June is the quintessential month for roses, and in warm parts of England such as the south east the roses reach their peak in the middle of the month when they burst into bloom filling the air with a fine sweet fragrance. As we have had a relatively warm spring at RHS Garden Hyde Hall this year, the roses are flowering slightly earlier than normal and will look at their best in early June.
The Modern Rose Garden at Hyde Hall is a traditional rose garden with a formal layout of six rectangular beds with a Taxus (yew) hedge around the perimeter of the garden and a low Buxus (box) hedge around the individual beds.
The Rose Garden is planted with English roses that have been bred by David Austin over many years with the aim of combining the flower structure and fragrance of the traditional shrub roses with the disease resistance and vigour of modern varieties.
Rosa 'Grace' is a great English rose with apricot flowers that are darker in the middle and paler towards the edges, and this colour combines well with other shades, especially dark reds and purples. Rosa 'Grace' also repeat flowers very well and is healthy.
Although many of our roses are grown in traditional beds it is also great to mix them into other plantings and combine them with perennials such as Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ AGM, Geranium psilostemon AGM and Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ AGM. As well as extending the season of interest of the border with a wider variety of plants, the roses will also suffer fewer problems with fungal diseases as they are not being grown in a ‘monoculture’.
Hyde Hall grows a wide variety of roses and is a great place to visit if you are thinking of planting one of these quintessential English plants.