June, roses and NGS Open Garden


The roses are magnificent this year. The climbers, ‘Paul’s Himalaya Musk’ and ‘Frances E Lester’,  are tumbling out of the old apple trees and filling the garden with their perfume, especially in the evenings. ‘Kiftsgate’ has almost reached the top of the willow tree and ‘Bobby James’ is covering the pergola in the front garden.

The old-fashioned shrub roses, mainly gallicas,  are at their best now- perfect for the open day tomorrow. ‘Charles de Mills’ has fragrant deep purple double flowers which contrast with the beautiful crimson-striped flowers of ‘Camaieux’. But I have more stripes for the discerning visitor-  ‘Ferdinand Pichard’ is also at his best and the suckering clump of Rosa gallica versicolor ‘Rosa Mundi’ (the earliest known stripped rose dating back to the 1500s) is just starting to open in a shady corner at the back if the pond.

Herbaceous shape and colour

The garden so much to offer at this time of year – texture, colour and scent  – as well as weeds if one’s back is turned. The astrantias (Hattie’s pincushion or masterwort) have taken off since I moved them to the shady damp bed. ‘Shaggy’ has enormous flowers and ‘Roma’ is a sizeable pink clump.

The elegant spires of the strawberry foxglove, Digitalis x mertonensis, with its slightly furry leaves, provide height in the central bed. I do prefer this to the common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, but both have  a place in the garden. I must collect the seed again.

My new bark path has evolved into shady passageway, fringed by the pheasant’s tail grass, Anemanthele lessoniana, that self-seeds happily if you will let it.


Our thatcher, Mark, has almost finished the back of the cottage roof and will soon make a start on the front. It is a 6-week job but the pigeons cannot believe their luck- so much seed!





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