Captivating Chinas

The late 18th century was a time of great excitement: the discovery and introduction of new plant species from plant hunting expeditions to the Orient and the opening up of trade with the East, with the giant clippers of the British East India Company plying their way across the seas back home with cases of tea imports; fancy furniture, cane and lacquer ware from China and Japan and exotic plants and roses like Rosa chinensis (though it used to be called Rosa indica, meaning ‘of China’) in the newly-developed Wardian cases. Native to the Guizhou, Hubei and Sichuan Provinces of China, Rosa chinensis has been cultivated in China since 3000 BC, its blooms depicted in early Chinese paintings of the 10th century. Chinese garden roses display considerable hybridity from this long period of cultivation.

The introduction of China roses in the 1790s changed the Western rose world forever, as they were so different to the Old European roses. Not only were they a different shape with a lighter airy growth and sparser foliage, but their blooms had a different scent and colour and flowered continuously, and their introduction opened up a whole new set of genes to be used in rose breeding, resulting in an explosion in the number of different rose varieties: Portands, Bourbons, Noisettes, Hybrid Perpetuals, Tea Roses and eventually the modern Hybrid Tea roses. Little wonder that European gardeners were so entranced and captivated by these new roses! The photo below is Cécile Brünner, one of my favourite China roses!BlogChinasReszd20%IMG_0207 The early Chinas or the four Stud Chinas, as they became known, were:

Old Blush China , also known as the Monthly Rose or Parsons’ Pink and Pallida (after its parents). It was brought to Europe in 1751, but introduced to Britain by Sir Joseph Banks in 1789, after bringing it back from Canton, China (photo below);

Slater’s Crimson China, also known as the Bengal Rose, introduced in 1792;

Hume’s Blush Teascented  China 1809;   and

Park’s Yellow Teascented China 1824

See : http://www.vicstaterosegarden.com.au/about-our-roses/rose-stories for more on their arrival.

Unfortunately, these roses are not cold-hardy, so while they thrived in the warmer parts of Europe, like France and Italy, they remained small (60 to 90 cm in height, compared to over 1.8 metres in warmer areas) or had to be grown in greenhouses and conservatories in colder areas. BlogChinasReszd2014-10-25 09.36.08

Description :

Twiggy irregular bushes, 1 to 2 metres tall with a light branching habit, purple-brown stems and few thorns;

Glossy, smooth, pointed, pinnate foliage, which has red tints when young; The leaves have 3 to 5 leaflets, 2.5 to 6 cm long and 1 to 3 cm wide.

Continuous flowering of dainty blooms with distinct bright colours: deep reds; maroon; pink; white, as well as warm yellow; saffron; salmon and orange. The colour intensifies with age, rather than fading to pale like the Old European roses. The hips are red and 1 to 2 cm long. The rose photographed below is Perle d’Or.BlogChinasReszd2014-10-27 14.04.10

Cultivation :

China roses will do best with fertile, well-manured soil and a sheltered warm north-facing (Southern Hemisphere) position, protected from the wind. They dislike hard pruning, so only remove dead and dying growth. The rose below is Old Blush.BlogChinasReszd2014-10-19 13.45.46Species:

Rosa chinensis var. spontanea

The wild form of the rose, it was first seen by Dr Augustine Henry in 1884 and described by him in The Gardener’s Chronicle in 1902. It was found again in 1983 by Mr Mikinori Ogisu, of Tokyo, in the Chinese Province of Sichuan and was photographed in the Royal National Rose Society’s Journal, The Rose, accompanied by an article by Graham Thomas in September 1986.

Growing into trees up to 3 metres tall, it bears blooms 5 to 6 cm wide, which vary in colour from pink to crimson (the colour being darker in areas of higher altitude).

Old Blush or Parson’s Pink 1781    Parsons’ Pink China x R. odorata ‘Pallida’

Still quite common, Old Blush is a dainty, upright, robust, almost thornless shrub or short climber with dainty, small, loosely informal, pale silvery-pink (deepening with age), continuous flowers in small clusters. The strong scent has been described as being similar to a sweet pea. It was brought to Sweden in 1752 by Peter Osbeck, was growing in Holland in 1781 and introduced in England in 1789. It was found growing in a garden at Rickmansworth, in the garden of Mr Parsons in 1793.  Often the first rose to start flowering in Spring and the last to finish in Winter, it produces flowers continuously through the Summer, hence its other name: the Monthly Rose. While usually growing to 1.2 metres, it can be considerably taller (up to 3 metres against a warm wall) in favourable conditions.BlogChinasReszd2014-10-27 12.51.10

Slater’s Crimson China, also called  the Bengal Rose, Semperflorens and  Old Crimson China

Also known as the Bengal Rose, because it arrived in tea clippers from Calcutta, India, in 1792. Seldom seen today, this rose was important , as it introduced rich pure reds into a gene pool, where the crimsons invariably turned to purples and mauves. Its flowers are truly single, 9 cm across, blood red, fading to crimson, and have a slight tea fragrance. A small rounded bush 1 to 1.2 metres tall in Britain, it will grow to twice the height in hotter climates. It needs a warm sheltered position to do well and prefers warmer climates, where it will flower 12 months of the year.BlogChinasReszd2014-10-19 13.14.31Hume’s Blush Teascented China     R. indica odorata

Discovered by John Reeves in 1808, but named after rosarian, Abraham Hume, this rose was sent from the Fa Tee Nursery in Canton in 1810. The fully double blooms are a creamy flesh pink, fading to creamy white,  with a pink reverse and a strong tea fragrance and are borne continuously from Spring to Autumn. The original hybrid introduced to the West may very well be extinct, as it disappeared from commerce in the 19th century.

Park’s Yellow Teascented China  R. indica ochroleuca, now assigned Rosa odorata var. pseudindica

Named after plant collector, John Damper Parks, who discovered this cloudy sulphur-yellow, scented rose in 1824 on a Royal Horticultural Society expedition to China, it is thought to be the result of a cross between R. chinensis and R. gigantea, from which it inherited its larger, thicker and more waxy petals. The yellow tea roses of the early 20th century were the result of crossing this rose with Fortune’s Double Yellow, a Tea Rose with yellow, buff and red blooms, found by Robert Fortune on the wall of Chinese mandarin’s garden in Ningpo, Northern China, 1845, while a cross of Parks Yellow Tea-scented China with Noisettes produced the Tea- Noisettes. It is likely that the original was lost over 100 years ago. According to Mr. George Gordon (1806-1879), Superintendent of the Gardens of the Horticultural Society at Chiswick near London, ‘Rosa indica ochroleuca‘ was extinct before 1842. The Tea-scented Yellow China, which was widely distributed, was ‘Rosa indica flavescens‘, a seedling of Hume’s Blush. The pale sulfur yellow original was a small shrub, that rebloomed, set hips, and had only a moderate Tea scent. The rose presently in commerce under this name is creamy white, once-blooming, strongly Tea-scented and does not set hips. Here is a photo from the Victorian State Rose Garden at Werribee Park, Victoria:BlogChinasReszd2014-10-19 13.25.27Now for a discussion of the modern day China roses available.

Cécile Brünner   Sweetheart Rose/ Mignon and the Maltese Rose

A delightful little rose, bred by Pernet-Ducher, France, 1881, it is a cross between a Polyantha rose and Tea rose, Mme de Tartas.  It is often confused with the taller Bloomfield Abundance, but the buds on the latter have long sepals, an identifying feature.BlogChinasReszd20%IMG_1822 Cécile Brünner is only short (120 cm tall and 60 cm wide) with spindly, thornless, compact growth; sparse, semi-glossy, dark-green foliage; and perfectly scrolled, delicate soft pink blooms in clusters in Summer. The blooms are popular with florists for use in corsages and buttonholes.BlogChinasReszd20%IMG_1944 There is a white form, as well as a climbing sport, Climbing Cécile Brünner, which is much more vigorous, reaching 7.5 metres tall and 6 metres wide, growing into trees and scrambling over arches. It is tolerant of most soils and is well-endowed with dense, dark-green foliage, which often hides the tiny shell-pink flowers. The photo below is our Climbing Cécile Brünner over the arch leading to our old guest cottage in Armidale. We have planted another specimen in our new garden at Candelo over the entrance arch on the lane, leading to our front door, and already it has covered one side of the arch totally.BlogChinasReszd50%Image (228)

Bloomfield Abundance  (Spray Cécile Brünner in the USA)

A cross between Sylvia and Dorothy Page Roberts, bred by Thomas, USA in 1920 and one of the largest bush Chinas at 1.8 metres tall and 1.2 metres wide. Smooth purplish-brown, often spindly wood; dark-green smooth foliage and large well-spaced clusters of tiny compact shell-pink flowers on long stems. Long sepals extending beyond the petals, while those of Cécile Brünner are shorter and fold back to the receptacle.BlogChinasReszd50%Image (166)Perle d’Or (Yellow Cécile Brünner ) Dubreuil, France, 1884

A cross between a Multiflora seedling and Mme Falcot, it can grow over 1.8 metres, but is usually more like 1.2 metres tall. Very similar to Cécile Brünner, it has dense growth, twiggy, almost thornless stems, ample rich dark green foliage and clusters of spaced small orange-buff yellow, turning a softer peachy pink, flowers with a slight fruity fragrance.BlogChinasReszd2014-10-27 14.04.06Hermosa (Armosa)

A hybrid between a China Rose and another unknown parent, bred by Marcheseau, France in 1840. The growth is branching and more sturdy than most Chinas with numerous, small, grey-green leaves and it bears small, mid-pink, slightly fragrant globular cupped flowers continuously through Summer.BlogChinasReszd2014-10-19 13.45.46 The blooms have a Bourbon-like appearance, though are smaller and more delicate.BlogChinasReszd2014-10-19 13.45.51BlogChinasReszd2014-10-27 12.53.24Mutabilis (Tipo Ideale)

I love this rose, whose beautiful light single papery, loose blooms of variable colours remind me of a host of butterflies.BlogChinasReszd50%april 029 Copper-yellow pointed buds open to single copper-yellow flowers, which turn to pink then crimson with age.BlogChinasReszd20%IMG_1983 A dense twiggy plant, with plum-red shoots and glossy dark green leaves (juvenile leaves are bronze), British descriptions of this rose claim its measurements as 90 cm tall by 60 cm wide, though David Austin has seen 2.5 metre high shrubs against a warm sheltered wall. It performs very well in the warmer climate of Australia, reaching over 3 metres in Walter Duncan’s Heritage Garden in Clare, South Australia. La Landriana, a garden created by Marchesa Lavinia Taverna at Ardea, near Rome, has over 300 specimens of this beautiful rose, covering two acres. See: https://www.romecentral.com/en/luoghi-segreti-vicino-roma-giardini-della-landriana/. What a sight to behold this valley  in full bloom!!! Given to Henri Correvon of Geneva by Prince Ghilberto Borromeo of Isola Bella, Italy, in 1896, there is little known about the origins of this rose.blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-253

Viridiflora    R. viridiflora

Introduced in 1855, this small rose is a sport from Old Blush China, to which it is very similar in growth. A very unusual rose, the petals have been replaced by numerous green sepals, hence its other name, the Green Rose. The bracts also have rust-red tinges, which turn purplish-brown with age, and it’s a very interesting rose to use in floral arrangements.BlogChinasReszd2014-10-19 13.44.18

Use of China Roses

In Chinese medicine, all parts of the rose are used. The leaves and roots are used to treat arthritis, boils and coughs, while the hips are applied to sprains, ulcers and wounds. The flower buds are used to treat dysmenorrhoea, poor circulation, swelling and stomach pains. The other interesting fact, which I discovered in my research, is that China roses can be used as a natural acid-base indicator. The rose petals are soaked in hot water for half an hour until the water turns pink. When added to acids, the colour turns a magenta red, while mixing it with a base will turn the colour to a yellowish-green or green. See:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SggBRVQ0gtg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDiU5-CKbY4.

Next month, we will discuss some of the different types of new roses available to the Victorians after the introduction of the Chinas: the Boursaults, Portlands, Bourbons and Hybrid Perpetuals.

 

Inspirational and Dreamy Garden Books: Part Two: Books about Specific Gardens

Having had our appetite whetted by some  wonderful garden travel books in my last book post, it is now time to visit some of my garden books, devoted to specific gardens.

Books about Specific Gardens.

