I noticed Dorris is celebrating the promises in her garden today and, coincidentally, so I am I – not strictly true I suppose, as this time of year, especially in milder winters, our gardens invariably bring much joy as countless signs of new growth appears in leaf or bud or twig, promising so much more in due course and not least the end of winter. Here, I am focussing on roses, not least because it makes for a good title (for those who remember the Lynn Anderson song).
New rose foliage often appears far earlier than one might expect, even when temperatures are quite cold, although severe frosts may well nip its advance in the bud. In the UK we have had (so far) a fairly mild winter and there have been only a handful of frosts in our garden, with no temperatures below -2°C so, like many other plants, the roses are grabbing the opportunity to make a start and prepare for their big performance in June and beyond. I love the freshness of all new foliage which, untroubled yet by slugs and other nuisances, looks so neat and pristine, and the serrations on new rose foliage look particularly clean-cut, as you can see on today’s photos.
‘The Pilgrim’ had a quiet year last year, recovering from a major move, but is girding his loins for a comeback:
On the nearby obelisk, also settling in after its arrival last year, is small-headed and floriferous climbing rose ‘Warm Welcome’, which of course everyone visiting our garden will receive (not the rose, I hasten to add, but the welcome!):
I especially love the pink edges and hint-of-a-tint in its new foliage, a feature which Lady Emma Hamilton retains throughout her growth, complementing her gorgeous apricot blooms later in the year:
Unlike the elderly ‘Rambling Rector’ whose previous flowering stems are cut off soon after flowering, rambling rose ‘Rural England’ doesn’t get much more than a gentle trim and tidy up, which she hasn’t had yet and thus looks remarkable green and leafy – we noticed the odd few flowers some time into October or even November, way up in the apple tree where she had sent a shoot, so she has barely had time to sit down and have five minutes to herself before she was off again…hmm, reminds me of someone…!
Underneath the clematis colonnade, patio rose ‘Regensberg’ is flush with new growth and you can see how the early colouring of the edges is gradually lost as the leaves develop more fully – and aren’t they shiny?! This and the other 3 varieties here were new last year and the intention is that each grouping of six will grow together and fill the beds with a homogenous clump of rose:
My sixth rose is not celebrating new growth, but last year’s – I love to see ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’ (top picture), either in full flower or resplendent in hips as it is now, towering above the wall and silhouetted against a glorious blue sky. What a trouble free rose this is – never deadheaded and just requiring removal of wayward stems and cutting back to a couple of buds once the hips are past their best. I usually do that sometime in February, but will wait till after next Sunday’s opening so that any visitors can enjoy this same sight, blue sky sadly not guaranteed!
That’s my Six, and now I am off to see what this meme’s host Jon the Propagator is sharing today.