All images courtesy of David Austin roses. Visit our website for further details here
All images courtesy of David Austin roses. Visit our website for further details here
There are some hard and fast rules with gardening that you have to embrace or forever feel like you have somehow failed. I think that a lot of people beat themselves up about their gardening ability and status as a gardener. I am as guilty as the next man or woman and refer to my self as a hobby gardener, I think that it lets you off the hook when things don’t go to plan or don’t really work. However, here is an enlightening fact – gardening is a long game, it takes time to learn your craft, learn your garden (each one is different) and gardens need time to mature. When I started gardening, 40 years ago (that’s a sobering, frightening and impossible number as I’m sure that I’m only 35) , I assumed that professional gardeners did everything perfectly and nothing ever failed or looked less than perfect. This, of course, is simply not the case, every gardener has things that go wrong every year and they make a note, mental or otherwise, to do that differently the next year. You see gardening is an ever evolving process, it’s not just your garden that grows, it is your knowledge, your judgement and your skills. So I am going to stop calling myself a hobby gardener, from this moment onwards I am a gardener!
I think some people are overwhelmed by starting gardening as they are so afraid of getting things wrong and looking silly, that other gardeners will judge them and they’ll be found wanting in the garden department. What I would say to these people is don’t worry about it, fellow gardeners are nurturers and unless they are unkind people they will want you to succeed.
If you are new to gardening start on a small-scale, don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to create a garden on the scale of Kew Gardens or Wisley – they have a huge teams of experienced gardeners making it look perfect. Dip your toes in the gardening water by trying something that fits in with your current skill level and the time that you have available. This helps build self-confidence, gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps with life balance. It is amazing how the brain soaks up all of this new acquired knowledge and without realising it you’ve amassed a huge amount of gardening know how and in a few years people will be asking you for advice, not the other way around.
For many people money is a restricting factor, however, there are some things that you can do which don’t cost much and give great results. Here’s my list of things to do if you have a restricted budget :-
Once you have perennial plants that are 2 or three years old, you can take your own cuttings, split some perennials and harvest the seeds. You can then swap plants with other people or sell them and buy something that you haven’t got.
Last year we planted a select few David Austin roses, OK it was 60 but who’s counting? It will be interesting to see how they do this summer, I am presuming that the snow will eventually stop falling and melt of course. We planted a long rose hedge using Rugosa hedging (Wild Edric, Mrs Anthony Waterer and Sarah Van Fleet) and I’m wondering how long it will take before it becomes a substantial hedge. This hedge runs across the hill from the terrace to the middle garden and the intention is to create a rose walk with a mixture of shrubbery above and below. We also created a Magnolia walk from below the terrace to the pond. As always, I do the planting and Thomas does the structural stuff. He likes building walls, cutting down trees and making new benches and gates, this is fine by me as it doesn’t really float my boat and keeps him busy!
In the top garden, which is rapidly becoming the Rose Garden we have a mixture of roses. Close to the house with have some climbing roses, supported by a network of poles supporting strong wire which should be hidden by the roses in a couple of seasons. Here we have the following roses, Gertrude Jekyll, Claire Austin and Mortimer Sackler. Across the lawn from this is a fragrant shrub rose collection that we bought from David Austin which contains 4 different roses, 3 of each variety and these are, Harlow Carr (pink), Susan William-Ellis (white), Charles Darwin (yellow) and Thomas A Beckett (red), they are all strongly scented . This bed is edged by a low-level hedge of Munstead Lavender, there are some peonies mixed in with this and apart from the occasional Salvia that will be it. We are aiming for a more classic look than a bed so crammed with plants that beautiful plants get lost in the excess.
Opposite this bed, on the far side of one of the few flat pieces of garden that we have where there is a row of climbing and rambling roses, these again will be supported by strong posts and wires. There is an eclectic mix of roses here but that’s what I like, if it doesn’t all work beautifully I can move some of them next winter. The roses include, Paul’s Himalayan Musk (White and pink Rambler), Filipe Kiftgate (white Rambler), Old Wollerton Hall (cream Climber) and Malvern Hills (Yellow Climber).
Although these roses will flower this year but they will not attain their full glory for a couple of years, they have to establish themselves with good root systems but here in the Moosbach Garden we are patient (well I am). I imagine how it will all look in 5 years from now and I’m sure that it will be different to the picture in my head but I’m Ok with that.
There are many more roses that we have planted, some repeat flowering, as we have all become used to, and some older species roses that only flower once per year but that’s better shared next year or later in the summer when we have taken some photographs.
Some of you may think that this is a lot of change in a year but a garden never sits still, it is a snap shot in time of the gardener’s heart, aspirations and dreams. It is typical for a young garden like this. Many people, Gertrude Jekyll included, recommended with older, established gardens that every few years you change something drastically in your garden, this helps to keep the garden a vibrant and interesting place.
I cannot ever imagine not gardening but eventually I will have to be brave and pass the Moosbach Garden trowel onto a new, younger and enthusiastic gardener. Hopefully that day is 20 years off but you never know what life will throw your way.
With spring on the horizon there are jobs that need doing before all the garden comes to life. Already I notice migratory birds arriving from their wintering grounds and collecting nesting materials, yesterday I saw 2 storks and I thought to myself that it’s time to dust off those gardening tools, sharpen those secateurs and get out there. I like that period just before spring when you can really get things done. Obviously there are the normal tasks like weeding beds, turning over the soil in the vegetable garden, cutting back last years growth from perennials and pruning fruit trees but it is also an excellent time to tackle architectural and structural jobs. Once the spring arrives in earnest and everything starts growing with jubilant, gay abandon then there is little time for anything except weeding, deadheading and tying in new growth. However, before all that starts you can build dry stone walls, create new paths and generally assess which areas need a little repair.