First stop, France…

Monet’s Garden: Through the Seasons at Giverny by Vivian Russell 1995

We were lucky enough to visit this beautiful garden in 1994, along with several busloads of tourists, though Ross was so clever that none of his photographs contained another living soul! This is such a lovely book and a wonderful reminder of our day there, enjoying the beautiful roses and the famous water garden, as seen in the first photo below. The second photo is my daughter, Jen, on her second visit years later, on the famous wisteria-covered bridge:BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0643BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%P1190188While we were there in early Summer and we also have seen my daughter’s photographs of Giverny in Spring with the tulips in full bloom, it is wonderful to be able to see photographs of the garden in other seasons as well. The photos in this book are absolutely stunning and well do justice to Monet’s vision! Here is our photo of the Summer roses in full bloom in 1994:BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0645Incidentally, Vivian Russell also directed Peter Beales’ romantic video ‘A Celebration of Old Roses’, which I discussed in my post on Favourite Rose Books (https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/), so she is the perfect author for a book about this celebrated artist. This is my daughter Jen’s Spring photo of Monet’s beautiful house:BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190241

I have always loved his paintings, indeed that of all the Impressionists, which we were lucky enough to see in their old light-filled venue at Jeu de Paume on my first trip to Paris in 1984.  In this book, Vivian explores the history of Impressionism, Monet’s life and the relationship between Monet, the artist, and Monet, the gardener, especially in relation to light and atmosphere, as well as the daily maintenance and practical aspects of the garden in all seasons. She has keyed watercolour maps of both the flower garden and water garden in the front. It is certainly a very beautiful book!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (444)

Renoir’s Garden by Derek Fell 1991

Renoir is another favourite Impressionist artist, but unfortunately we were not aware of his garden at Les Collettes until after our trip! Renoir’s garden is quite different to Giverny. While Monet was heavily influenced by informal English cottage gardens and Japanese stroll gardens and used plants like paints on a palette to transform a neglected site into his vision of a flowering paradise, Renoir cherished the age, history, peace, tranquillity and stability of the old farmhouse garden and was keen to preserve the ancient olive and orange groves and market garden. Situated in Cagnes in Southern France, the climate and plant selection are totally different too, although like Monet and myself, Renoir loved his roses and grew them everywhere, as well as painting them on all his women! I adore Renoir’s beautiful sumptuous nudes and portraits and I loved this book! We will definitely visit Les Collettes if we ever visit France again! I also loved the beautiful 2012 film, simply titled ‘Renoir’ about his final days and his last model Andrée Heuschling , who became his son Jean’s first wife and starred in nine of his silent movies under the name of Catherine Hessling (See: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2150332/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZTiQ_quEPA for the trailer), though I believe much of the footage was shot in the gardens of Domaine du Rayol. See: http://www.domainedurayol.org/. It can currently be seen on SBS On Demand and is such a sensuous romantic film. Like the previous book, there are watercolour plans of the garden, the formal and informal borders and a map of France, as well as a list of the plants in the back.

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Britain

The Lost Gardens of Heligan by Tim Smit 1997

We did however visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan (http://heligan.com/) in Cornwall in 1994, three years before the publication of this book, when they were in the middle of restoring this grand old Victorian garden, which had been neglected for 70 years. It has been described by The Times as ‘the garden restoration of the century’ and was masterminded by John Nelson and the author of this book, Tim Smit, who has since gone on to build the Eden Project. See: http://www.edenproject.com/. Here are our photos of Heligan from a distance:BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (465) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (466) - CopyThe book chronicles the whole restoration project from the rediscovery of the gardens in 1990 to the restoration of the Italian Garden  (1991) and the Northern Summerhouse (1992) and the opening of the garden in Easter 1992. Here are some of our 1994 photos:BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (465)BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (466)BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (470) - Copy This was followed by the redevelopment of the Ravine (old Alpine Garden); Flora’s Green, containing many hybrid rhododendrons of the Hooker collection; the New Zealand garden (1st photo above); the crystal-lined Grotto; the Jungle and its lake (2nd and 3rd photo above); the Walled Vegetable Garden with its straw bee skeps in hollows in the wall (1st photo below) and heated greenhouses (2nd and 3rd photos); and the Melon Garden, all by our visit in 1994.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (467) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (469) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (468) - Copy Since then, the Flower Garden and Sundial garden have come into their own and the Lost Valley and its Water Meadow have been restored. I can see we will have to pay a second visit, but in the mean time, we can watch one of the many videos about this highly popular garden in Britain!

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The book was published in conjunction with Channel Four, which produced a six part series directed by Vivianne Howard and winner of Best Documentary TV series by the Garden Writers Guild. An interview with the director and the people involved can be viewed on: https://vimeo.com/109851192.

More footage of the garden can also be seen on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c48IK05tOZg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq-vVJGmyOc, only two of the many choices on You Tube!

The Garden at Highgrove by H.R.H The Prince of Wales and Candida Lycett Green 2000  is another garden on my bucket-list! I so admire Prince Charles for his far-sighted vision and enthusiasm, his courage for supporting non-mainstream causes and viewpoints, which none-the-less are growing in popularity, like environment, organic agriculture, traditional arts and crafts, spiritual aspects or just sheer beauty in architecture! He is such an interesting and worthwhile man and I will have more on his enterprises in a future post on environmental books, but here I will focus on his wonderful garden at Highgrove House (https://www.highgrovegardens.com/), his home since 1980, in Gloucestershire, where he puts his principles and theories into action! It too is a highly visited gardening mecca, which must be booked way ahead, is quite expensive to visit (the proceeds all going to the Prince’s charities) and has a strict ‘No Photography’ rule, so I am happy to say that there is also a lovely dreamy video about this garden, which gives you an in-depth look without the crowds or time limits! See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbJgNXgppkI. David Attenborough has also narrated ‘Highgrove: A Prince’s Legacy’ in his 2003 series of ‘Natural World‘ (Season 21, Episode 13). There is even a garden blog on : https://www.highgrovegardens.com/about-highgrove-gardens/the-garden-now/.

This is a lovely book with a very logical sequence of chapters from the setting and history of the estate to the view from the house , which includes the Sundial Garden and Terrace Garden, the Thyme Walk (over 20 varieties of thyme) and the Fountain Garden; the Cottage Garden, which was developed under the guidance of Rosemary Verey, and the Savill Gardens; the Wildflower Meadow, a 4 acre wild garden containing 30 different species of endangered plants, and Woodland Garden with the National Collection of Beeches; William Bertram’s wonderful tree house ; Julian and Isabel Bannermans’ fern pyramid and Wall of Gifts; the Stumpery with its green oak temples and hosta collection; a recycled stone water feature and the Japanese Garden; and finally, the Arboretum with its Autumn Walk; Spring Walk, Azalea Walk and The Sanctuary, built in 1999 to commemorate the Millenium as an expression of thanksgiving to God and blessed by the Bishop of London in January 2000; and the highly productive Walled Garden, filled with roses, flowers, vegetables and espaliered fruit trees and sweet pea tunnels. The whole garden is run along organic lines with sustainable practices; recycling; rainwater tanks and a bore; reed bed sewage systems; solar panels and composting and other natural fertilizers. It is so inspiring and uplifting, as well as very practical! There are comprehensive plant listings for each area in the back of the book.

Since the publication of the book in 2000, Emma Clark has designed an Islamic Carpet Garden, based on two of the Turkish carpets in Highgrove house, the design winning silver at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2001: See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2591531/Prince-Charles-Highgrove-exclusive-JULY-Turkish-delight-glorious-green-spaces.html. Emma is an expert in the art of the Islamic garden, in fact that is the very title of her book: The Art of the Islamic Garden, 2004, an essential read for those interested in developing such a beautiful garden! See: https://www.psta.org.uk/about/publications/emma-clark and http://theislamicmonthly.com/the-art-of-the-islamic-garden/ and https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Art-Islamic-Garden-Emma-Clark/1847972047. She is also heavily involved with The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, but more about that wonderful institution in my future post on environmental books!

There is also a Southern Hemisphere Garden with ferns, tree ferns, palms and eucalypts; an Italian garden; a Black-and-White Garden (white lupins and peonies and black grasses) and a Topiary Walk with six-foot high rounded balls of yew.

A beautiful and inspirational book, which should be included in every horticultural library!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (442)Virginia Woolf’s Garden: The Story of the Garden at Monk’s House by Caroline Zoob 2013

When we left London, in 1994, we stayed at a Bed-and-Breakfast in Firle, a small village in East Sussex, which is still part of the estate of Lord Gage and his family and very near Virginia Woolf’s house, Monk’s House, at Rodmell, now owned by National Trust. See: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/monks-house. Caroline and her husband rented Monk’s House from the National Trust for 10 years and the result is this wonderful book. Caroline is a fellow hand embroiderer, so this was the perfect gift for me! How I would dearly love to join her for one of her week-long embroidery and mixed media workshops in France. See : http://carolinezoob.co.uk/join-me-for-a-week-of-workshops-in-france-september-2017/ and http://carolinezoob.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Caroline-Zoob-Workshop-France.pdf. But back to her book!

This is another one of those beautiful dreamy books, which I could not be without! The colour photographs of the house and garden are superb and are interspersed with original black-and-white photographs; and the watercolour garden map and keyed planting plans and embroidery panels of the different sections of the garden are so beautifully executed and reason enough to buy this book! The seven chapters tell the story of the house and garden from the time Virginia and Leonard Woolf owned Monk’s House (1919) to the present day. The Orchard, Fig Tree Garden, Millstone Terrace, Fishpond Garden, Virginia’s Bedroom Garden, the Flower Walk, The Italian Garden, the Terrace, the Writing Lodge, the Walled Garden, the Vegetable Garden, the Rear Lawn Garden and the Conservatory are all lovingly described in much detail and include many quotes by Leonard and Virginia and constant references to her writings. While Virginia enjoyed her garden, it was Leonard who was the main driving force. He also loved his roses and became an expert horticulturalist over the development of the garden, continuing well into his late 80s.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (443)

I have also always been fascinated by Virginia’s sister, Vanessa Bell, and the Bloomsbury Group and would also love to visit her home at Charleston, Firle (http://www.charleston.org.uk/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x28hGsR8Cvc). Virginia used to walk the six miles from Monk’s House, across the river and along the South Downs to Charleston, the journey retraced and described in this lovely blog post: http://thoughtsofthecommonreader.blogspot.com.au/2009/07/in-footsteps-of-virginia-woolf.html. Even though Charleston was closed during our stay, we did get to see the murals painted by Duncan Grant and Vanessa and Quentin Bell in the Church of St Michael and All Angels at Berwick: http://www.roughwood.net/ChurchAlbum/EastSussex/Berwick/BerwickStMichael2004.htm and http://www.berwickchurch.org.uk/bloomsbury%20at%20berwick%20home.html.

BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (464) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (464)Here is a link to the garden pages of the Charleston official website: http://www.charleston.org.uk/visit/at-charleston/garden/.

The 3,000 Mile Garden: A Magical Correspondence Between Two Passionate Gardeners  by Roger Phillips and Leslie Land 1992/ 1995

Without taking away from books with beautiful photos, if a book can grab you with its text alone, then it truly does belong in this post about dreamy and inspirational gardens. This delightful little paperback is based on a four-year long correspondence between Roger Phillips, the well-known British garden writer and horticulturalist and Leslie Land, an American cookery and garden writer. They each write about their own gardens – Roger at Eccleston Square, a three acre private locked community garden for use by the residents of the surrounding flats, which we saw on our first visit to London in 1984, 3 years after Roger started managing the garden, and Leslie at her small cottage garden in rural Cushing, Maine, on the east coast of America, 3000 miles away! The share their passions for gardening, food and the good life and exchange ideas, bed plans, pressed  flowers, practical tips and recipes. I loved Leslie’s description of poaching a large pair of salmon in a bath tub outside (page 267) and have often used her excuse for delay of ‘having had a severe attack of life’ (page 32)! The letters between the two gardeners are delightful – highly entertaining and amusing, as Leslie had quite an earthy sense of humour – I loved some of her slightly risqué sketches! Sadly, Leslie is no longer with us, having died too early at age 66 years in 2013. Channel Four produced a six-part series based on the book in 1994.

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United States of America

While I do not own many American garden books, one which I would not be without is:

Tasha Tudor’s Garden by Tovah Martin 1994

A new discovery and purchase, following a recommendation by a fellow blogger The Wildlife Gardener : https://wildlifegardenerblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/finding-my-happy-place/ and https://wildlifegardenerblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/my-favorite-american-gardener-tasha-tudor/. My thanks again for the recommendation! It is every bit as lovely as the above posts describe. For those of us, who espouse a simpler, more self-sufficient lifestyle, Tasha set a wonderful example! Not only did she grow all her own food, raise chickens and Nubian goats and make all her own dairy products on her 250 acre farm, 10 acres of which were devoted to vegetables and flowers, but she also spun her own yarn, weaving it into cloth, from which she made her own clothing and quilts, and even made marionettes and exquisite dolls’ houses! She gardened right up until her death in 2008, aged 92, and while her gardens may not be as beautiful as they once were, at least we can enjoy them through the wonderful photographs by Richard W. Brown in this lovely book, which also includes Tasha’s delightful artwork, more of which can be seen at: http://www.theworldoftashatudor.com/cgi-bin/cellardoor/index.html. It is such a romantic dreamy book and I am now keen to read: ‘The Private World of Tasha Tudor’ by the same author. See: https://www.amazon.com/Private-World-Tasha-Tudor/dp/0316112925/ref=la_B000APGDO2_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1357841060&sr=1-3.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (447)

My final post on Dreamy and Inspirational Gardens will be posted at the end of June and features books about Australian Gardens, as well as Specific Plants.

Roses in Floristry and Soho Rose Farm

Roses would have to be one of the most popular flowers used in floristry for weddings, birthdays and funerals and special days like St Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day. Unfortunately, many of the perfect rose stems bought from florists have been grown utilising poor environmental practices in countries with cheap labour, like Kenya and Ethiopia in Africa, and now Ecuador in South America, and then flown long distances around the world or have been forced in hothouses, but luckily there are local alternatives like Soho Rose Farm, 1.5 hours from Melbourne. Sadly, the business is now up for sale (https://www.bellarineproperty.com.au/1-9-drakes-road-drysdale-vic-3564625/), so this post, while written well before news of the sale, is now more a commemorative post about our wonderful two years on the farm!

