What’s in a name? – The Rose Garden

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name / Would smell just as sweet”

-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Hello again! I recently blogged about what I had been doing in the honeysuckle garden earlier this week and now I’ve moved my attention to another area of the garden: the rose garden.

This garden takes its name from the three roses I planted there last year as a focal feature in that area: a floribunda called: ‘hot chocolate’, a hybrid tea rose called: ‘chandos beauty’ and a shrub rose called: ‘Persian mystery’. These roses were purchased from the plant sell-off at the Tatton Park Flower Show in July 2016. See below for photos of each rose in bloom in July last year. From left to right: ‘persian mystery’, ‘chandos beauty’ and ‘hot chocolate’.

In this area there is also a dog rose which bloomed beautifully last year despite transplanting it mid bloom. This is how the dog rose looked in June/July 2016:

I also recently added to the collection of roses in the rose garden with a climbing rose called ‘Haendel’ which I purchased in Autumn last year when plants were discounted in a local garden centre. I will post photos of that as it grows.

I decided earlier on this week that something felt lacking in the rose garden. I figured it was perhaps due to the fact that it felt like more of a walk through area taking you from the honey suckle garden through to the edible garden. Not that there is anything wrong with a walk through garden – and the rose garden also has a seat for sitting in and admiring the roses – but it didn’t feel as private as we have managed to achieve in the honey suckle garden and I didn’t want it to just be an area that you walked through. Part of the reason it feels this way could be to do with the layout so I decided to change that.

But before I divulge what I decided to change in the rose garden, I will firstly take you through how it has changed since we moved in last June.

Back in June 2016, this is what the rose garden looked like:

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The rose garden, June 2016

As with the majority of the garden, it was overgrown with grass and had some mature plants already in place. The pots in the plants are all what I dug up from our old garden. The paving slabs outside the back door also had to go!

In early July 2016, this is what the rose garden looked like after working on it:

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The Rose Garden, early July 2016

You can see that I had only just begun digging out the borders for the plants and I had started setting out plants in pots where I wanted them to go to see what worked where. Additionally, only the right hand side of the trellis divider had been built.

Fast forward to late July 2016 and I had dug more of the borders out and decided to plant the three main focal roses of the area (‘Persian mystery’, ‘chandos beauty’ and ‘hot chocolate’) in their own bed in the centre of the garden area, which you can see in the photos below:

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Late July 2016

 

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The three roses, the rose garden, late July 2016

So fast forward to this week and I decided to give a greater sense of mystery and journey through the rose garden I would extend the left hand side flower bed up to join the island rose bed and this is what I did this week. This is how the area looked after digging out the border and mulching with compost:

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The rose garden, February 2017

Some of you may notice the table with the pots on the left hand side of the photo; Mr. Meadow built it last year to disguise a manhole cover and give me somewhere to display things in pots. Extending the border out has meant I now don’t have easy access to the table, so I will have to consider a solution… Hmmm, any ideas? Anyway though, I am really pleased with how the border looks and it makes more sense of the area by leading your eye around. I have some additional dahlias arriving soon, so I plan to plant them along with many other perennials that I am currently growing from seed and also some bulbs. I already have some dahlias in the ground to the right hand side of the table that did beautifully last year, so I plan on planting more in an extended drift in that area. This should not only create a wonderful mass display, but also add height which would disguise the archway entrance and trick the eye so you aren’t quite sure where the garden ends, so it will add intrigue and mystery. Well, that’s the concept in theory – let’s see what happens as things start growing!

I was rained on for hours digging out the border and was soaked through and covered in mud once I had finished for the day, but I was determined to move the lavenders to edge the new border! We have planted lavender border edging through the honey suckle garden and I plan to continue it all the way through the plot to create an evergreen structure along the flower beds. I love the look of lavender, the scent fills the garden and I love how beneficial it is for our bees and wildlife. So it’s win-win. I simply added a generous handful or two or grit into each planting hole when I was planting the lavenders as our soil is heavy clay. Here is a photo I took as the light was fading after I had transplanted all the lavenders, divided up and planted one of the grasses that was previously planted in the border and planted the climbing rose ‘haendel’ we purchased last year that had been waiting in its pot. The climbing rose will be grown up an obelisk which will add height and a feature to the bed but I am yet to find one I like the look of, so perhaps I may have to build one. Sorry for the poor photo quality, the light level wasn’t helping matters!

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The rose garden, February 2017

I have additional ideas (that I will keep as a surprise for the time being) for how I want to separate the rose garden from the edible garden that it links onto. So stay tuned for more updates on that and other things soon. As always, happy gardening!

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Written by Bethany Wright at The English Meadow.

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