, I’ve come to appreciate their different characters. Some are neglected now; overgrown, but romantic for all that. Others are still neatly tended, formal, official.

One that I particularly love to visit is Greenwood Cemetery, a block or so away from the centre of Jackson, MS, where an extensive collection of roses grow ‘wild’. The site dates back to 1821. More than 100 unknown soldiers lie here, as well as Southern author, Eudora Welty, herself a rose lover.  Continue reading