Kew Gardens and other roses

David Austin's rose Kew Gardens

David Austin’s rose Kew Gardens

Retract your fangs, keep calm, I didn’t visit the Kew Gardens in London recently, I wish I could go back there some day, I just love that place but this post is just about some David Austin’s rose. Sunday we went to my parents’ for my sister’s birthday party (lunch actually) and after lunch we paid a visit to some small rose nursery in the neighborhood which has got bigger and bigger lately. They have a nice selection of modern roses as well as old roses and David Austin’s roses. Now I know I may seem banal with these single flowered hybrid musk roses I continue to bring home but everyone looks slightly different from the other and I can’t help but buy it. This rose has a lemon yellow tinge at the centre and a purple-gray (glaucous) matte shade in the leaves and branches, it is said to be in bloom from spring until frost, could I leave it there? I’ve already planted it at the back of the square bed, just before the pole with rosa Purezza (but the picture above has been taken looking from the path towards the gravel garden).

Rosa Sancta and rosa Tuscany

Rosa Sancta and rosa Tuscany

There are still a lot of roses that I’d like to show you though. In the bed between the grass garden and the rose garden there are a  bunch of roses planted rather close to each other that are mingling nicely. Rosa gallica Tuscany is one of my favorite, its intense colour and scent makes it irresistible. It’s a very tough rose considering I almost murdered it last winter… I happened to have the central heating cleaned (it burns wooden pellet) and I was wandering around the garden with this large bucket of ash. I’ve always used ash to fertilize roses, they just love it so I poured this ash from the bucket onto the roses I like best, as to give them a treat. The ash formed a kind of little mountain at the base of the rose but I thought all the rain we had would have washed it away. Indeed the ash became a kind of hard plaster with the rain and kind of choked my beloved roses. I realized it just in time but I had to remove quite a lot of dead branches.

Rosa Sancta and rosa Tuscany

Rosa Sancta and rosa Tuscany

It doesn’t seem to be mad at me though and the survived branches are blooming profusely.

Clockwise from top left: rosa Tuscany and Celsiana, a view to the pergola including rosa Celsiana underplanted with rosa Angel Wings, a close up of rosa Sancta

Clockwise from top left: rosa Tuscany and Celsiana, a view to the pergola including rosa Celsiana underplanted with rosa Angel Wings, a close up of rosa Sancta

The ‘proper’ rose garden is also behaving very well this year and this cool and wet weather, although it is also spoiling a big part of the flowers, is extending the blooming season. They forecast the beginning of summer by  10th June, let’s wait and see. And I’m not done weeding yet…

Ombrèe Parfaite with a young pennisetum and salvia

Ombrèe Parfaite with a young pennisetum and salvia

The one pictured above is a rose i received as a cutting from a dear friend of mine who is now dead and unfortunately I can’t have this rose recognized. Maybe someone could help…

rosa Trigintipetala (Kazanlik)

rosa Trigintipetala (Kazanlik)

Rosa Trigintipetala, aka Kazanlik, from the name of the region in Bulgaria where this rose is largely cultivated to extract rose perfume, I let you imagine how scented this rose could be.

rosa glauca and phlomis russelliana

rosa glauca and phlomis russelliana

rosa Claire Jacquier on the willow

rosa Claire Jacquier on the willow



27 thoughts on “Kew Gardens and other roses

  1. I love all your roses Alberto. Tuscany is one of my favourites. I wish I had some trees I could grow roses into, they look wonderful planted like that. Christina

    • You have the mulberry, haven’t you? That is perfect for a rose! I wish I had some more grown up tree in my garden because I love big roses climbing up on a tree.
      PS I wish I had some more pillars around the house to make some big rose climb, like your place! 😉

  2. I could feel your sunshine, your roses are enjoying it too. There must be so much perfume wafting around your garden Alberto, such a wonderful place to sit! Your roses are all beautiful, you have so many but still you can manage to find room for one more!

    • Unfortunately I can’t smell the scent because of my cold and although I wait the sun to snap some pics believe me we are having so much rain that also washes away the scent of the roses I think. But I’m so glad you enjoy my roses, there are so many I’m kind of getting used to their beauty, I sometimes need to see other people in wonder to realize what I have…

    • Outstanding… I love this word, thanks for your compliments Susie, I have to admit I love my pergola too, it’s really how I had pictured in my mind. Now it only needs the pavement to be completed with tiles… And I only need the money to pay for it… 😉

  3. Hi Alberto,

    The rose from your passed friend is lovely! Perhaps name it yourself, after your friend? I don’t think the Rose police will come after you if you do 🙂

    Ombrèe Parfaite looks very nice too, perhaps I’ll have to get it sometime… Because one can never have too many roses!

    • I’ve already named a rose (seedling) after that friend of mine, she can’t really have every rose named after her though! 😉 I’ll write about that rose and that friend in a post as soon as the rose will bloom (it’s a late bloomer).

