My appreciation of roses continues. Despite wet gales and recent frosts, the new roses in the garden are still producing a few flowers and these are especially welcome.
‘Stanwell Perpetual’ has long been one of my favourite roses. I first came across it nearly 40 years ago when replanting the rose garden at Myddelton House. After decades of neglect it was one of the only roses that had survived among the weeds and undergrowth, showing just what a tough rose it is. Now I have added one to my own garden and since March it has done really well with spatterings of bloom all summer. And still it does not want to give up. It is an old Spinosissima hybrid rose dating from before 1823. It is supposed to be a chance seedling that was found in the garden of a Mr Lee from Stanwell in Middlesex though its origin is slightly fuzzy. It is very thorny, as its parentage would suggest, with rather grey leaves and the double flowers are a lovely soft pink, paler in warm weather and deeper at this time of year. They have a decent scent.
A little bonus is the flowers on ‘Fruhlingsmorgen’. This old German rose, bred by Kordes, most famous for the disease-resistance of their roses, is a real beauty. I know that the idea of a rose that blooms just once is not appealing to some people but when this gorgeous rose is in full flow, covered in large, single flowers of fresh, cherry pink, shaded with white and a yellow centre, it is a thing of great beauty. And like many single roses, the stamens add lots to the look of the blooms. It is a another Spinosissima hybrid and as such is tough, hardy and disease-free in most cases. It only has a light scent but it is perfumed if you push your nose in the blooms. Although a once-bloomer it does have some later flowers and a bonus is fairly decent autumn colour so you get a kaleidoscope of pink and orange in autumn. It is a large shrub, about 2m high and wide in time, though mine is just half that after a single season. It was introduced in 1941 and the name translates as spring morning.
I have mentioned ‘Dainty Bess’ before so I won’t go on about it. This single Hybrid tea (large-flowered) rose has delightful single flowers of rich pink. As the plant has established and thrown up stronger stems, these are now holding candelabras of rich pink buds like candle flames; a cheery sight on a chilly day.