Thursday, May 28, 2015

The rose surge

Rosa 'Leontine Gervais'

The next few days will be the peak of the rose season here. Yes, there will be roses on and off throughout the summer and into the autumn. But there will be nothing to approach what happens this week: my two little gardens will have literally thousands of individual rose flowers blooming. Most of these are on climbing roses, roses which bloom only once a year and bear comparatively small flowers. Small flowers, many of which are potently fragrant. Lonicera japonica is also blooming this week, and the commingled fragrances of rose and honeysuckle make this the supreme moment of the year for fragrance. It's time to politely say "no" to everyone suggesting that you go somewhere today.This moment lasts for a few hours, sometimes a few days, maybe a full week. The full effect is dependent on atmospheric conditions: slowly rising temperatures and moist or at least humid air enhance the effect, as does light rain the night before. On the rare occasions when I have garden visitors at this time, I wait for the moment when, as we are walking around the garden, they say "I can smell the roses". As indeed anyone with a sense of smell will: all of those little flowers in their billowing multitude are pouring out one of the great fragrances of the year.

Here are some of the roses blooming now.

On the pergola, 'The Garland', 'Bobbie James' and 'Albéric Barbier'  are foaming over:

Rosa 'The Garland', 'Bobbie James' and 'Albéric Barbier' on the pergola.

Up at the community garden plots (CGPs) some of the roses are putting on a spectacular display. 

Rosa 'Ghislaine de Feligonde'

A merry tangle at one corner of the cgp: left to right 'Basye's Purple', 'Apothecary's Rose', 'Glen Dale' and 'Chevy Chase' (that's 'Eddie's Crimson' in the back).

Rosa 'Eddie's Crimson' 

Rosa 'Silver Moon' 

Thanks to the deer fence, I get roses and not stubs. 

  Here are some of the roses massed along one side of the plot. The main ones seen here are, left to right, 'Meidiland White', 'New Dawn', 'Veilchenblau' and 'Ghislaine de Feligonde'.
roses along one side of the cgp

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