Here’s a copy of my gardening column from the June issue of Eastlife Magazine, which is a fabulous magazine all about ‘Living life in the East’. The full version of the magazine can be viewed online at www.eastlife.couk
It is incredible to think we are halfway through the year. If only the days would slow a little so we could enjoy their length and warmth; of course at my time of writing I am assuming at least the latter.
The wildflower of the month for me has to be the Dog Rose (Rosa canina). The delicate perfection of their simple flowers are a delight to see weaving their way through our hedgerows.
Within the domestic garden, few of us have the space or the time to manage a formal rose garden nowadays, but they are still a popular flowering shrub and one that can add a welcome blast of colour and scent. Climbing varieties look beautiful framing a doorway and a rambling rose can add a focal point within the garden when grown over an pergola. Imagine the beauty of sitting beneath a heavily scented ‘Lady of the Lake’ on a summer’s evening, glass of wine in hand.
Late last summer we installed four steel rose arches and during the autumn planted 16 climbing roses to train over them. I adore delicate pink roses, possibly due to my fondness of the dog rose. And if you’re going to have roses, they have to be scented in my opinion. A final consideration was their suitability to a coastal position, especially given the strong South Westerly we regularly get blasted with. With these factors in mind, the two best suited varieties were The Generous Gardener and A Shropshire Lad, both David Austin roses. I ordered dry root stock, which offer a generous saving and cut down on plastic pot useage, something every gardener should be mindful of these days. The soil was prepared in advance and before planting a little bone meal was added to help them on their way.
Now, just a few months after being planted and after one of the hardest winters we have known in a good few years, they are rewarding us with masses of fresh bright shoots with a promise of putting down lots of healthy growth over the coming months. Of course I won’t be satisfied until I’ve been able to sniff the first heady bloom!
The latest copy of EastLife magazine can be viewed online at www.eastlife.co.uk