I make no excuses for raving about the roses this year, it has been an exceptional year I think. But maybe a little short with everything all bursting out at once, Rosa banksiae did not have the stage to itself as normal. So, when invited back to Sombrun to see the roses in their final burst for the once-flowerers, we dashed round.
‘Lady Hillingdon’ with the smokey apricot centres was very seductive, but then so was this modern floribunda one, doing very nicely thank you in a pot.
Just along from this exotic colour mix, was Rosa ‘The Generous Gardener’, with very baroque swags of flowers hanging low.
A rose I have often read about, but not seen before, was ‘Phyllis Bide’, growing at the edge of the meadow and decorating a chain link fence rather well.
‘Charles de Mills’ is like watching an Origami exercise unfold. It must have one of the most densely pleated flowers in the rose world. Rubbish for pollinating insects, but glorious as a natural marvel.
At the minimalist end of the spectrum is another rose I had read about but not seen, the strangely named ‘Cooper’s Burmese’. It is the epitome of Scandi-chic in comparison with ‘Charles de Mills’, five long, delicate petals and a light golden centre, fragile but tough.
I loved the modern rose, ‘Opalia’ as well, for it’s simplicity and delicacy.
‘Sally Holmes’ has just enough pink in the buds for the girl-next-door look, but then opens out into cream, many-stamened sophistication.
‘The Alexandra Rose’ has the look of a chinensis rose about it, single flowers with generous stamens and slightly flared petals, as if it has just had a small shock.
Then comes the clinical elegance of ‘Paul’s Perpetual White’.
Bustling in a jolly way over the gate with a crushed raspberry pink was a busy big rose, ‘Maria Lisa’, very pretty.
And meanwhile in the woodland area, not a rose but Cornus kousa flowering with just as much exoticism as all the companion roses- not to be outdone. And it will all happen again next year, what a joy.