Roses,although a firm favourite with many of us, for a while seemed to be losing favour. Perhaps it has been the popularity of summer bedding plants in our borders, or maybe the interest of what is seen as the modern garden.
Whatever the reason I am pleased to see that roses are once again where they should be,one of the top selling garden plants of last year and 2006. If you are not particularly taken with the patio roses, or the HTs, why don’t you check out the old fashioned varieties, some of them are the most beautiful of all and also with exquisite fragrance. A special favourite of ours is the portland rose.
Amongst this group are to be found not only some of the finest of old roses but also some of the most useful. They are all continuous or repeat flowering and of accommodating proportions. They can fulfil a variety of roles from mass bedding to hedging and most do very well in pots or urns etc.
The class known as Portlands was named in honor of the Englishwoman Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, 2nd Duchess of Portland. Try one of the top selling Portlands (Jacques Cartier) pale soft pink with a lovely Damask fragrance, main flowering spell is late June well into July, and will flower to a lesser extent through the rest of the season.
Spent the afternoon visiting several garden centres in search of plants for the woodland area in the garden which I was telling you about. Managed to get a good few, some of the more special ones that I am after will come from the more specialist nurseries.
Anyway the plants we did get, a couple of hours was spent this evening planting them up. Working in the garden in the evening, still feels like it is some kind of luxury for until six months ago I ran a newsagent shop and rising at 4.15am and closing up shop at 7.30pm you were just unable for any evening work.
Well thats all in the past now, see what the future may bring. I was telling you that we had our eldest daughter and family up here on holiday from London last week, great to have them here as we had not seen them since the new year, well two days before they were due to leave us they received a phone call with information that their house had been broken into. Nothing else for it, they had to arrange an early flight home, doesn’t it make you bloody mad.
As far as I am concerned it is time to take extreme action against these scumbags, aw but surely we should try and understand, there could be so many reasons for this sort of behaviour. I know, why don’t we all start up a collection for the poor souls, (right).
Choosing woodland plants can be great fun, but sometimes frustrating when the plant you are seeking is not to be found in your local garden centres. For example Epimediums a fascinating genus of plants from the Berberidaceae family.
Epimedium Grandiflorum this species is deciduous and the new growth rises in early spring shortly after which, the yellow flowers emerge. Leaves are flushed reddish-bronze when young but colour up to a fresh green when mature. Flowers are borne in short racemes and can vary a little in colour.
Here is a specialist mail order nursery that I would recommend for woodland plants. http://www.edromnurseries.co.uk/home.asp
We have spent the whole day in the woodland area of our back garden. The sloping part goes upwards at about sixty degrees and is planted up fully with mainly deciduous trees and shrubs, the flat area at the front had become completely overgrown with shrubs, some of which were thirty years old.
Nothing else for it we had to remove the lot. The result is amazing, it has opened up the whole area letting in more light to the sloping part of the garden. We will create a pathway through the flat part and replant with spring flowering bulbs and woodland plants, and probably some Hostas and Ferns. We now have thirty bags of rubbish to dispose of, I am definitely going to get a shredder.
A perennial summer flowering plant for the front of the border. Not always an easy decision. The tendancy is usually to settle for annual plants. Another option is to consider hardy geraniums, there are a number of low growing varieties to choose from.
One of the better ones, if not the very best, is (Max Frei), flowers are a rich magenta. The plant forms a perfect round clump, described in most catalogues as being about eight inches tall, I find that in our garden the plant is five inches. Max Frei flowers from mid june until early august. It is not a geranium that is hard to find, in fact it would be described as one of the more common varieties, in spite of this if you have not grown it before, give it a try and I am sure like me you will be pleasantly surprised.