I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

Rosa "Albertine"

Rosa “Albertine”

….by virtue of the fact that I consider myself unable to grow roses well. Thanks to our attempts to garden as organically as possible (we’d hate to lose our frogs), they seem to succumb to every disease known to roses. Black spot is not the half of it!

But I keep persevering! And this year, if I can say so myself, I am so pleased with the results. So what, if in a months time, the black spot deprives me of all their leaves, I have the flowers now! So enjoy them I will!


As some of you are probably aware, I’m a huge fan of David Austin’s English roses – they have the all important scent, in addition to the old fashioned form, as well as good disease resistance. Sounds like they have it all!

Rosa "Gertrude Jekyll"

Rosa “Gertrude Jekyll”

What a scent Gertrude has – like Turkish Delight!

Rosa "Sharifa Asma"

Rosa “Sharifa Asma”

Rosa "Crocus Rose"

Rosa “Crocus Rose”


Rosa gallica officinalis

Rosa gallica officinalis

Also known as the “Apothecary’s Rose”, I bought this one many years ago, as the centre piece to the medicinal herb bed I was creating at the time. And it’s still looking good!

Rosa "Comte de Chambord"

Rosa “Comte de Chambord”

This one is a Portland rose, reputed to be strong and disease resistant. Sadly, after 3 years, it’s not as strong and disease resistant as I’d hope. But it’s still giving us beautiful flowers!

Rosa "Albertine"

Rosa “Albertine”

A rambler, it’s certainly doing that! Probably not in the best position for a rambler, but again, a great display. I’ll have to go in with the secateurs and a stout pair of gloves when it’s finished!


Rosa rubiginosa

Rosa rubiginosa

This was a “must-have” for the scented shrub border! Not only do the lovely, simple pink flowers have a beautiful scent, so do the leaves. They give off a lovely fresh apple smell after it’s been raining. Bonus! I prefer its alternative name of Rosa eglanteria. It’s also the famous Sweetbriar of old.

The next two roses are used in some of our hedges.

Rosa glauca

Rosa glauca

R. glauca (or rubrifolia) is a flower arrangers dream, with its glaucous blue leaves and clear pink flowers – must try it!

Rosa rugosa alba

Rosa rugosa alba

And this must follow on close, with its magnificent, red rosehips. It repeat flowers so well, even without deadheading, that you can get flowers and hips at the same time.

And last, but not least….


Admittedly, not my favourite type of roses – I much prefer old varieties – but these were bought for a reason, and their widespread appeal is now obvious to me.

Rosa "Braveheart"

Rosa “Braveheart”

Bought for my grandad, a great gardener and Scotsman – and his middle name was Wallace!

Rosa "Silver Anniversary"

Rosa “Silver Anniversary”

Need I say more!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our rose garden. I’m off to enjoy it some more!

11 thoughts on “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

  1. Cathy

    Hmm, you are tempting me with some of those wild roses, which I would perhaps not otherwise consider because they are single….. Do you use anything for your blackspot, or just tolerate it?

    1. thelonggardenpath Post author

      I sometimes use an organic pest and disease spray, which I think is based on copper and fatty acids, but I’m not disciplined enough to keep up with the regime. So I usually have to put up with it. Wild roses are a lovely addition to the garden, especially in wilder or naturalistic parts of the garden – lovely with grasses! They also seem to have fewer problems, which must be a bonus!

      1. Cathy

        I have half-heartedly begun spraying for black spot with what I think is an organic spray but I must double check – but like you I am not disciplined with it

  2. Annette

    You have some lovely roses, Ali. Most of them grow like weeds so making the right choice is crucial if you want healthy roses. Sharifa and Crocus Rose are new to me but very delightful indeed 🙂

  3. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Sharifa was one of the first of my English roses, and is probably still my favourite. Absolutely gorgeous scent! Crocus Rose is lovely, but not as scented or pink as I was hoping. Still a good rose!

  4. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Well, obviously, Sharifa Asma is my favourite – such a perfect form and colour. But closely followed by Gertrude Jekyll with its wonderful smell of Turkish delight. Oh, and I musn’t forget the Eglanteria, after it’s rained. And then Braveheart reminds me of my grandad. And of course, Silver Wedding’s blooms have been magnificent! I think that means its hard to have one favourite! 😉 I’m sure you agree!


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