Written by Wesley Muchimwe | 11th June 2018

MG Living

Rose Gardens: In celebration of the Tottering-by-Gently new bloom

If you’re a fan of Darcey Bussell, Gertrude Jekyll or even Rambling Rector then you’re in for a treat. Rose breeder David Austin has unveiled a new bloom named in honour of a person very close to our hearts at Michael Graham. The Tottering-by-Gently rose is a primrose-coloured celebration of the 25th anniversary of Annie Tempest’s classic weekly cartoon featuring Dicky and Daffy Tottering.

For the last four years Annie has also been creating Michael Graham artwork which gently pokes fun at our London buyers moving out to the country. She created the picture for the current caption competition on our website too - don’t forget to enter for VIP tickets to Woburn Abbey Garden Show. Here are some top tips on adding ‘the queen of flowers’ to your garden.

  1. Get inspired. June is prime flowering time for roses and you’ll find most varieties at Queen Mary’s Gardens in Regents Park, London. Mottisfont Abbey Gardens in Hampshire is famed for its quintessentially English walled rose garden and the David Austin Rose Gardens and Plant Centre in Wolverhampton also attracts visitors from all over the world. Local nurseries and garden centres are convenient and always worth a visit.
  2. Decide on a colour scheme and style - English cottage garden or more formal border planting? Consider arranging in groups of three or more of the same variety of rose to form one large impactful shrub. Taller varieties can be trained against a wall or fence.
  3. Most varieties thrive in partial shade, providing they get around five hours of sunshine a day. Mix a spadeful of well-rotted manure with the soil at the bottom of the hole before planting
  4. A good mix of flowering shrubs, trees, perennials and annuals alongside roses helps combat insects, pests and rose diseases. Good companion plants include: peony, forget-me-nots, foxglove, Alchemilla mollis, phlox, poppy, lavender and ornamental grasses.
  5. Roses are easy to maintain. They need fertiliser in spring and summer, watering when it’s dry and pruning in early February. Prune climbing roses after flowering. A midsummer tidy-up will encourage a second flush of flowering in the autumn.

Do you have a favourite rose? We’d love to hear from you via Instagram or Facebook.

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