Hot Chocolate, in the Jubilee Rose Garden at RHS Wisley. I’ve seen this paired up with dark spiky salvias to great effect – just thinking about it, how about Amistad in the background. How sumptuous would that be?
The Jubilee Rose garden, with central terrace and beds radiating outwards between grass paths, is a traditional rose garden in that it is pretty much just roses with no companion planting at all. A mix of mostly modern roses, including a goodly selection from David Austin, this means there is colour for much of the summer, though some of these colours are a little brash. Hot Chocolate, one of those novelty roses, is growing on me and I would love to use it sometime, especially with something in deep indigo.
Belle Epoque also caught my eye…
And a few others that caught my eye, I confess really to be looking at the companion planting, in the Bowes-Lyon rose garden, which is bold, impressive, complimentary and holds the garden together. The roses were the least of the planting, this week at least.
Great swathes of Ligularia, Echinacea, Geranium, Heleniums, Hemerocallis, fountains of Stipa gigantea and Agapanthus – all magnificent.
In the Trial Fields, dozens of varieties of Agapanthus are laid out in two long double rows and I spent a couple of hours with them on Friday, so once again I might be getting ahead of myself, including them here, but they are an intrinsic part of the complimentary planting for these roses – an antidote to the rounded hummocky-domes of the shrub roses (sheep, they have been likened to, in the border), as well as the obvious colour contrast of the blues.
Last but not least…
Verbena bonariensis coupled with a white-striped Japanese Hakone Grass, on the lower slope of the site, works particularly well as a calm space before the riot of colour in the gardens above. The grass is a little bleached (it should really have more shade) but it deserves a special mention I think.
The Russian Sage (see the three pictures) is a striking blue, there’s electricity in there and it provides an equally strong contrast to the lush green of the lawns and shrubbery and is used in big blocks (come to think of it, all of the planting is bold here in the Bowes-Lyon garden, roses and non-roses alike). Motto – Be Bold!
I’m very fond of these gardens, the sweep of the beds, pools of grass, blocks of planting for roses and everything else, the mature trees (Cornus kouza, many), broad wide paved avenues, and a view down the sloping site to the House and landscape beyond.
And moving on now to the Glasshouse Borders – coming next….