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Gardening Lymington - June in your garden, Debby Lockey gardening blog

A Bed of Roses

Roses for June, in your Lymington gardens  

This year, due to the mild wet winter and long spring, the roses are fantastic. There seems to be an abundance of blooms and they just keep coming.  I love using roses in the garden; there are so many different types, varieties and colours to choose from that there is bound to be one for everyone.  But for me, the reason I love using roses in the garden is their scent.

Choose an old shrub rose such as Rosa x alba, ‘Queen of Denmark’, Rosa x centifolia or Rosa x damascena ‘Mme Hardy’, and you won’t be disappointed.  Many only flower once in early summer, but don’t despair, the individual buds often open in succession, so they have a long flowering period during which you can enjoy that heady rose scent. 

 

Roses in Lymington gardens in JunePut these roses in a herbaceous border, so once their blooms have gone over there are other plants providing colour for the rest of the year.  Position them close to a seating area where you can enjoy their scent.  

 

 

In addition to their scent, shrub roses are easy to maintain. They flower on the old wood so need little pruning. This can lead to rather large shrubs so take care when choosing where to place them so they don’t overwhelm the site.  Many can be used for hedging.

 

 

Some shrub roses are strong enough to train as climbers.  Use them over obelisks or arches in the garden, to add height to a border.  In my own and several of my clients’ gardens I have used Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ in this way, It grows to around 3m and its thornless stems make it ideal for growing over archways.

 

Plus the beautiful dark pink bourbon rose, that repeat flowers, has exceptional scent.  Unfortunately it is prone to black spot, so other options are  ‘Shropshire Lad’ and ‘Graham Thomas’.  The latter has beautiful yellow flowers. 

 

 

Roses in your lymington garden June 2

Climbing or rambling roses can be used to add height in the garden.

 

The difference between the two is that climbing roses have one strong stem at the base, from which other stems grow, whereas rambling roses are multi-stemmed at their base. 

 

In one garden, we used obelisks with roses scrambling through them to create different rooms, in a relaxed, and romantic way. The colour scheme for the planting was mainly blues, purples and white, so we used the climbing rose, Rosa ‘Swan Lake’ which is a great all rounder rose. 

 

It has creamy white flowers with just a blush of pink before it opens.  It grows to around 3m and its branching habit makes it ideal for climbing up the obelisk.  It is also repeat flowering and the rain does not damage the flower.  The only downside is the scent is faint.  

 

gardening in june lymington roses 3

 

 

In a more formal setting standard roses can be used to add height to the garden. Their open habit will not obstruct the light getting into a garden and the repeat flowering of the roses will add colour from early summer to late autumn. 

 

Grafting bush roses onto specially selected stems produces standard roses.  A half standard rose has an 80cm stem, a full standard has a 100cm stem while a weeping standard has a 130cm stem.  Hybrid tea roses, with their perfectly formed rose on the end of long stems, or floribunda roses with their cluster of smaller flowers on each stem, can be used to create the head of the standard rose.  The choice is overwhelming as these two groups of roses offer an abundance of blossom, colour, form and scent, although the floribunda roses do have more thorns than the tea roses and their scent is not so strong.

Roses are also ideal for covering walls – even north facing walls.  ‘Danse de Feu’  a climbing rose which flowers in June is one of the best roses for this situation, as it can cope with quite a lot of shade.  Its strong, rich red flowers with yellow centres and glossy green leaves means it has a presence even in the shade.  It grows to between 3-4m; however, it doesn’t have any scent and the stems do have thorns. 

 

A slightly gentler rose to use would be ‘Felicite Perpetue’, a rambling rose that can grow to 5m.  It has abundant clusters of creamy white flowers in July that are slightly scented.  This would look perfect against the faded red bricks of an old wall.

 

Don’t be afraid to use roses in your Lymington and New Forest gardens! 

 

Roses do have a reputation of high maintenance but I keep things quite simple.  I clear away any dead leaves under the roses at the end of the year and then burn them - you do not want them in your compost or the diseases will be recycled back into the soil.  In spring I scrape a bit of the top soil off as that may also carry diseases, water well, then cover the soil with manure.  The manure will act as a mulch to keep the moisture in the soil, and eventually the worms will take it down into the soil where it will act as a fertiliser.  By doing this you will be keeping the rose strong so they can combat the diseases. 

 

Also if you underplant the roses with alliums or garlic (although personally I think the scent of garlic is a bit strong) this will increase the vigour of the rose. Underplanting with lavender will help to deter aphids.  Alternatively use species roses, such as Rosa glauca, that are resistant to pests and diseases. This rose with its open habit, grows to around 1.8m high. In early summer it produces simple pink dog rose flowers that complement its purple red stems, followed by scarlet hips that last all winter. For those lucky enough to have a warm tall wall/ side of the house, you can grow Rosa Banksiae lutea.  This vigorous, but elegant rose produces thornless stems, which bear scented clusters of double yellow flowers in April and May.

 

If you are still stuck over which rose to use and where, go to the National Trust garden at Mottisfont near Romsey: it is absolutely perfect in June.  They have so many roses on display showing what they are capable of doing that you will definitely come back inspired and wanting to fill your garden full of roses.

 

Debby Lockey for Lymington.com, June 2014

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