Roses - 10 of my favourite picks

By Andrew Collyer - Practical Gardening

Start cutting your lawn at

the lowest approriate setting

Ceanothus 'Skylark'

I have my own little seasonal barometer every year in June. What comes first the, mass of rose blooms or the first strawberry hut by the road side? Of course I am only jesting as roses will bloom before the strawberries are ripe every year as this often depends on the pruning or lack of it that has been performed by their owners in early spring.

Rosa xanthina 'Carnarybird' a yellow shrub rose, Rosa 'Maigold a yellow climber and Rosa rugosa and its cultivars are all early flowerers. But it's mid June that we get the full glorious summer display that makes us doe eyed in our love affair with the rose. Unfortunately this year the inclement weather is not conducive to getting the best from our rose blooms. I would suggest that this doesn't put you off growing these varieties Ten of my favourite roses taken from across the spectrum of the many type available are listed here.

Rosa xanthina 'Canarybird' , already mentioned but here because of it's early flowering and lovely ferny foliage that contrasts well with other plants in summer. It also makes an elegant shape. A rose that every large garden needs to have.

Rosa rugosa 'Hansa' with double magenta fragrant flowers it is one of the first and last roses in bloom each year. Add to that that it has good yellow autumn colour and produces a crop of large orange rose hips. Its disease free, extremely tough and can be used for an informal hedge. Why wouldn't it make this list.

Rosa glauca has lovely smokey grey purple foliage and single silver pink flowers followed by red rose hips. Grown as a shrub that requires no pruning it is a great foliage plant after it has flowered contrasting well with yellow leafed plants.

Rosa 'Bonica' is an extremely tough small rose that flowers over a very long season. It has semi double pink flowers in clusters like a florabunda rose. If you dead head it until September then stop you will be rewarded by a crop of bright red rose hips.

Rosa 'Fragrant Cloud' as the name would suggest has a strong scent and has been a favourite hybrid tea rose for decades. In the summer months it seems never to be without flowers which are a beautiful coral red. These tend not to fade either which can be the case with many other hybrid teas as they open.

Rosa 'Complicata' Is a rose with a wild look about it. It make a large shrub with huge single pink flowers borne once in great abundance. These are followed by red hips. It grows nearly anywhere in all conditions and is often most beautiful when grown through a host tree.

Rosa 'A shropshire Lad' is an English rose bred by David Austin. It produces fully double heavily scented pink/peach flowers and when deadheaded repeat flowers well. It can be grown as a bush or trained as a climber which is how I have grown it. I have it on a North wall where it flowers with the abandon of being in full sun.

Rosa 'Little White Pet' is a modern shrub rose that has white pompon flowers in tight clusters. It makes a small bush of around a metre by a metre but I have it trained up the supporting post of a pergola where it looks fantastic as a dwarf climber. It holds its foliage well into the winter.

Rosa 'William Lobb' I had to include a moss rose in the list. This rose is no only exceptionally beautiful in flower, which are a heavy purple/ violet grey colour that is never forgotten. But what I find really capivating are its flower buds before they open which are covered in what looks like a heavy moss coating giving the rose its moss rose name.

Rosa 'Stanwell Perpetual' as the name suggests is perpetually in flower. It has fragrant semi double shell pink flowers and small ferny healthy foliage. It is very tolerant of all conditions and is often in flower well into winter.

The list could go on and on.

Wexford People