Wednesday 31 May 2017

Roses, roses and more roses

Can you have too many roses? Silly question really, of course you can’t!
I have managed to squeeze in 31 roses in my tiny garden, among a whole lot of other plants – and I think I can manage to fit in a few more roses if I look carefully. There are tall climbing roses and tiny miniature roses and everything between. I will show you a few today, but all 31 are flowering beautifully right now.

I have finally managed to sort out my seating area, the parasol is in place and a new table and cushions. The parasol is desperately needed as there is no shade in this garden except for a tiny area under the apple tree.

But back to the roses, here with some Alstroemeria 'Dandy Candy'.

This is the main rose bed, but there are more roses in the front garden and two next to the Woodland Bed.

The whole bed is framed by miniature roses in containers, just cheap pot roses I have bought from Asda (Walmart).

This is ‘Constance Spry’ and ‘The Generous Gardener’ and eventually they will fill the whole wall if I let them!

Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ starts out as this intense dark pink and fades into a light pink, especially in hot weather and when fully open.

‘Chandos Beauty’ is possibly the rose with the most exquisite scent of all my roses, but ‘The Generous Gardener’ has a powerful, lemony, really lovely scent too.

The new table in my garden was a necessity to accommodate my huge parasol – this is the parasol I had from my previous house and it fits right in here, perfect size and because it is square it fits along the wall and covers my furniture if we get a shower. Not that we have had much of that, I wish we could get 3 weeks of rain, that would be great for the garden. Just wait until the roses are finished flowering!

The old garden table has been recycled and is now a nice seat under the apple tree for a quiet moment in the shade.

And just behind are my strawberry beds – now with custom made, squirrel proof canopies. I bought aluminium canopy frames made for the raised beds, the idea was that you just throw netting over them to protect your crop. That would not have worked against the local squirrel population so I used chicken wire to cover the frames from one end, over the top and down to the other end. The real head ache was what to do at each end – and how to get to the strawberries to pick them.

I made a door at each end out of bamboo, steel wire and water proof tape and attached chicken wire to this too. The door can either be removed completely or just opened on either side.

The door is fastened with a simple steel wire that just bends up to open. The chicken wire is attached to the bamboo and aluminium frame with small size cable ties. Thank goodness for zip ties, I use them everywhere in the garden!

The cages have proved very successful, I haven’t lost a single strawberry and I have already eaten many. This is the way to eat strawberries, from the field to the mouth in seconds! And as for my worry last month about pollinators being able to get through the chicken wire? I needed have worried, they seem to manage that just fine, whoever they are, doing the job for me. The new strawberry flowers are obviously taken care of and have produced berries since the cages were made :-)

By the way, as we are talking of strawberries, have you seen PINK strawberry flowers before?? I had not, so when I saw these online I just had to buy some plants. They are so pretty, I hope the strawberries turn out to be just as nice. This is ‘Toscana’ and I am quite sure I have eaten Toscana strawberries before, bought in shops, I think they are quite commonly used in Norway.

The rest of my vegetable garden is a mixed success, the 3 window boxes to the left were sowed with mini carrots and spring onions, but the squirrels kept messing about here and many of the tiny seedlings died or were eaten. I might just give up this project. On the right side are seedlings waiting to be planted in the window boxes in my front garden, once the winter pansies give up their extraordinary flowering – they just go on and on so I don’t have the heart to throw them out just yet.

My cherry tomato plant is growing like mad, not long before the first tomatoes are here. Just below, in the bottom right corner are my first radishes, I have eaten many already. And the chillies to the left are growing well too and have started to flower.

The Japanese garden is lush and mainly green, just waiting for the lilies to start flowering.

The foxgloves are still flowering, these photos were taken a week ago and I have now taken off the tallest spikes to let smaller, new spikes emerge.

This is a lovely campanula, I have had them in way too small pots for a couple of years – now finally in the ground in two different places they really have taken off.

Some of the many alliums in my garden.

I finally took the plunge last year and bought an abutilon. I looked for a long time as I wanted a dark red one and this one was named ‘Red’. Sadly it turned out to be more orange than red so I am not sure if it is a keeper, but it seems happy here and didn’t mind the cold winter at all despite not being hardy. I have taken the liberty of re-naming it ‘Orange-Red’ as it is a bit more fitting!

