At risk of repeating myself, here are the contact details!
Red Cow Farm (Owners: Ali Mentesh and Wayne Morrisey)
7480 Illawarra Highway Sutton Forest, 5 km south of Mossvale 2.5 hectares (6 acres)
1.5 hours drive from Canberra and Sydney
Phone: (02) 4868 1842; 0448 677647
Open 8 months of the year from late September to the end of May, 10am – 4 pm. Closed Christmas Day.
$10 Adults; $8 Seniors and $4 children (4 to 14 years old)
Red Cow Farm is such an artistic garden. I love the colour combinations used; the diversity of both colour, texture and form; and the play of light and shade. However, for this post, I am focusing on the old roses in all their full glory! Where I can identify them, I mention their names, having quizzed Ali in great depth after exploring the garden, but for many of the roses, it was merely enough to enjoy the total picture and breathe in their beautiful scents.
I am also including the garden map again, so it is easier to discuss the location of the roses! As in my previous post on Red Cow Farm, I am following a similar path from the entrance to the cottage garden, curved pergola and Apollo Walk to the Abbess’s Garden and beyond, following the numbers on the map.Front of the Cottage
The highly fragrant Kordes rose, Cinderella, greets you on the left as you enter the front gate.In front of the cottage on the left is a huge bush of Mutabilis (photo of shrub in the background below) and behind it, adorning the house, is Awakening, a sport of Hybrid Wichurana, New Dawn, itself a sport of another Hybrid Wichurana, Dr W Van Fleet. Awakening is the rose, being held in the hand, on the far right of the photo below.Cottage Garden and Camellia Walk (Areas 3 and 4):
I loved the contrast between these tidy clipped balls and the blowsy, overgrown shrub roses. The next photo is taken under the start of the curved pergola with the start of the Apollo Walk to the Abbess’s Garden.Curved Pergola and Courtyard (Areas 5 and 1):
The curved pergola is stunning from either direction, looking down to the courtyard and circular driveway: and back to the Apollo Walk. The golden roses look so good against the old weathered timber beams, stone walls and brick pillars. I love the attention to detail and the mixed plantings- soft blue campanulas and lemon Sisyringium strictum in a carpet of pinks. The courtyard behind the cottage is a delightful spot to sit.Roses were often planted in monastery gardens during the Middle Ages, so it was very appropriate to find many of the old roses in the Abbesses Garden and the Monastery Garden.
Abbess’s Garden (Area 7), leading into the Beech Walk (Area 8):
The first bed on the right as you enter the Abbess’s Garden from the Apollo Walk is full of yellows and golds with English Rose, Comte de Champagne (2nd photo below), in a sea of lemon-yellow aquilegia.I love all the colour combinations, both complimentary: and contrasting: The wide variety of plantings ensures constant colour and interest throughout the seasons. I particularly loved the Alliums.On her pillar in the third bed on the right, Hybrid Multiflora, Laure Davoust, rises from a sea of pink.As you approach the chapel, Hybrid Spinosissima, Golden Wings, is on the right: while golden David Austins, Wildflower (single, gold to white with gold stamens) and heavy, globular Charles Darwin grace the left bed.The riotous colour of the Abbess’s Garden is in dramatic contrast with the calming green living walls of the next garden room, the Beech Walk (Area 8), which leads to the Hazelnut Walk (Area 9) and the Lake (Area 11), complete with island and bridge (Area 20). I love the twisted red stems of the hazelnut trees and the intensity of the colours, backlit by sun, as you emerge from the shade they cast.Blowsy Hybrid Wichurana, Albertine, falls into the water from the banks, while Noisette climber, Lamarque, graces the island end of the bridge. I love this view of the wooden bridge from the Bog Garden (Area 10).Woodland (Area 19)
The woodland area is a study in contrast in colour, tone, form and texture.There are a few roses in the herbaceous borders of the Obelisk Walk (Area 23), including Hybrid Rugosa rose, Jens Munk, which was also in bloom last January (first photo) and this unidentified pink rose.
The richness and lushness of the garden is always such a contrast to the surrounding grazed paddocks: and I love the woodland paths.November is also Rhododendron and Azalea season. I would dearly love to find the golden Rhodendron luteum, whose scent is superb, but I also loved this deep-pink rhodo, Homebush, under the shade of the dogwood tree. and this unidentified rhododendron with masses of light pink blooms. The new shoots of this Gold Tipped Oriental Spruce, Picea orientalis aurea, were quite stunning as well.Garden Shed and Circular Driveway (Area 17)
Tea Rose, Countess Bertha, also known as Comtesse de Labarthe, Comtesse Ouwaroff, Mlle de Labarthe and Duchesse de Brabant, climbs up the back wall over the door, while the front garden facing the driveway contains Hybrid Tea, Mme Abel Chatenay, on the left, facing the shed, and English Rose, The Alnwick Rose, on the right. On the left of the junction of the path back into the Flower Walk (Area 16) is a shrub of Fantin Latour. I love the bright poppies of the central flowerbed in the driveway, which was filled with bright pink and orange zinnias in full bloom on our last visit in January. There was a stunning Oriental Poppy further down the driveway on our current visit in November.Monastery Garden (Area 13)
Like the Abbess’s Garden, the Monastery Garden is full of roses. This photo shows a view of the Monastery Garden, looking back to the entrance.A creamy cloud of Mrs Herbert Stevens (Hybrid Tea), Devoniensis (Tea) and Souvenir de la Malmaison (Bourbon) covers the entrance wall to the garden. The fallen purple petals of Portland Damask, Rose de Rescht, carpet the path on the right. St Fiacre, the patron saint of gardens, hides under Hybrid Perpetual, Reine des Violettes. I loved this little Nicotiana mutabilis, complementing the pink rose behind, and the contrast of the monastery bell with the infilled arches of variegated ivy.Vegetable Garden (Area 12) and Nursery (Area21)
I loved the hedge of Hybrid Rugosa, Roseraie de l’Hay, behind the globe artichokes: and the Icebergs (Hybrid Tea) dotting the vegetable garden. On the nursery side of the Wisteria Walk (Area 22) is the dramatic striped Delbard rose, Guy Savoy. And finally, ….
The Walled Garden (Area 2)
A riot of colour and scents! Hybrid Macrantha, Raubritter, covers the right of the seat, while Species Rose,Dupontii, stands tall against the end wall of the cottage. There is just so much colour and interest in just this section of the garden alone!I loved the sea of poppies in the front garden around the birdbath.Red Cow Farm would have to be one of my favourite gardens in all seasons and I would highly recommend a visit in November for maximum enjoyment! It is a photographer’s delight, so make sure that you take your camera or beg, borrow or steal one, as I had to do for this most important visit. I shall tell you more about my camera woes on Thursday!
Up until the late 19th Century, nursery catalogues listed a huge variety of different rose types from the Species Roses and Old European varieties (Gallicas, Damasks, Albas, Centifolias and Mosses) to China Roses and all the progeny of rose hybridization since the latter’s introduction to the West: the Boursaults, Bourbons, Portlands, Hybrid Perpetuals, Noisettes, Teas and early Hybrid Teas and Floribundas.
However, with the development and increased popularity of the Hybrid Tea over the early 20th Century, many of the earlier varieties of rose began to disappear and today, many of them have vanished without a trace.
Fortunately, there were still some famous gardeners, who kept the Old Roses going:
Constance Spry (1886-1960) was one of the first collectors of Old Roses in the 20th Century and Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) grew many heritage varieties in her garden at Sissinghurst Castle.
Graham Stuart Thomas (1909-2003), who met the 88 year-old Gertrude Jekyll in his early days at Hillings, Woking, started collecting Old Roses in the 1950s, expanding the collection at his own Sunningdale Nursery, before finding it a permanent home at Mottisfont. See my post on the Rose Gardens of England at: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/10/24/bucket-list-of-rose-gardens-in-england/.
However, the other big name in the rose world at the time was David Austin (1926-), now 91 years old. Here is the story of his journey in the rose world!
David grew up on a farm in Albrighton, Shropshire, where he still lives today. Initially starting farming like his father, he became increasingly interested in gardening, especially in amateur rose breeding.
He loved the shrubby form of Old Rose bushes and the beautiful scent of their blooms, with their wide variety of flower forms, which provided so much more interest than the uniformly pointed buds of the Hybrid Teas. There were single, semi-single and double forms, of which there were flat, recurving or cupped rosettes; deep and shallow cups; and even pompom-shaped flowers, depicted in this photograph from Page 33 of David Austin’s English Roses, Australian Edition, 1996:However, to some people’s eyes, Old Roses had two major drawbacks, compared to the Hybrid Teas:
Their muted colour range: Only whites, pinks, crimsons and purples, compared to the bright colours and yellows, oranges, peaches and apricots of the Hybrid Teas (though the climbing Noisettes do have yellows in their colour range, but here we are talking about the bush forms only); and
The fact that they only flower once in the Summer. Personally, I have never really accepted these criticisms, especially the latter, as most of our garden shrubs are only once-flowering eg Spiraea, Weigelas and Viburnums, but with the decreasing size of the modern garden, recurrency plays an increasingly important role, providing more colour and scent for money, and I must admit that I too am guilty of this in our Moon Bed, here in our small garden at Candelo- more later!!!
As early as the late 1940s, David Austin conceived the notion of breeding Old Roses with the modern Hybrid Teas and Floribundas to maximize the advantages of each and produce healthy, vigorous shrubs with flowers with the form and scent of Old Roses, but the colour range and remontancy of the modern rose.
He started experimenting in the 1950s and by 1961, had produced his first rose Constance Spry, named after the famous flower arranger. I grew this rose against the tennis court fence in my Armidale garden, seen in the photo below.A progeny of a short Gallica, Belle Isis, and a strong, though not tall, Floribunda, DaintyMaid, Constance Spry bears deeply-cupped, soft-pink flowers with a myrrh scent, but unfortunately, like all first crosses, only flowers once in the Summer. The repeat-flowering gene is recessive, so Constance Spry had to be back-crossed at least once more with other repeat-flowering roses to ensure the recurrent-flowering ability.
Some of these roses included:
Ma Perkins, a Floribunda, which produced copious seed, which germinated well and was one of the few modern roses to have the cupped shape of Old Roses (like that of a Bourbon); Mme Caroline Testout, an early Hybrid Tea with globular flowers with numerous petals, seen in the photo below; and another Hybrid Tea, Monique.Other crosses involved other Gallicas like Duchesse de Montebello, Duchesse d’Angoulême and R. gallica officinalis; Damasks like La Ville de Bruxelles, Marie Louise and Celsiana; and Albas, Königan von Dänemark and Mme Legras St. Germaine.
Shropshire Lass 1968, a cross between Mme Butterfly, an early Hybrid Tea and an Alba, Mme Legras St Germaine, which is Summer flowering only.
Scintillation, 1968, a cross between R. macrantha, and Hybrid Musk, Vanity, and
The Prioress, 1969, a cross between Bourbon, Reine Victoria, and a seedling;
Some of the early roses from crosses between Ma Perkins, Monique, Mme Caroline Testout and Constance Spry, all pink and all recurrent-flowering, unless otherwise specified, include:
The Miller, 1970, a cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Baroness Rothschild, and Chaucer.
Other early breeding programs focused on achieving a red colour range. To develop his red roses, David Austin crossed a single red Floribunda, Dusky Maiden, with a very old deep red Gallica, Tuscany, to produce Chianti, 1967, with its large, highly scented, deep crimson rosette blooms, again flowering only once, in early Summer. Further breeding , including the introduction of red Hybrid Tea, Château de Clos Vougeot, seen in the photo above, which is a rather weak shrub in the UK, into the breeding program has resulted in red family of English Roses, which is slightly on the smaller size. These include:
The Knight 1969 A cross between a Bourbon, Gipsy Boy and Chianti, but it has been discontinued as the plant is rather weak and later:
Glastonbury 1974 The Knight x seedling;
The Squire 1977 The Knight x Château de Clos Vougeot, a much stronger rose than its David Austin bred-parent; and further crosses between English Roses,
Prospero 1982 A similar cross to The Squire;
Wise Portia 1982 and Wenlock 1984 , both crosses of The Knight x Glastonbury; and
Othello 1986 A cross between two English Roses, Lilian Austin x The Squire.
By 1970, David Austin had a small range of roses ready to be launched, many of them named after characters in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (including Wife of Bath 1969, Canterbury 1969, both still available, and The Prioress 1969, The Yeomen 1969, DamePrudence 1969, The Friar 1969, The Knight 1969, The Miller 1970 and Chaucer 1970, all since deleted from sale), so he formed his nursery, David Austin Roses Ltd., to introduce the public to his English Roses, as they became known.
While the early English Roses had a good fragrance and the Old Rose beauty, they were still not as robust as David Austin wanted, so he continued to cross them with other repeat-flowering shrubby Old Roses like Portlands (especially Comte de Chambord), Bourbons and Hybrid Perpetuals. Also, he still did not have any yellow shades, a problem which was rectified by the use of some influential roses:
Iceberg, the highly popular white Floribunda, bred by Kordes in 1958, which is exceptionally repeat-flowering, continuing right through into the Winter, and has strong, broad and busy dense growth.
The first crosses produced a perfect soft pink rosette, but the plant suffered badly from blackspot like its Iceberg parent. Backcrossing with some of the better English Roses, did produce some very good varieties like Perdita 1983 and Heritage 1984 ; and his famous yellow English Rose, Graham Thomas 1983, a cross between Charles Austin x (Iceberg x Seedling);
Aloha, a climbing Hybrid Tea with highly fragrant flowers with an Old Rose form, bred from New Dawn, a highly disease-resistant repeat-flowering Wichuraiana Rambler, producing some very strong larger varieties with larger flowers like Charles Austin 1983 (Chaucer x Aloha); and Golden Celebration 1992.
Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, a Rugosa Hybrid, which is a cross between Noisette, Gloire de Dijon, and another unknown Rugosa Hybrid. Rugosas are highly disease-resistant and vigorous. Crosses with Chaucer produced yellow and apricot English Roses with large highly fragrant rosette blooms like Tamora 1983 and Jayne Austin 1990 and Evelyn 1991, the latter two both crosses between Graham Thomas and Tamora. Here is a photo of Evelyn from my garden:To date, David Austin has bred more than 200 English Roses. Today, the nursery is managed by David JC Austin, the eldest son of David CH Austin, and is one of Britain’s leading rose nurseries. Every year, there are 50,000 crosses between April and July to germinate more than 250,000 seedlings the following year, the most outstanding of which are subject to eight years of field trials. Eventually, only three to six new varieties will be released each year at the Chelsea Flower Show in London. The latest releases for 2017 are cerise pink James L Austin, rich apricot Dame Judi Dench and soft yellow Vanessa Bell.
Shrub roses with full bushy or arching growth, usually 1.2 metres high or less. Here is a photo of Troilus from my Moon Bed:Flower Form:
Single: Ann; The Alexandra Rose;
Semi-Double : Windflower; Scarborough Fair; and Cordelia;
Rosette: Eglantyne (flat); Mary Rose; and The Countryman;
Deep Cupped: Brother Cadfael; Golden Celebration; Heritage; and Jude the Obscure;
Shallow Cupped: Crown Princess Margareta; Sweet Juliet; and Teasing Georgia;
Recurved: Grace and Jubilee Celebration.