Soho Roses

Clare Russell and Wally Stannard

1 Drakes Rd Drysdale, Victoria 3222  Ph: 0412 117 570

www.sohorosefarm.com.au  and www.facebook.com/sohorosefarm/

We were very lucky during our time in Geelong to work at Soho Rose Farm, a wholesale rose farm on the Bellarine Peninsula: Ross in the paddock, cultivating and pruning roses, while I was toughing it out in the air-conditioned shed, conditioning the blooms for market.BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9000 Soho roses are field grown roses, which are grown naturally out in the paddock and involve slower growth, more maintenance and labour, and increased susceptibility to the vagaries of inclement weather like rain, drought and high temperatures. For example, the ideal temperature for roses is 28 degrees Celsius, but 4 days of temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius resulted in having to throw away 150 000 deadheaded blooms one Summer!BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9002The roses, sourced from Treloars Nursery in Portland (http://www.treloarroses.com.au/), are highly fragrant and twice the size of the normal florist rose blooms, with up to 40 petals per bloom. There are over 60 varieties, mainly David Austin shrub roses over five years old, but also Hybrid Teas and Floribundas.BlogSohoReszd2513-01-20 09.58.15BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-09 17.23.45BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.46.09BlogFeb Garden20%ReszdIMG_0094 Fair Bianca (above) is a particular favourite for weddings with its pink tipped buds and cream blooms, opening flat, though the scent tend to go off after a day or two! For more on the particular roses grown, please consult: http://www.sohorosefarm.com.au/rose-gallery   and  http://dakotaflowercompany.weebly.com/soho-roses.html.

BlogSohoReszd25rly march 2013 007BlogSohoReszd5013-06-09 12.43.49Soho Rose Farm started  12 years ago (July 2005) in a different location and after farming three different blocks, it moved to its current site in Drysdale six years ago due to the current block’s continuity of water. The average rainfall in Drysdale is 400 mm and extra water is sourced from a 30,000 gallon water tank, as well as town supplies.BlogSohoReszd5013-06-09 12.50.11BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9107BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9109BlogSohoReszd5013-06-09 12.50.19BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9074BlogSohoReszd5013-06-09 12.44.48BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9080BlogSohoReszd5013-06-09 12.44.37 When we were working there from 2010 to 2012, Clare and Wally also leased a paddock over at St Leonards, next to a large dam, with a spectacular view of Queenscliff and Corio Bay.BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9108BlogSohoReszd50%late oct 019BlogSohoReszd50%late oct 022BlogSohoReszd50%late oct 023 I used to love working over there, even though the toilet facilities were non-existent, as the view was spectacular. We would often watch honking swans or pelicans fly low overhead, as they came into land on the dam.BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9082BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9101BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9085 There were also flocks of sheep and alpacas grazing in the paddocks next to the rose field and the odd rabbit, as well as lots of bird song, fresh air and sunshine!BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_8992BlogSohoReszd50%late oct 021 However, in the end, it was too difficult splitting their time between the two sites and the owners decided to focus intensively on the home paddock at Drysdale instead.BlogSohoReszd5013-06-09 12.51.02BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_8998 We were given the option of digging up as many roses as we wanted from the St Leonards patch, the source of the 12 roses in our Soho bed, hence the name! The first two photos below are the start of the garden in September and October 2015 and the 3rd photo is from November 2016. Such a difference in just one year!Blog MidAutumn20%Reszd2015-04-18 10.00.02Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0607blognovgarden20reszd2016-11-01-09-42-58At Drysdale, over 8000 plants are grown on 1 hectare with well-drained loamy topsoil, ideal for growing roses. The roses are planted 1 m apart to allow for good air circulation and space to thrive, as shown in this photo from the St. Leonards rose patch.BlogSohoReszd5013-06-09 12.45.14 The soil is tested three times per year to determine fertilizer requirements, with a liquid brew, fed to the plants through a fertigation drip irrigation system. Fertilizer is applied three times a year in February, September and late November to early December after the first growth spurt.BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9001 Roses are pruned lightly or deadheaded throughout the growing season, according to the rose type, to encourage more blooms, and then in Winter (after the July school holidays or when the leaves start to drop for 6 weeks), they are pruned back hard. Each rose type is pruned differently, with Hybrid Teas being pruned more heavily than David Austin roses. The roses are then mulched with pea straw and manure before the new shoots start to emerge, in order to control the weeds, save water and replenish the plants for their growth over the next Summer. Winter is also the time for planting new roses.BlogSohoReszd25rly march 2013 008BlogSohoReszd25rly march 2013 006Roses are picked by hand five days a week from 6.30 am till mid-morning. Each variety needs to be picked at a different stage, so that it’s not too open, nor too closed, by the time it arrives at the florist’s shop. They immediately go into buckets of water on the trailer and are then brought up to the air-conditioned shed for conditioning. There are usually about 10 staff, many migrants and refugees from Thailand and Burma, who were learning English at the local TAFE, as well as some locals like Pam and Meamatua (hope the spelling is correct!), floristry students like myself and Berna, other students like the gorgeous Genevieve, who was training to become a primary school teacher, and an assorted dog population, including Clare and Wally’s staffy pup, Sid, born in 2012; Pam’s border collie Scarlett and visiting dogs Otto and Maple Syrup!

While some worked out in the paddock in the fresh air, heat and the rain, picking blooms, deadheading, pruning and doing all the hard physical labour, others worked mainly in the luxury of the air-conditioned (though often slightly cool!) shed with the cut blooms, but we would all get together over a cup of morning tea with cheese and biscuits and lunchtime, trying out different exotic Asian meals!

And at Christmas, we would have a Christmas feast, assembling our own pizzas from Wally’s ingredients, which were then cooked in their wood-fired outdoor oven, with salads and desserts contributed by staff members. The photos above and below are my Soho watermelon dessert, while the next year’s offering on 12th December 2012 (12.12.12) was cupcakes!

Clare and Wally are such good people and offered a decent wage and a wonderful introduction to work in Australia for unskilled newcomers to Australia. It was a very friendly and inclusive environment and so interesting learning about all the different cultures.BlogSohoReszd5012-12-11 13.12.32But back to work! Over 6 000 stems are picked a week with up to 12 000 stems in the peak season from November to March. Picking starts in late October and extends through till the next May. Rose stems are stripped by hand to remove the lower leaves, sorted into bunches of 50 stems, cut diagonally on the stem ends and placed in buckets of water to be stored in the cool room.BlogSohoReszd25%late feb 2013 042 Roses were arranged in buckets according to the rose orders on the blackboard and the urgency of the job.BlogSohoReszd25rly march 2013 002 While some florists wanted only one type of rose in the bucket like the wedding rose, Fair Bianca, others wanted one colour only like pink, so we would mix David Austins and Hybrid Teas in a range of pinks like The Childrens’ Rose and Heaven Scent (both Hybrid Teas) with David Austin roses, Eglantyne or The Claire Rose.BlogSohoReszd25%May 2013 038 Others wanted mixed soft pastel shades, elegant antique creamy pink and coffee shades (Spirit of Peace and Julia’s Rose) or dramatic bold mixes of red and purple; red and orange; or my favourite Moroccan Mix with oranges, reds, golds and purples!BlogSohoReszd25%May 2013 040BlogSohoReszd50cember2011 200 There was such a wonderful array of colour and form on the cool room shelves and the scent was divine!BlogSohoReszd25rly march 2013 077BlogSohoReszd25%May 2013 041 A fully packed  coolroom is a wonderful sight to behold, as was the floor of the shed at the end of the day!BlogSohoReszd2513-02-15 10.03.10BlogSohoReszd2513-02-15 14.40.05 Any leftover blooms are donated to the local nursing home or divided amongst the staff, the latter the best perk of the job. I would arrive home from a long tiring day at the rose farm, only to be transported into another dreamy relaxing world, as I arranged vases of beautiful blooms- a sure sign of being in the right job!!!BlogSohoReszd25rly march 2013 003 In the afternoon, the flower buckets are loaded into the air-conditioned van for transport to the Avalon Airport, where the blooms were then collected by Dakota Flowers (http://dakotaflowercompany.weebly.com/), who distribute them at the Melbourne Wholesale Florist market and to florists around Melbourne. Florists buy their flowers from the market three times a week from 3.30 to 7 am. It’s a very early start and often you are up with the hot air balloons! My dear friend and co-worker came with me!BlogSohoReszd2512-12-18 05.49.38BlogSohoReszd2512-12-18 05.56.17BlogSohoReszd2512-12-18 06.00.06Soho Roses are loved by the Melbourne florists and have graced many a famous wedding or event. They have been used in bouquets, on wedding cakes, in vases and table arrangements and in photo shoots. High profile weddings have included:

TV presenter, Catriona Rowntree, and farmer, James Petitt, on 5 April 2008

TV presenter, Rebecca Twiggley, and Australian Football League player, Chris Judd, on 31 December 2010, the roses arranged by florist Katie Marx; and

Georgia Clark and footballer, Andrew Mackie, on 29 June 2011, the flowers arranged by florist Jodie from Flower Bowl.BlogSohoReszd25%May 2013 035Special events have included:

The Spring Racing Carnival at the Bird Cage and Melbourne Cup Day

AFL Galas

L’Oreal Fashion Week 2012 (florist Fleur)

Alannah Hill Winter Collection 2010 (florist Flowers Vasette)

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show at the Exhibition building in Carlton, including the inaugural Growers Avenue in March 2010

Dame Elizabeth Murdoch’s 100th birthday in 2009 and 102nd birthday in 2011

Oprah’s baby shower at Bebe, the roses being arranged by florist Ascha Jolie, on December 2010

Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Government House on 27 October 2011

The visit of Princess Mary and Prince Frederick to Government House in November 2011

Visits by Prince Charles and Camilla to Government House 2012

Visit by Madonna

The engagement of James Packer and Mariah Carey 2016

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2015

Movie set of Fred Schepsi’s film The Eye of the Storm

The photographs posted by the florists of their work has considerably raised the profile of Soho Roses and has been wonderful publicity for their business. Clare also has an Instagram account, which can be accessed at: http://www.sohorosefarm.com.au/social-media-instagram  and www.instagram.com/sohorosefarm. The photographs really show up the beauty and perfection of their blooms.

Before Instagram, Clare also kept a blog till 2012, but it was hard keeping it up during the hectic flowering season!  Clare and Wally certainly lead very busy lives, in amongst raising three children. They usually have a short break in September for a few weeks after the Winter pruning and mulching, while waiting for the soil to warm up and the new buds to develop. For more about Soho Rose Farm, there is an article in the Plant Hunter written by Meaghan Cook on 31 March 2016, titled ‘Life at Soho Rose Farm (It’s Blooming)’.  See: http://theplanthunter.com.au/harvest/soho-rose-farm/.

BlogSohoReszd5012-12-16 09.28.02Now that you know all about wholesale rose growing at Soho Rose Farm, it is time to discuss:

Roses in Floristry

Roses are one of my favourite flowers in floral arrangements, not just for their form and colour, but also their exquisite fragrance, which can fill a closed room for hours! While Hybrid Teas have been specially bred for the floristry trade with their continuous flowering; long strong stems and perfect high-pointed buds, but they often have no fragrance- a major failing in my eyes! I much prefer the blowsy, generous cupped fragrant blooms of the old heritage varieties and David Austin’s English Roses, even though they may not last quite as long or lose their petals easily! Please note that all the vases in this post contain Soho blooms, given to us at the end of the working day! How lucky were we !!!BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 069BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 045Roses should be cut in the bud stage, just as their outer petals are starting to uncurl. At Soho, Clare and Wally would cut the stems early in the morning before the sun hit and immediately place them in buckets of water on the trailer. When the roses arrived up at the air-conditioned shed, we would strip the lower leaves with gloved hands, then recut 2 cm off the bottom of the stems on a diagonal and place 50 stems in a bucket of water, according to the order- Mixed Pastel/ Moroccan/ Red and Purple/ Fair Bianca/ Spirit of Peace and Julia’s Rose (photo below) etc., and place them in the cool room.BlogSohoReszd50%late apr 2013 128BlogSohoReszd50%late apr 2013 124The vase life of roses is up to 14 days, but it is very dependent on the correct treatment of the blooms at every stage. Roses are sensitive to ethylene, some varieties more than others, especially the dark reds. Signs of ethylene damage are blackened petal edges and failure of the buds to open. The roses at the back of the vase in the photo below should be removed!BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 062BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 065 The stems ends should never be left out of water, as an embolism (air bubble) will form in the bottom of the stem and prevent the uptake of water. When buying blooms, roses should always be sold with a water source.BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 023BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 042Here are some pointers to buying roses:

Buy bunches with strong stems, which support their blooms;

Buds should be firm, show strong colour and be slightly open, even half-open in Winter, as tight buds will often fail to open in cooler weather and predispose the rose to bent neck, where the heads of the roses droop on their stems.

Lower leaves should be dark green and the veins should not be prominent.

Stem ends should be crisp and green, not dark and dry, a sure sign of age.

