If like me, you are heading fast towards spring, you are probably also longing to see some colour back in the garden. There are the times when I reach for my gardening books, and catalogues, and try to work out where I could fit a few more roses into the garden.
I find it hard to resist the old varieties of French rose. They are perfumed, and I love their tumbling shapes and tight multiples of petals. I have found a couple of varieties with several colours, like the Ghislaine de Feligonde below, whose buds are orange and whose flower fades in colour as it opens and matures.
Our tall stone walls on the barn and around the edge of the garden are perfect for setting off a beautiful rose. I use some bush roses in front of the house, but I go for the climbers against the walls. Having climbers in the garden makes for some interesting bouquets because they fall and drape themselves so perfectly.
Of course we want a rose to tick all the boxes: to look wonderful; smell divine; give us a repeat flowering season and be disease resistant …. that’s all ….. Ha!
I like to mix in a few new ones each year, because the bigger the variety I have to hand, the more interesting my bouquets, and the longer the overall flowering season.
Here is a pick of my favourite old French roses. Their names are as romantic as their shape and perfume. I can’t guarantee that you will find them near you, but I am putting the name of each at the bottom of the post.
And maybe in return you could tell me about your favourite rose, and why you love it so much….. Happy gardening!
rose 1: Yolande d’Aragon; rose 2: Ghislaine de Feligonde rose 3: Alfred de Carriere rose 4: Fantin de Latour rose 5: Felicité et Perpetue