Old Rose Fragrance: Gertrude Jekyll; Eglantyne; and Brother Cadfael;
Tea Fragrance: William Morris, Graham Thomas; Pat Austin; and Sweet Juliet;
Myrrh Fragrance: Constance Spry; Chaucer; and Cressida;
Musk Fragrance: Francine Austin; The Generous Gardener; Molineux; and Windrush;
Fruit Fragrance: Jude the Obscure; Leander; and Yellow Button.
Varieties of English Rose
There are six groups of English Roses and I will be discussing some of their famous examples, especially those which I am now growing:
1.Old Rose Hybrids:
The original English Roses, including once-flowering Constance Spry, which lean very much toward the Old Roses in character.
Small bushy shrubs with rosette-shaped flowers.
White, blush, pink, deep pink, crimson and purple flowers, though two varieties, Jude the Obscure and Windrush, are yellow.
Old Rose fragrance, though often mixed with the scents of tea, myrrh, lily of the valley, lilac and almond blossom.
Fair Bianca 1982 Of unknown parentage (though in their book, The Quest for the Rose, Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix state that Belle Isis is part of its parentage), this small shrub has white, medium, very double blooms, opening to flat and quartered rosettes. With its contrasting pink tipped buds, it is very popular for bridal bouquets, an ideal use as its strong myrrh fragrance tends to go off after a day or two, to my nose anyway! We grew masses of them at Soho Rose Farm, where Ross, who had to prune these low bushes, christened them Fair Little Buggers! Nevertheless, we inherited one from Soho, which is now thriving in our Soho Bed.Pretty Jessica 1983 A cross between Wife of Bath and a seedling, this short, compact shrub, with fragrant warm rich pink rosette flowers, repeats well, but needs regular spraying due to its poor resistance to disease and it is no longer available.Mary Rose 1983 A cross between the Wife of Bath and The Miller, this medium-sized, twiggy shrub has small clusters of large, cupped rose-pink blooms with a light Old Rose fragrance with a hint of honey and almond, in flushes throughout the season. For a photo, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/mary-rose. It was named after Henry VIII’s flagship, which was recovered from the Solent 400 years later, and was one of the first English Roses, along with Graham Thomas, to become widely popular after the introduction of Constance Spry.
Mary Rose has played such an important role in the total development of English Roses. For example, in order of their introduction, it is one of the parents of :
William Shakespeare 1987 (along with The Squire);
LD Braithwaite 1988 (also with The Squire);
Sharifa Asma 1989 (with Admired Miranda);
Kathryn Morley 1990 ( a cross with Chaucer) ;
Peach Blossom 1990 (with The Prioress);
Sir Edward Elgar 1992 ( another Mary Rose-The Squire cross again); and
Glamis Castle 1992 (from a cross with Graham Thomas).
Mary Rose has also produced two sports: the softer pink Redouté 1992 and the white Winchester Cathedral 1998.Windrush 1984 A cross between a seedling and (Canterbury x Golden Wings, a Hybrid Spinosissima– see photo above) and named after a river in Southern England, this medium shrub bears large, semi-double, soft yellow, wide open flowers with a boss of stamens and a light spicy Musk fragrance. It occasionally repeats later in the season. Here is a photo from Ruston’s Roses in Renmark:
Wildflower 1986 A cross between Lilian Austin and (Cantebury x Golden Wings), this light yellow single rose has 5 petals and a mild fragrance and occasionally repeats later in the season.Gertrude Jekyll 1986 A cross between Wife of Bath and Portland, Comte de Chambord, this large, upright shrub bears warm, deep pink Hybrid Tea-like buds, which open into large heavy rosettes, with petals spiralling from the centre and a powerful Old Rose fragrance, only equalled by Evelyn. Named after the English garden designer and author, Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), its foliage and growth are close to that of Portlands and it forms quite a good climber.LD Braithwaite 1988 A cross between Mary Rose x The Squire, which was a cross between The Knight x Château de Clos Vougeot, this low spreading shrub has dark red, slightly cupped, loosely formed flowers, which are slow to fade and which develop a Old Rose fragrance as they open out wide and flat. It was named for David Austin’s father-in-law, Leonard Braithwaite, and is growing opposite Fair Bianca in our Soho Bed.Eglantyne 1994 A cross between Mary Rose and a seedling, this medium, upright shrub bears perfect, soft pink rosette blooms with a button eye and a lovely sweet Old Rose fragrance. It was named after Eglantyne Jebb, a lady from Ellesmere, Shropshire, who founded the Save the Children Fund after the First World War. It grows on the other side of LD Braithwaite, diagonal to Fair Bianca, in the Soho Bed.Jude the Obscure 1995 One of only two yellows in the group, it is a cross between Abraham Darby and Windrush. Named after the character in Thomas Hardy’s novel, it is one of my favourite English Roses for its tall, vigorous and healthy growth and its deeply cupped, incurved golden cups with their wonderful fruity scent, which David Austin describes as ‘reminiscent of guava and sweet wine’ and which I could soak up forever! Fortunately, I planted it on the bottom corner of the Moon Bed, where I will still be able to bury my nose in her blooms, even when the citrus behind are fully grown.Windermere Before 2005 A cross between two unspecified seedlings, this lovely rose has clusters of white medium blooms with an Old Rose form and a fruity citrus fragrance. It grows in the front of the Moon Bed next to Jude the Obscure.
A cross between Old Rose hybrids and modern roses, with R. wichuraiana in their makeup, they lean more toward the modern rose, but still have the typical Old Rose form.
Large healthy robust shrubs with elegant arching growth.
Large yellow, apricot and flame-coloured flowers, varying from a rosette to deeply cupped shape.
Fragrance of Old Rose, Tea Rose, myrrh and fruity undertones of raspberry, lemon and apple.
Charles Austin 1973 named for David Austin’s father, this strong upright shrub with shiny modern foliage is a cross between Chaucer and Aloha. It has very large, apricot-yellow rosette blooms with a fruity fragrance, which fade with age. While not continuously repeating, it has a second flush in Autumn. For a photo, see: https://www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=1071 .
Leander 1982 A tough reliable rose, named after the legendary Greek lover, it was produced by a cross between Charles Austin and a seedling and has small sprays of deep apricot small to medium rosettes with a raspberry scent in the Tea Rose tradition. My rose, planted in front of the shed, grew from a cutting I took from a shrub in a friend’s garden. Here is a photo of older blooms.Troilus 1983 I first saw this rose in 2014 in Renmark, the perfect climate for it as it thrives in the warmth, though it is still doing very well in the front of the Moon Bed between Windermere and Heritage. I love its large clusters of creamy apricot fully cupped blooms. Its seed parent is a cross between Gallica Hybrid, Duchesse de Montebello, and Chaucer, while its pollen parent is Charles Austin.Abraham Darby 1985 A cross between Floribunda, Yellow Cushion, and Aloha, a modern climber. A large bush with long arching growth and large glossy leaves. Large deeply cupped Old Rose blooms, with soft peachy pink petals on the inside and pale yellow on the outside, fading in colour towards the edge of the flower as it ages, and a rich fruity fragrance with a raspberry sharpness. This rose has played an important part in the development of the Leander Group and is named after Abraham Darby (1678-1717), one of the founders of the Industrial Revolution, which began in Shropshire. For a photo, see: https://hedgerowrose.com/rose-gardening/2011/06/11/growing-david-austins-abraham-darby-rose/.
Charles Darwin 1991 A cross between two unnamed seedlings and named after the legendary British naturalist and father of the Theory of Evolution, Charles Darwin, this rose has some of the largest blooms of the English Roses. Full and deeply cupped at first, the mustard yellow blooms open to shallower flowers with a button eye. They have a strong fragrance, which is a blend of the scents of a soft floral tea rose and pure lemon. The shrub has broad, vigorous, spreading growth and is highly disease-resistant.Golden Celebration 1992 One of the largest flowers of the English Roses, this large shrub with long arching branches is a cross between Charles Austin and Abraham Darby. I am growing it at the back of the Moon Bed next to Lucetta, and love its large deeply cupped golden blooms, which have a strong Tea scent at first, developing fruity undertones of Sauternes wine and strawberry as it ages.William Morris 1998 Named after the father of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris (1834-1896), to commemorate the centenary of the founding of the University of East London, this tall shrub with long arching canes and glossy foliage is a cross between Abraham Darby and a seedling. My rose is very healthy and vigorous and constantly in flower with clusters of apricot pink rosettes with a strong fragrance. Growing in the front of the Moon Bed, I am in two minds about whether I should have grown it at the back of the bed due to its height, but its long graceful canes, covered in pink blooms look equally beautiful falling romantically over the front edge of the bed, even though my lawnmower curses me every time!The Alnwick Rose 2001 Named for the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, who created a very large rose garden with many English Roses at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, it is a cross between a seedling and Golden Celebration. I love the blooms of this rose: medium-sized, deeply cupped and incurved, pink flowers, with an Old Rose fragrance with a hint of raspberry. This is my final English Rose in the Soho Bed.Jubilee Celebration 2002 Named in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, this large vigorous shrub, a cross between AUSgold (the registration name of Golden Celebration) and a seedling, bears sprays of large domed rich salmon pink blooms, tinted with gold under the petals, with a lovely fruity rose scent with undertones of lemon and raspberry. For a phot, see: https://www.gardenia.net/plant/rose-jubilee-celebration-aushunter.
Summer Song 2005 A bushy upright shrub, bred from a cross between two unspecified seedlings, it has sprays of small burnt orange cupped blooms with a fragrance of ‘chrysanthemum leaves, ripe banana and tea’, according to David Austin. I used to love using these bright blooms in the exotic Moroccan Mix, which we used to assemble at Soho. For a photo, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/summer-song.
3.English Musk Group:
A cross between Old Rose hybrids and Noisettes and the newer Hybrid Musks, to which the Floribunda, Iceberg, is related, being a cross between Hybrid Musk, Robin Hood, and Hybrid Tea, Virgo.
Lighter growth and flowering than the Old Rose Hybrid or Leander groups.
Dainty soft flowers in fresh and blush pink, soft yellow, apricot and peach.
Variety of fragrances.
Lucetta 1983 This strong healthy shrub, with long arching canes, has large, open and flat, semi-double, saucer-like, blush-pink fragrant blooms with a boss of gold stamens. Its parentage is unknown. Growing next to Golden Celebration at the back of the Moon Bed, its blooms contrast beautifully with the Flowering Salvias, the deep blue ‘Indigo Spires’ and a lighter blue salvia, grown from a cutting from my sister’s garden.Graham Thomas 1983 Given the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1993 , the James Mason Award (Royal National Rose Society, UK) and the Henry Edland Medal for Fragrance (Royal National Rose Society Trials), both in 2000, and voted the world’s most favourite rose by 41 rose societies in 2009, this tall upright shrub was named for rosarian, Graham Stuart Thomas, and is a cross between Charles Austin x (Iceberg x seedling). For a close-up photo, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/graham-thomas. It has medium deeply cupped golden yellow blooms, opening to cupped rosettes with a strong Tea Rose fragrance. I used to grow this rose in Armidale and would love to find a place for it here! Here is the climbing form at Ruston’s Roses.
Heritage 1984 Another popular and beautiful deeply cupped, blush-pink rose with a fragrance, which has been described as having ‘overtones of fruit, honey and carnation on a myrrh background’. Like Graham Thomas, it is the progeny of a Seedling x Iceberg. Other sites state the parentage as: Seedling x (Iceberg x Wife of Bath). I have always grown this rose in all my gardens from my first married home to Armidale and now here in Candelo.Belle Story 1984 Named after one of the first nursing sisters to serve as a British Royal Navy officer in 1884, its seed parent is a cross between Chaucer and a Modern Climber, Parade, while its pollen parent is a cross between The Prioress and Iceberg.Sweet Juliet 1989 A cross between Graham Thomas and Admired Miranda, an English Rose, which itself has The Friar as both its seed and pollen parents and has been discontinued, this lovely rose has medium, shallow-cupped, apricot-yellow flowers with a strong Tea scent, which becomes lemony as the blooms mature. It was named for the heroine in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. For a photo, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/sweet-juliet.
Evelyn 1991 A cross between Graham Thomas and Tamora, this lovely rose has large apricot and pink flowers with a shallow saucer-like form, whose petals gradually recurve to form a rosette shape. They have a beautiful Old Rose fragrance, one of the strongest of the English Roses, with the fruity notes of apricots and peaches. It was named on behalf of my favourite perfumers, Crabtree and Evelyn, and is a sister rose to Jayne Austin(Graham Thomas x Tamora) and Sweet Juliet, sharing some of the characteristics of both. Unfortunately, it is susceptible to disease, a reputation borne out by my own recent experience in the back of the Moon Bed! It was making a feeble attempt to recover, but unfortunately died, so I may try to replace it with Sweet Juliet, if I can find it or maybe, I should just move Leander to the Moon Bed, in case it was a case of Unlucky Number 13, there being 4 English Roses in the Soho Bed, 8 in the Moon Bed and one in the Shed Bed!Comte(s) de Champagne 2001 A cross between a seedling and Tamora, this rose is one of the first English Roses to have open-centred cup-shaped blooms. Soft yellow buds open to perfect, open, medium to large, globular cups, with a honey and musk fragrance and a mop of deep yellow stamens. The lax spreading bushy shrub is healthy and free-flowering. It was named after Taittinger’s finest champagne. According to David Austin, the President of Taittinger, M. Claude Taittinger, lives in a chateau built by Thibault IV, Count of Chapagne and Brie, who is also credited with bringing the Apothecary’s Rose, R. gallica officinalis, from Damascus to France on his return from the 7th Crusade in 1250.4. English Alba Rose Hybrids
The most recent varieties, a cross between Albas and other English Roses.
Almost wild light and airy growth and healthy foliage.
Light and dainty flowers in mainly shades of pink, though some are almost white and Benjamin Britten is scarlet.
They are the least fragrant of the English Roses, being a delicate mix of Old Rose, myrrh, musk and tea, without any particular scent predominating.
Shropshire Lass 1968 The foundation rose of this group, it is a cross between an early Hybrid Tea, Mme Butterfly, and an Alba, Mme Legras St Germaine. It is a large strong free-flowering shrub, though non-repeating, and has blush white almost single flowers with a large boss of stamens and a strong scent with hints of myrrh. I grew this rose in my larger Armidale garden. For a photo, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/shropshire-lass-climbing-rose.
5. English Climbers:
Some of the larger English Roses perform well as small climbers, where they can reach 3 to 3.5 metres here in Australia. For example, Constance Spry; Shropshire Lass; Gertrude Jekyll; Graham Thomas; Leander and William Morris.
