Monday, 20 June 2016

My favourite rose

It's strange to think that I've actually been working in horticulture for a good 15 years now! Anyway...

Over the years I've seen a lot of roses. I've seen them at flower shows, I've seen them in gardens, I've seen them in nurseries... I've potted them, I've planted them, I've pruned them, and I've taken pictures of them.

I'm really not all that fussed on roses.

There, I said it! I'm not a big fan of roses. I don't go all gooey at the latest introduction, I don't feel a sentimental attachment to an old fashioned rose, I get neither attracted to nor repulsed by a hybrid-T. I'll grow them, I'll care for them, I'll even evaluate them for my customers, but I am in no way a big fan of roses. I do grow a few but these are species roses grown as shrubs with flowers rather than being held in high praise because they're roses!

There is one rose that I will always hold in high praise though; one rose that I make sure I sniff whenever I see one in flower.

Yes, it's Rosa rugosa! Now I know that to sensible gardeners this species is a bit of a thug, but when have I ever been sensible? For me the thuggish thick stems of Rosa rugosa are the perfect structures to hold large, tissue-paper like blooms in pink or white. Add to this that Rosa rugosa is tough, vigorous and free-flowering (when big), and you've got a winner. Large bright orange hips in autumn are just the icing on the cake.

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