Do not buy roses with small brown spots on the outer petals, a sign of botrytis, a fungal infection, which turns the petals brown.BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9022BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9052Arranging Roses:

Strip lower leaves, that would be below the water in the vase, as these would be a source of bacterial infection. Only remove thorns, where absolutely necessary, to avoid damaging the stem and further encouraging infection. Do not use metal strippers, as they will damage the stem, and do not crush stem ends either.BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 024BlogSohoReszd5012-12-16 09.30.29Cut 2 to 3 cm off the stem ends, preferably underwater to prevent an air embolism. Cut stem ends on the diagonal for maximum exposure to the  water. Immediately place in a vase of water. Cool water will prevent early opening and blowing the blooms. Warm water can hasten bud opening in cooler weather, but use carefully, as the buds can open fully very quickly!BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9049BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9138BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 031Flower preservative is essential (or 1 tsp sugar and a few drops of bleach) to help the buds to open, maintain open blooms and extend the life of the flowers.BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 056Top up the water daily. Change the water and replace the preservative every second day. Recut stem ends whenever the rose is out of water. Remove dying blooms and fallen petals, as they will release ethylene and decrease the vase life.BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9040BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9045BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9043BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_0720Clean the vases after each use with bleach to prevent bacterial contamination.BlogSohoReszd50%late apr 2013 123Treatment of Wilted Dropping Blooms, caused by an air embolism:

Wrap the flower heads tightly in newspaper, forcing the rose blooms into an upright position. Recut the stems underwater and place in lukewarm water up to their necks for several hours.

If that doesn’t work, try soaking the roses in a bathtub or sink of clean water for 30 minutes or a little longer, but less than 2 hours.

As a last resort, tightly wrap the flower heads in paper, forcing their heads upright, and plunge the stem ends into boiling water for 30 seconds, then into a vase of lukewarm water. This releases the oxygen in the stem, but will decrease the vase life.

Other Ways of Using Roses in Floristry

Rose blooms can be floated in a bowl of water.

Rose hips can be used in wired arrangements.

For wreaths, cross wire through the base of the head to stop further opening.

Cécile Brünner has tiny rose blooms, eminently suitable for posies, corsages and buttonholes, hence the common name, the Sweetheart Rose or Mignon, the French word for ‘cute’.

Roses in Dried Floral Arrangements

There are three main ways of drying roses: air-drying; microwaving or using a dessicant like fine sand or silica gel crystals. While roses can be hung in a warm dry dark place like an airing cupboard, it is better, if possible, to cut the just-uncurling buds with fairly short stems, then mount them on wire stems immediately and make them into small bunches, which can then be hung. If the flowers are bent carefully away from each other, they will retain their shape perfectly.They can also be dried by spreading short-stemmed buds out in a warm box or on a sheet of greasedproof paper in a microwave on the lowest setting and checked every minute.  When dry, spray with a light coat of hair lacquer to protect them and extend their life, but be careful not to overspray or they will have an unnatural shine.BlogSohoReszd20%IMG_2298BlogSohoReszd25rly may iph 007BlogSohoReszd50cember2011 187Sand Drying

Put 1 cm of sand (or silica gel crystals) in an airtight container and lay the rose heads face up. Cover very carefully with more sifted dessicant until every part of the flower is concealed. Seal the container and keep at room temperature for 7 to 10 days before removing from the dessicant, though one source I read stated that roses only take 4 days to fully dry in sand.

Attach wire stems while the receptacles are still soft, otherwise you will have to wind the wire around the hardening stem, with the risk of snapping the stem and leaving no other options.

Never use fully open roses, as the petals will fall off immediately when the rose is removed from the sand. The other option is to dry the petals separately in the sand, then glue them back to the receptacle, a very time-consuming and exacting job, but it can be done!

Single flowers, like those of Species roses, will often dry well in sand, but will become limp in humid weather, whereas large double blooms will often last for a long time.

Colours usually darken with drying in sand, so use lighter coloured blooms.

Rose hips are very difficult to preserve because they shrivel, but results are better, the smaller the hips eg R. multiflora.

For more on sand drying and other forms of drying, consult the following websites:

http://www.finegardening.com/drying-flowers-sand

http://gardenclub.homedepot.com/how-to-dry-and-preserve-flowers/

http://tipnut.com/how-to-dry-flowers-a-collection-of-tips/

and You Tube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2j1yjwUtUY.

BlogSohoReszd50cember2011 199BlogSohoReszd20c 2013 213Dried flowers can be used in dried bouquets, corsages,  wreaths and garlands, flower balls, potpourri and even  round mirrors and the base of candlesticks.  Potpourri was used extensively to sweeten the air in days when personal hygiene and garbage collection did not exist. Rose petals are dried separately on absorbent paper till completely dry, then mixed with other dried petals and leaves of scented,colourful flowers like Dianthus; Delphinium; Calendula; Scented Geraniums and herbs (lemon verbena; borage; lemon balm; chamomile; lavender and mint), as well as spices (cinnamon or allspice); essential oils (rose) and a fixative like orris root. Here are two online recipes for rose potpourri:

http://www.allaboutrosegardening.com/Rose-Petal-Potpourri.html  and

https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Homemade-Rose-Petal-Potpourri-33481305.

BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 033

They can even be preserved in sugar for crystallized roses to decorate cakes- a fairly precise and time-consuming technique, but make sure the roses used have not been sprayed with pesticide or other chemicals or have been grown by the roadside. Rinse and dry the rose petals and remove the bitter white triangle at the base of each petal. Generally, it is easy to do each petal separately, then reassemble the rose, but if you want to crystallize complete blooms without dismantling them, leave a short piece of stem to hold them by and use a paint brush to reach all the cracks and crannies. Make sure you paint the underside of the petals as well, otherwise uncoated areas turn brown and shrivel up, and work quickly before the egg white dries. For a more detailed explanation, see: http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/226319/crystallizing-rose-petals . Note: Do not store crystallized petals in the fridge or they will weep. Store between layers of tissue paper in a dry cool place.BlogSohoReszd50%midMar 2013 039

Sumptuous Centifolias and Mosses

The final group of Old European Roses to be discussed, the heavy, globular, cupped, once-flowering fragrant blooms of the Centifolia Rose make it the quintessential Old Rose! They have been portrayed in art, textiles, wallpaper, postcards, decorative papers, furniture…the list is endless! Please note: The first four photos of this post are courtesy of Pixabay (https://pixabay.com). vintage-1077954_1280R. x centifolia, also known as the 100-petalled Rose or the Cabbage Rose, was once thought to be a species, but DNA studies have revealed that it is a complex hybrid, whose genetic background includes genes of R. gallica; R. phoenicia; R. moschata; R. canina and R. damascena. It first appeared in the late 16th century and over 200 varieties (including the mosses) were bred in the period between 1600 and 1800, only 22 varieties of Centifolias now commonly available. victorian-christmas-1834247_1280 They were much featured in Dutch and Flemish still-life paintings of the time (http://scvrs.homestead.com/roseart2.html), as well as later works by Renoir and Van Gogh, hence two more titles: the Holland Rose and Rose des Peintures. See: http://scvrs.homestead.com/RosesInArt3.html. painting-1654823_1280 It is also the rose featured in Victorian wallpapers, textiles, curtains, chintz sofas and tapestry bags. The first photo is a decorative paper, based on a textile printing pattern from the 1880s to the 1920s. BlogCentifoliasReszd20%IMG_0307fabric-1325745_1280BlogCentifoliasReszd20%IMG_0308 Its commercial production in Morocco and France to produce rose oil for the perfumery industry, especially in the area around Grasse, has given it its final name, the Provence Rose. There is even a special annual Rose Festival for Centifolia roses in Grasse. See: http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-04-05/french-town-has-the-worlds-best-roses-grasse and http://www.villadesparfums.com/grasse-rose-festival-8-10-may-2015/. This year’s festival is from the 12th to the 14th May 2017. See: http://www.frenchriviera-tourism.com/CALENDAR/expo-rose-grasse-N4fiche_FMAPAC0060000119-rub_103.html. It is also possible to visit a Centifolia rose farm at Domaine de Manon, Plascassier, near Grasse. See: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/france/grasse/attractions/domaine-de-manon/a/poi-sig/1025273/359254 and http://www.le-domaine-de-manon.com/index-page=the-centifolia-rose.php.html. The fragrant petals of these beautiful May roses are also used to make potpourri. BlogCentifoliasReszd2014-10-19 13.11.08Centifolias have produced a number of different variants or sports (mutations), including Moss Roses; dwarf Centifolias and striped and spotted varieties of Centifolias. In R. x centifolia muscosa, a mutation of the glands has produced a thick covering of green or reddish-brown , resinous hairs (moss) on the stems, buds and sepals. The moss covering is very sticky and balsam-scented. This unusual feature made them very popular with Victorian gardeners, who loved anything different or exotic. Victorian catalogues listed 30 to 40 varieties of Moss Roses. More later…

Description :

Centifolias are lax, open shrubs, 1.5 metres to 2 metres tall, with long, drooping, very thorny canes, which bow under the weight of the blooms. They need lots of room to spread out, though can benefit from staking or training.

Their large, rounded, drooping, coarse, grey-green pinnate leaves have 5 to 7 leaflets.

The flowers are very distinctive- huge globular deeply-cupped flowers (up to 10.2 cm wide), made up of numerous tissue-thin, overlapping, tightly-packed petals. Usually pink, with some whites, a few dark red-purples and lavender-violets (eg Tour de Malakoff) and a few spotted or striped varieties, the once-flowering blooms are highly fragrant with a distinctive Centifolia fragrance (clean and sweet with a hint of honey) and their abundance makes a wonderful display in Summer.The hips are insignificant.BlogCentifoliasReszd2014-10-19 13.11.30 Centifolias are extremely hardy and require little pruning, except the removal of very old wood after flowering. They can be shortened by 1/3 growth in late Winter. They like full sun and plenty of space and air circulation to prevent mildew and black spot. There are some dwarf hybrids, which are more dense and upright,  with smaller leaves and flowers.

R. x centifolia is a graceful, lax, open shrub, 1.8 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide with large coarse leaves and 7.6 cm wide very double, heavy, highly fragrant, deep pink globular blooms, borne singly or in small clusters on long stems. See the last two photos, as well as the photo of the shrub below.BlogCentifoliasReszd2014-10-19 13.10.59Fantin Latour: Named after the French artist and well known rose painter, Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), this rose has an unknown lineage. It is a well-formed shrub, 1.5 metres tall and 1.2 metres wide, with almost smooth, arching canes and smoother, rounder, dark green leaves. It grows well in a bed or border and has a relatively short blooming period in late Spring. On either side of the entrance arch to our harp-shaped herb garden in Armidale, we grew two specimens, from which we took cuttings for our new Candelo garden, where it is growing on the shed fence next to Bourbon rose, Mme Isaac Pereire.

BlogCentifoliasReszd50%Image (225)BlogCentifoliasReszd50%Image (226) It produces large clusters of very double, cupped, delicately-fragrant, pale blush pink blooms, 5 to 7.6 cm wide, which flatten out with a swirl of petals and a button eye. It is very hardy with moderate disease-resistance.BlogCentifoliasReszd50%Image (185)Sports of the Centifolia roses include :

R. x centifolia bullata is another sport, with fewer thorns and very large crinkly leaves, hence its name the Lettuce-leaved Rose; and

R. x centifolia variegata or Village Maid, a striped variant;

Rose de Meaux, a miniature Centifolia, 60 cm high and wide, with tiny foliage and tiny 3.8 cm multi-petalled, rosy-pink dianthus-like blooms;  There is also a white form.

And  the Moss Roses with a wide range of sizes, habits and colours from white to rose-red, due to their mixed breeding. Hybridization with crimson Chinas over the years has produced some deep crimson mosses, a colour lacking in their Centifolia parents, as well as some slight repeat-blooming. Today, there are 32 types commonly available, though Peter Beales lists 52 different types.

Nuits de Young has dark mossing; very dark maroon-purple, highly fragrant blooms and a tendency to sucker and spread.BlogCentifoliasReszd20%IMG_9722Mme Louis Lévêque is a small upright shrub 1.2 metres tall and 90 cm wide, with long, pointed, bright green leaves and bright pink mossy buds, which open to 10 cm large, soft warm pink, full cupped, silky  flowers, which fade to a lighter pink. There is some repeat flowering later in the season. Unfortunately, the buds ball (do not open) in wet weather.

Alfred de Dalmas, also known as Mousseline, 1855, is another repeat-blooming moss with a short tidy growth (90 cm tall and 60 cm wide) and was bred from the Portland Damasks. It blooms continuously from Summer to late Autumn with creamy-pink, semi-double scented flowers.

Chapeau de Napoléon, the most famous Moss of all! Found on a convent wall in Fribourg, Switzerland in 1820, R. x centifolia cristata, also known as the Crested Moss, was introduced to commerce by Vibert.BlogCentifoliasReszd2014-11-22 14.26.37 Identical to R. centifolia, except for the mossy growth on the sepals, it is a tidy medium shrub 1.5 metres tall and 1.2 metres wide, which blooms only once in Summer, but over an extended period, lasting  several weeks. The heavily mossed, feathery looking buds have extended calyces, giving them the appearance of Napoléon’s cocked tricorn hat, hence its name.BlogCentifoliasReszd50%Image (172) The buds open to fully double deep silvery pink, highly fragrant  cabbage like blooms. It is moderately vigorous and disease-resistant, but may require some support.BlogCentifoliasReszd50%Image (173)With the introduction of China Roses from the East to Europe, rose breeding started in earnest and there was literally an explosion in the number of different rose varieties available to the Victorian gardener. Next month, we will look at China Roses in detail and the reason they caused such excitement and made such an impact in the Western world.

Rose Cultivation and Planting

Now that we are coming up to rose ordering time, I thought a post on planting your new roses and their cultivation and maintenance would be beneficial! In this post, I will be covering planting position; soil preparation; planting; and general maintenance. Pruning will be covered in a post in early July.