6. English Cut Flower Roses:
In 2004, David Austin unveiled hid plans for his current 15 year breeding program, which is directed towards producing English Roses for the cut flower industry. They are similar in their flower form (rosettes) to English Roses grown in the garden, but are bred to be grown under glass and are the result of crossing English Roses with cut flower varieties of Hybrid Teas.
They combine the blowsy Old Rose forms, fragrance and romantic soft colors with the year-round availability, strong stems and the long vase life of modern cut roses and are ideal for gift bouquets, floral arrangements for the home and for all kinds of special occasions like weddings, birthdays and parties.
Unlike many of the Cut Flower Hybrid Teas, which have no fragrance, the English Cut Roses have a strong fragrance, but because of this, will last 2 or 3 days less in water than a typical Cut Hybrid Tea, the chemicals producing the scent also having the effect of hastening rose petal decay.
The initial seven varieties included four heavily perfumed roses: glowing clear pink Phoebe (originally called Olivia Austin), creamy-white Patience, deep pink Emily (synonym Cymbeline), and blush-pink Rosalind; and three lightly fragrant, exquisitely formed roses: peach-hued Juliet, rosy Miranda and raspberry-red Darcey.
For more information about David Austin and his beautiful English Roses, it is worth reading David Austin’s books:
David Austin’s English Roses Australian Edition 1993/ 1996;
The English Roses: Classic Favourites and New Selections 2007; and
The Rose 2009/ 2012.
Next week, I am focusing on our own Spring garden, but the following fortnight, will be looking at the work of other contemporary breeders of modern shrub roses and modern climbers, including Guillot, Delbard and Meilland in France; Kordes and Tantau in Germany; Harkness and Joe Cocker in the UK and Swim and Weeks in the USA.
Ninfa has been described as one of the 10 most beautiful gardens in the world. In fact, Monty Don states in his video, Italian Gardens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y8wh7Xqw7U, at the 2:48:20-2:56:0 mark), that he considers it to be THE most romantic garden in the world!
It is located in the province of Latina, 40 miles south-west of Rome (one hour drive), at the foot of the Lepina Mountains, from which numerous springs run down to form a small lake, which feeds into a river, which runs through the centre of the town, which was surrounded by marshlands.
Ninfa was an ancient Etruscan town, founded in the 8th Century, by the Volscians and named after a small temple near the springs, dedicated to the Nymph goddess, Ninfa. During the Middle Ages, it was a rich merchant stopover between Rome and Naples on the Appian Way. It included a 12th century castle; seven churches; palazzos; medieval clock towers; a town hall, mills, bakeries, a blacksmith; a 1400 metre long defensive wall, bridges, two hospices; and 2000 people living in 150 homes. It was acquired by the Caetani family in 1298.
In 1381, the town was sacked by mercenaries and pillaged by neighbouring towns during a civil war, caused by a schism in the Roman Catholic Church. Attempts to resettle were thwarted by outbreaks of malaria and gradually, the town was abandoned and overgrown with ivy and weeds. It lay sleeping for six centuries, still attracting the odd visitor for its melancholic air, like Edward Lear in 1840, who also described it as one of the most romantic visions in Italy.
In 1921, Gelasio Caetani, the second youngest son of Prince Onorata Caetani and his English-born wife, Ada Wilbraham, drained the marshes; cleared the undergrowth, weeds and ivy; restored some of the medieval buildings, in particular, the tower and town hall, for a Summer residence; and started a garden in the romantic English Landscape style.
His sister-in-law, Marguerite Chapin (1880-1963), who was married to musician, Roffredo Caetani, in 1911, planted on a grand scale with thousands of trees and shrubs, imported from from all over the world, including fastigiate cypress, Chamaecyparis sempervirens; holm oaks (Quercus ilex); poplars; beeches; crab apples; prunus; magnolias; camellias; rhododendrons; and roses. Their daughter Leila continued her work after World War II, leaving the garden to the Roffredo Caetani Foundation.
While the whole park is 105 hectares (260 acres), the garden is 8 hectares (20 acres) and is managed organically by a curator and six full-time gardeners. It is only open 25 days a year between April and October and attracts 70 000 visitors a year. Guided tours of up to 20 visitors are conducted on a prescribed path 10 to 15 minutes apart and last 1.5 hours. It is best in April and May for rose lovers!
It is a gorgeous wild garden, which thrives with the rich well-drained moist soil, benign Winter temperatures and hot Summers. Plants ramble over ruined towers, walls and archways and overhang the stream.
Other trees include: Stone pine, Pinus pinea; Judas trees; Ribbonwood, Hoheriasexstylosa (New Zealand); wattles; birch; hawthorne; liquidambars; Persian Silk Tree , Albizia julibrissin; Dragon’s Claw Willow, Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’; walnuts; weeping cherries; maples like Acer griseum; Himalayan and Mexican Pines; American walnuts; Gingko biloba; Catalpas; Dogwoods; Casuarina tenuissima; and banana trees.
Climbers include Clematis armandi; star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides; Wisteriafloribunda ‘Macrobotrys’ and climbing hydrangea, H. petiolaris.
Hazelnuts; Acer saccharinum; Liriodendron tuilpifera, Arum lilies, Iris and Gunnera manicata line the river.
Other plantings include: Salvias; lilies; cannas; anemones; alliums; Iris; Acanthis mollis; and ferns.
The rock garden contains Iberis; Eschscholzia; Veronica; Golden Alyssum; Aquilegia; Dianthus and Pomegranates.
There are over 200 different roses including: a hedge of 100 plants of R. roxburghii plena; R. hugonis; R. bracteata; American Pillar; Banksia rose; R. filipes ‘Kiftsgate’; Rambling Rector; Paul’s Himalayan Musk; Mme Alfred Carrière and Gloire de Dijon; Général Schablikine; Mutabilis; Complicata; Iceberg; Max Graf; The Garland; Desprez à Fleurs Jaunes; Seagull; Comtesse du Cayla; Dr W Van Fleet; Cramoisi Supérieur; R. brunonii ‘La Mortola’; Rêve d’Or; David Austin roses and Hybrid Musks: Penelope; Vanity; Ballerina and Buff Beauty. Penelope is such a beautiful romantic rose, I have chosen it as my feature photo for Ninfa (see below)!
Ninfa is on the flyway for migrating birds between Africa and Europe and 152 birds have been sighted. In 1976, under the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 2000 acres were set aside for a wildlife sanctuary with brush plantings and the creation of more wetlands, as well as re-establishing 15 ha (37 acres) of native vegetation. The river contains brown and Mediterranean trout populations.
If you would like to read more about Ninfa, Charles Quest-Ritson wrote Ninfa: the Most Romantic garden in the World in 2009.Because I adore the rose Mutabilis, I would have to include La Landriana on my bucket list!
Via Campo di Carne, 51, 00040, Tor San Lorenzo, Ardea (Roma)
A few kilometres from Rome, in the city of Ardea, this 10 ha garden is owned by the Marquise Lavinia Tavernain, who started it from scratch in 1956. She commissioned Sir Russell Page to design a series of themed rooms, arranged in a geometric pattern.
There are 23 different areas in the garden with many Australian and South African plants due to the maritime Mediterranean climate. They are separated by clipped hedges of Buxus sempervirens; Viburnum tinus and Laurus nobilis.
The house is covered in climbers including roses: R. laevigata; R. banksiae lutea; and R. bracteata ‘Mermaid’, as well as Solanum jasminoides; Solanum crispa; Vitis coignetiae and Vitis ‘Brant’.
There is a pergola covered with Wisteria sinensis and Rosa bracteata, as well as a lily pool and a water fountain.
It is worth consulting the map on the website for an idea of the different garden areas, but for this post, I will be concentrating on the roses, of which there are 350 different varieties, contained mainly in the Rooms of the Rose; the White Walk; the Antique Rose Valley; and Valley of Roses Mutabilis.
Rooms of the Rose: Hundreds of plants of Bonica 82 are planted beneath olive trees and a Pinus pinea along this cobbled walkway, interplanted with Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Queen’;
White Walk: Flanked by Hybrid Musk, Penelope, and semi-procumbent Seafoam; and many white and grey plants, including Romneya coulterii and Carpenteria californica, with Mme Alfred Carrière in the background;
Antique Rose Valley: A large informal area with wide grass walkways between irregular beds and borders of different shapes and sizes, crammed with roses, underplanted with lavender, nepeta, pinks and Pavonia hastata. They include:
Rugosas (eg Blanc Double de Coubert; and Sarah Van Fleet); Gallicas; Damasks; Centifolias and Mosses; Portlands (eg Jacques Cartier; Comte de Chambord; and Rose de Rescht); Hybrid Musks (eg Prosperity; Cornelia; and Moonlight); David Austin roses (eg Abraham Darby; Claire Rose; and Mary Rose); and finally, there is …
The Valley of Roses Mutabilis: 300 bushes of 2 metre high Mutabilis are grown en masse in huge drifts with mown walkways between. Their peachy-pink, yellow, orange and crimson single open flowers bloom right through to Christmas, giving the appearance of a host of butterflies hovering over a dark sea of Ophiopogon japonicus. A rare tea rose, ‘Belle Lyonnaise’ climbs up Melia azederach trees.
The garden is open to the public from April to November and there are two major plant fairs in Spring and Autumn.Il Roseto Botanico Gianfranco and Carla Fineschi
Casalone 76, 52022, Cavriglia (Arezzo),Italy 50 km south of Florence
Charles Quest-Ritson dedicated his book, Climbing Roses of the World, to his wife and ‘Gianfranco Fineschi, who has done more for the rose in one lifetime than the Empress Josephine herself ‘, so I would have to visit this amazing living museum, dedicated to the rose!
Professor Gianfranco (1923-2010) started his rose collection fifty years ago in 1967 on his family estate in Casalone, near Cavrigio, overlooking the Tuscan Hills. It is now the world’s largest private rose garden in the world with 6500 different species of rose, each represented by a single plant, which is tagged with its botanical name; its year of introduction to Europe and its ability to hybridize.
Roses are organized according to their scientific classification and are planted in separate beds according to their species, subspecies and hybrids, with climbers and ramblers forming division walls.
Many of the beds of modern roses are grouped according to their hybridizers eg Lens, Kordes, Harkness, Buisman, Leenders, Mc Gredy, Meilland, Poulsen, Noack, Beales, Austin, Dickson, and Verschuren. This botanical and historical emphasis makes this garden particularly valuable for rose historians.
Its reputation as the world’s largest private rose garden refers to the number of rose species in the collection, rather than the size of the garden, which is only one acre! Hence, the roses are planted very close together, which necessitates the use of chemicals to control diseases! The garden has been reopened and can be visited in May and June.
I have chosen R.brunonii as my feature photo for this garden, as well as the main feature photo for this post on Italian rose gardens, as it has a hybrid ‘La Mortola’, named after the famous Italian garden, La Mortola, in Liguria.And finally, and especially for my daughter, who is living in Germany and still hasn’t visited this amazing garden!:
On the Rosengarten 2a
06526 Sangerhausen, Germany South-West of Berlin and just west of Leipzig
Sangerhausen is a huge historic public rose garden, the German equivalent of L’Hay des Roses, France, with 75 000 rose plants of over 70 classes of rose; and 8 600 rose cultivars, including 500 species roses, 1 350 historic roses, over 2 000 modern roses since the 1950s and 850 climbing roses. 2 000 cultivars are only found in Sangerhausen. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is the largest collection of roses in the world!
It was proposed by rose breeder, Peter Lambert, in 1898, as a refuge for roses and rose classes at risk of oblivion with the rising dominance of the Hybrid Tea and as a genetic pool for hybridizers. Albert Hoffman donated his rose collection of 1 100 different roses as a basis for the new rosarium.
In 1899, landscape architect Friedrich Erich Doerr, Erfurt, designed a formal rose garden, which was extended to include an agricultural area in 1902. The 1.5 ha garden, at that stage owned by the German Rose Society, was opened to the public in 1903 with a collection of 1 500 roses. It was extended in 1913 to 12 ha and became a trial ground for testing new German roses prior to their introduction. By 1939, there were 5 000 roses and the site was extended again to its current size of 12.5 ha (31 acres).
Sangerhausen was kept going through the Great Depression; the Second World War and the Cold War by Richard Vogel and his son, Max. Being located in what became East Germany after World War II and the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961, rosarians in the West were largely cut off from contact from it for over thirty years. The first visits from the West occurred in the early 1970s, but direct exchange and donations of roses were still not allowed, so would often reach Sangerhausen via Poland. During this time, 800 different cultivars of Polyanthas were planted together en masse for a spectacular effect and the irrigation system renewed.
The rosary was revived with the reunification of Germany. In 2003 (its 100 year anniversary), a new entrance gate with bright tourist-attracting modern roses; a restaurant and three new gardens were created, including a Jubilee Garden (a classical rosary design showing the historical development of the rose in the last 100 years); a Sea of Roses and an ADR Garden, ADR standing for Allgemeine Deutsche Rosenneuheitenprufung, the group which conducts rose trials, assessing roses over three years for disease-resistance; hardiness; attractiveness; and habit and judging 50 new cultivars annually.
Since then, a Rose Information Centre with a lecture hall and souvenir shop; a glasshouse conservatory for the more tender roses; and a fragrance garden has been opened. There is also an arboretum of over 250 rare trees and shrubs and an outdoor theatre.
Situated 170 metres above sea level on the scenic mountain slopes of the Southern Harz, with an average annual rainfall of 500 mm and a continental climate of hot dry Summers and minimum Winter temperatures of Minus 20 degrees Celsius, it would need a glasshouse for some of the more delicate Tea and China roses!
No chemical pesticides have been used since 1997 and the garden is managed by 27 gardeners. It is now owned by the City of Sangerhausen. In 2003, the World Federation of Rose Societies awarded Sangerhausen an Award of Garden Excellence.
The main blooming season for the Old Roses (pre-1867) is from the end of May to the middle of June, but other roses bloom till October, followed by a superb display of rose hips. Apparently, the old city entrance is very romantic with all the old roses in bloom.
Sangerhausen attracts a huge number of visitors. The garden had over 132 000 visitors in 2009 alone! On the last weekend in June, there is a Festival of Mining and Roses and on the 2nd Saturday in August is a ‘Night of a Thousand Lights’ featuring fireworks, food, music and dance .
The garden is also an important research centre, being named the German Rose Gene Bank in 2009, as well as acquiring a New German Rose Library, and also is a major supplier of budwood for hybridizers.
Below is a photo of Maigold, bred by German breeding family, Kordes, in 1953. Wilhelm Kordes II was very involved in implementing ADR testing in the 1950s, so this rose is a very suitable feature rose for Sangerhausen!
I hope you have enjoyed my bucket-list of overseas gardens and that you (and I!) get to visit them some day, but here is the thing about blogging! Even if we never make it overseas again, I have had so much pleasure researching all these beautiful gardens to the extent that I almost feel that I have been there! Even though nothing can really replace the real experience, the enjoyment of such visits can be tempered by huge crowds in Summer, the peak rose blooming time, bad weather and sheer fatigue! And their websites these days are so comprehensive, so many lessons can be learnt digitally from these gardens from garden design to companion planting for roses!
