A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Tis strange my Theseus, that these lovers speak of. More strange than true. I never may believe These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason comprehends. The lunatic, the lover and the poet Are of imagination all compact: One sees…

The Oldies

The David Austin English roses have been getting a lot of my attention, but I shouldn’t forget where it all began.  Many of the Plush, crimson English roses have Gallicas in their heritage. I grow three Gallica roses, ‘Charles de Mills’, ‘Tuscany Superb’ and ‘Sissinghurst Castle’. I grew ‘Charles de Mills’ at my old house.  Here…

The Corner of Complete Neglect

We all have one, don’t we? This is mine. It is at the corner of the rose garden, next to the wall of the house.  It is tricky because it is bone-dry and has poor, stony soil that bakes hard to concrete in the summer. We inherited this rather lovely shrub rose, ‘Marjorie Fair’.  The…

Floriferous

If there is one rose in my garden that out-flowers them all, it is ‘Royal Jubilee’. Do you like its perfect globes of flowers?  Are you tempted to stick your finger or nose into that hole?  Do you like the scalloped petals that fold over so protectively?  It can look up, but it likes to…

Roses in the Bright Border

I am sorry to those who are not rose fans, but this is my time.  After June the roses will not be so prominent in the garden, and I will stop bombarding you with rose posts. But for now, indulge me. I thought I would write a post about the three roses I grow in…

Secrets of a Hacker

I have always enjoyed a good chop.  When I had Sindy dolls as a child, I always scalped them.  I can’t remember whether I thought the hair would grow back, or whether I just wanted them to look like me (I had short hair). I get the same thrill from hacking back plants.  Tidying them…

Deadheading delights

My favourite job in the garden is deadheading. Not only do you feel you are having a good tidy up, getting rid of the shrivelling flower heads to make way for fresh new growth, but you also get to examine a plant close up. You get to appreciate a flower in its many stages, from…

Portrait of a rose

If I had to choose one rose above all the rest, it would probably be ‘Munstead Wood’. It is a rose that looks beautiful from bursting bud to blown bloom. I have a thing for crimson roses that are just touched with plum. ‘Munstead Wood’ has the velvety texture of a Gallica rose.  In some…