      Oh you have to get that rose… and that… and that… and hey? what about that too?!… (you have officially been infected)

      PS I like the rose police thing… well they can come on see my garden, I treat my roses well… (and I erased every trace of the killing ash by now…)

      • I actually want a garden like as they have lots of roses, all underplanted or planted alongside perennials so there’s plenty of interest, and added blooms for vases.

        Look forward to reading about your unknown rose from your friend 🙂

        So many roses I want… I’d love a rambling rector but don’t have a beautiful large wall or structure I could have it ramble up and over… Mmm maybe I could have a pergola…
        ha ha


        • A garden like that means really pointing high! 🙂 But we have the right to dream, haven’t we? I’m glad you are passionate about roses, so I could send you some cuttings when you’ll buy the new house with the new garden… oh and the new pergola obviously! I don’t have Rambling Rector, unfortunately but I have some similar huge white roses, like banksia, fillipes Kiftsgate and Bobbie James, which is flowering for the first time this year (it needs old wood to set flowers) and I’m thrilled to see and sniff its flowers…

  4. Wow it looks like sunny rosy time at your house Alberto! (We’ve had lots of rain too and the roses here are mostly waiting for better.) So glad you salvaged the ash situation– that close image of Tuscany is glorious. I think your single blooms are so pretty, like wild roses only better. But, have you memorized all those rose names, or do you keep a note file on your iphone?

    • You could print that image (I let you the royalties) and show it to your little Tuscany cuttings as an encouragement…

      I agree, like wild roses but better, because they bloom more, they last longer but yet they have that delicate charm of species roses. I have a map with names that I use as reference on my iPad (iPhone would be too small) but yes, I remember most of them.

    • I totally agree with you! Fragrance this year is not really the strongest feature, I blame the wet and cool weather, as most of my roses scent the air with warmer temps. So I didn’t smell the strong spicy scent of rosa sancta this year. At all. Disappointing.

  5. Your roses are joyous! I too have an affinity for old fashioned single roses. Your Rosa Sancta steals my heart. I also really like the one your friend gave you; I know it must be treasured not only for its beauty but also for the memories it holds.

    Thank you for your comment on my Little Bit of Jungle post. But, Alberto! I had to smile, for your comment demonstrates that what is one gardener’s weed is another’s treasured planting. I use my verbena in a ground cover situation, and I am happy to let it roam, though in the many years I have had it, it has never wandered too far. The bamboo, on the other hand, is a serious problem and one we have battled since moving here. I am horrified to find it in my veggie patch!

    • Hi Deb! You are right about treasuring that rose, indeed that is a plant obtained from a cutting of the ‘original’ cutting, which is planted at my mum’s. I had also other two big roses from cuttings from the same friend that I didn’t brought with me from the previous garden, I shall go to the actual owner and ask for some new cuttings (but I really fear he ripped them off).

      Maybe I’ve been naif with that advice about the verbena, as much as I’ve been naif planting that verbena rigida in my garden, if I only knew… 🙂 However bamboo is quite a common enemy for every gardner, I have a dwarf one and I keep it on a double container (plastic and metal, just in case…).

    • You know how passionate I am about grasses and perennials too but I guess I could not choose between roses and grasses. You made a very strong statement with your garden, I admire you for this as much as for how pretty the garden looks itself.
      I don’t have Ducher but I treasure a similar china rose which is Rival de Paestum, I think they look very similar, you find pictures of it on my previous two posts.

  6. I can understand your obsession with roses and I would too if my climate allowed oses to grow such as yours…I love them all especially ROSA TRIGINTIPETALA. And your display of these roses is wonderful.

  7. Hi Alberto, I love the colour of the Rosa gallica Tuscany and am pleased that you didn’t murder it. This year I expect that it is going to be July before the first Roses appear in our garden.

    • I guess the rose is even more pleased I didn’t murder it! 🙂 July before you have a glimpse of your roses?? It’s incredible.

    • Yesterday I’ve spent the day weeding and now that I finally recovered from the cold I can smell the scented air in the garden and it is wonderful.

  8. I knew it! – Totally addicted. Just like me with primulas. You said it yourself: ‘could not choose between roses and grasses’. I guess you already have. Mind you, they are wonderful, your roses, and I don’t blame you. Not one bit.

    • I know I am addicted but really I can’t make a choice and I don’t need to make it. Roses have all my attentions now and grasses and perennials will have all my attention from july on. I am also trying to make them cohabit in the garden and this might have some positive side.
      (anyway did you know in southern Spain they make omelettes with fertilised eggs? It is considered a delicacy. This is one of the reasons why I seldom eat eggs.)

  9. I like the combination of Rosa Sancta and Rosa Tuscany – the innocent and pure contrasting with velvety, voluptuousness. I live a tube ride away from Kew Gardens but I take it for granted and don’t go very often. Your yearning has reminded me that I need to go and visit soon. Similarly, I would love to visit Florence again.

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