For the next month, I am returning to further reviews of the books in our home library and some wonderful visual treats, with two weeks dedicated to architecture books and the following fortnight to art books, before returning to posts on today’s roses: the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; and David Austin roses.
While Britain is famous for its roses, France is equally blessed, having produced a number of famous rose breeders over the years. Lyon alone had 36 rose breeders, introducing new roses between 1840 and 1924, including Jean Beluze; Joseph Schwartz; Jean-Baptiste Guillot; and Joseph Pernet-Ducher. Their famous roses included Souvenir de la Malmaison (Beluze), which is the main feature photo for this post; Mme Alfred Carrière (Schwartz); La France (Guillot) and Cécile Brünner and Soleil d’Or (both bred by Pernet-Ducher). See: http://www.lyon-roses-2015.org/en/roses-lyon_famous_roses.htm for more! One of the best places to see these roses is:
Roseraie de l’Hay
Rue Albert Watel, 94240 L’Haÿ-les-Roses 12 km from the centre of Paris, west of the Val-de-Marne.
Roseraie de l’Hay is the French equivalent of Mottisfont, holding the National Collection of Roses since 1991. Dating from 1910, it is extremely important historically, as it was the first single-species garden and the first garden totally devoted to roses, resulting in the coining of a new term, the Roseraie. Jules Gravereaux, its originator, was responsible for the conservation of many of the old rose varieties and species in danger of being lost forever.
Roseraie de l’Hay is now the oldest rose garden in the world and is considered to be one of the world’s greatest collections of Old Garden Roses, with a very comprehensive collection of Modern Roses as well. The garden was so important in its day that the name of the town, l’Hay, was changed to L’Hay des Roses in 1910. It is also commemorated in the name of my favourite Rugosa hybrid, which has a heavenly scent! See photo below. The garden was placed on the supplementary inventory of Historic Monuments in 2005 and became a Jardin Remarquable in 2011.
It was created in 1910 by a prominent businessman, Jules Gravereaux, who was also a keen early photographer. His wife, who was worried about his health and the length of time he was spending in the dark room, asked him to create her a flower garden. Little did she realize what she was setting in train!
Starting his collection in 1894, he had 1 600 species and varieties of old roses by 1899. By 1910, this number had increased to 7 500! Gravereaux commissioned landscape architect, Edouard André, to design him a garden specifically for his roses. He created a classically French garden, with geometric beds, long allées, sculpture and a central octagonal pool. The roses were displayed not just as bushes, but trained into different shapes, grown on trellises, along wires and over arches, on pillars and cultivated in pots and urns. It is a wonderful way of showcasing the diversity of the rose from ramblers and shrub roses to tree roses and climbing roses.
Gravereaux also collected a huge number of objects and documents concerning the rose: Postcards; playing cards; medals; stamps; letters; scientific papers; books and journals; posters; carpets; silks; woodwork; ceramics and paintings, which are now housed in the Archives Department of the Val de Marne. The museum now holds 11 000 objects dating from 1701 to 1961. On his death in 1916, his son Henri took over the work at the Roseraie de l’Hay, which was eventually given to the municipality of Val de Marne in 1937.
The 1.5 hectare garden now holds 11 000 roses of 2 900 species and varieties, which are organised into 13 collections, all labelled with their name and explanatory signs describing their origins, history and varieties. It is well worth listening to the website audiotapes (in both French and English), describing each section. They include:
La Roseraie décorative à la française (Decorative French style Rose Garden): Central pool and central axis of the whole rose garden with 6 collections on either side. The bush, standard, climbing and landscape roses in this section are displayed on pylons, domes, pergolas and even cradles and replicate the formal elements of classical French gardens, like the edging pink and red climbing roses, trained into pyramids like clipped yews;
L’Allée de l’historie de la rose (Alley of the History of the Rose) with iconic roses, important in the development of the rose, like R. canina; Rosa gallica; R. moschata; R. centifolia; R. foetida; and R. chinensis;
Les Rosiers botaniques (Species roses): Wild roses, the height of trees, from all over the world. The birds love the rosehips! Eg R. canina; R. moyesii; and R. pimpinellifolia;
Les Rosiers rugeux (Rugosa roses): Tough, disease-resistant roses with rugose leaves from Japan. Gravereaux experimented with Rugosa roses for perfume production eg Rose à parfum de l’Haÿ;
Les Rosiers pimprenelle (Scots Burnett roses, R. pimpinellifolia): Tough hardy roses, which flower early and have black hips. They were used by rose breeder, Kordes, in his breeding programs, to create yellow flowers;
Les Roses galliques (Gallic Rose Garden): Fragrant roses grown in Grasse for perfume production and also used for its medicinal properties since Ancient Roman times eg R. gallica officinalis. In 1828, 1 200 out of the 2 500 varieties known were in the Gallicanae genus and included Gallicas, Damasks, Centifolias and Mosses; and Portlands;
Les Roses de la Malmaison (The Malmaison Rose Alley): the roses of Empress Joséphine, 250 varieties of Gallic roses. Gravereaux planted an exact copy of her garden at Malmaison in his garden eg Maiden’s Blush; and Souvenir de la Malmaison. There is a bust of Empress Joséphine at the entrance;
Les Roses d’Extrème-Orient (Roses of the Far East); Roses of Japan, China and Persia eg R. foetida; R.chinensis mutabilis; Bengal rose; Persian Yellow; and R. sempervirens. These roses were very important in the hybridization of the rose with their yellows and their recurrent blooming ability. Support structures are made out of bamboo, stone edging replaces the box edging of the other garden beds, and there are two ceramic statues at the entrance;
Les Roses horticoles anciennes (Old horticultural roses); Largest area of the garden. Roses bred between 1845 and 1940 from crosses between the European roses and the newly introduced roses from China: the Noisettes; Bourbons; Polyanthas; Floribundas; and Hybrid Teas;
Les Roses étrangières modernes (Modern foreign roses); Roses bred in Belgium, England, Germany and America after the 1950s by breeders like Louis Lens; David Austin; Kordes and Walter Lammerts;
Les Roses françaises moderns (Modern French Roses) eg ‘Rouge Adam’ (Adam), ‘Chartreuse deParme’ (Delbard), ‘Persane’ (Dorieux), ‘Coraline’ (Eve), ‘Pénélope’ (Gaujard), and ‘Poker’ (Meilland);
Les Roses thé (Tea Roses): 100 tea roses, planted on the south-facing outer wall in the warmest position of the garden and mulched with straw in Winter. A cross between a Bourbons and a Noisette produced the first Tea rose, Adam. Tea roses have a delicate perfume and are recurrent blooming;
La Roseraie de Mme Gravereaux: Mme Gravereaux’s alley of flowers for cutting, the original reason for the garden. Roses arranged in coloured squares;
The Formal Garden has all the vocabulary of a classical garden with statues; domes; pergolas and the Temple of Love, popular for weddings. Originally hosting the outdoor theatre and other performers of the Belle Époque (comedians, musicians, poets, singers and dancers), it is still a venue for musical events, as well as lectures and workshops on rose planting, cultivation, training and pruning.While I prefer roses grown as part of a garden, complemented by a wide variety of trees, shrubs, climbers, perennials, annuals and grasses, like the next two gardens, I would not miss visiting Roseraie de l’Hay for its educational aspects alone!
La Bonne Maison
99 Chemin de Fontanières , 69350 La Mulatière, Lyon, France
If I ever get to France again, La Bonne Maison is a definite must on my bucket list. I did in fact send my daughter there in 2012 and she returned with Odile’s beautiful book about her garden, especially her beloved roses , which I reviewed briefly in my post at: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/. See photo below.
Odile Masquelier is an Old Rose expert, who has published numerous articles on the subject and has lectured at conferences all over the world.
Odile and her husband, Georges, bought the walled 2.5 acre (1 hectare) property back in 1966, when the original garden comprised of: An old orchard in the upper part of the garden with difficult stony soil; a kitchen garden to the east; a gravelled courtyard to the north and to the south, a lawn with Polyantha roses and some large ornamental trees, including 3 Catalpa trees (Indian Bean tree); a Chestnut Tree; pines; an Atlas Cedar; a Weeping Willow and an allée of six sycamore maples, which she immediately removed. The lower part of the garden had the richest soil and was divided between sunny and semi-shaded areas.
Over the next 10 years, they established lawns and built 12 low drystone walls and steps out of dressed slabs of Burgundy to link the six terraces of the garden and create unity, as well as limit erosion from the stormwater runoff. A trip to Scotland in 1975 opened Odile’s eyes to the soothing potential of pastel, grey and white colour schemes, as well as introducing her to Old Roses, many with French names.
She planted six hedges (Cedar stricta; Laurus cerasus; Chamaecyparis lawsonia columnaris, Thuja candensis, box and yew) to protect the garden from the northerly and southerly winds and create micro-climates for bulbs and clematis. The soil is a mixture of heavy clay and limestone pebbles and is slightly alkaline. Its fertility has been improved over the years with peat and home-made compost, the recipe being on her website.
Odile ordered her first Old Roses from England, as well as an old, now long gone, nursery in Angers, Pajotin & Chedane. She has also bought many roses from André Eve, Pithiviers (see below), as well as a grower in Ardèche. I wonder if the latter is my next rose grower, Éléonore Cruse? Many of the roses have been grown from cuttings, some of them given to her by Professor Gianfranco Fineschi, of Cavriglio, Tuscany, Italy, also featured below, like the Macartney Rose, R. bracteata, growing up a Thuya; and a double form of R. hugonis.
She had wrought-iron arches made locally and built large porticos at the entrance to the different garden areas.
In 1987, she opened the garden to the public and in 1989, established the first old rose society in France, the Association des Roses Anciennes de la Bonne Maison, to preserve and research old roses. In 2006, the garden was awarded 2 stars in the Guide Vert Michelin Lyon Drôme Ardèche for its rose collection and in 2010, was given the label of Jardin Remarquable.
It certainly deserves its title! This is a very impressive garden, over 50 years old, which is constantly in flower from March to November. There are:
Over 800 varieties of roses, all labelled with their name, date, origin and family, which flower from early April till the first frosts. They are grown as shrubs or hedges; supported on pillars; arches and pergolas; against garden and house walls; and high up into trees like the Peace Cedar; the Paulownia; the Sophora; the Prunus and the Holm Oaks, their rosehips complementing the Autumn foliage of deciduous trees;
110 varieties of clematis;
60 varieties of daffodils;
A collection of tree and herbaceous peonies; and
A collection of pest-resistant hostas, 26 listed on the website.
There are mature trees, including Cedars and Cypresses; Deodars; Golden Thujas; Buxus sempervirens trees; Paulownias; Judas Tree, Cercis siliquastrum; Japanese Pagoda Tree, Sophora japonica; two different species of Tamarisk; Gingko biloba; Golden Robinia, Robinia pseudo-acacia ‘Frisia’; Golden Rain Tree, Koelreuteria paniculata; Magnolia grandiflora; Weeping Pussy-Willow, Salix caprea pendula; Weeping Silver Pear, Pyrus salicifolia pendula; Weeping Laburnum; Silver Birches; Liquidambar; Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa chinensis, and White Dogwood, Cornus alba ; Chestnuts; Malus (Golden Hornet and a Purple Crab); a variety of Prunus; Flowering Cherries; Cherry, Morello Cherry and Greengage Plum trees; and Pear, Quince and Apple trees.
Shrubs include: Kolwitzia ‘Bridal Wreath’; Corylopsis; Box; Ceanothus; Sarcococca; Smoke Bush; Purple Berberis; a wide range of different species of Hydrangeas, Viburnums, Philadephus and Magnolias; Plumbagos; Moroccan Broom, Cytisus battandieri; Erica carnea; Weigela; Spiraea japonica; Choisya ternata; Cistus; Daphne; 4 different types of bamboo; Miscanthus variegatum; a variety of lavenders; tree and herbaceous peonies; Canadian lilacs; Fuchsia magellanica; yuccas and old-fashioned rose shrubs, species roses and ramblers; while climbers include Boston Ivy, Honeysuckle Clematis montana; Golden Hop, Humulus lupula ‘Aureus’, and many climbing roses.
Roses include Opaline; Fontanières; Albertine; R. brunonii La Mortola; Thalia; Mme Grégoire Staechelin; City of York; R. primula; La Bonne Maison; Pauline; Alida Lovett; R. hugonis;R. laevigata; Jaune Desprez; Sandler’s White Rambler ; Duchess de Portland; Suzie; Cornelia; Lawrence Johnston; R. cantabrigiensis; Souvenir de la Malmaison; René André; Madeleine Selzer; Primavère; Mrs FW Flight; R. ecae; R. foetida persiana; Gardenia; Princesse Marie; Thérèse Bugnet; Honorine de Brabant; Rose du Maître d’Ecole; Duchesse d’Auerstädt; Inès; Buff Beauty; Cornelia and Félicia; Albèric Barbier; Francis Lester; Stanwell Perpetual; Mme Alfred Carrière; Constance Spry; Phyllis Bide; Bleu Magenta; Léontine Gervais;Aviateur Blériot; Mme d’Arblay; Maria Lisa; Easlea Golden Rambler; Rambling Rector; Alister Stella Gray; Mme Ernest Calvat; Souvenir de St Anne; Salet; Honorine de Brabant; Hero; Cynthia; Charles de Mills; Tuscany Superb; Jenny Duval; Goldfinch; Kew Rambler; Blush Noisette; Meg; Laure Davoust; Aimée Vibert; Lady Hillingdon; François Juranville; Ghislaine de Féligonde; Max Graf; and Rêve d’Or.
The roses are under-planted with herbaceous perennials, annuals, biennials and bulbs. The former three plant types include in alphabetical order:
Allium giganteum and Allium hollandicum; Aquilegias; Arabis; Asters; Aubrietias; Basil; Bergamot; Brunnera macrophylla; Campanulas (25 different types); Candytuft( Iberis sempervirens); Caryopteris; Clary Sage; Convovulus; Crambe cordifolia ; Delphiniums; Dianthus; Dicentra spectabilis; Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria); Dyer’s Chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria); Echinops ritro; a variety of Epimediums and Euphorbias; Fennel; Ferns; Foxgloves; Gaillardias; Geraniums; Giant Sea Holly (Eryngium giganteum); Goats Beard (Aruncus sylvester); Golden Marjoram; Hebes; Helianthemums; Hellebores (H. niger; H. orientalis; and H. argutifolius); Herbs; Heucheras; Hostas; Indian Pinks; Japanese Anemones; Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis); Lady’s Mantle; Lysimachia mummularia aurea; Purple Loosestrife( Lythrus salicania); Meadow Rue (Thalictrum flavum); Nepeta; Nicotiana; Oriental Poppies; Penstemon; Poppies ; Potentilla fruticosa; Primula japonica; Rue; Salvias (15 different species;); Santolina neapolitana; Saxifraga; Sedum spectabilis; Snow-in-Summer, Cerastium tomentosum; Solanum; Stachys; Sweet Peas; Tagetes; Thrift (Armeria maritima); Thyme; Tiarellas; Tradescantia virginiana; Veronicas of different varieties; Violets; Virginia Stock (Malcomia maritima); Water-Lilies; White Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria alba); Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and Zinnias.
