“If you think one day you will get it all done, and then you can relax, you are bound to be disappointed.”

Season end and the last of the roses are still blooming because here in the southern hemisphere, June heralds Winter. The onset of early morning frosts, cool nights and even some welcome rain brings a blessed break from weeds, heat, dust and mosquitoes.

My garden is in limbo at present, which I guess is okay as it’s winter now and the roses are almost dormant. I have not done any work for several weeks; hence my guilt is building up. After great intentions, autumn passed me by, and the time for my well-made plans for expansion and garden clean up is almost behind me. Guilty because my goals will not happen by themselves and will, in turn, lead to disappointment. Nonetheless, I’m still making them and hope to get started shortly and I do not want to miss the opportunity to transform a few sections of the garden entirely as I love redesigning areas that did not work last season and tame the garden after Autumn

“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.”

Liberty Hyde Bailey

Any garden after Autumn is full and overgrown especially the late flowering salvia’s that are almost two metres tall. The roses in part have sparse leaves and many have started to turn yellow from the cold. The lawn is creeping into the garden from lack of attention and weeds are rampart. Thankfully having to be away from the garden, there are still rose blooms to be enjoyed that I can photograph to share on my return.

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.

Beverly Sills

This year one of my most stunning and long-lasting roses is a Meilland bred rose from France, released in Australia in 2002, called ‘Best Friend’. When I left the garden a few weeks ago ( at the end of May), it was in flower and still beautiful despite the cold weather. The RSPCA named this Hybrid Tea rose to honour the special friendship we gain from loving a pet. This rose is magnificent with large blooms on long straight stems in a classic style, bright, deep green foliage, and an exotic fragrance. Best Friend has won five awards for the scent alone.

“Anyone who has time for drama is not gardening enough.”

Princess de Monaco rose is like her namesake a beautiful, elegant rose that continues to bloom well into winter. A Hybrid Tea rose Bred by Marie-Louise Meilland in 1981 has large, soft ivory blooms tinged with pink on the edges and healthy, glossy foliage. This rose named after Grace Kelly or Princess Grace of Monaco has flowered all season, perfectly. The plant is sturdy, upright, which I love for roses, and very hardy. It is also a surprise that so many roses continue to bloom prolifically whilst growing in large containers rather than in the ground. The verandah edge has three large troughs of Princess de Monaco and share the containers with lavender, trailing white petunias and herbs.

Princess Grace of Monaco will be always remembered through roses because of the 8,000 rose bushes, more than 300 varieties of roses in a garden oasis at Monaco called the ‘Princess Grace Rose Garden’. It was inaugurated in 1884 and many of the roses grown are named after members of the Royal family or well known people and friends of Monaco.

An organisation called Les Amis de la Roseraie Princesse Grace de Monaco runs the rose garden and they have courses on horticultural themes such as rose pruning and an international Rose Competition. The Princess Grace Rose Garden, is situated on Avenue des Guelfes in Fontvieille, and open all year round, from sunrise to sunset.

“I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow. ”

Abraham Lincoln

A new rose this year in my garden is Jubilee Celebration, pictured above. I’m amazed at how many blooms it has produced. It has not been out of flower for months after a prolific and robust spring and summer season. Planted last July as a bare root rose into a pot with good quality potting mix, Jubilee Celebration has bright coral-pink flowers that sit very gracefully on the branches. They are soft and pretty but also quite luminescent, growing in an arching style. Bred by David Austin roses UK, in 2002, it also has a fresh, lemony, raspberry scent. Jubilee Celebration has been one of the most charming roses with masses of blooms, more than I’ve ever seen on one plant in just one season so far.

Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized. 

Alan Armitage

Lastly, my absolute favourite rose that was still blooming when I was last in the garden is the Claude Monet™ It has not grown very tall as yet but still has stunning blooms. A hybrid tea rose named after the French impressionist artist by the same name and bred by Jack Christensen before 1992, USA. It was introduced to France as Claude Monet™ by Delbard as part of their painters series roses. To read more about the Delbard Painters series visit my previous post here.

The Claude Monet rose is a mix of striking bright, pinks, yellows and cream but at other times soft pastel shades adorn each petal. Always though, the pertalls appear hand painted, as if Monet himself had splashed the colours across each petal with a brush stroke. The shrub is small but flowers continuously all season and still in late May was out with multiple flowers. The blooms are double shaped, and highly attractive. Set in the garden on the border amongst the vibrant green foliage and growing near La Vien Rose as part of my French garden, it is spectacular even though so far a small plant that should grow to 130-150 cms tall. Claude Monet was born in Paris on 14 November 1840 and died in December 1926 .

A surprise rose that has bloomed until late this year is ‘In Appreciation’. Another hybrid Tea rose bred in Germany by Hans Jurgen Evers in 1991 and introduced into Australia by Nieuwesteeg Rose Nursery in 2004. In Appreciation is a bright, radiant, vibrant pink that shows off in the garden and can be picked for cut flowers.

Di Baker Content 2021

All images taken from my garden 2021

Title quote by Christina Winsey-Rudd