Ghislaine di Felingond
The name sounded so enticing that I couldn't resist buying this musk rambler rose. It is in a shady NE corner and has come through the drought successfully. The few flowers in this first year were delicate and old fashioned small with soft apricot-cream colour which shows nicely against a dark background. It is supposed to flower continuously but I doubt that it will in hot weather. I have great hopes for it growing to the top of the wall next year.
One of the David Austin New English roses. Not too tall with shrubby foliage the flowers are pure white and have a very distinctive lemony scent. It does reasonably well in dappled shade from an olive tree.
A species shrub which is almost a wild rose. The simple pink flowers look nice against the grey-green of sage. It flowers only once but has large orange hips in autumn. The shrub is about 1.5m tall and flops over but is quite pleasing. It does well in poor soil and a hot sunny location.
Honore de Balzac
One of the Meilland series of french poets and writers. This HT tall shrub is planted in the vineyard where it survives reasonably well but the flowers are regularly attacked by beetles so rarely get to open properly. A pity because it is a very nice colouration.
Whilst this is a very common rose in our district it is nonetheless very useful as it resists the drought quite well and tolerates poor stony soil. It is a modern floribunda about 1m tall. The white flowers have a pinkish tinge and are quite pleasing although without scent and it flowers freely in early summer with a repeat in autumn.
Jude the Obscure
David Austin recommends this New English rose for warm climates. I am not convinced that it particularly like hot weather but rather that it suffers in the wet. I bought my plants from Barni and 2 out of 3 did not make it through their first winter. The one that survived is growing strongly now and whilst the rich apricot colour is strong at first it fades quickly in the sunshine.
Lady Hillingdon Climbing
A lovely climber with dark glossy foliage and slender stems, good for training over a pergola. In spring the leaves are a rich red and very attractive in themselves. The flowers are a rich apricot-yellow and strongly scented. It got off to a good start but in this its second year a neighbouring plant went mad and almost engulfed it. I have cut back the invader and the rose is fine but the blooms have not been so good. Next year, then.
I saw this rose in the garden of a Giardino Romano club member and was very impressed: tall strong plants with lavender-pink simple flowers growing in full sun all along the driveway alternated by oleanders. I could only find it at Rose Barni in Tuscany and order several plants last winter. Maybe I did not put enough organic matter in the soil but they have struggled this summer and I have lost at least two. The flowers this year have been a blue-pink but I hope in future be truly lavender.
Leonardo da Vinci
Another Meilland rose with antique shaped blooms in a strong pink which is quite effective in a shady corner against a dark background. It grows quite tall and although the label suggested hard pruning I am coming round to the idea that it will do better without. The autumn repeat was more satisfactory this year when I did not cut it back too much in summer. It has a tendency to produce a lot of suckers which is not a problem provided they are cut out at the base as soon as they appear.
A very tall, vigorous modern floribunda that manages to thrive in the vineyard. The strong pink blooms are nice as cut flowers too.
This is another common rose in central Italy and very useful for a difficult corner where a fast growing climber is required. The stems have savage thorns so no good for near the house or where people might brush against it. The flowers are pale yellow and almost wild rose in simplicity. The one I planted last winter is already about 2m tall and has had a few flowers.
Another tall Meilland shrub which is doing quite well in the vineyard. Again yellow flowers do not seem to last as well in the strong sun as pink or red ones.
Madame Alfred Carriere
An old fashioned noisette climber that does well on a north wall. It grows very tall quite quickly so the challenge it to maintain shrubby growth at the base of the plant: it is a god idea to bend the stems over as they grow. The white flowers are scented and profuse. The repeat is not as good as it might be but nonetheless this is a splendid rose, provided you have the space and a shaded spot for it.
Modern Red Climber
This red climbing floribunda rose was in the garden when I came here and despite being hacked to the ground and located in full sun in poor soil and rarely sprayed or fed, it thrives. It repeats a little in autumn but has no scent.
To be continued.....