Bulbs include: Agapanthus; Crocus; Colchicum; Cyclamen; many Daffodils; Fritillaries; Galanthus; Hemerocallis; a wide variety of Iris: Iris acuminata; Iris chinensis; Iris florentina; Iris germanica; Iris intermedia (Bearded Iris); Iris pacifica; Iris reticulata; Iris stylosa; Iris susiana; Iris tectorum; and Iris unguicularis; Jonquils; many different Lilies; Nerines; Schizostylis; and Tulips (Species and Hybrid).
It is well worth consulting the website for the plants blooming in each month.
There are a number of sweeping lawns; curving paths; a pond, a well and a swimming pool; pots and statues; seats and lots of different garden areas to explore: The Courtyard; The Glass House and Cold Frames Area; The Heather Slope; The Potager and Herb Garden; the Main Lawn; the Mixed Border; the Yucca Garden; the Small Wood; the Secret Garden; the Apple Lawn; the Swimming Pool; the Species Rose Garden; the Hydrangea Beds and Magnolia Lawn; the West Border; the New Enclosure; the New Garden, both enclosed by hedges; the New Well Gardens; the Iris Walk and the Pond.
Here is a photo of a map of the garden from pages 154 to 155 of Odile’s book and a key:
The book describes each area in detail and the photographs of the garden are superb. Odile has a wonderful eye for beautiful colour combinations.
There are 5 pergolas with 65 arches:
The Hard-Packed Path Pergola, the path bisecting the upper and lower parts of the garden and bordered with bearded iris and poppies in sunny areas and herbaceous and tree peonies in the shade.; the Yucca Garden Pergola; the Orchard Pergola; the Well Pergola; and the Secret Garden Pergola.
The garden has been organically managed for the last 15 years, with no weedicides, insecticides or fungicides used.Another French garden that I would love to visit is the wonderfully wild and blowsy garden, La Roseraie de Berty, belonging to Éléonore Cruse:
Another leading French rose specialist is Éléonore Cruse, who owns a lovely romantic rose garden, the Roseraie de Berty, in the valley of the Roubreau, 6 km (15 minutes drive) from the medieval village of Largentière, 2 hours drive south of Lyons. This area experiences severe Winters and heat waves in Summer, so plants have to be tough!
Éléonore bought the 18th century stone farmhouse and land, which had been an old peach orchard, in 1970. The schist soil was very poor, acidic and regularly leached. Initially, she used it for self-sufficiency, grazing goats and sheep, and growing dye plants and vegetables. Gradually, she improved the soil with goat, sheep and cow manure and crops of rye, phacelia and potatoes. Her partner, Christian Biette, slowly rebuilt the low stone walls. She started experimenting with roses, which are tough enough to withstand the extreme climate, learning much from André Eve and garden writer, Michel Lys.
The 1.2 acre (0.5 ha) rose garden was created in 1984 and is comprised of terraces on several different levels and has a naturalistic informal romantic style, so different to the formality of the traditional French rose garden, though structure is still provided by clipped yew and box to create secret areas of the garden. Éléonore has an artist’s eye, creating beautiful harmonious pictures with roses, perennials and ground covers.
It is a collector’s garden with 600 to 700 old roses and species roses, some as tall as trees, tumbling over walls, arches, pergolas and arbours and covering the house walls. They include the Scots Burnett roses; Rugosas; Zéphirine Drouhin; Alexander Girault; Albéric Barbier; Constance Spry; Mme Alfred Carrière; and New Dawn. I have chosen Scots rose, Stanwell Perpetual, to be my feature photo for this wild romantic garden. See below.
They are interplanted with shrubs, perennials and medicinal and aromatic companion plants, including sage, thyme, lavender and rosemary, to avoid the problems of monoculture and minimise pests and diseases. Minimal sprays and no fertilizers are used, except for a dose of manure on planting. A Bordeaux (Copper sulphate) mixture is applied at leaf fall and bud swell and roses, susceptible to downy mildew, may be dusted with sulphur by hand.
The roses are underplanted with heartease, Viola tricolor; wild pansies; perennial geraniums (Geranium sanguineum; G. psilostemon; and G. grandiflorum); Tradescantia virginiana; epimediums; Phyla nodiflora; Californian poppies; rose campion, Lychnis coronaria; nepeta; and grasses. The walls are covered with Erigeron karvinskianus. Ground covers include: wild strawberries; Matricaria tchihatchewii; and Frankenia laevis.
The outer edges of the garden blend seamlessly into the natural landscape without any clear boundaries. The steeply wooded slopes are covered in arbutus; box; bay (laurel); holly oak; chestnuts and heather. The stream below the garden regularly floods, so its banks are left to rough grass, interspersed with wild orchids, and is mowed twice a year.
In 2010, the garden was designated a Jardin Remarquable. It is only open to the public in June. There is a small tearoom and nursery, whose catalogue lists 309 varieties of rose, available bare-rooted between November and March. Éléonore has written a number of books on roses, including: Les Roses Sauvages 2001; Roses Anciennes 2005; and Leçons pour un Jardin de Roses 2007.‘Les Jardins d’André Eve’
André Eve (1931-2015) was a famous French nurseryman and rose breeder, responsible for the conservation and rediscovery of many old roses, as well as being a mentor to my previous two rose gardeners, so I would have to include a visit to his nursery and gardens! He moved to Pithiviers in 1958, where he trained under the elderly French rose breeder, Marcel Robichon, then bought his nursery in 1968 , specialising in rose breeding and landscaping.
Nursery: Les Roses Anciennes André Eve
Domaine du Château de Chamerolles 301 route de Courcy – Gallerand 45170 Chilleurs-aux-Bois North-east of Orleans
The first rose he bred was a bright pink Polyantha, Sylvie Vartas, in 1968. He and his nursery team went on to breed and introduce 33 more varieties, including: Red Perfume; Sophie; Prestige de Bellegarde; Sandrine; Coraline; Suzie; Suzette; Suzon; Miss Lorraine; Mme Solvay; Carla Fineschi; Albert Poyet; Pierre Perret; Moraya Rouge; Belle de Clermont; Eccentric; Lépine; Château du Rivau; Roville; Rose des Cores; Rose des Blés; L’Auberge de l’Ill; Garden of Granville; and of course, André Eve!
His first catalogue in 1985 listed 275 varieties of roses, including 60 species roses and now offers 600 varieties.
He created a beautiful, romantic, informal walled garden, 18 metres wide by 80 metres long, hidden behind a terraced house and accessed by a narrow passage. Starting in the 1960s, it is now over 50 years old, but unfortunately is rarely open to the public, but can be visited on the links below:
28 Faubourg d’Orleans, Loiret, Pithiviers, 45300 Orleans 37 miles (60 km) south of Paris
It is such a beautiful, blowsy old garden, created on chalky soil with a pH of 7.5, with 500 roses of rare and historic cultivars, like Ghislaine de Féligonde, Bobbie James, Lady Hillingdon; Blairi No 2; The Garland; May Queen; Claire Jacquier; Rosa gigantea; R. palustris; R. omeiensis pteracantha; R. carolina; Cerise Bouquet; Felicia; Buff Beauty; Nur Mahal; Kathleen; Prairie Dawn; Golden Wings; Mme Hardy; Charles de Mills; Chapeau de Napoléon; ; Complicata; R. gallica officinalis; R. moschata; R. gallica splendens; Rosa eglanteria; Cécile Brünner; Alba Semi-Plena; Empereur du Maroc; Gloire de Dijon; Albéric Barbier; Maria Lisa; Albertine; Mme Pierre Oger; Belvedere; Céleste; Souvenir de Mme Léonie Viennot; Souvenir d’Alphonse Lavallée; Mutabilis and many Noisettes (see photo below: Mme Alfred Carrière); spilling over garden walls, climbing through trees and over the sedum-covered roof of the Summer House, as well as the glasshouse and potting shed! He sourced them from Roseraie de l’Hay; old nurseries; private gardens; and England.
He was a strong proponent of an informal style of garden with narrow curving paths, seats, and many different trees, shrubs, climbers, foliage plants of differing colour, texture and pattern, bulbs and perennials, annuals and grasses mixed in with the roses, which he planted in groups of three. Trees include silver birches and flowering cherry, Prunus Kanzan.
Here is an extensive list of his plantings, which is worthwhile including for ideas of companion plants for roses:
All year :
Monday to Friday from 9 am to 12.30 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm.
From April to June, exceptional opening on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from 9 am to 6 pm. (Please inquire beforehand)
Closed between Christmas and New Year.
This garden is typical of his style: Sweeping curved beds, outlined by grass paths, and full of mixed perennials amongst the roses. The entrance is via a long birch wood arbour, covered in climbing roses and clematis, with secondary grassed aisles leading off it. There are over 600 roses!
André Eve died in 2015 at the age of 84 years old. His successor is Guy André, whose real name is Guy Delbard.And finally, while in France, I would have to visit a rose farm in season:
Domaine de Manon
36 Chemin du Servan, Plascassier village, 06130 Grasse
Farmed by three generations of the same family since the 1930s and now grand-daughter, Carole Biancalana, the 3 ha farm is devoted to growing the Centifolia Rose (also called the May Rose, seen in the photo below), as well as Jasminium grandiflorum (August to October) for the Grasse perfume industry, specifically for Christian Dior (Rose Absolute is used in J’Adore L’Or; Poison, Miss Dior, Diorissimo and Miss Dior Original).
The rose harvest lasts four to six weeks, from May to early June, depending on the amount of sunshine, and the blooms are harvested daily from 8 am to 11.30 am. It takes a day to pick 100-300 kg of rose petals, 30 roses produce a single drop of essential rose oil; and 800 kg of rose petals to produce 1 liter of Rose Absolute.
At Domaine de Manon, the roses are grown organically and are still gathered and processed much as they were three centuries ago. The blooms are cold-washed and processed by extraction.My final bucket-list of overseas rose gardens is tomorrow and features some wonderful Italian and German rose gardens.
Now, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty with overseas gardens featuring my favourite plants, roses! Today’s post features English rose gardens, exemplified by David Austin rose, Heritage, the main feature photo for this post, while French rose gardens are discussed tomorrow and those of Italy and Germany on Thursday. This is just a small selection of the huge number of rose gardens in England and no doubt, there are many other wonderful gardens to visit, but here goes…! Firstly, the holy grail of old rose gardens: the National Old-Fashioned Rose Collection at Mottisfont Abbey…
These beautiful walled gardens hold over 500 varieties of pre-1900 once-flowering Old Roses, which reach their peak in the last two weeks in June, as well as some newer repeat-flowering rose varieties as well. They are open from March to October and attract over 350 000 visitors.
It was created by Graham Stuart Thomas (1909-2003), a plantsman, nurseryman and garden writer and one of the most important figures in 20th-century British horticulture. As a 22 year old foreman at the Surrey nursery, T Hilling and Co. in 1931, he was mentored by 88 year old Gertrude Jekyll, who shared her knowledge about plants, plant groupings, methods of cultivation, colour theory and garden design as art. While at Hillings, he in turn influenced fellow employee, Peter Beales, my next entry!
It was around this time that Graham began to collect old shrub and climbing rose varieties, many of which had fallen out of favour, because they only flowered once during the season.
In 1956, Graham became a partner and director of Sunningdale Nurseries, a position he held until 1971. He established a collection of old roses, sourcing them from all over the world, trialling and selecting the best for British conditions and listing them in his nursery catalogue ‘The Manual of Shrub Roses’.
He went on to write 19 garden books, including his famous trilogy: Old Shrub Roses 1955 (constantly updated and reprinted); Shrub Roses of Today 1962; and Climbing Roses Old and New 1965, all illustrated with his own drawings and paintings.
Graham was an informal advisor to the National Trust from 1948 , when he worked on their first garden, Hidcote Manor, being appointed as their official garden advisor from 1955 on. He was also responsible for the restoration of over 100 gardens, including Sissinghurst Castle (http://www.countrylife.co.uk/gardens/country-gardens-and-gardening-tips/the-history-of-sissinghursts-roses-58258), Stourhead and Mt Stewart, Ireland. He was awarded an OBE for his work with the National Trust in 1975 and the Dean Hole Medal from the National Rose Society in 1996, and is even remembered in the name of one of David Austin’s beautiful golden roses Graham Thomas (photo below).
When he wanted a site to preserve his collection of old roses, he sought permission from the National Trust to use the old walled kitchen garden at Mottisfont. By 1974, he had created a garden that combined roses with a mix of herbaceous perennials in attractive colour combinations to give a season-long display and which showed his strong sense of design and his immense knowledge of plants and love of roses. Planting schemes were based on form, foliage and texture, as well as flower colour.
A gateway set in a sunny, rose-covered wall leads to the first rose garden, with deep box-lined borders, full of rambling roses (Wichuraiana and Multiflora) and climbing roses (Noisettes and Climbing Teas) and clematis, trained on the high brick wall behind, as well as on arches, pillars and pergolas, and beds filled with Bourbons; Hybrid Perpetuals; Chinas;Scots Roses; and a few Rugosa Hybrids.
The main paths crossing the site converge on a central round pond and fountain, surrounded by eight clipped Irish yews, the box-edged paths creating four quadrants each with a central lawn, to house his Gallicas, Damasks, Portlands, Albas, Centifolias and Mosses, under-planted with many of his favourite perennials, chosen for their structure, scent and wide colour palette.
Agapanthus, aquilegias, geraniums, iris, poppies, eryngium and peonies mingle with pinks, allium, bergenias, lilies, campanulas, erigeron, yarrow, phlox, scabiosa, nepeta, lavender and naturalised purple, pink and white Linaria purpurea. The centres of the borders are a mass of soft blues, pinks and whites, whilst stronger yellows, oranges and dark pinks draw your eye along the length of the border. In June, the roses are accompanied by striking spires of white foxgloves. The northern section of the walled garden, with its wide paths, is deliberately planted with a cool colour palette to provide a counterpoint to the central rose garden.
The gardeners dead-head all our modern varieties and any old-fashioned roses that flower more than once, but otherwise leave the hips on the old roses for Winter feed for the birds.
It is an excellent place to study the differences in all the different old rose types: the Gallicas with their large sweetly-scented flowers, up to six inches across; the Damasks with their soft grey-green leaves and pink and white flowers; the Mosses with their resinous stems and buds; and the Teas and Musks with their distinctive scents.
Peter Beales (1936-2013) was a British rosarian, author and lecturer and a leading expert on species and classic roses. He worked under Graham Stuart Thomas, later succeeding him as foreman, at T Hillings and Co., Chobham, Surrey, then the home to the most comprehensive collections of old roses in the United Kingdom.
Peter started his own nursery at Swardeston, Norfolk, in 1967, raising bedding plants, then breeding his own roses, moving to the current site at Attleborough in the late 1970s, when the business outgrew its premises.
