Roses for a cottage garden

Harkness Chandos Beauty

Harkness Chandos Beauty

After reading The Rose Girls by Victoria Connelly, I’ve experienced a renewed interest in roses. Growing up, we always had the odd rose planted here and there, and Nannie, Pappa and Mum definitely had their favourites. But reading such descriptive narrative that brought the rose scents, colours and blooms to life really got me thinking, wondering and wishing I had more of this classic cottage garden plant to enjoy.

Lark Ascending rose

Lark Ascending rose

One of my favourite roses is my Lark Ascending rose, aptly named after my absolute favourite classical piece of musical by Vaughan Williams.

Lark Ascending rose bush

Lark Ascending rose bush

When they first open, the blooms look as though they are almost illuminated from within, with a warm glow that pales and brightens as the petals age.

Lark Ascending rose in bloom

Lark Ascending rose in bloom

The Smallest Smallholding is also home toΒ Ena Harkness, Golden Showers, New Dawn, Paul’s Himalayan Musk and a Buff Beauty amongst a few other hidden gems in the rambling patchwork that makes up my garden borders.

Golden Showers

Golden Showers

And I confess, I know next to nothing about roses, and apart from the Lark Ascending I’ve let my roses go leggy over the years owing to the fact that I haven’t the foggiest about proper pruning techniques. But I’m willing to learn.

Unknown variety - any suggestions?

Unknown variety – any suggestions?

After visiting RHS Chelsea earlier this year and being thoroughly impressed by the Harkness stand, I discovered that this famed rose producer is actually located just a 25 minute drive from home. A couple of visits later and I’m now the proud owner of a Harkness Chandos Beauty, with my eye on the pollinator-friendly Simple Life and Simple Gold, as well as Penny Lane (couldn’t resist a Beatles reference, and a beautiful rose). I also love the fact that Eve Harkness rose has been bred especially for The Eve Project… definitely one for the shopping list when I’ve got a few pennies together.

I’m now looking to explore a few English gardens to get some ideas together for planting schemes and designs – Sissinghurst is on the list and with Rich’s family based in Kent, we could easily make a day of it. Got any must-visit rose gardens you think I should head to? Let me know in the comments πŸ™‚

 

Comments

  1. Stella Jones says

    Your roses are lovely and so is your photography. I can’t help you with the last one though. I’m no expert myself. I like to visit the nursery just outside of Hitchin, on the way to Letchworth. They have some wonderful roses. It used to be the Harkness centre, but is no longer, having been taken over. I remember the year that Diana married Charles. The roses for their wedding were growing in the fields of Harkness roses. You could see them from the road.

    • Hi Stella, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚ The Harkness centre is still there, we went just last month and they are tucked behind Wyevale with a separate entrance now πŸ™‚

Speak Your Mind

*