I grow a wide variety of roses in my garden. I love the different scents and colours that they produce and the length of their flowering season, which can go on for many months. The most important thing to consider when buying roses is to buy a healthy rose.  As with most things in life the better the quality then the better the outcome.

I’ve tried roses from Poundland, roses from E-Bay, mid-range roses from garden nurseries and the most expensive roses direct from the breeder. In all honesty, the more you pay then the better the quality of the rose. David Austin roses can be bought direct from the company They have been growing roses since the 1950s and have won a monumental twenty-four RHS gold medals. It is easy to see why. Each rose comes beautifully packaged with a guide to growing them and how to keep them at their best.

This year I bought two roses for the back garden. One was the Emily Bronte rose, as I am a huge Bronte fan and the other was Princess Alexandra of Kent, as I am an avid reader of royal history. The Emily Bronte shrub rose was grown to celebrate the bicentenary of Emily’s birth. It has neat, flat blooms in soft pink with an apricot hue. I planted this in the centrepiece of my garden where it will have room to make an impact.

emilybronte rose


The Alexandra rose was bought so that I could grow it in a pot on my patio and we could smell its almost tea-like fragrance.princess_alexandra_of_kent_crop_1_.jpg


I was also in a quandary about my front garden and what I could grow in it. The front garden is a tiny plot and is in full-sun for much of the day. I chose climbing roses to create some colour against the front brickwork. The roses were Strawberry Hill, a pink, fragrant climbing rose and the deep red Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Despite the intense heat, I am extremely pleased by how much they have grown and how healthy they still look.


I feed my roses regularly. I use organic seaweed mixed with rainwater. Regular deadheading is a necessity too. If I spot any black spot or aphids, then I immediately act and remove any leaves and spray the rose with a tiny solution of washing up liquid and baking powder. It really works!

Buying someone a rose is a lovely alternative to buying them a bouquet of flowers with the bonus that it lasts much longer. My Dad bought me the beautiful tall rose bush, Rhapsody in Blue. It has mauve violet and purple blooms.



Over the past few years, my husband has bought me some beautiful roses. The names that roses are given can also send the recipient an additional message. Some of my favourites have been Smile– a gorgeous yellow rose and of course Hanky-Panky which is a mix of oranges.  rose 1


My favourite rose that I grow must be the beautiful, creamy-white Ice-Cream rose. It is one of those roses that really rewards you each year with its gigantic blooms and its vanilla fragrance. We grow it towards the bottom of our garden but its scent is so powerful that it can awaken the sense of smell from a good fifty metres away.

icecream roses2

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