He specialised in old-fashioned, rare and historic scented roses, growing 1 200 different varieties at his nursery. He won 19 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show over his lifetime (now 23) and was the President of the Royal National Rose Society from 2003 to 2005. He was given the highest RHS award, the Victorian Medal of Honour, in 2003 and an MBE in 2005. He is also the holder of the National Collection of Rosa Species, holding more than 100 types of wild species roses in Britain. He has written a number of books including Classic Roses in 1985 and Visions of Roses in 1996, see: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.
We also own his romantic VHS video titled ‘A Celebration of Old Roses‘, in which he attributes the start of his love affair with Old Roses with the Alba rose, Maiden’s Blush, at his childhood home. In lieu of this rose, since I don’t have a decent photo yet (!), I have featured another famous old Alba, Alba Maxima (see below).
In 2015, Peter Beales Roses launched the Peter Beales Garden Centre, a specialist rose and plant centre, selling roses, shrubs, climbers and herbaceous perennials. It also has a two acre display garden, a gift shop with garden supplies, tools, books and rose-related products, and a licensed tea room and restaurant. I would love to visit their nursery and display garden in June. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/tours-courses-events/our-gardens/our-gardens.html.
The gardens show historic, rare and contemporary roses, growing in unison with complimentary plants like foxgloves, salvia, campanulas, iris, daisies, nepeta and anemones. The roses are displayed along paths and arches, including the iron St Albans Walkway, comprising of four arched walkways, joined together at the centre of a six metre gazebo. There is also a specially designed wildlife garden, pond, children’s woodland play area and stunning observation turret.David Austin Roses
Bowling Green Lane, Albrighton, Wolverhampton, WV7 3HB
David Austin (1926-) is the other big name in the United Kingdom rose world. He started rose breeding in the early 1950s, releasing his first commercially available rose Constance Spry (a cross between a Floribunda, Dainty Maid, and Gallica, Belle Isis) in 1961, followed by Chianti (a cross between Floribunda, Dusky Maiden, and Gallica, Tuscany Superb) in 1967 and Shropshire Lass in 1968.
His early roses were once-flowering in Spring and early Summer, but by 1969, he had produced a series of remontant varieties, bred by back-crossing Constance Spry with other Floribundas and Hybrid Teas, their names based on Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales. For example, Wife of Bath; Cantebury; The Prioress; and The Yeoman.
David’s aim was to produce a rose combining the best of the old Gallica, Damask and Alba roses (form, character, disease resistance and scent) and new Hybrid Teas and Floribundas (repeat-flowering and wide colour range).
Since founding David Austin Roses in 1969, he has introduced over 190 new rose cultivars of English Roses. They are named after:
Family Members eg his wife, Pat Austin; his father, Charles Austin and his mother, Lilian Austin; his daughter, Claire Austin; his son, James. L. Austin, and James’ wife, Jayne Austin; and grand-daughter Olivia Rose Austin, the daughter of his other son, David Austin Junior;
Well-known Rosarians: Graham Thomas; Gertrude Jekyll; Constance Spry; and Trevor Griffiths;
Geographical Landmarks in Britain: Winchester Cathedral; Windermere; and Glamis Castle;
British Gardens: Harlow Carr; Munstead Wood; Wisley; and Kew Gardens;
Historical Ships: Mary Rose (Henry VII’s flagship); and The Mayflower (the English ship that transported the Puritans from Plymouth, England to the New World in 1620);
Historical Characters and Famous People: William Morris; Charles Darwin; Charles Rennie Mackintosh; Sir Walter Raleigh; Thomas a Beckett; Anne Boleyn; Vanessa Bell; and today’s famous actress, Dame Judi Dench;
The works of writers:
Chaucer: Chaucer; The Pilgrim; The Nun; The Reeve; The Friar; The Yeomen; and The Squire;
Shakespeare: William Shakespeare; Wise Portia (The Merchant of Venice); Sweet Juliet (Romeo and Juliet); Prospero (The Tempest); Desdemona (Othello); and Cordelia (King Lear);
Christopher Marlowe: Christopher Marlowe; and Leander;
Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbevilles; and Jude the Obscure (photo below); and
Coleridge: The Ancient Mariner.
Since then, the roses have been further separated into four groups:
Old Rose Hybrids: These have the appearance of Old Roses, but are recurrent, with a wide colour range eg Brother Cadfael; Eglantyne; Jude the Obscure; LD Braithwaite; and Sharifa Asma;
Leander Group: Wichuraiana parentage; Larger bush with arching growth; Suitable for pillar or use as a low climber eg Golden Celebration; William Morris; and The Alnwick Rose;
English Musk Rose:Iceberg and Noisette parentage; Pale green, slender and airy growth, but musk scent absent in most cultivars eg Evelyn; Heritage; Graham Thomas; Lucetta; and Windermere; and
English Alba Hybrids: Tall, blue-leafed bushes eg Shropshire Lass; and Cordelia.
He has written a number of books about Old Roses (eg The Heritage of the Rose 1990; TheRose 2009/ 2012) and his English roses (eg: Old Roses and English Roses 1992; David Austin’s English Roses 1993/1996 and The English Roses : Classic Favourites and New Selections 2007). See: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.
He has won 23 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and was awarded the RHSVictorian Medal of Honour in 2003; an OBE in 2007; and was named a ‘Great Rosarian of the World’ in 2010.
Famous for its Kiftsgate Rose, this garden is worth visiting for all its other roses, as well as the rest of the garden. This Twentieth Century Arts and Crafts garden is set on the Cotswolds escarpment, overlooking the Malvern Hills, and has been in the same family (three generations of women) for over 75 years.
The house was built from 1887 to 1891 by Sydney Garves Hamilton, who developed a paved formal garden in front of the portico. It was bought by Jack and Heather Muir in 1918. Inspired by Lawrence Johnston’s Hidcote Manor next-door, Heather developed the garden organically, rather than drawing a precise plan on paper. She started by extending a lawn from the formal paved garden, then built steps in the steep wooded bank to the lower garden, 150 feet below. She planted hedges of yew and copper beech to create a series of interconnecting gardens, each with its own character. She developed a Yellow Border and a Rose Border and built a summerhouse with views to the west.
Her eldest daughter, Diany Binny, took over the garden in the 1950s, adding a semicircular pool to the lower garden; redesigning the White Sunk Garden to include a small pool and wellhead fountain; and opening the garden to the public on a regular basis.
Dinny’s eldest daughter, Anne Chambers, and husband John have been responsible for the garden since the 1980s and have built a very modern Water Garden on the old tennis court.
Kiftsgate is a typical Arts and Crafts garden with wide herbaceous borders, a four-squaregarden and terrace, a White Sunk Garden, a Yellow Border, a Rose Border, a rockery, lawns and a bluebell wood. See the website, especially the diary and the map, for more details.
The areas that particularly interest me are :
The Orchard and Wild Garden with Camassias and Tulipa ‘Jan Reus’ blooming under the Spring blossom of heritage apples, medlars, quinces and pears, as well as the Bluebell Wood, filled with English Bluebells, Fritillaria meleagris, wild garlic, Anemone blanda and the odd grape hyacinth inside the entrance gates;
The wide Double Borders of small trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in pinks, mauves and purples with grey foliage;
The White Sunk Garden with white shrubs: Deutzias, Carpentarias; Hoherias and Staphyllea, underplanted with a riot of colour provided by erythroniums and trilliums in Spring, followed by Summer-blooming anemones, helianthemums, dioramas, santolinas and self-seeding Allium christophii. Roses include: R. sericea ‘Heather Muir’, ‘Diany Binny’, R. soulieana, R. alba semi-plena, White Wings, R. brunonii ‘La Mortola’, R. cooperii and ‘Lady Godiva’; and most importantly of all:
The Double Rose Border, full of old-fashioned, species and modern roses, with a low hedge of Rosa mundi bordering the central lawn path, as well as astilbes, asters and grasses. Some of my favourites are there: Mme Hardy; Stanwell Perpetual; and Honorinede Brabant. The original Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ rose, planted in 1938 and named by Graham Stuart Thomas in 1951, is said to be the largest in England at over 24 metres wide and 15 metres high and covering three trees. It is covered with panicles of white roses in mid-July. Apparently, 410 flowers were counted on one panicle alone, so it would certainly be a wonderful sight! The Mutabilis on the house wall, climbing 30 feet up to the eaves, would also be spectacular.
Because I do not have the Kiftsgate Rose and am featuring Mutabilis in my post on Italian and German rose gardens, I am featuring William Morris, the name of the founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement and remembered by a David Austin rose, which we are growing in our Moon Bed.Elsing Hall
Elsing Hall is a medieval manor house, near Dereham, Norfolk, dating from 1470, complete with a fully functioning moat with an arched access bridge. The house is set in a small park with old beech, plane, oak and lime trees and newer plantings of specimen conifers, sweet chestnuts and birches.
The 20 acre garden, including the 10 acre arboretum, was established over 30 years ago by Shirley and David Cargill in 1984 with a number of different areas: a Wild Meadow; Bog Garden; Autumn Garden; Moat Walk; the formal Osprey Garden; a Walled Garden; Arboretum; a medieval Stew Pond, South Terrace Lawn and the village cricket pitch.
It has a unique Gingko Avenue and a maturing Pinetum, but its main claim to fame is its huge collection of over 400 Old Roses covering the walls of the house and walled garden, as well as filling the borders, including: Rambling Rector, Albertine, Francis E Lester, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Adélaïde d’Orléans, Veilchenblau, Mme. Alfred Carrière, Cardinal de Richelieu, R. gallica officinalis, Souvenir du Dr. Jamain, Charles de Mills, Empress Josephine, Alba Maxima, Great Maiden’s Blush, Celestial, R. centifolia, Fantin Latour, Ispahan, Kazanlik, Blanche Moreau, Mme Grégoire Staechlin (see photo below), Königan vonDänemark, Phyllis Bide, Constance Spry and Roseraie de l’Hay. The Moss roses lining the Stew Pond are particularly romantic and include Général Kléber and Maréchal Davoust.
I would love to visit the garden in June, when they are in full bloom, but the other seasons hold promise as well: Snowdrops and aconites in January/ February; drifts of daffodils in March and April, camassias, bearded irises, delphiniums, tulips and peonies in May and the herbaceous borders in July and August.
Another moated medieval country house, dated 1464 and owned by Robert Walpole, the 10th Baron Walpole, Mannington Hall is another 20 acre garden famous for its old roses, with over 1000 varieties. In his book, Visions of Roses, on page 43, Peter Beales describes it as ‘one of the finest and most important collections of historic roses in the world’.
The one acre walled Heritage Rose Garden is a living museum of 1000 years of rose history. It includes:
Species Rose Border against the entire south wall: R. moyesii Geranium, R. chinensis Viridiflora and R. omeiensis pteracantha;
Medieval Garden: Wattle entrance hurdles and fences, covered with R. moschata and Rambling Rector; Circular beds of Gallicas (R. gallica officinalis, Rosa Mundi (see photo below), Jenny Duval); Albas (Great Maiden’s Blush); and Damasks (Quatre Saisons; Kazanlik) with Scots Rose, R. pimpinellifolia;
Classical Garden: Roses from 1700 to 1836: Centifolias, Mosses, Bourbons and Noisettes: Champney’s Pink Cluster; Blush Noisette, Aimée Vibert and Desprez à Fleurs Jaunes;
Jekyll Garden: Octagonal garden made up of trellises covered with ramblers and climbers popular with Gertrude Jekyll: Dorothy Perkins; Debutante, Minnehaha, American Pillar, Cupid, Silver Moon and Elegance;
Between the Wars Garden: Hybrid Musks: Ballerina, Buff Beauty, Felicia and Belinda;
Modern Rose Garden: Iceberg, Peace, Piccadilly, Silver Jubilee, Constance Spry, Graham Thomas, Chaucer, Mary Rose, Frühlingsgold, Parkdirektor Riggers and Margeurite Hilling; and La Mortola.
Outside the Heritage Rose Garden is:
Victorian Garden: Mosses, Hybrid Perpetuals: Baronne Prévost and Empereur de Maroc; and Bourbons: Belle de Crécy, Boule de Neige, and Mme Isaac Pereire;
Sweet Briars: Meg Merrilees and Lady Penzance;
Rugosas: Blanc Double de Coubert and Roseraie de l’Hay;
Post-Modernist Garden: Recent rose varieties;
Temple Garden: Rambling Rector; and Pimpinellifolia collection;
Shrubberies: Trial roses from the 1980s: Sadler’s Wells; William and Mary; John Grooms; and Gallica hybrid, Scharlachglut, scrambling 20 feet into a Kanzan Cherry;
Moat banks covered in R. wichuraiana and Fru Dagmar Hastrup;
House gardens: Mixed borders backed with 10 foot walls, including Golden Showers, James Mason, Kiftsgate, R. bracteata, Ramona and Guinée; Formal beds of Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; and a R. banksiae lutescens against the south wall of the house. This garden actually has all four Banksian roses: Single and Double Whites and Single and Double Yellows.
There is also a Knot Garden with scented plants, including Bourbon, Louise Odier, Modern Shrub Rose, Anna Pavlova, and a number of R. eglanteria varieties; a Sensory Garden with plants selected for touch, sound and taste, as well as smell and colour; and a 4.3 hectare wet Wildflower Meadow. It is also possible to stay there with a small low key glamping venture called Amber’s Bell Tents: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/18353490 and http://www.ambersbelltents.co.uk/mannington-hall.
Tomorrow, I will be posting my bucket list of French Rose Gardens.
In my last post, I featured my bucket-list of gardens in the United Kingdom, a country which I have visited twice and could easily visit again! France falls into the same category. While I know there are many wonderful gardens to visit in other countries like Italy and Germany, I would still return to France to visit more gardens!
Please note that since I haven’t yet visited these gardens, I have used photographs of my own garden or other Australian gardens to illustrate this post. Below is my daughter Jen’s Spring photo of Giverny, one of the most famous French gardens. My feature photo for this post is the beautiful Guillot rose, Paul Bocuse.
We visited Monet’s beautiful and very popular garden at Giverny in 1994, but I would also love to visit Renoir’s garden, Les Collettes. We own the book Renoir’s Garden, written by Derek Fell in 1991, in which it is described as ‘a vision of an earthly paradise’ and the photos certainly support that description! It looks like a lovely relaxed old garden and you can also explore the house and studio.
