The rose that smells of apple tart

Imagine the finest, most delicate French apple tart. With the thinnest, crispiest base, and apples sliced translucent and thin, just caramelised on top, and with a hint of apricot glaze. Can you smell it?

Tuscany Superb: The Most Romantic Rose of All

It is one of my favourite sensory pleasures to hold the impossibly soft and tender rose in one hand and snip its bristly stem with the other. The petals are softer than anything I know: peach fuzz, babies’ bottoms, duck down: they are nothing to this rose. The spent flower fits perfectly into my hand. Its petals may suddenly let out a silent ‘oh!‘, let go of their calyx all at once. They drop into my waiting bucket, with a flurry of petal confetti. and glorious rose perfume.

The Eminent Em and Anne

This post is an homage to my No.1 favourite planting combination in my garden. It is also a celebration of strong women supporting one another, celebrating one another, and giving one another a leg up.

Starfire

I am having a glorious summer with Phlox.  I discovered Phlox through reading Christopher Lloyd’s Colour for Adventurous Gardeners, one of the gardening books I return to time and time again. I have written about my other Phlox varieties in Phloxy Lady? and Boring…  Now it is the turn of the loudest and proudest, Phlox paniculata ‘Starfire’. This has wonderful…

The garden that keeps on giving

I expected the rose garden to be lovely in June.  I had planned for continuous succession of flowers, but I didn’t realise it would be delighting me quite so much in July. I am taking a ridiculous number of photos. It’s just that there are so many lovely textures.  Ticklish ones… Soft, bouncy ones… Bibbly-bobbly…

Returning the egg boxes

I think it is fair to say that most of the UK got a wake-up call with David Attenborough’s BBC documentary series Blue Planet II.  The image of the pilot whale carrying her dead baby around will, I hope, stay with me forever. I am using that dead baby whale to remind our children not to…

Getting to know you…

A rose is a long-term investment. There is a substantial layout initially. A good hole should be dug (I love digging holes), and timed so that they are just ready for your bare-root rose to arrive in November.  When you see that magical brown-paper bag waiting by the door when you get home from work,…

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…

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…

A Rainbow of Roses

I wondered what it would be like to pick one each of all of my roses to compare their colour, size, texture and scent.  I got a but carried away. OMG, it was fun! All roses are David Austin English roses, unless otherwise stated (in brackets). The Plum-Purple Ones It is interesting to see the…

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…