He Loves me, He Loves me Not…..

IMG_2259Well yesterday, being the Golfer’s birthday, he did love me because I drove him to Bridgnorth to look at trains – but we went via David Austin Roses at Albrighton so we were both happy. Some of my roses are from David Austin but by mail order, and we have never visited the plant centre and rose gardens which are open all year round at no cost and will be an inspiration to anyone who is even the slightest bit sensitive to the attraction of roses.

Over 700 different roses are planted within the two acre rose garden which is divided into smaller themed areas divided by neat hedges – all the roses are named and a planting plan shows where they occur in the garden and a similar plan of the plant centre points customers in the right direction if they have decided to purchase a rose. Sculptures by the late Pat Austin are dotted around the gardens and the roses are complemented by a range of perennials. June would undoubtedly be a good month to visit but, as many UK gardeners have found, roses seem to be blooming early this year, so taking advantage also of the sunshine which was moderated by a gentle breeze for our day out it was indeed a well-timed visit.

IMG_2275It was interesting to see the roses that we have flowering in optimum conditions there – although our Rambling Rector was earlier and more floriferous than theirs – and I realised that ours were almost exclusively climbers or ramblers, so the bush roses at Albrighton grouped together in the borders and smothered in flowers and buds were a sight to behold. I was mostly drawn to shades of pink – Princess Anne, Hyde Hall, Eglantyne, Geoff Hamilton – but agree that yellows like Graham Thomas, Golden Celebrations and The Pilgrim are gorgeous in their own way even though I couldn’t place them in my garden.

pink.rosesyellow.rosesGreat borders:

IMG_2277 IMG_2278 IMG_2279IMG_2276And a camera shy peacock:



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29 Responses to He Loves me, He Loves me Not…..

  1. Kris P says:

    Those kind of compromises make a healthy marriage. I hope the Golfer enjoyed the trains as much as you enjoyed the rose garden. As to the peacock, was he being shy or performing a dance (i.e. flirting)?

    • Cathy says:

      I am pretty sure what the peacock was doing was some sort of ritual – every time I moved to try and get him from the front he turned his back again, so he perhaps thought I was a threat. The Golfer doesn’t mind the gardens – if I’m happy, he’s happy! – but was disappointed with the trains as he couldn’t access the engine sheds….

  2. Pauline says:

    How wonderful that you were able to pop into David Austin, super garden, we were there when my parents lived in Stafford. The roses all look wonderful the way they have them arranged, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing what to bring home! I think nearly all my roses come from them, all chosen for their fragrance, the perfume must have been wonderful while you were there!

    • Cathy says:

      It was just the right time of year to be there I think – and you are right, the gardens were gorgeous! Good commercial practice though, and will encourage people to buy from them – but they are such good quality plants, whether potted or bare rooted anyway

  3. sueturner31 says:

    It’s a lovely place to visit and see so many roses in really tiptop condition…you go and buy and only hope they grow the same for you….went a couple of years ago and I was impressed….

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, the condition was excellent and they must work hard to keep on top of maintenance. We will definitely call again when we are out in that direction

  4. rusty duck says:

    Oh brilliant. I’d love to go.
    And I think a place it would be difficult to tear myself away from. I might even have been late for a train.

    • Cathy says:

      It’s definitely worth a visit, Jessica, if you are in the vicinity – and there are various other gardens not too far away either….

  5. jenhumm116 says:

    Definitely a place I’d love to go to – thanks for sharing.
    I’m very impressed you managed to go somewhere you wanted on his birthday!

    • Cathy says:

      Last year it was Wollerton Old Hall – but ‘his’ place was closed 😉 We do call in at various golf courses wherever we go to as he collects score cards (cheaper than plants…), so that makes him happy 🙂

  6. Julie says:

    How I would love to visit & see all those roses! I am gradually adding roses to my garden & most are from David Austin. Like you I have a tendency towards pink, but I do grow & love The Pilgrim as well as Crown Princess Margareta and Teasing Georgina.

  7. Christina says:

    I think the gardens must have improved, when I visited years ago I was quite disappointed, but it is great to see all the different roses growing side by side, it shows which ones really grow well. It also gives a better indication of their size and whether the flowers hand down. I’m glad you were able to enjoy the golfer’s birthday so much.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh I couldn’t fault the gardens, Christina, so I don’t know when they improved them but it was clearly in their commercial interests to do so. As you say, it was good to see them in a garden setting so you could know what to expect in the longer term. The Golfer enjoyed his birthday too – and who wouldn’t enjoy a lovely setting like this!

  8. Cathy nice you and the golfer had a great day out, the borders and roses look lovely, seeing all those foxgloves well in flower when mine are just pushing up the flower stem makes me realised how far ahead you are, I hope your day has been followed by a nice relaxing weekend, Frances

    • Cathy says:

      The foxgloves did indeed look lovely with the roses, Frances, and the self-seeded ones in my garden are just about in bud but not open yet, perhaps because they are in a shadier spot. No chance of relaxation this w/e Frances, but enjoyable nonetheless – hope yours was too.

  9. Annette says:

    Best wishes to the Golfer! I’m glad the day worked for you both. I’m not too fond of yellow after spring and prefer the delicate shades in roses too. Although having said that I’m flirting with Mermaid at present…she may find a place in Pompeii yet. 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – we both enjoyed our day. I did buy roses from DA but I shall write about them in due course. I was wondering how Pompeii is getting on – perhaps you will give us a peep soon….

  10. Anna says:

    Oh belated birthday greetings to the golfer Cathy! I’m most envious of folk who can celebrate their birthdays at this time of year. Will have to steer the camper van (or rather himself will) in that direction one of these days.

  11. Cathy says:

    Thanks Anna, although at least it wasn’t half term this year which it often is and we might delay visits if it was. After all those years I have got used to a December birthday myself … 😉 There are several gardens not too far away – like Wollerton Old Hall – so you could easily fill a few days and of course we are not far away either..

  12. Chloris says:

    Lovely to see all the David Austin roses growing together so you can see their habits and how they look together. What a lovely day out. I have never been, maybe one day.
    I have The Pilgrim growing up an apple tree, and I love it, it’ s such a lovely soft yellow.

  13. It’s definitely rose heaven! His roses sum up everything I love about roses. ( And you avoided the air show!) What a great compromise – you must have had a lovely day. You too with a December birthday? It seemed fun as a child but now I’m getting un-used to it! I sometimes even postpone it to a better time!

    • Cathy says:

      I didn’t think anything of it as a child and like I said, I am used to it now, but it’s not quite the same going away for a birthday weekend and visiting gardens in December, is it?! Still do it though… 😉

  14. Jenny says:

    SO glad you enjoyed your visit. We had the opportunity when we were in England 2 years ago to go to David Austin. What a beautiful place and the fragrance on the air, oh my! My husband, who is not a gardener, sniffed just about every one and that is saying something. For myself, the camera was clicking non-stop.

    • Cathy says:

      It was very lovely, and the Golfer was perfectly happy looking round but avoided sniffing them after he saw me put my nose in one and a bee came out! 😉

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  16. bittster says:

    What a beautiful garden, you’re right that the maintainence is perfect… and you must have hit at nearly the best part of the season.
    I like how they’ve mixed in some companion plantings, for a rose seller it might be tempting to go pure rose, but I think this effect shows them off even better.

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