On Wednesday morning I ordered 7 roses from David Austin. Not only was I given a discount when I asked if one might be possible, but the teeny postage charge of £3.95 still applied, even though six of the roses were in pots and the seventh was a bare root one that would not be delivered until November. How generous! Not only that, but within 24 hours six boxes of roses duly arrived and within half an hour their sooperdooper packaging was folded neatly for recycling, the clever boxes being easily openable by pulling a strip down one of the sides and the roses removed by folding open the flaps and snipping the tape. Brilliant!
You are probably expecting me to say that I had them planted within a further hour, but I shall have to disappoint you! However, ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ (thank you Ali, the Mindful Gardener, for your recommendation) and ‘Claire Austin’ are waiting in situ for further adjustments to the adjacent paving before their planting holes can be dug, but at least the new pergola (based on our ‘mockery’) had two coats of paint before it rained today so you get an idea of the effect. ‘Strawberry Hill’ is awaiting a structure of its own which will appear in due course.
Having dithered awhile before deciding to go down the Instant Gratification route I am certainly not disappointed in any way. I haven’t ordered container roses by mail order before and am absolutely thrilled with the quality of these. I am guessing they must be grown in a polytunnel as they are in absolutely tip-top condition and smothered in buds, unlike any of the existing roses in my garden which are still devoid of blooms although with some cooler weather and a little rain buds are now beginning to reappear. Arriving now and in the wonderful condition they are there are at least a couple of months of pleasure to be had from these beauties which should be nicely settled in by next year, whereas the bare root roses from last year have only made a token showing this season. Already I can envisage what the area immediately behind the house will look like in summer 2019, by which time I will have found another spot to squeeze in yet more roses – thank you Mr Austin!