19 Chemin des Collettes
Originally a traditional working farm with ancient olive and orange groves and an old farmhouse, Renoir bought the 11 hectare estate in 1907, and commissioned architect, Jules Febvre, to design a new villa, which was finished in 1908. Here is a map of the garden and property from Page 100 – 101 of Derek Fell’s book:Despite his increasingly arthritic hands and a stroke in 1912, which left him bound to a wheelchair, Renoir still continued to work every day with assistance, spending each Winter at Les Collettes, and returning to Essoyes, the home town of his wife, Aline, in Burgundy each Summer.Wide paths were constructed to accommodate a wheelchair and were lined with Nerium oleander, a Mediterranean native. Many shade trees were planted like oaks, umbrella pines (Pinus pimea), Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis), Irish Strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), a Judas Tree (Cercissiliquastrum), hawthorns (Crataegus species), Pepper trees (Schinus molle), Spindle trees (Euonymus species), loquat trees (photo above), Broad-leaved Lime or Linden trees (Tilia platyphyllos), flowering cherry and apricot trees, a golden bamboo grove (Phyllostachys aureosulcata), Pittosporum tobira and Eucalyptus species, underplanted with blue bearded iris, red poppies, birds’ foot trefoil and ivy-leaved geraniums.Shrubs include Shrub Verbena, Lantana camara; Philadelphus coronarius (photo above); Pyracantha coccinea, Indian hawthorne (Raphiolepsis indica) and lilacs, Syringa vulgaris (photo below). The walls of the farmhouse provided support for Tree Fuchsias, Oleander, Cape Plumbago, Solanum laciniatum, and Brugsmansia ( both white and salmon forms of Angel’s Trumpets).The formal gardens contain 4 rows of citrus trees, seven to each row – mainly oranges, tangerines and cumquats, interplanted with many beautiful scented pink roses, Renoir’s favourite flower. In fact, Henri Estable, a local rose breeder, named a shrub rose after Renoir in 1909, Painter Renoir, which is naturally growing in the garden! There are many climbing roses, growing over arches, including a massive Banksia rose (photo below).Other plants include succulents like aloes, variegated agave (Agave americana variegata) and Mexican yuccas (Beschorneria yuccoides); Bearded and Dutch Iris (photo below), cannas and agapanthus; Ivy-leafed pelargoniums; Lavender, rosemary, santolinas and dusty millar (Senecio bicolour cineraria); Echium fastuosum, cistus and hebes; White Margeurite daisies (Argyranthemum frutescens); Calendulas, gaillardia and nasturtiums; Dahlias and zinnias; Anchusa azurea and Bergenia cordifolia; and carnations and pink poppies. There are pots of arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica), cinerarias, papyrus and spider plants. There are also vegetable gardens, vineyards and orchards. Here is a photo of Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’ in our hydrangea bed.Renoir died in 1919, after which parts of Les Collettes were sold off, so that by 1959, only 2½ hectares remained. In 1960, the house and the remaining estate were bought by the town of Cagnes-sur-Mer and turned into a municipal museum, featuring the family’s furniture, fourteen original paintings and thirty sculptures by the master, including a version of Les Grandes Baigneuses.In July 2013, after 18 months of extensive renovation work, the Renoir Museum and the whole Collettes estate reopened their doors. For the first time, the museum also gave public access to the kitchen and hallway overlooking the gardens and added a set of seventeen plaster sculptures, donated by Renoir and Guion families, as well as two additional original canvasses.Renoir’s final years at Les Collettes were depicted in a beautiful film simply titled Renoir (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2150332/), but the latter was in fact photographed in the gardens of Le Domaine du Rayol, my next bucket-list garden.
Le Domaine du Rayol
Avenue of the Belgians
A 20 ha botanical garden and arboretum in the Var, between Le Lavandou and Saint-Tropez.
It was bought in 1989 by the Conservatoire du Littoral, to protect the local maquis scrubland from the development of a housing estate, and the group then commissioned Gilles Clément and Philippe Deliau to redesign the old garden. It has since been listed as a Jardin Remarquable.
It is dedicated to Mediterranean and arid and subtropical biomes and is divided into a number of regional gardens, involving five continents:
The Canary Islands, off the NW coast of Africa: Three landscapes: the Malpaïs (coastal maquis) with its euphorbia (Euphorbia canariensis), echiums (photo below), convovulus and Aeonium; the Thermophilic Grove of dragon trees; and the high altitude Pinar, dominated by Canary Pine and Cistus;California: The Chaparral (Californian maquis), growing tough Heteromeles, Leucophyllum frutescens, Prunus illicifolia , Romneya coulteri, Manzanitas; Carpentaria, Californian lilacs (Ceanothes), oaks, Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia), Coulter Pine and Monterey Cypress; Desert landscapes with Hesperaloe parviflora, the Yuccas, the cacti (photo below), cactus candles and Opuntias, and the Ocotillos; and Desert canyons with desert rose palm trees and the Washingtonia palm groves; as well as late Spring meadows of eschscholtzias and lupins;South Africa: The Fynbos of the Cape Peninsula , characterized by shrubs of the families of Proteaceae (including King Protea, P. cynaroides), Ericaceae (heather) and Restionaceae (which resemble the rushes of the Mediterranean regions), underplanted with bulbs and rhizomes, such as Irises, Watsonias, Lilies and Amaryllis and shrubs like Carissa, Leonotis, Pelargoniums, and Polygala; and the Karoo, dominated by thorny acacias, aloes and succulents;Australia: The Mallee, dominated by eucalyptus, acacias (50 varieties), banksias, grevilleas, callistemons and melaleucas, as well as Kangaroo Paws, Anigozanthus; and the Kwongan, dominated by Black Boys;New Zealand: Wet humid subtropical forests of tree ferns, dwarf palms and phormiums; and a dry grass prairie, surrounded by Manuka (teatree) and olearias;Subtropical Asia: the bamboo groves, Cycas revoluta, glycines and fig trees from China; The photo below is an Australian member of the cycad family, Macrozamia communis.Arid America: Large rock garden of Mexican plants from arid regions: Agaves, yuccas and Pipi cactus;Subtropical America: Plants of Northern Argentina and subtropical Mexico, characterized by palms, nolines (elephant foot – photo below), beaucarneas and erythrines, lantanas, salvias, duras, velvetleons, and hibiscus;Chile: High Moor landscapes of Puyas, including the Puya, members of the Bromeliaceae family (pineapple), Zigzag Bamboos (Chusquea species), Monkey Puzzle trees Araucaria and the 10 metre high thorny Cactus Quisco, Echinopsis chilensis, as well as meadows of alstroemerias and nasturtiums; Savannah Espinal, dominated by Acacia caven; and the cooler inland palm groves of honey palm, Jubaea chilensis. Here are my bromeliads:Mediterranean: Contains local plants: the Cistus; Arbutus, pistachio, filaria, heather and laurel. See Cistus in the right-hand bottom corner of the photo below.Cist Collection of 35 species of Cistus, as well as hybrids;Marine: Underwater plantings on the seabeds of the Baie du Figuier, including the seabed covered by sand or rock; the algal herbarium (posidonia); and deep water ; and
Local Marquis Scrub including cistus, brooms (photo below), terebinths and laurustinus.Yvoire: Labyrinthe of the Five Senses: Jardin des Cinq Sens
I have always loved the notion of sensory gardens, so this famous garden, which has been cultivated the past 30 years and contains over 1300 types of plants, was definitely on my bucket list!
It was designed by Alain Richert and is situated in the former 0.25 ha walled potager of the 15th century Château d’Yvoire, one of France’s many beautiful villages, in the Haut-Savoie, overlooking Lake Geneva.On the upper level near the entrance is an alpine meadow of fritillaries (photo above), violets, alpine tulips, jonquils, saxifrages, gentians and decorative grasses. Beyond the alpine rectangle is a geometric latticework (a tisage) composed of white rugosas Blanc Double de Coubert (photo below) and balls of silvery-blue wild oats.On the upper side of the garden is an undergrowth garden, created to disguise ugly neighbouring walls and containing seven lime trees, Tilia x moltkei, underplanted with woodruff, soft ferns, Polystichum setiferum and Brunnera macrophylla.
On the other side of the tisage is a green cloister garden, with arches made of hornbeam columns and walls covered in honeysuckle. It is divided by low box hedges into 4 small gardens, containing medicinal and aromatic plants used in medieval times: Rue, santolina, thyme, rosemary, peppermint, chamomile, balm, salvia, savory, wild thyme and hyssop, all growing around a central granite bird pool. Here is a photo of Calendula, used in healing lotions for skin conditions and wounds.The Garden of the Five Senses is a few steps down from the Cloister Garden and is laid out like a labyrinth in the design of a medieval potager. It is composed of four rectangles (representing sight, taste, smell and touch) around a central aviary (representing sound). Each rectangle is surrounded by gravel paths and are divided by hedges of hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, interlaced with sweet peas and trellised apple trees.The ‘Jardin du Goût’ is all edible plants: Strawberries, raspberries, black currants, blueberries, rhubarb, onions, lovage, angelica and celery, as well as orange trees with edible flowers and apple trees.The ‘Jardin de l’Odorat ou des Parfums’ includes alliums, honeysuckles, viburnums, lemon balm, tobacco plants, mahonias, a medlar, daphnes and roses, including Cardinalde Richelieu and Moss roses like William Lobb and Blanche Moreau.The ‘Jardin des Textures’ contains fine and coarse leaved plants in tones of silver, gold and grey: Euphorbias, mahonias, inulas, bronze fennel, wormwood and meadow rue, Thalictrum aquilegifolium, acanthus, asphodels, salvias, hellebores, irises, lady’s mantle (photo below) and Aruncus sylvester.In the ‘Jardin des Couleurs’ are variations of blue: Campanulas, primulas, Iris sibirica, violets, gentians, geraniums (Johnson’s Blue) and Meconopsis.The sense of hearing is represented by a large bird aviary, built over a fountain and an ancient tank, and containing ducks, pheasants and turtle doves. There is also a smaller aviary, overgrown with Araujia sericofera, with doves, quails and other small birds.Other plants in the garden include a Clematis montana grandiflora; a Rosa filipesKiftsgate, Acanthus (photo below), a Syringa microphylla, Gaura lindheimeri, a persimmon and a Lagerstroemia indica.Jardin des Herbes, La Garde Adhémar
I have also always loved herb gardens, so this garden, listed as a Jardin Remarquable in 2006, was very much on my radar! The Jardin des Herbes is a 3000 square metres terraced garden of a 12th century church at the foot of the ramparts of the village of La Garde-Adhémar.Created by Danielle Arcucci in 1990, it has two levels, with 300 medicinal and aromatic herbs. On the upper level, 200 species of medicinal plants, which are still used in the pharmacopoeia of the 21st century, are arranged in a square and are identified and their uses and effects described with coloured labels. This is feverfew, used to treat headaches.The lower level contains a collection of aromatic plants including yarrows, lavenders, roses, salvias, geraniums, rosemary and thymes, arranged in a design of a sun (the centre filled with begonias and other annuals) and its rays, the beds delineated by box. It is a place of great tranquillity and beauty with lots of colours, tastes, textures and fragrance.Herb gardens were also very much a part of monastery gardens, so I would also love to visit this next very inspiring venue, the medieval priory gardens at Orsan, 50 km south of Bourges :
Le Prieuré Notre Dame d’Orsan
18170 Butonnais, Berry, southern part of Loire Valley
Begun in 1991 and opened to visitors in 1995, it was created by Patrick Taravella and Sonia Lesot, who bought the ruined monastery with 40 acres of land and stone and turreted buildings from the 12th and 17th centuries. With the help of Head Gardener, Gilles Guillot, they created a 5 ha garden , based on the art of gardening during pre-Renaissance times, and made up of a series of square and rectangular formal garden rooms, partially enclosed with hornbeam hedging with peepholes and doorways.
Medicinal Herb Garden with four raised beds of 52 different medicinal plant varieties, labelled with both botanical Latin and French names;Cloister Garden: Including four rectangular beds of Chenin blanc grapes surrounding a central square fountain; glazed urns containing clipped box bushes, and woven wooden seats, each sheltered by quince trees (photo below) trained into hood-shaped arbours;Two Formal Parterres of early food crops, including 3 old varieties of wheat, rye and fava bean; chards; leeks and cabbages;The Mary Garden, a rose garden dedicated to the Virgin and inspired by the Songs of the Songs (Hortus Conclusus of Secret Garden) with two cloister-like enclosures: a square of pink ramblers (including Cécile Brunner (photo above)and Mme Caroline Testout), and a square of white roses (Aimée Vibert and Reines des Belges). The pink square has an arch of white standard Iceberg and Gruss an Aachen, while the white square has an arch of pink Cornelia (photo below) and The Fairy. The roses climb over the arches, arbours and tunnels that are constructed of the typical wooden poles. Madonna lilies also grow here as roses and lilies were virtually inseparable in medieval illustrated manuscripts and paintings. Other roses in the garden include Pierre de Ronsard, Mme Alfred Carrière, Albertine and Marguerite Hilling;Kitchen Garden with 24 inch raised beds of alternating layers of manure and soil; supporting teppes and trellises; and a modern drip irrigation system. Here, they grow organic heirloom tomato cultivars, aromatic herbs, sweet peppers, carrots, salad vegetables and aubergines;Maze Garden, lined by walls of plum cordons: Greengage, Nancy and Saint Catherine. On each side of the paths are beds of pears, quinces, grapes, herbs and flowers like sweet peas, nasturtiums, cosmos and giant sunflowers. Rhubarb is encouraged upwards in bottomless cylindrical baskets woven from thick lengths of vine and clematis;Berry Avenue with espaliered gooseberries, grown on espalier fans; raspberries trained on wooden poles in V-shaped rows; black, red and white currants trained on diamond lattices; and blueberries, blackberries and strawberries;Orchard of three ancient pear trees and over 20 varieties of apples, planted in a quincuncial pattern, including Querine Florina, Patte de Loup, Drap d’Or, Belle ofBoskoop, Short Hung Gray, Yellow, Big Locard, Judor, Reine des Reinettes, Reinetteclochard, Reinette de Caux, Reinette fom Holland, Golden Reinette, Gray Reinette from Canada, and Starking;Three Orchard Cloister : Three orchards of pear (planted concentrically with lavender beds on each corner and including pears: Duchesse d’Angoulême, Belle du Berry, André Desportes; sorbus and cherry trees (Marmotte, Burlat and Cœur de Pigeon); and aWildflower Meadow and a Woodland with an outdoor sculpture gallery;
All the beautiful garden structures and furniture are made in the medieval way from home-grown saplings and the garden produce is used in the hotel restaurant or preserved for later use. Wheat is ground into flour to be made into bread and a white wine produced from the grapes. The Table d’Orsan restaurant is open from March to November (book in advance). The medlars below were a popular medieval fruit.You can also tour the gardens or attend workshops of one to three days focused on themes such as creating wooden structures like the ones in the gardens. There is also a small shop with a comprehensive range of traditionally-made products for sale, including jams, chutneys, and fruit juices, all made with Orsan Gardens produce, as well as baskets, natural soaps, and a range of books on cuisine, gardening or fine arts.As keen organic gardeners and environmentalists, we would also have to visit the French version of the Centre for Alternative Energy (http://www.cat.org.uk), Machynlleth, Powys, Wales, which we visited in 1994:
A wonderful ecological education centre with an organic garden, orchard, apiary and wilderness, 1 hour south of Grenoble and 2 hours from Lyon. It began in 1994 to trial and showcase everything to do with alternative farming and ecological living, reporting the results back to the readers of its founding magazine, Les Quatre Saisons du Jardinage. The 50 ha property lies in a broad river valley at an altitude of 750 m, surrounded by forest and high mountains.
