Here at Hyde Hall we have a long history of growing roses. Conditions are ideal for them to flourish - they enjoy our heavy clay soil, and the open aspect of the Hilltop Garden with its high light levels and good air circulation reduces problems with fungal diseases such as black spot.
Many of our roses are David Austin’s 'English Roses' which repeat flower very well and come in a vast array of colours from soft lemons such as ‘The Pilgrim’ to rich apricots (for example ‘Grace’ which is also June's Plant of the Month) as well as classic yellow roses such as ‘Graham Thomas’ and deep velvety reds including ‘Falstaff’.
Once the roses have finished their first flush of flower it is well worth deadheading them thoroughly and giving them a secondary feed with a proprietary rose food to encourage a second flush of flower. We prune our roses in late winter and follow this in early March by feeding and mulching them to ensure they reach their peak in June. At RHS Garden Hyde Hall we don’t use insecticides but we do use a fungicide to reduce problems with black spot, ideally the fungicide should be sprayed every four weeks with products containing a chemical called myclobutinal.
Other roses to enjoy at Hyde Hall are the climbers and ramblers that grace the Rose Rope Walk. This classic feature was established many years ago and we train the roses on wooden frames and along swags of rope which link all the frames together. During the late autumn we prune and then train the roses in an artistic fashion to create beautiful swags which are a feature in their own right during the winter months when there skeletal structure can be fully admired. In early June the trained stems are smothered in blooms and great ramblers to look out for are ‘Seagull’, a vigorous rose with small white flowers and ‘Albertine’ with soft pink flowers.
Fantastic climbers also feature along the rope walk and varieties to look out for include ‘Summer Wine’ with its coral pink flowers and ‘Climbing Iceberg’ (left) with its clear white flowers. Many of the climbers will repeat flower but the rambler flowerheads are left as they will produce great red hips in the autumn as another season comes to a close.