Suddenly at this time of year the English garden is transformed. The beds are full, flowers are everywhere, and there’s a scent of roses on the breeze. Even this year when the weather is completely unpredictable the magic is still happening out in the garden. I love roses, just love them, and especially heavily scented ones. Old fashioned roses are some of the most beautiful, but their beauty is short lived, they flower once and then they’re over. Here in my new garden I’m mostly planting new varieties that will repeat flower until the autumn, are disease resistant, but still have the scent and the flower shape of an old rose. One day they’ll fathom a way of publishing the scent, if only.
To keep your roses looking good in summer, unless its the kind that has attractive rose hips in the autumn, dead head (take off all the dead flowers) as soon as you they start to go over and that will keep new flowers coming. Just cut back to a leaf bud with a sloping cut. And if you see any black spot on the leaves pull the leaf off and get it into the bin, not the compost heap. You need to get rid of the disease and out of your garden altogether.
Other than that just weed around the base and get a good rose feed to give them a boost and keep them flowering throughout the summer.
Of course there are lots of other amazing things going on – and allium christophii has to be one of the most amazing. Up it comes like any other allium on a tall stalk and then it opens and every year it makes me stop and stare. With a flower head around 8 inches in diameter and its shiny purple petals it glows when the sun shines on it. Order some for the autumn and sit back and wait. All alliums are easy to grow, like many bulbs you can almost put them in and forget about them.
This weekend I’ve got lots of weeding and tying in to do, I’m going to try to keep away from the serious digging. The recent winds have knocked my roses about a bit so they need some support and the rain has brought on the weeds so they have to come out. Finally I have to get my broccoli planted out (again), the netting came off and the pigeons got the young plants so I’ll have to do it a bit better this time. May be then I can take a seat out there and enjoy!