Position

Like the real estate market, with roses, it is all about location, location, location! Here is what roses like:

Sun! At least five, preferably six, hours of it! The Soho Bed is in a perfect position!Blog Late Summer20%Reszd2015-03-03 14.47.16blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-10-27-36They don’t like too much shade nor overhanging trees, because of the shade the latter cast and the root competition. The rose hedges behind our vegetable beds have struggled, especially in front of the mulberry tree, which sends suckers out left, right and centre (see bottom photo)!BlogSpringfeastg20%Reszd2015-10-28 07.34.14BlogSpringfeastg20%Reszd2015-10-29 17.34.58BlogCultivationReszd20%IMG_0340BlogCultivationReszd20%IMG_0342 Roses prefer northerly and easterly aspects in the Southern Hemisphere (southerly and westerly aspects in the Northern Hemisphere). Our garden faces east.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-26 16.40.36Good drainage. So, heavy clay soils need to be built up with humus and animal manure to improve drainage and if these soils get water-logged in Winter, the beds can be raised to allow drainage at the root level.

Fertile soil. The best soil is a medium to heavy loam with a good clay subsoil. Lighter sandy soils do not retain moisture nor nutrients, so will need to be improved with lots of compost and animal manure and have extra watering in the Summer. Roses tolerate both acid and chalky soils, but prefer soil with a neutral pH (pH 7) or slightly acid (pH 6 to 6.5). To avoid rose replant disease, never plant a rose where an old rose has died. Always plant in fresh ground or new soil. The roses in the Soho rose beds at St Leonards, Victoria, were planted 1 metre apart. BlogSohoReszd5013-06-09 12.45.14Good air flow between and around plants to avoid mildew and break up the heat concentrated at ground level in the Australian climate. Having said that, their blooms don’t like too much wind, so a hedge or windbreak can help in windy areas. Here are suggestions for planting distances between roses:

Hybrid Teas 1 to 1.2 m apart;

Standard Roses 1.3 to 1.5 m apart;

Floribundas 0.6 to 1 m apart;

Climbers and Ramblers 2.5 to 5 m apart.

Soil Preparation

The soil in the rose bed/desired location should be well prepared 2 to 3 months beforehand, so for Australia prepare the soil in April. Dig to a depth of 30 cm or 1 foot, using trench digging:

Remove the top soil;

Break up any subsoil in the trench with a fork for better drainage and to allow the long tap roots to penetrate deep into the soil;

Dress the topsoil with well-rotted compost, mushroom compost, leaf mould, peat, worm castings or cow or sheep manure and blood and bone and mix in well. The soil should be friable on planting. Add sharp sand if the soil is heavy or lime if the soil is very acid.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0381Planting

Roses can be planted bare-rooted from Autumn to late Spring (June to mid-August in Australia, though a few weeks either side is negligible), while potted roses can be planted any time of the year. I prefer to buy my roses bare-rooted, as they are dormant when they arrive and settle in quicker than when they are disturbed during active growth (as when planting out potted roses). Here is a photo of my Souvenir de la Malmaison bare-rooted rose, which was planted in June 2016, and the same rose with lots of new growth a few weeks later. It has actually doubled in size since we planted it and has plenty of Autumn rose buds!BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-24 12.23.53BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-24 11.30.51

On arrival of your bare-rooted roses: Unpack them, check the invoice, and soak roses in a bucket of water overnight or at least several hours. If you cannot plant in their final position for a few days, heel them in to a trench and make sure there are no air pockets in the soil. Plant only when the soil is dry and crumbly and preferably not in wet weather. We had to heel our old Soho roses in down the bottom of the garden on our arrival at Candelo (first photo below), until we could dig a special bed for them. See the development of the Soho Bed in the photos below:BlogCultivationReszd2015-01-21 10.47.16Dig a hole at least 30 cm deep and 50 cm wide. It should be large enough to take all the roots, which should be pointed downwards and outwards. For bush roses, Treloars states that the graft or bud union should be 2.5 cm above the soil level (see first photo scanned from their catalogue, along with a diagram for planting a standard rose), though Peter Beales and Sally Allison both suggest burying the union 2 cm below the surface to anchor the plant, especially in windy areas, protect against frost damage and reduce suckering.Image (545)Below are photos of the newly planted Soho Bed.Blog MidAutumn20%Reszd2015-04-18 10.00.02Blog LateWinter20%ReszdIMG_9085Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0609Plant over a small mound in the centre of the hole. In the photo below, Ross is digging holes for the David Austin roses, before he dug the whole Moon Bed.Blog Early Winter20%Reszd2015-06-07 12.08.54Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1180BlogSpringfeastg20%Reszd2015-10-28 16.57.39Firm soil around the roots, ensuring there are no air pockets, and fill the rest of the hole to ground level without compaction. Here, Ross is planting our roses, which struck from cuttings from our old Armidale garden. They should grow well on their own roots.BlogJanGarden20%ReszdIMG_6782BlogJanGarden20%ReszdIMG_5851You can add well-rotted manure or a slow release fertilizer in the hole when planting, otherwise all other fertilizers are better applied to the surface soil 6 weeks after planting.blognovgarden20reszd2016-11-08-10-28-18 We collect old cow manure from a friend’s dairy farm. The Grey Fantail loves it, as do the roses, as seen by the photos below. Pelletized or fresh manure should be totally avoided at planting time, as it will burn the new roots. Burnt soil and ash from a bonfire can be spread on the soil surface to provide valuable potash. Water in well.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0204blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0098Every soil benefit from top dressing with a 3 to 5 cm layer of mulch to suppress weeds, retain moisture and nutrients and maintain the average soil temperature. Keep mulch at least 2 to 3 cm away from the stem to avoid collar rot. We used sugar cane mulch on the Soho Bed and when we ran out on the Moon Bed, topped it up with our old bamboo mulch.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.30.44BlogReignroses20%Reszd2015-10-26 16.16.13 Pine needles or eucalypt leaves should be avoided, but here are some better suggestions:

Pea Straw;

2nd Cut Lucerne (less seeds);

Meadow Hay (lots of seeds);

Leaf Mould;

Peat Moss;

Well-Washed Sea Weed;

Cow and Sheep Manure;

Sugar Cane Mulch;  and

Mushroom Compost.BlogPeonypoppy20%Reszd2015-11-11 15.33.01BlogJanGarden20%ReszdIMG_5853blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0222General Maintenance

Deep Watering:

Treloars suggest 10 litres at the one session twice a week and more in Summer, but Ross doesn’t like to over-water, so the roots are encouraged to dig deep and become self-reliant. Having said that, they will need more watering in Summer. Water in the mornings, so the leaves dry quickly and any black spot spores don’t have time to germinate. Also water the plants at the base, rather than overhead sprinkling, again for the same reason.blognovgarden20reszdimg_1928BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-21 13.45.26Remove any root stock suckers:

Do it as soon as possible to avoid competition for nutrients, but be certain, they do belong to the root stock and are not new rose growth! Check by scraping back the soil at the base of the sucker and find the original union of the rose and the understock. If the shoot is coming from below the union, it is a sucker and should be removed at the point, where it joins the root or at least to ground level. Pulling suckers from the root or using a spud or blunt instrument is more effective than cutting with secateurs.  If you can nip a bit of the root stock bark even better, as this will ensure the root stock doesn’t reshoot in the same place. Common understocks today include R. laxa (strong roots and few suckers) and R. multiflora (vigorous roots), while R. canina was used in the past with dire consequences, as it was very prone to suckering and became a feral weed in some areas. Standard roses are often grown on R. rugosa stems, which grow straight and firm, but can send up root and stem suckers as the plant grows. See the sucker in the foreground.BlogCultivationReszd20%IMG_0331During Flowering:

Use a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content at intervals, especially towards the end of a flush, to encourage more flowering during the next flush and increased growth. We use Sudden Impact.BlogCultivationReszd20%IMG_0346 Knights Roses suggests fertilizing in late February; September and December, while Ross Roses suggests a fertilizing regime in February and November. Dead-head blooms to encourage more blooms and keep the shrub tidy, unless you want the decorative hips, like Rugosas (photos below) or the once-flowering Species roses.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0532blogvsrg20reszdimg_0531Pests and Diseases

I love the Old Roses for this reason, as they are tough survivors and pretty disease- tolerant. Make sure the roses are well-aerated to discourage fungal diseases and use companion plants to encourage beneficial insects. There are sprays on the market or you can make home-made pyrethrum sprays, but I have not needed them.BlogJanGarden20%ReszdIMG_5789BlogFeb Garden20%ReszdIMG_0111BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-15 09.31.04blogsummer-gardenreszd20img_0395 BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2497BlogMarchGarden20%ReszdIMG_0396BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2499Sure, I get the odd black spot, but these days, I don’t worry too much as it’s not a major problem. I used to pick all the diseased foliage off and any dead leaves off the ground, but it’s a huge job and not worth defoliating your entire plant – after all, it’s the flowers you are interested in! Having said that, if I lived in a wetter climate and had more of a problem, I would definitely be addressing it! Here is a photo of black spot-infested leaves:BlogCultivationReszd20%IMG_0337BlogCultivationReszd20%IMG_0328 But if you keep your plants healthy with plenty of nutrition, and especially if you grow old roses rather than the more modern hybrid teas, they should stand a fighting chance against any pests and diseases. Remember, do not replant a new rose in the same position as one which has died! My rose plants developed a small amount of black spot over the hot Summer months, but all the new growth is super-healthy with not a trace! The second photo is an enlargement of the first photo, showing the healthy new growth above the lower infected leaves, as can also be seen in the 3rd photo. Certainly not a major problem!BlogCultivationReszd20%IMG_0356BlogCultivationReszd20%IMG_0356 - CopyBlogCultivationReszd20%IMG_0334 Birds are also very important in insect control, so encourage the Silvereyes; Eastern Spinebills; Blue Fairy Wrens; Blackbirds; Grey Thrush; and Magpies.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.25.34BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-09 13.53.25BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-06 14.13.19blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-04-14-23-41BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.25.06blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-19-09-54-36BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-28 19.23.45BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.45.48BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-29 14.55.50Pruning

A major subject in itself, requiring its own post later on. At the same time, I will look at propagation from cuttings and rose prunings! In terms of general maintenance though, cut back any dead or dying stems to avoid disease progression during growth. Here is the Moon Bed before (photo 1) and after (photo 2) pruning, as well as the pruned Soho Bed (photo 3). It’s always very satisfying, getting cleaned up over Winter!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-13 12.29.54BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-13 13.57.08BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 13.12.12After Pruning

It can be beneficial to prick over the soil with a fork to a depth of 2 to 5 cm to aerate the soil and remove weeds. Dig in a long-term fertilizer and mulch with well-rotted compost or animal manure. This is my November Soho Bed last year in full bloom.blognovgarden20reszd2016-11-01-09-43-04That’s the basics! Now enjoy browsing those rose catalogues and choosing your new roses!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational and Dreamy Garden Books: Part One: Inspiring Books and Garden Travel Books

As the growing season slows down and we head towards the cooler weather, it is lovely to know that we have some beautiful, dreamy and inspirational books to browse by the fire in Winter! As editor, Ferris Cook, writes on page 12 in the foreword to his book, ‘Invitation to the Garden’, the first book featured below : ‘ Like so many other gardeners separated from their gardens by darkness, miles or inclement weather, I love to read about other gardens when I can’t be in mine’. I have divided these books into four sections :

  • Inspiring books about gardening and plants in general
  • General garden travel books
  • Books about specific gardens
  • Books about specific plants

And once again, this post is too long – too many wonderful books and too much to say about them! – so I have divided it into three posts : Part One on beautiful garden publications and general garden travel books (today); Part Two on specific overseas gardens (May); and Part Three on books about Australian gardens and specific plants (June).

Inspiring books about gardening and plants in general

Invitation to the Garden: A Celebration in Literature and Photography, edited by Ferris Cook 1992

The perfect title to start a post on garden books and it certainly lives up to the claim of its subtitle, as well as its reputation! Indeed, it was the winner of the 1992 Award for Excellence in Garden Communication from the Garden Writers’ Association of America. Divided into seasons, it is a wonderful read, which can be dipped into at random, always finding an interesting snippet or pertinent quote, poem or prose and always accompanied by the most beautiful sumptuous photos by specialist garden photographers: Ping Amranand; Ken Druse; Richard Felber; Mick Hales; Harry Haralambou; Peter C. Jones; Peter Margonelli; Hugh Palmer; and Curtice Taylor.

A good example is the very first entry in Spring, ‘Down the Garden Path’ by Beverley Nichols, in which she describes that familiar daily habit of all gardeners, ‘Making the Tour’, involving a detailed examination of every square inch of the garden and noting all new discoveries and happenings! In reality, I probably do this at least three or four times a day!!!

There are poems by Homer and Shakespeare; John Donne and Robert Herrick; the three Williams (excluding Shakespeare, as he was so much earlier!) : William Cowper, William Blake and William Wordsworth; Matthew Arnold and Emily Dickinson; two Roberts :  Robert Bridges and Robert Frost; A A Milne and Virginia Woolf; Rainer Maria Rilke and William Carlos Williams (that’s two more Williams in one!!); Pablo Neruda; W H Auden; Sylvia Plath; and e e cummings; and that’s only a fraction of them!

