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

IMG_7811It 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

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