Yesterday, on a supremely sunny, warm day, we visited Becky and John Hook at la Roseraie du Désert, about 50 minutes drive from Tostat. I inherited quite a few roses when we moved in, and along the way have probably trebled the roses in the garden originally. My best ever purchase was ‘Marguerite Reine d’Italie’ which flowers continuously and gamely all summer long in hot, semi-shady, stony position without complaint- and she was recommended by Becky Hook when I described the fairly ghastly position I wanted the rose for. A tough call. So, I have a very soft spot for their nursery, and was sorry to hear that they would like to sell up- but, for the moment, they are continuing the business.
They have fabulous roses, all grown directly on their own roots rather than grafted, so no unwelcome suckering guests ever. And the collection contains some very historic, and unusual varieties, mostly Teas, Chinas and Noisettes- so the perfume is often delicious. We were there pretty much at the end of the rose season this year, which seems really early, but April warmth really brought them all out, almost all together. Nevertheless, there were some lovely roses that caught my eye. So here is my selection from yesterday. Incidentally, many of them are remontant, but some are so gorgeous that you would willingly have them in your garden for just a day.
Please contact Becky Hook if you are interested in taking over their magnificent collection of roses, their business and their house and land, they are looking for a buyer.