My wisteria from last autumn is doing well, deciding how to train it is a bit of a head ache as I have only seen the finished article and don’t really know what to do to get there. Eventually the wisteria should have a large umbrella shaped canopy with bare stems halfway up so that’s what I am aiming for. Might take some trial and error. It is growing like mad so if I get it wrong I can always cut it down and start again. Once it has reached the top and spread out as far as I want it, it is just a matter of pruning to shape. Often. Very often. But I am prepared for that. This American wisteria flowers on new wood and is therefore happy to be pruned several times a year and will still re-bloom, the Chinese or Japanese wisteria which flowers on old wood can’t be pruned like this and often take many years before the first flower appears.

My calla lilies have started to flower again, last year I had flowers into October so if we get a good year again I have 5 months of flowers to look forward to.

This is Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’, isn’t it lovely? I know it’s just a thistle, but even so....

This is my inherited clematis, growing behind the hibiscus in way too much shade – but it seems happy enough. Would have loved to know which one it is.

My two container grown clematis’ on the arch are doing so well that next winter I will plant them in the ground here where they are growing. I put them in containers in case I had to move them as this space gets quite a lot of shade from the house.

They are both outgrowing the big containers by now and I think both will appreciate to have their feet in the soil by next spring.

One last rose picture, this is ‘Abigail’, a miniature that has grown quite large this year, about 70cm tall, I hope she doesn’t grow any taller because then she will have to find a new home elsewhere in the garden. But an absolutely stunning rose she is.

The garden video this time is filled with roses of course, but I have managed to fit in a few other plants too, I filmed Monday this week when the weather was changing from blazing sun to overcast from one minute to the next making it look like I have filmed over several days. That’s the British weather for you – changing all the time. Put your sound up, increase the screen to full frame and change the quality to HD or as best as your download speed can allow - I promise it will be worth it.

The music was ‘Sometimes when it rains’ with ‘Secret Garden’.
See you next month, when we hopefully have had some rain, take care.


  1. Your garden is truly astounding, Helene! Is there a single bloom that isn't perfect? Your rose collection in itself is splendid but by the time I got to the clematis I was just sighing with complete envy. Well done!

    1. Thank you Kris, I wish all the blooms were perfect but I am battling all the same things as everyone else.....blackspot and mildew has been a persistent problem lately and the aphids are munching their way if I don't keep up they spraying. But I am enjoying all the work and planning coming together and bit by bit I am getting there :-)

  2. Good morning Helene.
    What a beautiful garden you have. And all the roses are making your garden like a paradise. My garden can use a lot of rain too!! But like you said, please rain wait until the roses are out of flowering.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Rosehugs Marijke

  3. Hej Helene!
    Helt fantastiskt, så mycket fint som blommar hos dig. Vi har haft en kall vår så allt är ganska sent. Har fortfarande tulpaner som blommar, och nu börjar Aklejorna slå ut. Vi har fått lite regn så det ser lite fräschare ut. Dina rosor är helt fantastiska, har inte många men köpte en ny i år, Blue for You som skall bli sällskap med Rhapsody in blue. Dina jordgubbslådor med skydd är perfekta. Har en större låda till mina med ett tunt nät på, och det fungerar bra. Har inga tjuvaktiga ekorrar.
    Ha det fint, och tusen tack för en härlig rundtur i din trädgård.

  4. Wonderful garden Helen. I love to see all the blooms..just imagine if could I have a nice & lovely garden as yours.

  5. Oh Helen, I'm always impressed at how you fit so much into your garden and keep it looking so good. When it comes to roses, I usually shop for them with my nose as fragrance is very important to me. I'll keep an eye (or nostril?) open for 'Chandos Beauty!'

  6. Your sitting areas look great! And the roses--wow! My favorite here (although it's hard to choose), is 'Chandos Beauty.' Everything else looks lush and healthy, too.

  7. Dear Helene, I am always astonished when I see your garden. It's so full of healthy and gorgeous plants! I do think you should plant the clematis in the ground as when I planted two years ago my jackmanii clematis in the grund after two years in the pot it was so happy. Now it's 2.5 metres and is struggling with the old Gertrude Jekyll...

