Walk Around My Garden – Saturday 6 June 2020 #SixOnSaturday

This week, it’s mostly all about roses. As you would expect, wild roses have my heart. The garden is surrounded on two sides by tall hedges. We’ve never pruned them in 30 years. It’s one of those jobs we’ve always put off as being too big to tackle. Secretly, I love the wildness. Who says hedges have to be manicured. Who cares what people think. I love the tangle of honeysuckle and wild dog roses cascading from the top of 30 foot hawthorn. It’s a sight that gladdens my heart. I don’t mind if people assume we are too lazy to keep the hedgerow trimmed. I’ll hold my head up high. I’ve always been rather stubborn, you see. It can be a good thing when life gets tough. I’m quietly determined. I don’t make a big noise, but it’s amazing what can be achieved with calm tenacity.

Just pause for a moment and gaze at this pink hawthorn. This opens white, and fades to a beautiful shell pink. The hedgerows around here are mostly snowy-white Crataegus monogyna. Every now and again, there’s a pretty pink variant. It stops you in your tracks. You can’t fail to just stand and stare, it’s so breathtakingly lovely.

Rosa Canina takes full advantage and climbs high into the branches of trees and along the hedgerow. It’s a good year for flowers. Plenty of pollen for bees, and there will be masses of bright red hips providing winter food for birds.

Climbing through a mature willow next to the pond, there’s pale pink New Dawn. Again, I never prune this rose, or spray it. It just rambles where it likes. I expect the wind blowing through the tree keeps the rose disease-free. Blackspot tends to thrive in gardens where roses are surrounded by still air. In this windswept garden, luckily we have no trouble from either pests or diseases. It’s even too windy for aphids to get too plentiful. Those that survive, get eaten by birds.

We have a very overgrown pergola. The phrase ‘overgrown’ seems rather prevalent this week, I’ve noticed. The pergola goes from the back of the house, right round to the front drive. For half of it’s length, there’s this glorious rose Constance Spry. For about three weeks it has enormous highly-scented flowers. It only flowers once, but what a display! I’ve planted clematis, jasmine and ivy to extend the season. It’s a Rose I would never be without.

Constance Spry makes a lovely cut flower. Here’s it’s partnered with Sweet William which is just starting to bloom. It’s time to sow some more Sweet William for next year. I’ll use a half seed tray, good seed compost, and I’ll sprinkle the seeds sparingly. The tray will go at the base of the house wall on the north side, and seeds will germinate in about two to three weeks. I’ll then prick the seed out and put them in their own 3″ pots to grow on, or I’ll plant some in a holding bed on the veg plot. In August, they can be dug up and put in their flowering positions or planted out from the 3″ pots.

Here’s Constance Spry in a cutting basket with highly-scented Mme. Isaac Pereire, a heritage bourbon rose which dates back to 1841. This repeat-flowers all summer and mingles beautifully with Clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans. Plena means double, and these flowers are like purple pom-poms from August/ September onwards.

Finally, here’s the old china silk rose, Mutabilis. Much loved by bees. And, as you can guess, also grows quite happily without much attention, if any, from me.

As usual, after we’ve looked in the garden, there’s always a walk along the ridgeway path at the back of the garden. Today, there’s a video of skylarks. Turn the sound up loud. The farmer has planted wide bands of wild flowers around all the field margins. There’s a whole field of sunflowers and millet for wildlife. This year we have many skylarks. A few years ago we had a very poor summer with only one skylark. There is nothing sadder than the sound of a lonely skylark.

We’ve had some spectacular sunsets this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed this Saturday’s walk around the garden. Are you growing any roses in your garden? What’s looking good where you are this week. Thanks again for joining me in my garden. All welcome, for virtual visits!


I like to follow the Six on Saturday meme and see what everyone is growing. #SOS


Dog rose: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/plants/wild-flowers/dog-rose/

Common hawthorn: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/hawthorn/

Rosa New Dawn https://www.classicroses.co.uk/new-dawn-climbing-rose.html

Rose Constance Spry https://www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/constance-spry-climbing-rose

Rose Mme. Isaac Pereire. https://www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/mme-isaac-pereire

Sweet Williams. https://www.mr-fothergills.co.uk/Flower-Seed/Sweet-William-Seeds/

Rose Mutabilis https://www.trevorwhiteroses.co.uk/shop/china-roses/mutabilis/

Skylarks: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/skylark/

Clematis : https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/210954/Clematis-Purpurea-Plena-Elegans-(Vt-d)/Details

34 thoughts on “Walk Around My Garden – Saturday 6 June 2020 #SixOnSaturday

  1. Beautiful garden indeed, Karen. I love the composition and contrast of the rose photographs. I, myself, am a rose person too, but that is not the reason for me to praise your rose pictures. The backdrop so beautifully matches the subject in the image. The skylarks video is so beautiful, and I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Welcome to the blog. Thanks for your kind comments. The skylarks are over our garden today. They don’t usually come so close to houses, preferring open landscapes. Such a wonderful sound to wake up to. Thanks again for reading. All the best. Karen


