Rosa rubiginosa (sweet briar) is a species of rose native to Europe and western Asia. It is a dense deciduous shrub 2–3 m high and across, with the stems bearing numerous hooked prickles. Also known as the Eglantine Rose, Sweet Briar can at first sight be mistaken for a Dog Rose. With similar flowers and foliage, the major difference between the two is that the Sweet Briar has leaves which give off a sweet apple scent, especially after rain or in humid conditions. Native to Britain, it is found in hedgerows in the south of England.
(This month I want to see what summer means to you. Still focussing on the garden or parkland let your photographs tell me your story of summer-time wherever in the world you live. )
My first thoughts about this month’s challenge was that summer in a garden is all about scent. The long sunny days and warm evenings draw out the fragrance of scented flowers and always take me back in time to my childhood when summer was always hot and trying to sleep with the windows open was impossible while neighbours mowed their lawns and the smell of newly mown grass filled my room. I can’t replicate the fragrances on the blog so I shall seek out my favourite scented flowers this month starting with roses. Old fashioned English roses.
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Please click on an image to scroll through the gallery and read the information about each rose
A to G
A Shropshire Lad
Cariad – Welsh for ‘Love’
H to M
Jude the Obscure
Lady of Shalott
N to T
Queen of Sweden
Souvenir de St Anne’s
The Poet’s Wife
I still have some letters to discover so I will be on the lookout for ‘Unique Blanche’, ‘Velvet Fragrance’, ‘Wild Edric’, ‘York and Lancaster’ (which has to be both red and white surely?) and ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ or their like. In fact I may have one or two of these lurking in a folder or two already. Anyone know of one beginning with X?
What kind of rose are you attracted to? Is it the shape, the colour, the fragrance? All three? I’m drawn to colour first, then fragrance. A rose has to have a fragrance, no matter what it’s shape or colour is. I love the Old Rose and Musk fragrance and also the fruity citrus fragrances too. I once grew roses, but they were a lot of hard work with all the feeding, spraying (not many disease-resistant ones then) and pruning, but they did look lovely through the summer as an informal hedge. My Dad was a great rose grower and my children bought a pair of ‘Golden Wedding’ roses for my parents golden wedding anniversary. For a rose lover you can always find one that is suitable.
David Austin is a rose breeder who has a garden and nursery in Albrighton, near Wolverhampton in England. Breeding new roses takes many years, but the beauty of a rose is something that we English take for granted and where better to see old and new breeds than in David Austin’s garden. You can discover English Roses which originate from the Old Roses and Modern Hybrid Tea and Floribundas; the object being to combine the charm and fragrance of an Old Rose with the colours and repeat-flowering of a Modern Rose. Fragrances vary from the old rose, tea rose, musk, cedar, vanilla, fruity and myrrh.
To enter the gardens you pass through the Gift shop, but don’t linger there despite all its attractions, just pick up a garden map and a rose catalogue and make your way through the courtyard where container roses and standards are displayed, to the start of the Long Garden, blending English and Old Roses in its many borders.
Ramblers and climbers drip over the pergolas lining the borders.
You can wander through the Long Garden along the borders and note down the roses that you like, or you can, like me, just wander. But whatever you do, do not forget to stop and bend and sniff the different fragrances. I was curious enough to seek out roses with intriguing names such as ‘The Ingenious Mr Fairchild‘ which sadly had finished flowering. I was more than happy with the ones I did find though; The Poet’s Wife, The Lark Ascending, The Generous Gardener…
The Lady’s Blush
The Lark Ascending
The Lady Gardener
The Ancient Mariner
The Alnwick Rose
Leading off the Long Garden is the Species Garden where roses that produce wonderful hips are grown. The open single flowers attracting many bees and hoverflies. At the far end is the Victorian Garden laid out in a circular walled garden with a lovely statue in the centre, framed by iron arches and many climbing roses.
Urn and roses
Lady of Megginch
The Green Man
In the centre of the Long Garden is the delightfully named Renaissance Garden, a classic rose garden complete with a canal and loggia with benches in the shade. A place to sit and contemplate and decide which of the roses to hunt down next.
The Renaissance Garden
From here you can exit through the aptly named Pillar garden, where ramblers and climbing roses drape up and over the pillars and pergolas, and into the final garden, the Lion Garden, so named because of the stone lion taking pride of place against the brick wall covered in a delightful violet-blue clematis. A lion which attracts many small people to sit at its base I might add. This garden area is the one where more companion perennial flowers are grown – spikes of purple Veronicastrum, bright eye-blue salvia, deep reds and orange rudbeckia and pink sedum vie for attention among the roses.
The Pillar garden
The Lion Garden
Rhapsody in Blue
The Lion Garden
It is not a huge garden, but with so much to see you may want to go around it a couple of times. I know I did. Finally ending my visit in the Gallery coffee shop for a coffee and a piece of carrot cake. All good things come to an end.
More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.
The Rose is the national flower of England. And anyone living here will know that the House of Lancaster has a red rose as its symbol whereas the House of York has the white rose. So never buy a Yorkshire lass a bunch of red roses!
red roses – palette knife
white rose – cutout
There are over 100 species. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds. My favourites are the Old English or Gallica varieties which have the old-fashioned scents of rose, musk, citrus, clove and honey.
I posted a whole month of roses last year, during July so I thought that I would experiment with a few artistic effects today just to shake things up a bit. If you want to see photographs of roses in their natural form then please click on the rose/rosa category above.
Floribunda: (Latin for “many-flowering”) Smaller flowers, but many of them and they will flower in clusters.
Hybrid Tea: Hybrid teas generally produce only one blossom at the end of the stem, rather than clusters of flowers.
Shrub: Shrub roses take the best of the hardiest rose species, and combine those traits with modern repeat blooming and diverse flower forms, colours and fragrances. Some shrub roses may grow tall, with vigorous, far-reaching canes; others stay compact
Patio: The best roses for growing in containers are the patio and miniature types, which can be grown in fairly small but deep pots
Old English: English Roses are renowned for the strength and diversity of their fragrances.
Climbers: form a most useful group of plants, the stronger growing varieties are often seen covering walls, fences, arches and pergolas, whilst shorter varieties can be trained around poles and tripods to form ‘pillars’. They all require support and it is essential they are well tied to their structures.
Rambling: These are more pliable in growth than Climbers and generally flower only once. The individual blooms tend to be smaller and come in large trusses, but for sheer quantity of bloom they are unsurpassed.
Species or Wild: Most are single flowered and are valued for the wonderful diversity of scents, foliage, hips and Autumn colouration.