Don’t forget that we have 9 different sorts of highly scented David Austin roses for sale available for collection now :-
We recommend using David Austin mycorrhizal fungi when planting roses as this extends the root system and helps the rose to establish itself more quickly and then feed between flowering with David Austin Rose Food.
So I wish you all happy and fulfilled gardening!
This is a very beautiful small rose only growing to a height of 120cm, so it’s ideal for the front of the flower border or even for a decent sized pot. It has the most beautiful light pink flowers, a wonderfully powerful perfume and the formation of the flower is one of the most beautiful of all of the roses. It is also fairly disease resistant.
I think that if you want to create a really stunning display that I would plant 3 of these intermingled with Munstead Lavender and a good really dark blue Salvia but you could also mix in some Scabious plants at the front of the border.
If you would like to look at more wonderful David Austin roses then why not visit the Moosbach Garden and pick up a David Austin Rose Catalogue, they are written in German. We currently have 9 different varieties of rose available at the Moosbach Garden but we would be happy to order a different variety for you.
You can buy this rose on our website by clicking here.
To see all of the rose varieties we currently have for sale click here.
Image courtesy of David Austin Roses.
David Austin Senior comments in his book ” The Rose” that “The Generous Gardener” is his favourite climbing rose and I have to say that I am inclined to agree. When I first bought one last year I was mesmerised by the beautiful blooms, the exquisite perfume and the quality and colour of the leaves. The scent for this rose is a mixture of tea and Myrrh and it is a good repeat flowering shrub. It grows to a height of around 350cm, so I think you need 2, 1 planted either side of a rose arch for the most stunning of displays. It is available as a shrub rose as well but I’m reliably informed that it does better as a climber.
I’ve planted mine at the top of the big bed, next to the steps in the top garden so that it is the first thing that you see and smell as you enter the garden from the road. I’m half inclined to plant a second on the opposite side of the path so that the assault on the senses is complete. My plan is to fill this big bed with a classic colour combination of light pink roses paired with dark blue perennials like lavender, delphiniums and salvia, I’ve already sourced the seed for some fantastically dark blue salvias. A rose arch of “The Generous Gardener” with its lovely light pink flowers would fit this scheme perfectly, acting as a gateway into a rose paradise, my only concern is planting it far enough away from the road so that it is not eaten by the deer.
The problem with deer is really quite severe here in the Black Forest and we have resorted to erecting an electric fence 6 feet tall all the way around the garden. I’m keeping a watchful eye on all of the roses for any sign of predation, I’ve also bought some very smelly black powder that you mix with water and then paint onto the leaves but I’m reluctant to put something that smells unpleasant onto beautifully scented roses. We have had a snowy winter here (it’s not over yet) and it’s been shocking to see how many deer foot prints there are in the garden if the gate is left open over night. Hopefully we will win the battle.
However, we are confident that the measures that we have put in place will be successful and all of the hard work will pay off in the summer. We are currently building new paths in the garden to create some stunning rose walks (Rugosa Sarah Van Fleet, Wild Edric, Mrs Anthony Waterer) and then we will be building some rustic rose arches using natural materials found on our land. You’ll notice in the photograph above that the rose is growing up a wooden arch and I think that this is the perfect material, especially here in the Black Forest where there is so much wood readily available. That being said I think it looks just as stunning climbing up a wall of the house, if you are thinking of planting a climbing rose like this up a wall remember that roses need at least 4 hours of sunshine a day. Most roses thrive best in a south facing position, will tolerate an eastern or western position but perform very poorly against a north facing wall. There are some specific roses that are more suited to shadier locations like Alba Semi-Plena and if you would like some suggestions of suitable rose varieties then please drop me an email.
We do have a limited supply of “The Generous Gardener” available to purchase here at the garden or via our website.
We also have available the fantastic book by David Austin “Meine Rosen”, available for collection or for delivery. We will also be selling some limited stocks of phlox, delphiniums, acanthus, sweet peas, cosmos and lavender and these will be available from May onwards.
Please remember that although some disease resistant roses are available now, roses on the whole do suffer from fungus and black spot and the only way to keep your roses in optimum health is to spray them every 4 to 6 weeks with a proprietary spray and to give them a handful of David Austin Rose feed after each flowering has ended. This ensures a continued high quality roses throughout the summer.
So I wish you all much happiness and enjoyment gardening!
David Austin rose Harlow Carr (Aushouse) – image courtesy of David Austin Roses.
This fabulous rose is part of their fragrant rose collection and is perfect for the flower border. A robust rose with medium sized fragrant flowers of a delicate rose pink. It is bushy in form and has the advantage of producing blooms almost to the ground, giving a stunning visual display.
The perfume evokes childhood memories of glorious summer days without end and the perfume is very similar to rose scented soaps. The leaves which are at first bronze in colour turn green and the rose is very disease resistant, unusual amongst many roses.
In height and spread it can grow to 120 x 90 cm but this can be improved by planting 3 of this excellent rose in a triangle 1 metre apart giving the effect of one large bush. It can also be used as a hedging plant and is an excellent way to divide a garden space. At 120cm this does not form a tall hedge and if you want to create a substantial hedge then I would recommend one of the Rugosa roses like Sarah Van Fleet, Mrs Anthony Waterer or Wild Edric.
We have this rose for sale on our website at www.moosbach-schwarzwald.com
We also have a selection of delphiniums, acanthus, sweet peas and day lilies for sale.
Pink roses combine especially well with blue flowers such as Salvia, Lavender and Delphiniums. Like all flowers I recomment planting in groups rather than individually which can lack the impact of group plantings, groups of plants should drift into each other in a naturalistic way and if you have the space be repeated at intervals within a flower border.