Smothered with roses is what is happening at Bliss right now. The front garden is one mass of white roses and many an unsuspecting pedestrian, when turning the corner, looks like s/he has just been hit with the proverbial blunt instrument when they clap their eyes on this extravaganza. And when they get a whiff of that gorgeous rose scent they stop dead in their tracks. Very funny, I've seen it happen quite a lot recently and who can blame them? Not me, as it is quite overwhelming to encounter that many scented roses in full bloom.
Let me introduce these showstopping culprits to you. On top of the pergola and around the front door is Madame Alfred Carriere, a very dear friend of mine.
Here is a mugshot of her.
Pretty, isn't she, her flowers start out in the softest of pinks and become whitish later on. She is a very prolific bloomer, healthy, long flowering and she is very fragrant too.
It's a joy to walk underneath the pergola where her scent is trapped, pure bliss!
Another star on the Bliss rose firmament is rosa Moonlight. She is usually the first to flower and she is still flowering when most roses have given up.
Moonlight is a strong and healthy rose, her new leaves are purple-red and her flowers are white with a golden heart. Her scent is a lovely one, very enjoyable.
Rosa Moonlight and Madame Alfred Carriere
Another gorgeous rose is Sombreuil that has the best scent of all the roses flowering in the front garden. It's an oldfashioned rose, white with just a hint of apricot in the centre.
I've put her in a bed edged with box and filled with white lavender. When the lavender is in flower together with Sombreuil the air is filled with a very heady perfume indeed and the bees are working overtime then.
In the bed right next to Sombreuil is rosa Blanc Double de Coubert. This is not a climbing rose like the others but she does get to be about 2 meters tall.
Blanc Double de Coubert is in a bed filled with white geraniums and they look very pretty together.
The flowers of Blanc Double de Coubert are the very whitest of white and look like they are made of very thin tissue paper. Its scent reminds me of fresh pineapple, very pleasant.
But the one who is stealing the show right now is rosa Guirlande d'Amour.
She is literally covered with buds and flowers and she hasn't reached her peak yet.
On a sunny day her scent is overwhelming. It's a great rose to have, very strong and healthy, it's an exceptionally prolific bloomer, scented and long flowering too. What more could you possibly ask for? What's that you say? You love cutting roses for the vase? Well, so do I and the roses in the Bliss front garden are very good for that too. If you cut them at the right moment and give them proper care, they last for about a week and fill your living room with their wonderful scent.
This a little bouquet I cut about 2 weeks ago when the roses started flowering. In the vase are Madame Alfred Carriere, Moonlight, Blanc Double de Coubert and Sombreuil.
If you feel like you would love to have something like this in your garden too, then give it a try. Contrary to what a lot of people think, roses are not that difficult to grow. Mine are all grown organically, they are pruned twice a year (once in March and again in June), I deadhead them once a week when in flower and give them a feed twice a year too just after pruning. And I enjoy them from early May until the first frost in November. I do not spray them with toxins of any kind, there is no need. The trick is to select strong and healthy roses (disease resistant), buy them from a reputable rose nursery and treat them right.
On the left Sombreuil and on the right Blanc Double de Coubert.
Copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen
The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.