The Rose Garden – Part 2

Edges of the new borders being cut

11th May 2018 – I have started to cut the edges in for the new borders that will form the Centenary Rose Garden.  Given it is just 5 weeks till Mike and Chrissi open the gardens on 17th June, I am not sure I will have got much going on in these borders, but at least they will be presentable.

Chrissi would like to plant these new borders up with roses dating from 1914 to 1918. These include Rosa ‘Candeur Lyonnaise’, R. ‘Fraulein Oktavia Hesse, R. ‘Thisbe’ and R. rugosa ‘F J Grootendorst’.   The plan is to install an archway the width of the rose garden joining the top bit to the new bottom bit with a selection of rambling and climbing roses growing over the top.

April 2018 – Companion planting goes in

To date the rose garden has been simply roses. There are arguments for and against this. It certainly packs a punch when everything is in flower, and June last year the scent and flowers were stunning. However, come July there is little of interest although there is some attractive foliage.

Mottisfont, holder of the Plant Heritage National Collection of Rosa (pre 1900 Shrub Roses) choses to underplant its rose beds, using a variety of herbaceous perennials. The beds are full and provide interest for much of the year with tall Digitalis, Allium, Campanula, Linaria and Penstemons poking up through the roses as well as clump-forming geraniums, Alchemilla mollis and Nepeta. Some argue that this distracts from the beauty of the roses, and rose gardens should be just that beds of roses.

I am undecided as to what I feel works best. This year the two long beds are fairly bare, with just a few roses in and so I have chosen to plant it up taking inspiration from Mottisfont and some of my favourite ‘Cottage Garden’ plants. A full list can be found at the end of this post. The original bed contains mostly roses, there is some Nepeta faasenniiLavandula and some Penstemon. I do intend to move some of the smaller roses to the new beds in the autumn/winter to give them all enough space to grow and so that they can all be seen.

Salvia patens 'Guanajuato'
New steps down to rose garden
View from the top of the Rose Garden
Edges finally going in - 11th May 2018
View from the top across to the Orchard
Edges being cut
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Salvia patens 'Guanajuato'
New steps down to rose garden
View from the top of the Rose Garden
Edges finally going in - 11th May 2018
View from the top across to the Orchard
Edges being cut
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next arrow

List of Roses and companion planting:


  1. Blanc Double de Coubert
  2. Hansa Red Purple
  3. White Prfum de Provence
  4. Boule de Neige
  5. Reine des Violettes
  6. Mutabilis
  7. Louise Odier
  8. La Reine Victoria
  9. Rosa Mundi
  10. Konigin von Danemark
  11. Madame Hardy
  12. William Lobb
  13. Honorine de Brabant
  14. York and Lancaster
  15. Ferdinand Pichard
  16. Charles de Mills
  17. Rosa chinensis Viridiflora
  18. Cristata
  19. Comte de Chamboard
  20. Ispahan
  21. Souvenir du Dr Jamain
  22. Rose de Rescht
  23. Madam Pierre Oger
  24. Moyesii Geranium
  25. Gloire de France
  26. La Ville de Bruxelles
  27. Fimbriata
  28. Rosa de Meaux
  29. Officinalis
  30. Frau dagmar Hastrup
  31. Pink Leda
  32. Shailes White Moss
  33. Roger Lambelin

Companion Planting

Alchemilla mollis

Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’

Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Valerie Finnis’

Campanula persicifolia

Campanula persicifolia alba

Campanula sarasto

Centranthus ruber ‘Albus’

Centranthus ruber var. coccineus

Dianthus barbatus


Digitalis purpurea var. alba

Hardy Geraniums -various

Linaria purpurea ‘Canon Went’

Nepeta faassenii

Nepeta kubanica

Penstemons – various


Salvia patens ‘Guanajuato’

Salvia pratensis

Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Rosetta’

Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Violetta’