There are also excerpts by Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Old Manse); Ivan Turgenev (The Rose); Lewis Carroll (The Garden of Live Flowers); William Morris (Collected Letters: Kelmscott); Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden); Edith Wharton (Italian Garden Magic); E A Bowles (The Passing of Summer); H G Wells (The Flowering of the Strange Orchid); Colette (The Ways of Wisteria; and Hellebores); John Steinbeck (The Chrysanthemums); and Laurie Lee (Segovia-Madrid), again only a small selection of the entries! Hopefully, the titles are enough to entice you to search out this book!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (430)

The Illustrated Virago Book of Women Gardeners, edited by Deborah Kellaway 1997

An equally delightful coffee-table book to be enjoyed at leisure! Illustrated with beautiful artwork and superb photographs throughout, this anthology of musings by women garden writers is divided (for easy reference) into chapters, titled : Weeders and Diggers; Advisers and Designers; Plantswomen; Colourists; Countrywomen; Townswomen; Visitors and Travellers; Kitchen Gardeners; Flower Arrangers and Visionaries. Its writers represent a ‘Who’s Who’ of the gardening world with names like Gertrude Jekyll;  Alicia Amherst, Elizabeth von Arnim, Norah Lindsay, Beatrix Farrand, Constance Spry, Vita Sackville-West, Margery Fish, Edna Walling, Beth Chatto, Penelope Hobhouse, Rosemary Verey, Nancy Steen, Mary Keen, Valerie Finnis, Ursula Buchan, Joy Larkcom, Jane Taylor and Mirabel Osler, but there are so many other authors!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (432)Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations by Ken Druse and Ellen Hoverkamp  2012

I loved both the first two books equally well, but I ADORED this book! This would have to be the mosr beautiful book I have ever seen ! Every page is such a visual treat and showcases all the incredible treasures our Earth holds and their infinite diversity of colour, form, texture and function! Absolutely stunning photography, both of beautiful gardens and separate plant combinations, presented dramatically against a black background in the style of a combination of 1920s and 1930s American photographer, Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976) (https://www.imogencunningham.com/plants/) and English botanical collage artist, Mrs. Mary Delany, whose beautiful paper collages can be seen at: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx?searchText=Mary+Delany. While I knew the work of Mary Delany, which inspired my floral collage cards (see: https://candeloblooms.com/2015/09/08/ambassadors-of-spring/), I did not know of Imogen Cunningham, but have fallen in love with all her work, from plant studies and still lifes to portraits and romantic family shots; the beauty of the human body (nudes; dancers) and her street scenes and landscapes. I particularly loved her photographs of the stunning architectural blooms of the Bull Bay Magnolia (Magnolia Blossom 1925 and Magnolia Blossom, Tower of Jewels, 1925), as can be seen in the above link.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (455)

Ellen creates her floral photographs, using a flatbed scanner and produces images of unparalleled depth, colour and beauty. I found it impossible to select a favourite plate to show you, but here are some examples:

There are over 100 species botanical images of plants, which bloom simultaneously and compliment each other perfectly. They are organized by theme: seasons; plant families; form and function; colour; place (eg woods; open spaces; damp areas; rocky sites) and purpose (eg fragrance; butterflies; edible flowers; secret; literary; boxed; health and beauty; art; and nighttime). It is such a beautiful book and a lovely one to dip into whenever you get a chance! I cannot recommend it highly enough! Appendices include a list of edible flowers and flower meanings.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd60%Image (463)The Language of Flowers: a Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh  2011

A totally different book, both to the previous three coffee-table books, this one being a first-time novel, but also refreshingly original in concept and style. Based on the Victorian language of flowers, a compendium of which is included in the back of the book, this novel is written in first person, following the life of Victoria, an ex-foster child and florist and exploring complex themes like maternal love, forgiveness and redemption. Being a flower arranger, I was instantly attracted to this book and once started, I could not put it down! It is so easy to read and so hard to put down!  Plus, I have used the flower dictionary constantly, when making my floral collage cards for friends and family.

BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd40%Image (450) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd20%IMG_0499BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd20%IMG_0501Seasons at Home: Food, Family, Friends and Style by Holly Kerr Forsyth 2011

Another lovely offering from Holly Kerr Forsyth with her trademark style of seasonal projects and delicious recipes and preserves. I have given friends copies of some of her other books: Country Gardens, Country Hospitality and Seasons in My House and Garden: see http://www.hollyforsyth.com.au/shop/books.html  ;  https://www.bookdepository.com/Seasons-My-House-Garden-Holly-Kerr-Forsyth/9780522857825 and https://www.bookdepository.com/Country-Gardens-Country-Hospitality-Visit-Australias-Best-Holly-Kerr-Forsyth/9780522864793.

Both are beautiful books, which I would love to own one day, but in the meantime, I am enjoying this smaller book: Seasons at Home! While this book would fit equally well into my cookery book post later in the year, I have included it here because of its gardening and flower arranging content. Her photographs, styling and interiors are so beautiful and inspiring, how could I do otherwise!! Also, this book is a perfect lead-in to the next section with the first book also written by this knowledgeable lady!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd30%Image (433)

 General Garden Travel Books

Gardens of Eden: Among the World’s Most Beautiful Gardens by Holly Kerr Forsyth 2009

A Christmas present in 2012, when I was studying garden design at Burnley, this beautiful book covers fifty of the world’s most beautiful and famous gardens. Lavishly illustrated with over 500 photos, the gardens are divided into chapters titled : Lessons in Garden History; A Sense of Place; The Designer in the Garden; The Gardens of Politicians, Writers, Artists and Collectors; Clipped Perfection; Grand Passions and Private Pleasures; Water Delights; and Places to Pray or Play In. They span different historical periods, garden styles and cultures from the Paradise Gardens of Ancient Persia to the romantic rose-covered ruins of Ninfa and the Italian Renaissance gardens in Italy; the wildflower meadows of William Robinson’s Gravetye Manor to the Arts and Crafts gardening style of Gertrude Jekyll-Edwin Lutyens (Upton Grey and Hestercombe) in England and Beatrix Farrand’s Dumbarton Oaks in the United States of America; the famous gardens of Sissinghurst Castle (UK), Le Canadel (France) and the island gardens of Isola Bella, Isola Madre and La Mortella (Italy); and  the Buddhist-inspired gardens of China and Japan, not to mention Australian country gardens like Bentley (Tasmania), Jack’s Ridge (Victoria) and Nooroo, Bebeah and the Berman Gardens (NSW). A wonderful book for armchair travel and research for your next garden adventure!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (435)A Photographic Garden History by Roger Phillips and Nicky Foy 1995

For a more in-depth look at garden history, predominantly through photographs! This book is organized into three main sections. The first part covers the European Tradition, starting with Roman peristyle gardens and moving chronologically from Islamic influences to Italian Renaissance gardens; the French Formal movement and the romantic/ potager style in France; the Baroque German and Dutch gardens; and the British medieval gardens to the English Landscape movement; Victorian and Edwardian gardens and natural gardening styles. The second section focuses on Chinese gardens, while the third section explores Japanese gardens. The text is backed up with featured gardens with specific details and notes on their date and features, as well as their place and importance within the particular historical background. Throughout the book are topics of pertinent interest to the time period or garden style, covering a broad range of subjects from garden elements (potagers; parterres and carpet bedding; topiary and mazes; rockeries; water features (lakes; ponds and pools; waterfalls and fountains); the concept of garden rooms and borrowed landscapes; and specific gardens for roses, natives and Autumn foliage colour) to garden structures (garden buildings and furniture; arbours and arches; follies and grottoes; steps and staircases; gates and fences; and even ha-ha walls) and decorative techniques (trompe l’oeil; shellwork; mosaics; sculptures; and pots and urns). I initially borrowed this book from the library, but found it to be so comprehensive and interesting that I just had to order it for my horticultural library!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (436)

The Gardens of Europe, edited by Penelope Hobhouse and Patrick Taylor 1990

Edited by garden writing doyens, Penelope Hobhouse and Patrick Taylor, this book focuses on 700 European gardens, open to the public, from the Mediterranean gardens of Southern Europe (Italy, France, Spain and Portugal); the cooler, more temperate gardens of Northern Europe (Great Britain and Ireland; Belgium; Holland and Scandinavia); and the gardens of Central Europe (Austria, Switzerland and West Germany) and the Balkans, East Europe and Russia (Bulgaria; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; Greece; Hungary; Poland; Romania; European Russia; Turkey and the then, Yugoslavia). Even though this is quite an old book now and the details of opening hours and admission charges might be out-of-date, the basic information about its history, general design and prominent features is still relevant and is a starting point for further up-to-date research. There is a biographical list or principal architects, garden designers and gardeners in the back, as well as a glossary and bibliography of further books (guide books and history) to read.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (437)

Gardens of Persia by Penelope Hobhouse 2006

I have always loved the underlying concepts of the Islamic garden : an enclosed protected paradise with a quadripartite layout (a four-fold pattern called chahar bagh) and watercourses forming the principal and secondary axes, all meeting at a central pool or pavilion and representing the four rivers of life. They are full of colourful flowers and bulbs, shady fruit trees and birdsong; a place for contemplation and spiritual nourishment; and a little oasis in a challenging hot and dry climate, the latter, which I suspect will be increasingly valued in our Western world with the increasing temperatures and prevalence of drought with climate change. In this book, Penelope explores these notions, as well as the elements and history of Islamic garden design; the climate and environment; flowers and trees planted and of course, the spiritual dimension. Throughout the book, she provides many examples of Islamic gardens from Cyrus the Great’s garden at Pasargadae 2,500 years ago, Timur’s gardens at Samarkand (late 1300s); his son Shah Rokh’s gardens at Herat (1400s); and Bagh-e-Fin (1504) and other Safavid gardens to the 18th century gardens of Shiraz, ‘city of roses and nightingagles, cypresses and wine, and poetry and painted miniatures’: Bagh-e-Eram (Garden of Heaven); Bagh-e Golshan (1760s); and Bagh-e Shahzadeh (Prince’s Garden 1880s); the Mostoufi Garden, Tehran, 1930s; the geometric Moorish gardens of Southern Spain like the Generalife and the Mughal gardens of Northern India and Kashmir. All, of course, accompanied by beautiful Islamic architecture! In the back, notes on each garden for travellers, lists of the royal houses of Persia and Persian plants and a glossary of Persian terms. A very interesting and informative book, as well as a feast for the eyes! Readers, who want more information on Islamic Gardens may be interested in these links : http://gardendrum.com/2017/02/24/take-the-ancient-silk-road-to-a-2500-year-old-garden/ and http://gardendrum.com/2017/02/23/berber-home-and-garden-morocco/.

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The Secret Gardens of France by Mirabel Osler 1992

I have already briefly mentioned this book in my post on Favourite Rose Books (see: https://candeloblooms.com/category/rose-books/), as it described one of my favourite bucket-list French rose gardens, La Bonne Maison, as well as the roses of André Eve. However, it discusses 18 other gardens in France from productive potagers to medieval herb gardens; Nicole de Vesian’s architectural topiaried balls of lavender and rosemary in the Luberon to a coastal garden in Brittany; and another bucket-list garden, Le Jardin des Cinq Sens at Chateau d’Yvoire on the shores of Lac Leman. Mirabel has a lovely writing style- very chatty, enthusiastic and inclusive- and all the gardeners featured are very inspiring! While many of the gardens are private and not open to the public, this book is a lovely read with a wealth of ideas and information.

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Kitchen Gardens of France by Louisa Jones 1997

I would love to do a garden tour with Louisa Jones (see: http://www.louisajones.fr/) !!! While she has written many books on the gardens of Provence and the French Riviera, this particular book is about French kitchen gardens. She examines Heritage Gardens (medieval plots; renaissance gardens; potagers and heirloom vegetables ); Grassroots Gardening (from country potagers in the Ardeche to village greens and community gardens; city allotments in Paris and hortillinages (floating islands) in Amiens; and Hmong gardens at Alençon in Normandy); Dream and Utopian Paradises (the jardin de curé style; Rousseau’s orchard-garden; Pigeard’s mystic metalwork; photographer, Denis Brihat’s alchemist workshop in Provence and another bucket-list garden, the organic  garden of Terre Vivante in the Domaine de Raud in the Alps); and Vegetable Graces (gastronomic  creations and designer visions; Gilles Clement’s moving potager; and future fashions). This last chapter has an in-depth look at the Gardens For the Five Senses, mentioned in Mirabel Osler’s book. The text is supported by many showcase gardens and beautiful seductive photographs. It is such a dreamy inspirational book! Details about each garden featured can be found in the back. For more ideas about gardens to visit, it is worth consulting Louisa’s blog (http://www.louisajones.fr/blog/index) and Links pages (http://www.louisajones.fr/links).

