Among our ‘legacy’ roses is Kiftsgate, whose name is taken from the garden at Kiftsgate Court. [Visit http://www.kiftsgate.co.uk/kiftsgaterose.shtml. for the history of the rose, and http://www.kiftsgate.co.uk/ for information on the garden, which neighbours Hidcote.] Kifsgate is a very vigorous climber, and a neighbour who, like the original owner of our house, moved in when the Close was new, had planted one which fulfilled its promise, climbing around 40 feet into a tree. Unfortunately, when the neighbour, who was a keen rose man, died, the new owner, the so-called Mr Maserati, after the car he drove, ripped it out, much to the displeasure of many neighbours. He then sold the ‘redeveloped’ property to its present owners, and Pauline was very annoyed to learn that the removal of the Kiftsgate rose had been among Mr Maserati’s improvements (he was no gardener!)
Our Kiftsgate is less ideally planted, and it has to be encouraged to grow along the semi hedge which divides our garden from that of Patrick and Patricia, the custodians of the great copper beech. It’s clear that Kiftsgate would just love to run amok up the copper beech, as, evidently it is at Kiftsgate Court. Meantime, both we and our neighbours enjoy its blossom, which perfumes the garden with a wonderful scent when it is in flower. The display continues in the autumn, when it is covered with bunches of bead like orange hips.
We have also planted a ‘daughter’ of Kiftsgate, another less rampant climber called Treasure Trove, which produces peach coloured double flowers, and has, like all the roses, performed really well this year.
In the autumn, we are going to renew the dividing fence and this will provide an opportunity to rethink the planting along the back of the north but south facing border. We are already considering the odd rambler in the sunniest positions as it looks as if we really can be successful with roses, so long as they’re in a position they like. And, with climate change (hotter, drier summers), it is roses which look like being among the great survivors.
- 1 Jul, 2010
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