Eons ago I made a list of a few roses I wanted to get for the garden. Now that Autumn is here, I am browsing rose catalogues again and making more lists. Long, long lists. I need to pare my rose wish list down to less than a dozen, because I just don't have the room out the front really, and because if I bought everything I wanted it would cost me a small fortune. If I spent as much time reading about native plants as I have about roses lately, I'd rapidly be becoming an expert in my job...
You might remember that my front garden is packed with Iceburg roses, in other words, about two dozen white shrub roses. They bloom profusely and seemingly endlessly, but have virtually no scent and are on the boring side. Last year I ordered and planted five David Austin roses: Graham Thomas, Jude the Obscure, Charlotte, Crocus, and Lichfield Angel. These are all yellow/peach/apricot/buff tones. The Graham Thomas, Jude the Obscure, and Charlotte have all done well and are lovely, healthy plants which have bloomed all summer though are still small. The Crocus was attacked by a mysterious leaf-eating bug all Summer and has struggled along with barely any greenery at all. Now, at the change of seasons, it's finally got some leaves and has stopped being eaten so I'm hoping this will help it get lots of energy back ready for the Winter dormancy. The Lichfield Angel inexplicably died almost immediately after it was planted.
So this Winter I want to plant more yellow roses, some pink, and one or two others that I love too much to not plant even though they don't really fit in with my front garden colour scheme (white/lavenders/blues/yellow). I'm hoping this post will help me shorten my short list!
First, thinking of the garden bed which goes from the front gate and down the side of the bed...
By the gate I'd like a Raubritter rose (Rosa macrantha 'Raubritter'). It's supposed to be a largish groundcover/sprawling rose. I have a low wall along there and I think it would look nice spilling over the wall, but it's apparently quite thorny so that might not be the best place if people are going to walk past it. I'm determined to have one, however!
Further back along the path I think I should stick with the pink tones. I'm in love with Strawberry Hill (a David Austin rose). This medium sized, arching shrub made my original wish list and since it's still on the list I think it's a goer;
I've got a real soft spot for Saint Cecilia... way back when I was in a Catholic highschool and most of the other kids were choosing saints for their new middle names for their confirmations we all had to research a particular saint and I chose Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music (that might not be why we were learning about saints. It was a long time ago and my memory is a little hazy, but that's how I remember it in any case). Anyway, Saint Cecilia is another shrubby, upright David Austin rose with lovely pale pink/apricot blooms. This one was on my original list as well.
Up the back of that side bed, by the house, I'd like to plant a gigantic climbing rose. It's not the most sunny of spots, being squeezed in between the fence and the house, but I want a rose which soars overhead so I think once a plant grew upwards it would get enough light. I'm tossing up between a yellow Banksia rose (Rosa banksiae lutea, enormous, close to my heart), or a Crepuscule (awful name, lovely noisette rose, yellow/apricot flowers), or something old-fashioned with lovely red rose hips like a white Rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa alba). Descisions, decisions...
And at the risk of a total rose overload, here's just a few others (all shrub roses, all David Austins) that I keep thinking of and can't strike off the list.
The Alnwick Rose;
And the randoms I can't get past:
Summer Song (in a pot because it wouldn't fit anywhere else)
and finally, Munstead Wood (I'd like a climber).
Hope you enjoying this look into my brain tonight :)
(And for referencing purposes, none of these photos are mine - obviously! - but if you click on them it will take you to my Pinterest boards, and then if you click again it will take you to the website where the photo was originally posted. Or at least, that's the idea).