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The French Country Garden by Louisa Jones 2000/ 2005

A very recent addition to my library and a wonderful find! Thank you, Denise! I was delighted to add this book to my library, as it discusses many French gardeners and their gardens, whose names I knew, but were not necessarily covered by my other books like Nicole Arboireau on the French Riviera; Doudou Bayol in Provence (what an amazing sense of colour!); Martine and Francois Lemonnier, who have the National Collection Label (CCVS) for Meconopsis and Hellebores, in Normandy; Mme Marie-Joseph Teillard in the foothills of the Pyrenees; Eric Ossart and Arnaud Maurières at Cordes-sur-Ciel; Eléonore Cruse at La Roseraie de Berty in the Ardèche; as well as old favourites like Alain Richert of the Garden of the Five Senses, Yvoire; Nicole de Vésian in Provence; Gilles Clément of the Centre Terre Vivante at the Domaine de Raud and the different biomes of Le Domaine du Rayol. These gardens and more are discussed in depth in her chapters, each featuring three gardens, and titled : Intimate Country Gardens; A Passion for Plants; Celebration of the Senses; Formal Play; Nature’s Ways; and Planetary Perspectives. The photos again are superb and complement the text perfectly. Another beautiful book to browse…!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd30%Image (543)Great Gardens of Britain by Helena Attlee 2011

A lovely book about 20 wonderful gardens in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. A difficult task selecting only twenty garden, but those chosen celebrate their diversity in garden styles, plants, settings and history. This is a wonderful guide with beautiful glossy photos and is essential reading for those planning a garden trip to Great Britain. Inspired and informed by this very book, I would love to visit Charles Jenck’s earthworks and waveforms at his Garden of Cosmic Speculation on the one day of the year it is open !; Ian Hamilton Finlay’s concrete poetry at Little Sparta; the famous topiary at Levens Hall; Scampton’s perennial naturalistic meadow, designed by Piet Oudolf; the rhododendrons and five terraces of Bodnant, North Wales, including its famous Laburnum Arch; the lakes and classical temples of Stourhead; Lawrence Johnston’s garden rooms at Hidcote Manor; Christopher Lloyd’s herbaceous borders of Great Dixter; the restored gardens of the East Ruston Old Vicarage and Beth Chatto’s gravel gardens; the holy grail of old rose gardens, Sissinghurst Castle, made famous by Vita Sackville-West, with its garden rooms and  white garden; the extensive plant collections, trial gardens and scientific research laboratories of Wisley, the home and flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society; the futuristic environmentally-controlled geodesic domes of the Eden Project, the brain child of Tim Smit;  and the unlikely Mediterranean-style gardens of Tresco Abbey in the warmer climes of the remote Scilly Isles in the English Channel. Addresses and websites for all the gardens are listed in the back. We have already visited Kew Gardens twice, but it is such a wonderful garden, that I would always include it whenever I visit England and I would really like to see the Marianne North Gallery, which is devoted solely to the wonderful paintings of this amazing Victorian botanical artist and explorer. See: http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/explore/attractions/marianne-north-gallery and http://www.kew.org/mng/marianne-north.html, specifically: http://www.kew.org/mng/gallery/index.html.

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For those of us who may not travel overseas again, this form of armchair travel is a wonderful alternative! This book explored many gardens, not covered in the other books. Another book that I would love to find is Around the World in 80 Gardens by Monty Don, see : https://www.bookdepository.com/Around-World-80-Gardens-Monty-Don/9780297844501, as I really enjoy his films, but fortunately the film version of his book can be seen on YouTube. For Episode 1, see : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uityVe6OkCk. For a guide to the episodes, see : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008x9bh/episodes/guide.

Cottage Garden Roses: Gamble Cottage; Ziebell’s Farmhouse; and Heide

Roses have always been an integral part of cottage gardens, not just for their beauty, scent and visual appeal, but also their culinary and medicinal properties and their use in a variety of scented home-made home and bath products like attar of roses; rose oil; rose water; rose hip tea; rose hip jam and jelly; rose hip syrup; and crystallized rose petals.

After my post last month on books about cottage gardening in Part One : Specific Types of Gardens (see: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/03/21/books-on-specific-types-of-gardens-part-one-cutting-gardens-cottage-gardens-and-herb-gardens/?frame-nonce=dde364e0d8),  I thought it would be very appropriate to discuss some of my favourite cottage gardens, which grow Old Roses. These include: Gamble Cottage in South Australia, which we visited as part of our Old Rose holiday in October 2014; Zwiebel Farmhouse, which we briefly visited towards the end of our stay in Victoria and finally, the Heide Kitchen Gardens I and II, which we visited a number of times during our Victorian years. The cottage gardens at the Alister Clark  Memorial Rose Garden at Bulla and Red Cow Farm, Mittagong, deserve their very own posts later on in the year.

Gamble Cottage

296 Main Road (and the corner of Dorham Rd)

Blackwood, South Australia

Cottage open 3rd Sunday of each month, February to  November, from 2pm  to 4 pm or by appointment; Cost is a gold coin donation;  Afternoon tea available.

Garden open all times, every day of the year. Guided tours are available on open days for a gold coin donation. There is a small plant nursery with plants for sale.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/gamble-cottage/

Here is the map on the official brochure:image-425blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9139Situated in the Coromandel Valley, in the part-rural hills suburb of Blackwood, 16 km from the Adelaide CBD, Gamble Cottage was built in 1902 for Joseph Gamble, an orchardist who worked at the Government Experimental Orchard (which was set up in the late 1800s to trial fruit trees, which might be suitable for South Australian conditions), and his wife Harriet Victoria Gamble (nee Knight). They married in 1890 and had four daughters, two of whom married and moved away (Dorothy and Isabel) and two, Clara and Edith, who never married and lived there most of their life. They grew many old cottage garden favourites, from cuttings and seeds, which they swapped with neighbours and friends. Harriet died in 1940 (aged 74 years) and Joseph in 1945 (aged 78 years). The Gamble sisters well outlived their parents, Edith dying in 1990 (aged 82) and Clara attaining the ripe old age of 104 years, before dying in 1994. As they became increasingly frail and unable to maintain the garden, the sisters bequeathed the cottage and garden to the City of Mitcham in 1982 for use by the local community. The cottage is now maintained by the Coromandel Valley and Districts Branch of the National Trust South Australia, while the garden is cared for by the Friends of Gamble Cottage, an active volunteer group, which holds working bees each week from 9am to 11am each Tuesday morning and bimonthly meetings on the second Tuesday, held at the cottage at 11am, from February on.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-14-02-14The sandstone cottage has three main rooms and a hallway, with a timber-framed add-on kitchen and bathroom, which is now used to store the archives of the Coromandel Valley and Districts Branch for local history research. It is also part museum, the cottage being furnished in an early 1900s style, and is available for hire to the public for exhibitions and displays; meetings and parties; and small wedding groups of up to 30 guests.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-14-05-11The Edwardian cottage garden is a rare surviving example of a true working class cottage garden, based on small formal garden beds, planted with old-fashioned roses; hardy shrubs; bulbs; perennials and annuals.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9102 It was faithfully restored in 1986 as a South Australian Jubilee 150 project with advice from both Clara and Edith.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-14-03-02 The original flower beds and a small pine forest to the south side of the garden still exist.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9144There are a large number of Alister Clark roses planted, including Borderer; Daydream; Diana Allen; Fairlie Rede; Lady Huntingfield; Sunlit ; Squatter’s Dream; Sunny South; Marjorie Palmer; Ringlet; and Lorraine Lee (see below for both climbing and bush forms).blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9105blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9112blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9104blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9113Other old roses include: Monsieur Tillier (photo 1); Perle d’Or (photo 2) and Perfect, an early Hybrid Tea, bred by Sam McGredy III (1893-1934) in 1932 (photos 3 and 4). His father Sam McGredy II (1878-1926) bred Tea rose Mrs Herbert Stevens in 1910.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9168blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-14-04-06blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9148blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-59-00In 2016, the formal garden beds at the front and to the east of the cottage were planted up with blue, yellow, pink and orange nemesias, daisies, red and white abutilon, cosmos, mini agapanthus, violets, multihued osteospermums, alyssium, lobelias, convolvulus, geraniums, aquilegas and heucheras.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-59-53 blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-14-05-17blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-58-31Garden plants also include alyssum, salvias, penstemon, pelagoniums, nepeta, campanula, California poppy, cistus and Japanese anemones and roses. It is worth consulting: http://gamblegarden.org.au/gardenreports/  for an update on all the garden activities.

blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9127blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9106blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9109Many of the shrubs have yellow/ green or silver/ green foliage and have yellow, orange or purple flowers, like Crepe Myrtle; Port Wine Magnolia; Ginger Lily and Duranta repens.

blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9142blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9155blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9143 There is a Viburnum hedge along the fence and a lovely old Irish Strawberry Tree,  Arbutus unedo, in the front garden on the left of the photo below.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9165The garden has been expanded into the side and rear gardens, where less formal plantings of shrubs, trees and hardy perennials have been favoured and at the back of the property is an orchard of heritage fruit and nut trees.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-14-00-07blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9159Here are some more photos of roses in the garden.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9119blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9129blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9118blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9117blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9125blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9121More photos of this beautiful garden can be seen at: http://gamblegarden.org.au/static/index.html.

Ziebell’s Farmhouse

100 Gardenia Rd

Thomastown, Victoria

Open 2nd Sunday each month 1pm to 4 pm; $3 adult; 50c per child.

Guided tours by appointment Ph (03) 9464 5062

http://www.westgarthtown.org.au/publications/documents/ZF-GardenGuideSupplement.pdf

blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-22-17Part of the Westgarthtown Historic Precinct, a historic dairy farming settlement 16 km north of Melbourne, established by German and Wendish immigrants in the 1850s and now engulfed by residential suburb of Thomastown and Lalor in the City of Whittlesea. During the 19th century,  five million people left Germany, with over 5000 immigrants arriving in Australia between 1838 and 1850, under a migration  scheme initiated by Melbourne merchant, William Westgarth, because he had been so impressed by ‘the industry, frugality, sobriety and general good conduct’ of the German settlers in South Australia. The Wends hail from Lusatia, which was divided up into three German provinces.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-13-03blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-12-17Christian and Sophia Ziebell emigrated to Australia in 1850 and built a large L-shaped stone farmhouse on their 102 acre farm, named ‘The Pines’ for their family of 9 children between 1851 and 1856. In 1885, Christian returned to Germany for a visit and returned with seeds, plants, cuttings, trees, tools and household furniture. They had a huge vegetable garden and orchard, which kept them all in fruit and vegetables. They made all their own cheese, butter, soap and preserved meat. Produce was preserved – vegetables pickled and salted and the fruit bottled or made into jams and jellies, and any surplus was transported by horse and cart to be sold at the Victoria Markets in Melbourne, along with the regular sales of butter, cream, eggs and smoked meat. Note that there was no electricity, refrigeration, gas, mains water or sewerage at that time.  Originally, herbs and small vegetables were grown with the flowers, but as the vegetable and herb gardens and orchard expanded, the flower garden took over the areas adjacent to the house.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-13-08 The house passed through 5 generations of the Ziebell family from Christian and Sophie to son August and his wife Auguste, to their son Carl (who died in 1940) and his wife Dorothea, who lived on in the farmhouse till her death in 1969, aged 96 years. Carl and Dorothea had 10 children and when Carl died, 3 unmarried daughters were still living with Dorothea. A fourth widowed daughter, Sylvia Adams, joined them with four young children in 1932, her daughter Sylvia only 6 years old. Dorothea and Carl passed on their love of gardening to all their children, who each developed their own productive flower and vegetable gardens and orchards from slips, cuttings, seeds and seedlings from the original farmhouse garden, a fact which enabled the replacement of many of the plants lost over the years. During the 1950s, fuchsias replaced the grapevines on the verandahs and two tree ferns replaced an old loquat tree.The original orchard and vegetable gardens were sold and converted to housing in the 1970s. Sylvia Adams died in 1990, aged 90, and the property was sold to the City of Whittlesea in 1993.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-19-49 The Westgarthtown Historic Precinct includes: Ziebell’s Farmhouse and Garden, including a bath house, smoke house, cart shed and stone barn (the other outbuildings, including the dairy, cowshed, stables and grain store were across Gardenia Rd); the adjacent Lutheran Reserve including the Thomastown Lutheran Church 1856, the oldest operating Lutheran church in Australia; the Lutheran Cemetery 1850; drystone walls; and four more original bluestone farmhouses owned and built by early German pioneers: Wuchatsch’s Farmhouse 1850s; Matzahn’s Farmhouse 1850 – 1860; Siebel’s Farmhouse 1860; and Graff’s Farmhouse 1873. See: http://www.westgarthtown.org.au/sites/.

All can be visited- see: http://www.westgarthtown.org.au/visit/index.htm.

