My Criteria for Choosing Roses

After a couple of icy cold hours this morning on the allotment, what better way to keep warm this afternoon than sitting on the sofa and choosing roses for the new cottage garden bed.

There are so many suppliers it’s is difficult to chose who to order from as you trawl through catalogues and websites, including the well known and trusted rose growers David Austin Roses and Peter Beales Roses. I eventually decided to go to the David Austin website and then started the daunting job of choosing what to buy. There are so many stunning roses, not only colour and fragrance but type – floribundas, shrub, old roses, hybrid tea, climbing and rambling roses

Out of 100’s of roses to chose from I selected just three. Why only 3? My criteria was:

  1. Size I am limited for space so I looked for small to medium size roses. Climbers and large shrub roses are out of the question.
  2. Fragrance I believe that roses should smell wonderful, a medium to strong fragrance is important.
  3. Name Roses usually have special meanings to us and my selection was based on ‘memories’.

My final choice:

Champagne Moment is an apricot floribunda measuring 4ft x 2.5ft. I chose it in memory of my dad, who died in August. He was a lover of the good life and always had champagne on offer.

L’Aimant is a coral-pink floribunda measuring 3ft x 2.5ft. This was my first perfume, bought for me by my paternal grandma. It will be interesting if it’s fragrance is anything close to the perfume.

A Whiter Shade of Pale is a blush-pink hybrid tea rose measuring 3ft x 3ft. When I was a teenager, my Mum’s favourite tune was Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale . I will think of her and have that tune in my head every time I’m at the allotment. Well perhaps not every time, nobody wants an ear worm!

Bare rooted

I have ordered bare rooted roses, which I can plant now and they will have time to get used to their new home and have a head start for the summer. I am aware that I can’t plant them when the ground is frozen, and will keep a close eye on the weather.

What criteria would you use for choosing roses, what are your favourite and why?

End of Month View – Oct 2014 : Surprises in the Garden

One of the greatest things of working part-time is having Mondays and Fridays at home and today the last day of the month, I have been able to take photos of the garden and write my EOMV post on the day it is due.

This morning the garden is green, lush and damp, also it is unseasonably mild.  I love it when it looks dewy and green, it has a particular smell about it which I can’t describe but am sure you will know what I am talking about.

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There are strange things going on.  Rather than dying down and getting ready for winter, some plants have been duped into thinking it is spring.

The Cleome and Penstemon are flowering again.


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Even the gaudy, blousey, magenta dahlia is still producing flowers.

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The Agapanthus, which died down really quite early this year, is throwing up new shoots.  I will have to make sure that I mulch it well before the frosts come.

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The aquilegia are coming up all over the garden with the promise that spring comes after winter.

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The raspberries are over and I have cut these down, but in order to prevent the local cats using the bed as a toilet I have had to put lots of sticks and paraphernalia to make it more difficult for them.   At this point, although I won’t show a photo, one particular cat, took no notice of the chicken wire I have over the raised bed, and has poo’d on top of the wire, so later today I will have a nasty mess to clear up.

DSC_0036 (1024x683) I am going to have to move the flower pots into a more sheltered spot shortly.   The stocks, which you can see in the foreground,  I grew from seed and was looking forward to some wonderful scented flowers, didn’t flower at all, which was really disappointing.

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The passion flower, growing over the side garden water butt is looking really good still, but is also a haven to the snails.  Last year when I finally cut it down, I had to wash the wall down as it was covered in mess.

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There are even some very tiny olives on the olive tree.

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At the end of September I planted up several pots of “lasagne” bulbs with tulips, daffodils and dwarf iris, topped off with pansies.  Details of this is in my post called “Getting Ready for Spring”.

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Finally, guess what??!!!   Some of the bulbs are coming through all ready.


So there we are a brief round up of my garden on the coast in West Sussex at the end of October 2014.   As always, thank you Helen from Patient Gardener for hosting this great diary log known as the End of Month View.   Visit all the other contributors HERE and see what is happening in their gardens.