Roses are blooming all over the garden and they fill my nostrils with perfume and my heart with joy. But none is more beautiful than Rosa glauca. Formerly known as Rosa rubrifolia, this is found wild in south and Central Europe but has naturalised itself in other areas. It cannot be confused with any other rose because of the wonderful foliage which is purple with a metallic, grey cast. It is a large, lax shrub but I have used it in the garden as a loose hedge r screen. With a little judicious pruning it will make a great tall screen, up to 1.5m high. It is basically a healthy rose, has few thorns, and the foliage looks wonderful all summer. Like most roses it will cope with most types of soil including clay soils and it will tolerate some shade although the best leaf colour is obtained if you plant it in sun.
One of the joys of the plant is the flowers. These are small but carried in clusters of about five and open deep pink with a white centre and fade a little as they age. They only have a slight perfume but they are so pretty I can forgive this. The flowers are followed by small, dark red hips (heps) that are fairly attractive and that birds find tasty. Like all species roses it only has one period of bloom but this is fairly prolonged and lasts about three weeks and is then a beauty in the garden.
Although I have planted this generously here I have always had this plant in every garden I have had. Think of it as a wonderful foliage plant that has the added bonus of delightful flowers and you will not be disappointed – it is a gem.