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Of all of these farmhouses, Ziebell’s Farmhouse is the oldest and the largest dwelling on the largest area of land. The L-shaped farmhouse and barn are built from stone in the style of the simple solid European vernacular buildings, derived from German tradition. They were both built from stone gathered from the surrounding paddocks: bluestone rubble and other local stone, the house having walls 61 cm thick.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-15-44blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-19-24 The  hipped roof of the farmhouse, whose steep pitch allowed for a spacious upper level attic,  was originally made of wooden shingles, cut from local Drooping Sheoak, Yellow Box, Acacia and Black Wattle. The barn has a hipped roof of iron shingles. Walls on the eastern and southern sides of the courtyard were rendered with lime mortar. The farmhouse is surrounded by an L-shaped verandah, which affords protection from the northerly and westerly winds. There are external doorways from the main bedroom, kitchen and entry hall onto the verandahs and all windows (except the northern side of the house) have wonderful views out onto the garden.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-19-57The cottage and garden are owned and maintained by the City of Whittlesea and are both on Victoria’s Heritage Register. See: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/3687 for a statement of their national and state significance. The gardens were opened twice as part of the Open Gardens Australia scheme in 2012 and 2013, as well as the inaugural Open Gardens Victoria program in 2015. See: http://www.opengardensvictoria.org.au/uploads/documents/Ziebell%20Revised%20Notes.pdf.

blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-20-03The 1200 square metre garden has large informal gardens of flowers, roses, shrubs, fruit trees and  a vegetable patch and a semi-formal circular flower garden in the centre. It has been managed by the Friends of Westgarthtown, including many descendants of the Ziebel family, since 1995. Gillian Borrack, the garden coordinator, has documented the garden extensively, including a comprehensive conservation analysis and management plan to preserve its authenticity. She also coordinates the combined volunteer and council support of the garden. For a detailed list of plants in each garden bed, see her article on: http://www.westgarthtown.org.au/publications/documents/ZF-GardenGuideSupplement.pdf.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-21-27 When the property was bought by the council in the 1990s, the gardens were quite rundown and neglected and the Friends of Westgarthtown restored the garden with the experience, knowledge and guidance of 5th generation family member, Sylvia Schultz, until her death in 2014.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-20-25 The timber picket fence and some of the arbours were restored and a modern watering system installed, the garden previously maintained using recycled dish and bath water and water drawn by hand pump from a deep, stone-lined well, and later stored in rainwater tanks. There were new plantings of the original varieties of apricots, plums, peaches, pears, lemons, cherries and apples, as well as a mulberry and an elderberry tree, and lost plants were replaced with cutting and seeds donated by family members.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-19-19The garden contains a 130 year old Cécile Brünner rose and over 60 rose varieties, including many  rare and historic varieties, a large number imported by the family in the 1800s. There are over 400 plants, including a rare Queen of Sheba climber.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_0207 The L-shaped verandah shelters the enclosed flower garden from the strong hot northerly winds and sun  and contains many rare, scented and delicate treasures.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-19-28 The garden is basically square in design with a central circular garden bed and four paths on the main axis leading back to the verandah or paths, except for the southern axis, which finishes under the wisteria pergola.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-19-38blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-19-45The central circular bed contains a central Queen Elizabeth rose, with cactus dahlias; mixed aquilegia; pink and white nerines; lupins; larkspur; lobelia; love-in-the-mist; primula; kiss-me-quick; Chinese forget-me-knots; petunias; violets and violas; daffodils and Dutch iris.

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The shady areas of the garden contain hydrangeas; tree ferns and ferns; fuchsias; cinerarias; justicas; rhododendrons and azaleas; begonias; pelargoniums; violets; hellebores; verbenas; delphiniums and border pinks, while foxgloves; penstemons; perennial phlox; forget-me-knots; carnations; picotees; hollyhocks and delphiniums, Russell lupins; valerian; poppies; calendulas; English lavender; with a white peony and an oleander growing in the areas of full sun.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-21-42

Because there are many well-established bulbs, corms, rhizomes and underground root stocks, this is definitely a no-dig garden, so dense plantings of prolific self-seeders and mulching is used to deter weeds.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-22-11blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-21-33There are 10 further gardens  with so many more plants, too numerous to mention here, suffice to say that it is probably best to consult the last web site mentioned, so I will only mention some of the other roses planted: Christian Dior; Pascali; Doris Downs; a Yellow Banksia rose and many David Austin roses.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-12-38blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-18-56blogcottagegardenrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-11-19-07And finally, there is Heide and I know that I have already discussed the garden in quite some depth in a previous post- see:https://candeloblooms.com/2016/02/09/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-historic-homes-and-gardens/ , but given that Old Roses were Sunday Reid’s passion and she grew over 250 of them at Heide, I have to revisit this beautiful garden, especially Heide Kitchen Garden II, where she grew many of her roses, as well as herbs, flowers and vegetables- the quintessential cottage garden! So that is my specific focus in this post!

Heide Kitchen Gardens I and II

7 Templestowe Rd.

Bulleen, Victoria

Tuesday – Sunday and public holidays 10 am to 5 pm. Gardens free. Garden tours available – see: https://www.heide.com.au/events/garden-tour.

Blog PubHxH&G20%Reszdseptember 136Part of the Heide Museum of Modern Art 20 minutes from Melbourne CBD and home of art patrons, John and Sunday Reed , from 1934 until their deaths in 1981, the story of Heide is recounted on: https://www.heide.com.au/about/heide-story. The story of Heide’s garden is also told in more depth in the book: ‘Sunday’s Garden : Growing Heide’ by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan  2012. See: https://www.gardenclinic.com.au/how-to-grow-article/sunday-s-garden-growing-heide?pid=44211. Information about the different cottage garden plants can also be gleaned from Tuesday’s Tip at: http://heidetuesdaytip.tumblr.com/.

Blog Lists40%Reszdmid nov 072

John and Sunday bought an old neglected 15 acre (6 hectares) dairy farm, which they transformed into a wonderful garden, including a walled garden, a French-inspired kitchen garden and a wild garden near Heide I, the original pink weatherboard farmhouse, restored in a French Provincial style and the famous Heide II kitchen garden, in which Sunday worked daily until just before her death in 1981. I have always loved visiting these gardens! The original Heide I kitchen garden provides year-round fresh seasonal organic produce for Café Heide, but I’m afraid Heide II with all its old roses is my favourite!Blog PubHxH&G20%ReszdIMG_7250The kitchen garden at Heide II was modelled on the English-style cottage garden tradition, with old-fashioned roses, herbaceous perennials and culinary herbs and vegetables. It was developed on the site of an old bull enclosure, an area with fertile alluvial soil down on the river flat, with none of the difficult clay or shale of Heide I. The garden was surrounded by a four foot high picket fence and a shingle-roofed potting shed was built nearby.Blog PubHxH&G20%Reszd2014-07-12 12.52.24Because the site was often inundated with flood waters, the higher western half of the garden was devoted to vegetables, while the lower eastern half contained herbs, flowers and roses, which tolerated the odd wet feet. There was a central path between the two sections with a timber arbour, over which grew the striped old Bourbon rose, Variegata di Bologna (photo below), which was under-planted with lavenders, sage, pale blue rosemary and borage.Blog PubHxH&G20%Reszd2014-07-12 12.50.28blogcottagegardenrosesreszd50image-170The western narrow parallel vegetable beds had perimeter paths and grew a wide variety of vegetables from asparagus, globe and Jerusalem artichokes, pumpkin and corn; broad beans, climbing beans and peas; and rhubarb, salsify and shallots; to a range of salad leaves and greens, including endive, French sorrel, land cress, mignonette, mâche, spinach and Swiss chard. She grew garlic for its decorative flower heads and seed pods, rather than its culinary properties.Blog PubHxH&G20%Reszd2014-07-12 12.48.20The eastern section of the garden had a traditional square design with four sets of successively smaller beds, connected by one long diagonal path. Sunday loved her herbs, which she propagated from seeds, slips and cuttings and roots, swapped with friends or smuggled illicitly into the country from the 1930s on, but you will have to read Lesley and Kendrah’s book for more details!Blog PubHxH&G20%Reszd2014-07-12 12.49.32They included commonly used herbs like sweet basil, sage, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon and chives to more unusual herbs like mandrake and hemlock. The edges of the paths were softened  with  many different varieties of thyme: Caraway, English, French, and Lemon and its variegated form ‘Magic Carpet’ and cultivars like Orange Peel; Silver Queen (Lemon Silver); Silver Posie; White; and Woolly. She grew three types of chamomile : English; Lawn and Ox-Eye and every type of mint she could find: Apple and Variegated Apple Mint; Woolly Mint; Curly Mint; Corn Mint; Capsicum Mint; Eau de Cologne Mint; Ginger Mint; Horse Mint or Wild Mint; Pennyroyal; Peppermint and Water Mint. Perennial herbs included agrimony, tansy and lemon verbena, while annual, seasonal and biennial herbs included parsley, cumin, coriander and chervil and the flowering herbs: borage, lavender and bergamot were grown for their decorative visual appeal.Blog PubHxH&G20%ReszdIMG_7253

In amongst the herbs, she grew English cottage flowers, including border pinks, primroses and columbines; delphiniums, foxgloves, hollyhocks and poppies; marguerite daisies, geraniums and pelargoniums of several varieties; forget-me-nots and a range of violets of different colours; Japanese anemones and periwinkles; bearded iris and ranunculi; and jasmine.Blog Lists40%Reszdmid nov 122

But it was the roses that Sunday loved above all else! Especially the old-fashioned rambling kind like R. fortuniana, whose tree trunk thick stem clambers through Pittosporum tenuifolium; the Kordes shrub rose, Raubritter, growing in an old terracotta urn at the end of a winding path under a eucalyptus stand; R. gigantea covering the bridge over the rill, the base stock of so many of Alister Clark’s roses; R. laevigata climbing over the fence; and the Species roses: R. brunonii; R. moschata; R. multiflora watsoniana; R. wilmottiae;  and R. bracteata. She disliked the more modern David Austin hybrids, despite their reliability and  constancy of flowering, unlike her successor Barrett Reid, who planted many David Austins at Heide I between 1981 to 1995.Blog Lists40%Reszdmid nov 102

After 80 years of rose cultivation at Heide, 150 of the 250 rose bushes, which Sunday planted, remain. They were grown from cuttings and plants, sourced overseas, as well as from Australian nurseries, specializing in old-fashioned roses and Australian rose breeder, Alister Clark, himself, who bred Lorraine Lee (1st two photos); Squatter’s Dream (3rd photo) and Black Boy, all grown in the kitchen garden of Heide II.blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9112blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20img_9113blogcottagegardenrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-15-13-26Sunday inherited her love of roses from her childhood at Balholmen and Merthen. Not longer after she and John moved to Heide, they invited famous Australian rose breeder Alister Clark to identify the pre-existing roses on the property. In 1938, an early consignment of wild and heritage roses included: R. foetida; R. lutea punicea; R. persica; Fortune’s Double Yellow (1st photo); Gloire de Dijon; Aimée Vibert and Devoniensis (2nd photo).blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-01-54blognovgarden20reszdimg_0731During the 1960s and 1970s, further plantings included R. centifolia (photo 1); Chateau de Clos Vougeot (photo 2); and very early Hybrid Tea, La France; a later climbing Hybrid Tea Étoile de Hollande and Floribunda rose, Warrior.bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-19-13-11-08blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0160Here is a copy of her June 1967 planting list, taken from ‘Sunday’s Garden : Growing Heide’  :

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In 1973, she ordered 15 roses, including Chapeau de Napoléon (1st photo), Sissinghurst Castle (2nd photo)and Mme Hardy.bloghxroses20reszd2014-11-22-14-26-37bloggallicasreszd20img_9712Sunday grew a plethora of old roses at Heide II, especially the kitchen garden of Heide II, where the rugosas provided huge red hips for rosehip tea and rosehip jelly, jam and syrup, while the highly-scented petals of Bourbon rose, Mme Isaac Pereire (2nd photo) were perfect for making potpourri.blogspeciesrosesreszd50april-028blogcottagegardenrosesreszd50image-206 Other roses in Heide II include: Charles Mallerin; Mme Sancy de ParabèreFrühlingsmorgen and Tea roses, Mrs Herbert Stevens, which grows amongst valerian, soapwort, silver beet and zucchini, and Safrano, which thrives amongst the feverfew and thymes.blognovgarden20reszd2016-11-11-15-58-44BlogCottageGardenRosesReszd20%2014-10-19 13.24.18.jpgOne of her most famous roses is Mutabilis, which was immortalized in a painting by Sidney Nolan in 1945 at the height of their love affair. Another sentimental favourite was Duchesse de Brabant, grown from a cutting taken from the grave of her mother Ethel Baillieu, who died in 1932, and planted in the walled perennial border of Heide I.bloghxroses50reszdnov-2010-253bloghxroses20reszdimg_1983Other favourites included the Bourbons: La Reine Victoria; Mme Pierre Oger; and Souvenir de la Malmaison, both bush and climbing forms (1st photo), as well as the Hybrid Perpetual, Reine des Violettes (2nd photo).blognovgarden20reszd2016-11-07-10-50-42BlogCottageGardenRosesReszd50%Image (176).jpgOther famous old roses grown include The Apothecary’s Rose, R. gallica officinalis (one of John’s favourites); Cardinal de Richelieu (photo 1); both Tuscany and Tuscany Superb; the Autumn Damask (photo 2); Ispahan;  Cuisse de Nymphe émue; and R. indica major.bloggallicasreszd20%2014-10-27-12-49-12blogdivinedamasksreszd20img_9496If you are interested to learn more about Sunday’s roses at Heide, it is well worth reading the book, which includes comprehensive plant lists of all the trees, roses and herbs in the back. Suffice to say, we certainly shared similar tastes when it came to choosing Old Roses. Albertine;  Alister Stella Grey (top centre); Archiduc Joseph (top right); Cécile Brunner (top left); Celeste; Cornelia; Devoniensis; Fantin Latour; Geranium; Jaune Deprez; Lamarque (bottom right); Mme Alfred Carrière; Mme Louis Lévêque; Maxima; Mutabilis; Penelope; Rosa Mundi; Roseraie de l’Hay (bottom middle); York and Lancaster; and Stanwell Perpetual (bottom left) are but a few shared loves.

I will finish with a quote by Barrett Reed, describing Sunday’s kitchen garden at Heide II, which says it all : ‘A poem of a garden and as much a treasure as the most treasured paintings’.

P.S. Note: Some of the photos of individual roses in my section on Heide are from my collection (home or garden visits), rather than Heide necessarily, and are there solely to illustrate the particular roses mentioned.