After a huge Easter lunch we planted the roses which will climb over Lucius's wonderful pergola. Lucius and I went to buy them on Friday - we took two rose reference books, plus Stephen Lacey's Scented Garden, and went out to a pub. Over lunch we each drew up a list of scented climbing roses we liked, and found that there was plenty of overlap between the two. Then we went to Henry Street roses, where we made a third list of what they had (virtually everything on lists one and two). Over coffee, we turned these three scraps of paper into a shopping list, and this is what we bought:
Three David Austen roses, not very tall, but good do-ers: Tess of the D'Urbervilles (crimson), James Galway (pale pink), The Pilgrim (pale yellow) (2). One climbing Iceberg, the only unscented rose, bought because it will flower until Christmas, and because it is one of my father's favourites (and he planted it). Gloire de Dijon (buff, we've got one already here, it's lovely); Mme Isaac Pereire (deep pink); Zepherine Drouhin (cerise); Danse du feu (a bright orange-red semi-double); The New Dawn (pale pink), Mme Alfred Carriere pinkish white; and Guinee, the black rose, with deep velvety petals, which I can see from my desk.
Later, I'm going back to Henry Street to buy standard roses to go beneath the arches. And next week I'm going to take cuttings from my Munstead lavender to underplant - probably not the best time, but, in my experience, plants want to grow, so it's worth a try, and if they don't take, I'll go out and buy some plants - but my stock is very strongly scented, and that's important to me.
I'm also going to buy Albertine, a major casualty of our list-making, mainly because I was afraid she'd take over, and Schoolgirl, a coppery-apricot rose Lucius was particularly keen to have, but which I'm going to plant where he will be able to see it from his desk.
It's snowing now, so I'll take photographs of the pergola tomorrow .... SO exciting, knowing that these lovely roses are in the ground, stretching their roots and settling in.
Neil Cooks Grigson has moved to Wordpress - Hello lovely readers! Just a quick message to let you know that I have moved the blog over to Wordpress. It is the home of my other blog *British Food: A ...
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