I am trying to be better at roses!

I have some lovely roses, but have made sure you cannot see the blackspot and other nasties that plague me

I am a late starter in the gardening department and there are so many things I have not yet mastered. Since my role within the Cross Stitch Guild changed, and the wonderful Andrea took over the reins, I have been developing a cutting garden here at Pinks Barn. 

To get this off to a good start Jenny (our esteemed Editor) and I attended a course at Sarah Raven’s Sussex garden. The concept may seem obvious to you, but I always struggled with the idea of cutting flowers for the house. It is a bit like trying not use something you treasure from your stitching stash! (By the way, have you come across the mnemonic ‘Sable’? It stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.)

There will be more about the garden at Perch Hill in another Jotting so back to roses. As you will see from my photographs, I have some lovely roses, but I have made sure you cannot see the blackspot and other nasties that seem to plague me.

I am still surprised by the number and variety of the roses available, and, with luck and a following breeze, I am hoping to sort out my roses this autumn. The pruning is still a mystery to me and as for training roses along a wall, I despair. My beautiful William Morris rose was trimmed and tied in with metal clips this spring but is still not staying where I put it.

We have developed a lovely tradition here at Pinks Barn – my children (now in their 40s and 30s) know that if I have wanted something badly enough, I have probably bought it! So, for my 70th Birthday they bought me afternoon tea at David Austin’s nursery and gave me a voucher for a rose. These days birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations mean that I am bought another rose. I try so hard not to kill them! 

My next project is to buy a Himalayan Musk rose and I am going to grow it up our old apple tree. My late friend Lucy Evans did this in her garden and her rose climbs to the top of the tree and then tumbles through the branches. She just trimmed around the bottom of the branches when it stopped flowering. Sounds simple put like that, doesn’t it?

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