“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

Another week into October, and the rain has gone. This week is all about florescence, for everywhere you look, buds are unfolding, and blooms are appearing all in their quiet, natural manner. The distinct seasons in rural life have their charm, but Spring has to be the most enjoyable. It is like a party where the work has been done, everything is organised, and it’s time to laugh and have fun with, friends and family. In the same way, the garden has dramatically come to life. Not all at once but enough to know that November will be spectacular.

Lady of Shalott is one rose that has entirely opened into full bloom, although there are many on the verge, This one is the standout favourite and grows in pride of place on either side of the back door. If you’ve ever lived in a country home, you will know that the back door is the main entrance. It is truly magnificent this year; the blooms are enormous, deep copper and golden yellow that sway in the breeze on long arching canes hanging down laden with flowers. It is delightful and can be seen easily from inside, so it is an ever-present reminder of the joy gardens bring.

The glow the rose emits in the varying light of a day is fantastic, for when the sun is gone, its brilliance stands out as a beacon and radiates richness across the back lawn. I’ve written about The Lady of Shalott before in posts entitled; One Rose is Enough for The Dawn and Who Killed Lady Of Shalott? and have always loved growing this rose, simply because it’s so stunning and unique with chalice-shaped blooms that hold over 40 petals per flower. In my opinion one of the most romantic David Austin Roses from his English Rose Collection 2009.

“A flower does not use words to announce its arrival to the world; it just blooms.

Matshona Dhliwayo

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them”

Henri Matisse

Edgar Degas Rose is part of the Delbard Painters Series and is the first one in this range to bloom in the garden. As with the other roses in the collection ‘Claude Monet’, ‘Grimaldi’, ‘Maurice Utrillo’, ‘Paul Cézanne’ and ‘Alfred Sisley’, every bloom features different patterns of colour that give the appearance of being hand-painted.
‘Edgar Degas’ was introduced by Rose Breeder Guy Delbard in France and is a sport of ‘Henri Matisse’. It was discovered in June 1994 growing among plants of ‘Henri Matisse’ in a greenhouse in Hyeres, France.
This one has struggled for the past season or two, but this year is beginning to grow and become more established with glossy foliage and raspberry, bright pink, and buttery yellow colouring.

“Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.”

Clare Ansberry

Fire-Opal has been a mass of perfect pest and disease-free roses since day one that the leaves appeared from bare-root plants four years ago. There are many in a row as a mass planting that is just so delightful. Fire-Opal is a happy plant with blooms that dance around in the breeze on top of extremely lush green glossy foliage. The buds alone are beautiful, and the flowers, although not long-lasting or a tight bloom form, are so numerous and repeat quickly that once flowering starts until Autumn. I will add a new image by the end of the week when these prolific buds all open.

“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.”


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi​

Let me introduce you to Sharifa Asma, a rose named after an Omani Princess requested by her family. It is a David Austin rose bred in the UK in 1989 and is part of the English Rose collection. Apart from the gorgeous delicate soft pink colouring, I like Sharifa Asma because it grows into an upright, even shrub. The pink blooms are shallow cup-shaped, then the petals reflex back to form perfect rosettes packed with layers of petals that fade to white. It will grow to 1.5 metres and has a lovely fragrance.

Mahatma Gandhi

“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves

When space is an issue, the type of roses I like to grow are the ones that are upright rather than spreading. This stunning rose called France Libre is another upright rose that just came into flower. Bred by André Delbard-Chabert in France 1981. Named after France Libre et les Forces françaises libres that was the government-in-exile led by Charles de Gaulle during the Second World War, The rose is a Hybrid Tea from the Couture Collection and has perfectly formed orange-red, copper blooms with shades of golden-yellow. Except for Ballerina and Sally Holmes, I have reduced the number of spreading style roses unless trained onto an archway or a pillar rose. There is less work in staking them, and the blooms are more visible. Several roses in the garden have such full blooms that they fall every which way and must be staked or lie prostrate across the ground.

Title quote by Frances Hodgson Burnett

All content Di Baker

Images from Bona Vista Garden 2021

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