Just Another Day in Paradise
It is a great rose! Mine -as you can see- is left free to form a fountain shape and makes a very elegant specimen. Leaves are dark green and deeply veined, blooms are abundant, mildly scented and of a very candescent colour, from custard yellow to barely white. Absolutely a “must have” rose in every garden. I know it could be also trained as a medium sized rambler because I gave some cuttings to my neighbours and they are training it, quite happily, on a fence.
At the moment the second show stopper, when reaching the house, is New Dawn. This rose is not old (ca. 1930) but often listed amongst species and first crosses in catalogues. It is a hybrid Wichurana and shows off all its characteristic glossy leaves that look as if someone had just polished them -one by one. I have it trained on the pillar by the portico.
It is a large flowered climber, with pearl rose semi-double blooms and its flower buds open like a swirl. Scent is delicate but unique; a large specimen could be sniffed at a distance. Like Ghislaine de Féligonde, these roses have a main, glorious blooming period in May/June, then produce scattered flowers during all the warm season. New Dawn also sets several bunches of blood-red, fat hips. Definitely, it’s another “must have” rose, in my opinion.
In front of the house, under the small pergola, the courtyard is now invaded with gaura lindheimeri, stipa tenuissima, centranthus ruber… and lazy dogs sunbathing. Plus there is a huge hollyhock grown from seeds scattered by the original one (which I had obtained from seeds collected -not stolen!- from the Kew Gardens in London some years ago). I am pretty confident it will bear simple, pale pink blooms with a pearl-white throat that makes the flower glisten. The size of the plant is magnificent! I just hope it won’t collapse too soon…
This self sown ‘bed’ in the middle of the courtyard also makes a link with the gravel garden and the squared bed. Here, only verbena bonariensis and centranthus ruber had started to bloom, together with convolvolus sabaticus and sisyrinchium. All the grasses are forming a luscious background and the echinaceas will soon go “primetime” with veronicastrum, eryngium yuccifolium and other summer things.
The only grass in bloom now, other than stipa tenuissima, is hordeum jubatum (I love the common English name “foxtail barley”).
It is an annual grass that grows quickly from March/April and blooms now, with a pink tinge on its longer fur. Then it goes to seed and almost disappears as quickly as it arrives. As you may know I am not a seeder so I let this plant self seed wherever it likes. I just try to push her a little bit here, a little bit there… but it always sprouts in the middle of something, like unwanted friends or my mother’s calls… This year it has taken the whole passageway from the kitchen to the gravel garden, taking only a square meter or so of free gravel space but on a busy spot. No worries; I know this plant has a short life, just like my mother’s calls, so I get the most of its beauty and bear to lift my legs when passing through. It is particularly nice with centranthus ruber and gauras since all of them have exactly the same warm pink tinge on them.
There is also rosa Rival de Paestum blooming not far from there. It echoes the light of the gauras – and with a dark purple background provided by persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ and phormium, it really stands out! This rose is a newcomer in my garden but it flowers freely from late spring on.
The funny thing is that this layer of persicaria and phormium also shelters the fine pinks and whites from primary colours showing off on the other side: the yellow phlomis russelliana mixed with cyan nigella seedlings and magenta centranthus.
Speaking of magenta and purple… I am not a big fan of tomato red in the garden but I love all the other shades of red, from magenta to purple and orange too. In the rose garden there are quite a few of them mixing up: like rosa gallica Ombrèe Parfaite with vibrant blue salvia nemorosa, or rosa gallica Violacea contrasting with the chamois yellow of rosa Golden Moss, or rosa Jude the Obscure behind purple berberis x ottawensis or even the striped rosa gallica Belle des Jardins with burgundy penstemon ‘Blackbird’
Amongst all this beuaty I feel so relaxed and pleased: all the bad things go away… and when the night comes, I know I’ve just lived another day in Paradise. The gloom then lights up with hundreds of fireflies floating in the dark and glistening like Hell.