  2. Pink hawthorn is interesting. It would look like a flowering crabapple to me. Of course, hawthorns are rare for us. There a few white blooming sorts across the road, but they are not very happy. I recently cut down a deteriorating red blooming specimen. I sort of liked it because it is a hawthorn, but sort of thought that it was a bit too red for a hawthorn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely video of the skylark. I haven’t seen any nearus, but I do know fields where there will be several. The birdsong I am enjoying most right now is a yellowhammer who sits on our roof and sings his heart out, and a cuckoo in the woods. I bet your hedgerow has more living creatures in it than we can imagine! The dog rose is lovely. We have one just outside our fence and the hips disappeared as soon as they were ripe last year. The elderflowers on the edge of the wood are sending wafts of fragrance over the garden every now and then today and the wind has actually died down for once. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know how you could think anyone would not expect you to be other than thrilled by these magnificent displays.
    Larks sort of sing hot sunshine and fields, don’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

    • There were lots of skylarks today, high above the clouds. Just tiny specks, but I could still hear them. They seem to sing in celebration of the sunshine and wide open skies. The joy of living. That’s what they seem to represent.


  5. Roses were once my favorite flower. I grew so many in CT. Her I have just two…a red Knockout and one small little landscape type rose with small leaves and bloom. They are challenged by the intense sun and heat of July and August but couldn’t do without one ot two. I loved the walk about your garden Nd think your wild hedge sounds magnificent…a rock star among well clipped gents.
    I love your writing, because your English voice is heard through the words, and I hear my two dear English garden friends speak though your writing. One is gone to garden in heaven and the other is far away in act.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you 😊. That’s so kind of you to say. I’m pleased you can hear my voice through the words. That is the loveliest thing anyone has ever said to me. I just sit at the i-pad and tap away, writing, as my thoughts tumble out. I’m glad that they mean something to someone. Enjoy your roses. They sound much loved. Thanks again for reading the blog and getting in touch. Karen


      • Ah, I too have an i-pad and we have a daily battle when it tries to auto-correct my writing. Especially plant names. Most embarrassingly, I sent an e mail to a very posh customer suggesting 6x bare asses. I meant Berberis! I was quite take aback by his enthusiasm for the option. My i-pad doesn’t recognise the word covid either and changes it to corgis. I wrote a long letter explaining delays were all the fault of the corgis! I’m hoping my credibility survives……


  6. You need an award for your linear wild life areas, with the beautiful hawthorns, roses and honeysuckles. Just imagine the variety of wild life and the great wind breaks they make. If one has room, they are far far far better than a trimmed hedge. The Lark ascending video a treat. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Noelle. My reward is a fledgling tawny owl which has taken up summer residence in the hedge. We had a pair of chicks last year and the parent bird fed them for about three months. We were amazed how long the fledglings need their parents. They seem utterly helpless for months on end. I expect they have to learn how to hunt, which can’t be easy. The skylarks are one field away from my garden gate. We go out twice a day to listen to them singing. Such a joy. Thanks again for reading and watching the video. I’m only taking photos and videos on the i-phone but it’s amazing what beauty it captures.


  7. The dog roses were (finished now) were especially floriferous this year to – because we hadn’t trimmed that bit of hedge as we usually do. Must see if I can find a space for Mme IP. Good to hear there’s an advantage of living in a windy spot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, the minute I’d written those words, we had the most enormous hail, wind and rain storm! All the roses thrashed about as if they were being beaten. Luckily, they managed to stay up in the trees. The whole garden is sprinkled with rose petal confetti and tiny bits of leaf. It looks like a giant shredder has gone through the tree tops. What extremes of weather we are having!


    • Thank you Eliza. That skylark seemed to be putting on a display just for me. Such a wonderful sound. I shall have to look up bobolink, as I’ve never heard of those. Thanks again for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, roses are the stars of the garden at the moment, wild ones and hybrids too. I can’t remember them ever being so wonderful before, this is a very good year for them. I also have some huge climbers growing into my ancient trees, just starting to flower are Rosa Wedding Day (planted for my daughter’s wedding) and Rosa Mulligani, both normally flower at the end of June, so like the others they are early. We have also had some wonderful sunsets, and thank goodness for the rain that we have had, more needed though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those roses sound wonderful Pauline. Growing roses into trees seems much the easiest way to grow them. They really thrive with so much air around them. Just had some rain today, the first for three months, not enough to sink in to the ground through. We really need a gentle soaking. We seem to have storms and downpours. But the rain seems to evaporate before doing any good. Thanks for reading the blog. Enjoy the weekend.


  9. I enjoy seeing photos of other people’s roses. I find them too much trouble! I have one that “came with the house,” and climbing New Dawn I put in, but those are pretty much carefree other than tying them up again and again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. I could never cope with all that tying up. Mine just climb the trees and look after themselves. Thanks for reading and getting in touch. Karen


  10. Those roses & cut flowers in the basket – how perfect! Admire your attitude to the hedges to, excellent for plant health and bird life, long may they stay in trimmed!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so glad you appreciate the wild dog roses too. I’ve been looking at them cascading down the bank at the bottom of my slope in the garden and around the fields close by. Pink £ white ones too. I go back in time to Tudor rose times & imagine how the scene would have been back then without the hybrids there are today. X

    Liked by 1 person

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