Plant of the week – Rose ‘The Fairy’

Rose ‘The Fairy’


'The Fairy' still looking great in early December

‘The Fairy’ still looking great in early December

It may seem an odd choice for a plant of the week in December but as this rose is still adding a lot of colour to the garden as I write it seems appropriate to sing the praises of one of my favourite roses.

We go back a long way, though not as far back as the introduction of this pretty rose which was in 1932. I have planted this in quantity twice now. The first time was at Myddelton House where I planted it as standards. It makes a great standard rose – far better than most floribundas and Hybrid Teas (Cluster flowered and large flowered) that nearly always look gawky and increasingly hideous as they age. The low, almost ground-covering habit of ‘The Fairy’ makes it an elegant standard as it develops a cascading habit.

Despite its age, this is a rose with a modern attitude that can hold its own against the best of the new. That’s why, in this new rose garden of more than 400 roses, most of which are modern, it was chosen as the edging for half the beds with 36 planted.

It usually grows to about 60cm high and almost 1metre across. It produces arching stems that end in a large cluster of small, double, pink flowers. The leaves are healthy and rarely get disease and it flowers and flowers and flowers! There is no real scent to speak of but I will defend any rose against criticism if the other boxes are ticked. So while I agree that a perfumed rose is a treasure, if you regard this as a hardy, trouble-free shrub that blooms for 7 months a year then it certainly pays its way in the garden.


Also looking good

It is only fair to mention the other rose I have used for edging. ‘Magic Carpet’ was introduced in 1993 and was the UK Rose of the Year in 1996. It is a similar size to ‘The Fairy’ but has a lower and more rambling habit. The deep mauve-pink flowers are only semi double and are held in loose, small clusters.

'Magic Carpet' with intense colour and purple foliage after frost

‘Magic Carpet’ with intense colour and purple foliage after frost

They have a light perfume but you need to get on your knees and risk getting a prickle up your nose to appreciate that. It is still going strong in December and the flowers seem to be deeper pink than in summer, a feature highlighted by the foliage that has taken on a burnished purple coloration. I am looking forward to seeing the plants put on a proper display next tear, in their second year.

, , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to save garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: