Thursday, June 30, 2011

Roses, Roses . . .

 Lisa's post on roses inspired me to finally grab some photos of the riotous explosion of fragrant bloom in my wild cottage garden. . . .above, you see in the background the Rosa Complicata

while just below, clambering over the pergola is the beautifully-named Félicité et Perpetué, with a smattering of Awakening blooms just to the right.

 Separated from the R. complicata, but still part of a huge wall of pink blooms, is the sumptuous Fantin Latour, so named because it is the the kind of rose favoured by that painter, a centifolia with rich layers of petals
 And fragrance. When I first started choosing roses for this garden ten or so years ago, I was working from the catalogue of the very special Old Rose Nursery on Hornby Island, which rated roses with "f" s depending on how fragrant they were. I considered nothing less than "ff" preferring "fff" wherever possible, although vigour and colour were also criteria.
 More R. complicata . . I'll try to get some shots of its golden crown of stamens, one of which you can see just at the right centre edge below. A treasure of a rose.
 Across the gate from it is a rose that echoes the Complicata's simple structure, but in a pale yellow -- Golden Wings, a climber. Much beloved here.
 And the Royal Sunset which I've shown you before, but which I never, ever tire of. . . Thank you, David Austin!
 The sunlight (and my limited camera skills) have washed out the colour of the Royal Sunset below, but you can see how it's beginning a voyage through the adjoining woods . . .  perhaps it will meet up with my neighbour's stunning Kiftsgate Rose on its travels . . .
 And below, another ode to David Austin, this time his glorious Graham Thomas, gifted to me by the same generous friend who gave me the Royal Sunset. I love having friends in my garden. . .
I'm hoping to post more roses soon, particularly a view of another David Austin, the spectacular Constance Spry -- which has decamped this year to spend most of its bloom across the fence in my neighbour's yard. She's to the south of us, and you know how roses like to follow the sun . . . We popped over this morning to ask her permission to cut a few to bring inside. Right now I have a vase full of all three David Austins, a happy symphony of scent and colour!

Thanks for the inspiration, Lisa -- so happy to join you in this celebration of gardens and roses. What about the rest of you -- have you a favourite rose or two? Any tips for growing them?


  1. So beautiful. The Rosa Complicata looks like it's shade tolerant. If it is it might work in our own garden, which has become more of a shade garden as the large tulip poplar and squirrely willow trees have filled in.

  2. Your garden is enchanting, and so evocative of your beautiful climate. Thank you for this post.

  3. I couldn't give you any advice look like you are doing everything right.
    Great lush and healthy happy blooming roses are such a joy and they are obviously happy to be in your garden.
    Will you show us the roses that you have brought inside?

  4. Oh, these are just stunning, but especially that Fantin Latour. It's so hard to find fragrant roses anymore. We have one area along the side of the house where the roses do well, but space is limited to about 5 bushes. I'm not happy with the ones that are in there now, may try to replace some over the winter when bare-root selection is better.

  5. Susan: I'd have to refresh what I know about R. complicata before I could comment on its shade tolerance -- that spot is in open sunshine all day long, when we get sunshine that is. We have several spots, as well, that have changed over the years from sunny to shady thanks to tree growth.
    Marsha: Thanks so much -- I do enjoy it!
    Hostess: I've taken a few photos of roses in vases, just for you -- now to get 'round to posting them. Yours are always such a delight.
    Pseu: We're really lucky with a few nurseries 'round here -- I'm hoping to get a few fragrant white hardy roses next and putting together an order. I'd love to hear what you end up choosing -- and I'd love to see how your new garden is maturing now -- that lavender must be getting quite lush.

  6. I used to have several types of wild roses before they were overgrown by the weed-like sumac trees. And I passed my climbing roses on to a friend when we redid the deck and needed to uproot them.

    Yours are beautiful and remind me of how much I miss them.

  7. What an unexpected pleasure to find even more of your beautiful flowers here this morning. Wonderful. And how they climb and wander. Thank you.

  8. Mardel: Gardens are ever evolving -- I bet your friend is loving the climbers.
    Lisa: They do wander . . . some of the F&Ps manage to be 30 or more feet from where they started out!

  9. The Graham Thomas is a climbing yellow rose? Do I understand that correctly?

    My yellow climber has reverted to red!

    Imagining the scent in your garden!

  10. Terri: The Graham Thomas is properly a shrub rose, but in our climate, in my garden, especially when I don't stay on top of the pruning, it's a climber! At the moment, it's 9 or 10 feet and . . . climbing!
    And I'm lucky enough to get all my roses from a nursery that grows them on their own roots, so they don't revert, even after a hard frost.
    Yes, it's a fabulously perfumed garden right now -- I LOVE this time of year!


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