  8. I love the colour of Chandos Beauty. The roses in our garden are all climbers. I notice that you don't have any singles that I love.

  9. Wonderful roses, Helene! I loved ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ very much. Your clematis surprised me growing in containers and having such pretty flowers. This spring I've bought clematis 'Rubens' that I was looking for much time. And have planted it in a container as well to move it in a greenhouse for winter time.
    Your video is lovely as always and the music is so lyric that goes well to images.
    Have a nice weekend, dear!

  10. Your 'thistle' was all over the coverage I watched of the Chelsea Flower Show. I have one too.
    Brilliant idea for the strawberry bed. I bet the squirrels are furious. :)

  11. So many gorgeous flowers! I love David Austin roses. I don't grow many roses due to the thorns and my clumsiness, but I just had to order a climbing 'The Wedgwood' rose from them this year. Your foxglove and clematis are beautiful, and I love what you did with the strawberries! The chipmunks and squirrels usually get all of mine, but I have so many this year that I have hope that I will get a few from them.

  12. Pink flowered strawberry is really new for me. So interesting!

  13. Dear Helene,

    I don't know what to admire first! If roses, if your beautiful roses, clematisis, your new seat under an apple tree or huge foxgloves. Last night I fell asleep with a mobile in my hand reading about Austin's roses (thinking about space for teasing Georgia and Boscobel in future:-)). Constance spry was his 1st one in sixties, wasn't it? I bought the same campanula persifolia last year, it is a really nice variety but so tall (in my garden). Well I am used that my plants are either tall or small, nothing in between... By the way I have also a pink strawberry but not so dark pink as yours and it is a remontant sort. Watching your beautiful photoes and video I can not find a paeony. I remember a beauty in your previous garden. Not enough space here? Take care and I will keep my fingers crossed for you that the bathroom is finally under reconstruction!

  14. There is so many beautiful flowers in your garden, Helene!
    And you already have strawberries!
    Good luck with the tomatoes, you will most likely have fruits sooner then we here in West Midlands as it's much warmer in London.
    Hope you are well!

  15. Wonderful roses Helene, unfortunately I have given up in my garden although I do love them, it is just too shaded and damp and they do not grow well. Black spot is my nemisis and after a few years of battling, making sure all the diseased foliage was removed and even resorting to some heavy duty fungicides I realised it was futile even uprooting a photinia which was very badly affected. The rest of your garden is also looking superb, I can't believe the short time you have been there.

  16. Stunning! Stunning! My dad grew roses in England and I miss him and his flowers. It is so difficult to grow them here in PA, but I try -- just half-a-dozen or so. My worst problem are the Japanese beetles that attack and devour every bloom in July. You continue to amaze me, Helene. You are such an inspiration, my gardening friend. P. x

  17. Dear Helen,
    just found your Blog on Nadezda's blog list.
    And yes, I can agree with you, it's just not possible to have too many roses! I like them myself. Your roses are wonderful. Your digitalis are amazing! From where did you get them? I'm admiring your clematis. So far I'm not lucky with clematis in my garden.
    Maybe you come by for a visit.
    Until next time

  18. Wonderful, beautiful roses!
    Sorry that 'Red' turned out to be 'Orange-Red' but it is a pretty thing nonetheless. Love the dark purple Clematis!
    I have missed seeing you at Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day
    Have a great week-end!

  19. Those roses are just gorgeous! I love roses and wish I could find those David Austin roses here in Argentina! Unfortunately I live in a warm humid subtropical area and this climate is not conducive for roses to thrive, growing them here is an uphill battle against diseases and insects.

  20. Tienes unas flores preciosas. Saludos.

  21. Hello to everybody, I am trying to catch up with blog comments and this is a very, very late reply - please know I read and appreciate all comments you leave on my blog, thank you so much. I have visited many of you this summer even if I have not had time to write a comment to all of you.
    The summer has just flown away for me, not sure where it went, but I am still here blogging and still trying to film my garden and write a post at least once a month.
    Wishing you all a nice autumn in the garden!


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