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My small urban garden - open for charity under the National Gardens Scheme


When my garden is looking as lovely as it does today I feel inspired to share with others . There is a gentle warm breeze flowing throughout the garden. The sun is shining through the finest open tracery of Acer, dappled sunlight and shade play among the delicate open leaves and the gentle scent of abundantly flowering roses captivates the flaring nostrils. A relaxing harmonious melody of chirpy birdsong flows throughout the garden. The flutter of wings in flight pass close by. The front hedge is awash with busy bees gathering nectar. I love perfect days in the garden and this is one of them (gentle laugh of pleasure). When gardening conversation turns to the subject of roses there are often groans of exasperation; black spot, mildew, rust are often mentioned and this aligned with the sad lack of bloom.
This need not be the case. At the end of the gardening season , when the weather has turned chill and the leaves have begun to fall I have found that it is helpful to start the garden housekeeping. All the debris is collected and the ground left as clean and clear as possible as this practice helps prevent the spread of disease . Just before spring arrives the following year a further clearning up takes place and a good mulch of well rotted manure is placed at the base of the roses to conserve moisture and of course provide a good feed (Roses in particular are gross feeders and also require a good supply of cool moisture at their feet). When the first buds appear the garden has been pruned and cleared and when the air is still, the first spray of a good all round fungiside/insectiside which is systemic is applied , being careful to avoid any possible nesting sites . After this no further spray is used until we are absolutely certain the nesting birds have raised their young and departed. During this time we tend to prune out any problems or pluck out any diseased leaves. A further application of granular feed is applied to the ground beneath the roses twice during the season as the garden is densly planted and therefor requires this. After this programme of care has been completed we sit back and watch the abundant rewards. Huge fat buds arrive , swiftly followed by abundant and perfectly formed draping clusters of delicately scented blooms . A joy to behold , so much so that my heart nearly skips a beat and my soul smiles unceasingly whilst this wonderful period of top notch performance flows forward. I love the shades of apricot peaches and cream provided by the David Austin English Roses growing in my front garden(see ‘you tube’ , search ‘Dering Road’ ) . They are so disease resistant and have so much old rose charm in form fragrance and color. If well fed and nurtured they are profusely grateful in the flower and disease resistance. There is a clematis I truly love for the perfect complimentary soft blue color called Perle de Azure. At present it is thick with plump buds waiting to burst forth and join the roses ! I am so excited and just can not contain the thrill I feel at the prospect of seeing the colors together again, they really look wonderful. In front of this long deep front garden border is a pyracantha hedge which enfolds and protects adding grace with its abundant clusters of snow white delicate blooms. They surround the front border like a delicate bower. The visual impact is for me a delight to behold. It is the 14th of May and I am in love again ! The lilies will appear slightly later as the first flush of the roses die down and become more sporadic, they will compliment what remains and add further interest in the border. Much later in the season the Dahlia will rise extending the interest even further .
I shall upload further photographs and ‘you tube’ video as the garden continues to unveil its many layered gowns of color and scent ! More seasonal blogs will follow also……..I love sharing my garden , if I can inspire you to visit and create delight then my pleasure and delight will be equal in measure

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stunning pictures of your roses,i have no garden, but ive a bush rose in a pot its growing nice quite a few buds on it even though its been repotted 3 times in as many months and i dont know what its called

15 May, 2011


Your blog is very descriptive and I did enjoy reading it today. I hope you have a good crowd of visitors if indeed you are opening your garden to the Garden does sound like your garden is a delight to behold :)

15 May, 2011


Good luck with your open day.

15 May, 2011


Magnificent photos Muscadet...but your avatar what is that lovely too...

15 May, 2011


Garden not open this year as have family commitments to resolve , open next year tho' :). Thank you all so much for your kind response to my blog and photographs.
Whistlonlass: Delighted you enjoyed my blog...I shall continue ! :) . My delight is to behold the beholder !! just love seeing the visitors enjoy the garden. I love visiting other gardens myself , always a joy !.
Hope the info about Brugmansia/Datura Avatar was helpful :).
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. Delighted you liked the photographs. I shall add more later and continue the blog.


Do you have a photograph of your bush rose you might upload ? Perhaps I could try and identify it for you ? I am glad your rose is rewarding you for your care :)

16 May, 2011


I just love the way you describe your garden its very poetic, lovely pictures and the video is really good, a lovely garden, julien.

16 May, 2011


Thank you so much Julien :) Really kind of you to comment in such a positive way. I am delighted you find the garden lovely :). Sunshine again today ! Oh joy !

17 May, 2011


I am uploading more video's of my garden onto 'you tube' . If you search for dering road you should find them :) . The roses look really uplifting as they gently cast their scent upon the breeze . Tones of peach pale lemon and apricot. A clematis has opened today, not Perle de Azure , this one was tagged incorrectly , the other 5 are however and they will flower a little later .

18 May, 2011


Just read your blog and watched videos... it looks like a little patch of paradise :) I'm almost scared to get more roses because we never have any problems with blackspot/desease and I don't want to tempt fate! I know very little about it though... do the chances increase dramatically when you grow roses near each other?

22 May, 2011


disease will always be a possibility in any garden. Good housekeeping , feeding pruning cleaning up debris helps any plant combat this (same for we humans !) Growing roses closely together can encourage spread , however, attention at all times and quick reaction to deal with any budding problem soon combats this I have found. This year we have had a disaster in the back garden. I asked my husband to spray the roses and with confidence left him to do so. My mother has dementia and I had to sort some urgent matters out for her. Sadly he forgot, did not tell me and when I returned the whole crop of rear garden roses was smothered in mildew. So, yes planting closely can be a disaster if you do not , as with most plants, keep a watchful eye. So, we are both tackling the problem . No first flush of roses in the rear garden this year as they will all have to be cut to clean wood and leaf . This will halt the spread but effect the roses ability to lay down sugars for a good display next year . The display will be there but not so abundant. Ah well, these things happen and he is not a 'willing' participant in the garden other than to enjoy it of course ; ) and lacks the interest of a keen gardener ! Not his fault as we all are entitled to our preferences.

23 May, 2011


Oh no, that sounds like an awful disaster!! You must have been devastated :( I think I might brave putting another couple in our garden... we only have 6 at the moment, and they're quite spread out, but I have to spend a long time away from it, so can't keep an eye on or coddle plants. I hope your rear garden roses pick up soon :) and thanks for the advice! The pictures of your garden really are beautiful.

23 May, 2011

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