Six on Saturday | Summer Roses

Elsewhere in the UK people have been enjoying a heatwave this week. We Cornish folk are happy just to see the sun! At least all the bigwigs have left taking their gas-guzzling blacked-out SUVs with them, the helicopters, the jets and the hundreds of police vehicles. The carbon footprint of this event must have exceeded everything put together over the past ten years for this part of Cornwall ! We hunkered down in our garden for the duration, other than climbing ‘our’ hill last Saturday evening to watch the Red Arrows perform over Carbis Bay. The hill was invaded! I have never seen so many people up there in my entire five years of living here.

Back to the garden. Last week was Geraniums, this week the turn of the roses. Roses are not so common in Cornwall because all the damp, mizzly weather encourages blackspot, but nonetheless I do have six roses. Two fairly recent David Austin English roses, one patio rose that my daughter bought me for mother’s day years ago and Gertrude Jekyll that I had in a container before I moved, and two climbers that I have inherited.

(1) Rose ‘Fighting Temeraire’ is a David Austin shrub rose bearing masses of very large, single flowers. They are a rich apricot colour, with an area of yellow behind the stamens. The fragrance is fruity with a strong element of lemon zest.  I love how the colours change throughout their short-lived lives. Darker shades fade to pale lemons and apricots. The large open flowers are ideal for attracting bees. I just love these sunset colours.

(2) ‘Graham Thomas’. A rose bought a couple of years ago, but moved last year along with #1. It didn’t do very much last year, in fact I don’t think I got more than a couple of flowers off it. It is much happier this year though and the flowers are beautiful. Yellow/red buds followed by sunny yellow flowers that fade to pale lemon.

(3) ‘Gertrude Jekyll’. I love GJ’s work in gardens and so it was inevitable that if I was to buy a rose it would be this one. Not only is it a delicious pink colour, it is also fragrant. Again released from its container I am trying to train this as a climber too. So far so good and lots of flowers this year. It shares the fence with the white Montana clematis which has just gone over. I’m thinking about planting another summer flowering white clematis here. Any suggestions?

(4) Unknown white climber. There are two of these in the garden. Both were quite feeble when we moved in, producing one or two flowers at the very top. I was brave and cut one of them right down a couple of years ago and have been trying to tie in the resulting growth horizontally in order to create more flower stems. It seems to have worked. The other one got a minor cut back last autumn and again I have tried tying in the new growth. I’m quite happy with the result and the roses seem happier too!

(5) Red Patio rose. I think this was four tiny stems in a pot given to me by my daughter for Mother’s Day probably ten years ago? I put the pot outside and one stem carried on growing. When we moved here I repotted the rose and it has done quite well. Probably needs repotting again this year. The flowers themselves form quite tight balls and are very difficult to photograph. They also get damaged by rain.

(6) Unknown pink climber on the north facing courtyard wall. I have cut this back, a lot, over the past couple of years as it was full of dead branches and the flowers were all at the top. It’s still not looking great so maybe I’ll turn to drastic measures and cut it back to the base.

After much thought about the lawn I have been busy removing another section of it. This area will be turned into a border and not covered with weed membrane, but it will be mulched with pebbles. So far turf has been dug up, but I am letting it all settle for a few days before planting. We’ll take a look at it next week.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. Great roses. I particularly like Fighting Temeraire. A couple of white clematis suggestions – Henyri ( in flower now and featured in last weeks post growing on an obelisk) and Marie Boisselot ( which has just finished flowering). They are both large flowered group 2 varieties.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks for the ideas, I shall look them both up.

  2. Tina Schell says:

    Oh my Jude – didn’t realize you were in the thick of it! Interesting thought about the carbon footprint – so true! Glad life is returning to normal in your corner with your amazing blossoms. You’re amazing!

  3. Megan Hall says:

    Very lovely!

  4. The pruning seems to be paying dividends. I have ‘G. Thomas’ and planted ‘Gertrude’ this spring.
    Looking forward to seeing the new border.

  5. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I think Fighting Temeraire must be my favourite: such delicious colours.

  6. Toffolo says:

    Wow, so amazing. 🙂

  7. pattimoed says:

    What gorgeous roses, Jude. You really have a green thumb. I love the Fighting Temeraire…gorgeous colors! And they change shades as they age. Amazing.

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