An outing with the Giardino Romano garden club to a specialist plant collector's rose garden near Spoleto. Prof Luciano Arcangeli has hundreds of roses, antique, modern and rare, arranged formally on pergolas next to the house and informally on the slopes running down through his olive grove. He knows the name and habits of every rose even the obscure ones he has tracked down in Hindu temples in India or in the mountains of Nepal. Interestingly he observes that the first roses that David Austin produced seem to do alright here in Umbria but the more recent ones do not.
Favourite roses I have noted down to plant next autumn (yes, planning next year already!) include Conrad F Meyer; Crepuscule; Alistair Stella Grey and Celine Forrestier. Watch this space!