The mudbrick Blue House contains the administrative centre, a shop and a library, specialising in alternative lifestyles. Nearby is a restaurant, Table de Raud, and an energy centre; a composting centre; a playground; a wildflower meadow; a garden shed showing four different methods of construction using earth; an aromatic spiral; a school garden; a handicapped garden; a plant nursery; two orchards; a poultry house; a marequarium to observe pond life, lots of other small pools and an artesian well; a solar beehive and numerous vegetable plots.Gilles Clément was invited to help plan the gardens eg the Water Walk and the Garden ofthe Five Elements, as well as a series of woodland clearing gardens. There are lots of different irregularly shaped potagers: a special garden for curcubits; the 100-square-metre exploit, based on plant associations recommended by Gertrud Franck; a garden for the preservation of endangered heirloom vegetables; a garden for little-known varieties, which should be used more widely eg violet carrots; Jerusalem artichoke; Swedes, blue potatoes; Italian broccoli rab, parsnips, kale, hyacinth beans; amaranths and red and green orachs. The beds are delineated by split logs, paths covered with home-shredded bark and wood chip and flowers used as companion plants.The 200 square metre Family Garden contains vegetables; a flowering hedge; a cutting garden; a small fish pond; a shade tree with bird houses; an orchard; a herb plot; a compost corner with bins of nettle and comfrey tea; a wild flower strip to encourage bees; and a lawn for children to play.The centre holds many conferences and workshops eg Traditional Dyeing with Anne Rigier, who rediscovered ancient methods for dyeing cloth with plant juices using lactofermentation, rather than boiling; Creating living buildings with willows; Permaculture; Organic gardening and cooking; Solar ovens; Crop roatation, pests and diseases; Seed saving; Composting and mulching; Worm farming; Making casein paints and homemade natural shampoos; Basketry; and Bee keeping.There is also an Open Day (with talks on pallet gardening, biodiversity, and organic flowers; a conference on ecology and biomimcry; music and kids’ entertainment; a photographic exhibition; and tours of the centre); Children’s Wednesdays (first three Wednesdays of August, involving gardening with kids, fishing, making seed bombs and natural play with large wooden games, tunnels and willow huts) and an event called The Great Lizard, with yoga workshops, outdoor Qi-Gong sessions, massages, a caravan sauna, siestas, icecreams, and music. In short, everything to promote relaxation!At the base of the web page are lots of recommendations with respect to the garden, home building and ecological living. There are also recipes, a climatic map; organic gardening and moon calendars; and articles on crafts in the garden (making nest boxes, garden tables, garden benches, chassis, dry stone walls, willow hurdles, compost bins and planters); encouraging birds and wildlife (pools, hedges, insect hotels, feeders, nest boxes and companion planting); keeping animals (best chook breeds; natural medicine for cats and dogs); permaculture and garden forests; water saving (rainwater tanks, mulching, water conservation) and pests and diseases.And now for my final garden, the private home of Nicole Arboireau:
Le Jardin de la Pomme Ambre
64 Impasse de l’Ancienne Route d’Italie – La Tour de Mare – 83600 Fréjus
An imaginative, intimate and eclectic 2000 square metre garden, developed since 1985 by owner, Nicole Arboireau, at the foot of the Esterel Massif. The steep block has been remodelled into a labyrinth of narrow curving terraces, supported by drystone walls and weathered railway sleepers.The garden is managed organically with no chemical use, plenty of compost and a strong emphasis on recycling and the encouragement of biodiversity. It is a refuge for the League of the Protection of Birds and is home for lots of local wildlife from toads and frogs and lizards, snakes and geckoes to squirrels, hedgehogs, badgers and many birds (including tits and wrens, magpies and jays, and owls), as well as a dog and 7 cats.I love her use of old earthenware pots and ancient sewing machines, repurposing china crockery, like darkened casserole dishes for bird baths and tea-sets for cactus. She also grows plants in bicycle baskets and old clogs and has made an experimental dry garden from broken bricks, shells and clippings. She also likes to play with colour eg her Brazilian Terrace, based on fuchsia and orange tones.The garden contains over 700 species. Nicole focuses on the conservation of the native flora of the Provence coast, as well as the heritage exotic plants of the old Belle Époque gardens of the Côte d’Azur. She also loves the cottage garden plants of her grandmother’s era, writing about them in her book: Jardins de Grand-mères, published in 2000.Trees include: Cork oaks, a giant pepper tree, 13 types of acacia, eucalypts, Aleppo pines, tamarisks, oleanders, a persimmon, Arbutus unedo, palm trees and ficus, many of which support climbers like roses, bougainvillea, jasmines and wisteria.Shrubs include Viburnum tinus; Erica arborea and Medicago arborea; lilacs and ceanothus; japonicas and kerrias; cassias; beauty bush and spireas; and the roses bred by Nabonnand. Other roses include: American Pillar, Albéric Barbier, Rosa laevigata and Mermaid and R. indica major, used extensively in the Grasse perfume industry.Other plants include: the local Cistus of the nearby maquis scrub; Acanthus; Helleborusniger and H. argutifolius; Ayssum maritimum and Bellis perennis; Rosmarinus officinalis; Mahonias; Solanums; Flowering salvias (photo above); Euphorbia myrsinites; Echiums and Euryops; and salad vegetables and herbs.All her plants have a history, having been given to her or rescued from old decaying gardens. I was interested to read that Scilla, a bulb common to the old gardens of the Riviera, used to be made into omelettes to poison rats! Nicole is a well-known garden historian, an intervenor at the Mediterranean School of Gardening in Grasse, and the President and founder of Friends of Mediterranean Parks and Gardens, as well as being the organizer of many local plant festivals.You can stay at her Bed-and-Breakfast or visit her garden for the day to learn all about the history of gardens of the Côte d’Azur, as well as the floral and perfume industries and the history of herbs. She also runs workshops:
Botany, Ecology and History: Using native plants or subtropical plants from other Mediterranean climates in the garden; and the plants of the Belle Époque;
Using Native Flora in the Kitchen: Making tisanes (the photo below shows peppermint cut and tied into bunches for drying for future peppermint tea!), elixirs and wines;
The Scented Home: Making floral scents; herb cushions; scent collars; pot pourri and pomanders; and bouquets and tussie mussies;
Propagation: Taking Cuttings and Seed Saving.My final bucket-list garden post next week is focusing on roses and because of its size, it is divided into three sections, to be posted on consecutive days: United Kingdom (Tuesday); France (Wednesday); and Italy and Germany (Thursday)!
Hybrid Musks were developed in the first quarter of the 20th Century, so well after 1867. Consequently, they are not considered to be Old Roses, but rather Classic Roses with so many advantages that they are still very popular today.
The Hybrid Musk story starts with a German rose hybridizer, Peter Lambert, who bred a Multiflora Rambler, Aglaia, also called Yellow Rambler, in 1896 from a cross between R. multiflora and a Noisette, Rêve d’Or. Aglaia has vigorous, upright growth, 2.5 metres up to 5 metres tall and 1.8 metres wide; almost thornless stems; rich light green foliage with bronze tints when young; and small, semi-double, strongly fragrant, pale primrose yellow blooms, fading white, in Summer. Aglaia was one of the three daughters of Greek God, Zeus, and Eurynome and represented beauty. You can see a photo of this rose at: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/aglaia.
In 1904, Lambert released a self-seedling of Aglaia, Trier, a Hybrid Multiflora and the very first Hybrid Musk rose. Trier is a repeat-flowering, upright shrub or small climber, 2.5 metres tall and 1.8 metres wide, with small foliage and small sprays of small, nearly single, fragrant white flowers, tinged with cream and pink. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/trier.
The story then transfers to Reverend Joseph Pemberton (1852-1926) of Essex, England, who was an Anglican clergyman, but also a keen lifelong rosarian. He had an early interest in growing and showing roses, especially the then-popular Hybrid Perpetuals, and was an early member of the National Rose Society, of which he was President in 1911. On his retirement, he started to breed roses, crossing Noisettes, Polyanthas and especially Trier with Hybrid Teas, Teas and Noisettes to produce a new type of rose, the Hybrid Musks.
These new roses were long flowering, highly floriferous shrubs with clusters of fragrant flowers. His first Hybrid Musks were Daphne 1912 and Danaë and Moonlight, both released in 1913. He established the Pemberton Nursery at Romford, where he grew 35 000 to 40 000 roses for sale annually. He released 25 new roses between 1912 and 1926, with a further ten selected from his seedlings and released by his sister, Florence, after his death.
Graceful spreading shrubs, which can be trained as low climbers, pillars and cascading feature roses. They are quite large shrubs, most at least 1.5 metres to 1.8 metres tall and wide, so they require room.Very vigorous and tough, they can withstand a wide range of soil conditions, temperature and sun. They tolerate partial shade better than most roses and can be grown on south-facing walls (Australia). They have excellent disease-resistance. The photo above is BuffBeauty at the Mt Lofty Botanical Garden, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, while the photo below is Autumn Delight.They have long graceful canes, some of which are almost thornless, with large, smooth, shiny, dark green , healthy foliage. Cornelia is the rose in the photo below.Very floriferous, they bloom abundantly and rapidly in Summer and Autumn and are reliable repeat-bloomers, some producing flowers continuously. Because so many flowers are often open at the same time, their pleasing fragrance fills the air for some distance. The scent from Cornelia is superb!They have huge clusters of small to medium, soft pastel flowers in white, yellow, pink, peach and apricot, though there are a few medium reds like Will Scarlet and Robin Hood. The photo below is Kathleen.Requirements
Hybrid Musks need plenty of space and good cultivation and adequate manuring to reach their full potential. Because they repeat-flower, pruning is important to encourage new growth, prevent the shrub from becoming leggy and unkempt, and to extend its life. Prune the strong main shoots back by one third in Winter, as well as old weak wood, especially in the centre of the bush. Deadhead during the Summer to encourage new flowers. The photo below is of Penelope.Varieties
Prosperity Pemberton UK 1919
A cross between a Polyantha, Marie-Jeanne, and a Tea rose, Perle des Jardins, I grew this rose in my old Armidale garden as part of a hedge.
Tall bushy upright growth like its Tea parent and can be grown as a climber. Up to 2 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide.
Strong arching shoots, which bend due to the weight of the blooms.
Shiny dark green foliage.
Large even clusters of small double fragrant creamy white blooms, flushed with blush pink at first, then fading to an ivory white, with a lemon tinge in the centre with age.Kathleen Pemberton UK 1922
A cross between Hybrid Musk Daphne and Perle des Jeannes, I tried growing this rose as part of my Hybrid Musk hedge, but it wasn’t a healthy specimen, so I replaced it. It is still alive, but sickly, so I will wait to see if it recovers next Spring before deciding its fate!Very vigorous (2.4 metres tall and 1.2 metres wide) with greyish green stems; Sparse dark green foliage; And small to medium, fragrant, single, pale pink blooms with deeper shadings like apple blossom.Bloomfield Dainty Thomas USA 1924
A cross between Hybrid Musk, Danaë, and Bloomfield Abundance. The photo below was taken at Werribee Park and features Bloomfield Dainty in the foreground.
Spreading arching shrub 2.5 metres tall and 1.2 metres wide.Long pointed orange buds open to single yellow saucers with 5 petals, a large central boss of gold stamens and a sweet musky fragrance. The main Spring flush is followed by a lesser display in Summer and Autumn.Penelope Pemberton UK 1924
One of the most reliable and popular Hybrid Musks, this rose is a cross between Trier and Hybrid Tea, Ophelia. This would have to almost be my favourite Hybrid Musk and it thrived both in my old Armidale garden and my new Candelo hedge.Fully branching and spreading habit, 1.8 metres tall and 1.5 metres across, it can be grown as a climber or a low spreading shrub. The long canes bear large trusses of highly fragrant, semi-double, medium, frilly edged blush pink to peach blossoms, which open from coppery, salmon tinted buds, then fade to a creamy-white. The flowers reveal centres of gold stamens as they open. Continuously blooming, they set coral pink hips, which should be deadheaded to encourage more blooms.Cornelia Pemberton UK 1925 Unknown parentage
Vigorous shrub, 1.5 metres high and 1.8 metres wide, with dark brown shoots; Small bronze foliage when young; And large clusters of small , highly fragrant, pink and peach, fully double, rosette blooms with 3 to 4 layers of petals and a central boss of gold stamens. Continuously blooming, the Autumn flush is particularly good, with large sprays of deeper pink flowers produced on strong new stems from the base of the plant. I am growing this rose on one side of the chook arch opposite Tea rose, Sombreuil.
Felicia Pemberton UK 1928
Released by his sister Florence after his death, this rose is another cross between Trier and Hybrid Tea, Ophelia.A strong reliable broad shapely branching shrub, 1.5 metres tall and 2.7 metres wide, which makes a good hedge. The large, crisp, dark green leaves have crinkled edges and are more like those of Hybrid Teas than many Hybrid Musks. I am growing this rose under the apple tree, but it has much competition both from the latter, as well as the roots and shade of the White Mulberry and Cottonwood Poplar!Large sprays of small, informal, muddled, strongly fragrant, rich pink flowers with salmon shadings open from pointed apricot pink buds and fade to blush pink. Very floriferous, it blooms freely from Summer to Autumn.
Francesca Pemberton UK 1928
Another seedling released after his death, this rose is a cross between Hybrid Musk, Danaë, and Sunburst.
Large graceful shrub, 1.8 metres tall and wide, it has broad arching growth; Smooth dark stems and is well-foliated with long dark green glossy leaves with pointed ends.Well spaced sprays of large semi-double apricot yellow blooms, with a strong Tea scent, open from long, slim, pointed, elegant buds and fade to a pale yellow. The Autumn blooms are a deeper yellow.Autumn Delight Bentall UK 1933 Unknown parentage
Upright bushy shrub, 1.2 metres tall and wide, with almost thornless stems; Dark green leathery foliage; And large trusses of semi-double, soft buff yellow, continuous blooms, opening from shapely deep yellow buds. This rose graces the far end of the white Hybrid Musk hedge behind the raspberry patch.Buff Beauty Bentall UK 1939
The last of the Pemberton-Bentall Hybrid Musks, this rose is a cross between a Noisette, William Allen Richardson, and an unknown rose.
A vigorous, well-balanced, arching shrub, 1.8 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide, it can be grown as a small climber in warm climates. It was a very large shrub in my Armidale garden.Smooth stems tinted brown and large thick dark green leaves.A reliable continuous flowerer, it has small to large clusters of medium, semi-double to double, rich apricot-yellow blooms with a strong Tea fragrance. The colour varies with the weather and the soil from apricot to buff yellow and even primrose.For a full list of Hybrid Musks available commercially today, with photos, see:
In my research, I also discovered that the Pemberton Rose Garden at the St. Francis Hospice in Romford, Essex, has the largest collection of Pemberton Roses in the world. See: http://www.pembertonroses.org.uk/the-garden. What a wonderful place for the terminally ill patients and their families!
Next week, there are three posts on travel books in our library, as a lead up to my Bucket-List of Overseas Gardens, which I would love to visit one day, but for this month at least will be exploring digitally!