and a few more roses – the glorious Bowes-Lyon rose gardens at RHS Wisley

DSCF8349DSCF8335DSCF8343DSCF8342A new rose variety to me, The Charlatan, in the Bowes-Lyon rose garden at RHS Wisley this afternoon – and immediately a favourite! Blush pink single blooms opening from deeper pink pointed buds. A central crown of golden & red stamens, very like Jacqueline du Pre, lifts an already attractive flower to greater beauty. Here at Wisley it was grown as a floribunda on a relatively compact plant (knee-high) though apparently it can climb a little, gaining 1.5-1.8m (5′-6′). Where I might buy one, next on my list.

This rose garden is only a few years old now, three? four? (as opposed to the Jubilee Rose Garden at the bottom of the slope, which has much history) but unlike the older display, mixes great swathes of grasses and herbaceous perennials, shrubs too, amongst the roses. The show is all the more dynamic for it, with greater contrasts in colour and form than roses alone could muster (‘domes’, ‘sheep’ and ‘blobby’ come to mind with a roses-only affair).


Super Trouper as always adds a huge electric shock of orange into the planting – and can hold its own with the swathes of heleniums for example

DSCF8168DSCF8366DSCF8396DSCF8377DSCF8381Morning Mist, a vigorous shrub rose from David Austin, with copper/orange flushed single pink flowers, large, like a more substantial Rosa mutabilis and always in the peak of health (and we are mid-September remember here). Love it. Ausfire is a great match.

DSCF8370DSCF8223DSCF8222DSCF8200DSCF8199DSCF8317DSCF8323Moving one to another favourite David Austin rose, another single bloom, the white Kew Gardens. Invincibly healthy, with great canes, plumes of flowers up to 5′ tall on impressive heads, with few thorns and flowering early and late and regularly in between.

DSCF8299DSCF8358Kew Gardens on the left of the picture above. Almost a twin, on the right is Lyda Rose, again something new to me – perhaps it wasn’t in flower before and I wrongly assumed it was all a great stand of the white Kew Gardens. Lyda Rose matches the habit and flower quite uncannily, with a blush of pink particularly on the reverse of the petals and once more, I am smitten.

DSCF8306DSCF8304DSCF8309A charming contrast to Kew Gardens, with the same apple blossom feel of the rambler Francis E Lester (but bigger flowers).

The creamy flowers of Lichfield Angel – again impossibly healthy and quick to repeat – the lack of scent is a shame but I still recommend this rose – I planted five of them in my Roehampton Garden and it is greatly admired.

DSCF8266DSCF8267DSCF8331Munstead Wood (above) still flowering well though the colours are a little muddled. Great rich old rose and fruit fragrance.

DSCF8228More of the complimentary planting – Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii

DSCF8367DSCF8326DSCF8327DSCF8352DSCF8355That’s The Charlatan rose beneath the Sorbus hybrida Gibbsii

DSCF8350and last but not least, The Lady’s Blush, another from David Austin, again not typical of the peony-forms, great double blooms but for sheer flower-power, and light grace and beauty, a winner still…




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