Wonderful June and the garden is awash with peonies and roses in bloom!
The peonies have been in place since the spring of 2007 and bloomed for the first time last year. And what a welcome sight they were, this year they have put on a better floral show and the scent of them when working through the borders is light and fresh - it almost makes weeding a pleasure! A friend has given us a third peony this year and it is planted in a sunny spot in the grand lawn borders. No doubt we'll have to wait a couple of years for it to settle in with us, but if the flowers are anywhere near as lovely as the two we already have, it will be worth the wait.
Roses seem to be the plant of the moment for us as we have added ten to the garden this year; eight climbers, one rambler and one shrub. The rambler; Felicite et Perpetue; joins Paul's Himalayan Musk at the foot of the long hawthorn hedge dividing Holly Grove from the adjoining field. Two of the climbers; Summertime and Super Excelsa (below bottom right); will hopefully cover the pillars on the party patio and the other six; Creme Anglaise (below top right), Blush Noisette (below bottom left), Ballerina, Iceberg (below middle right), Rambling Rosie and Evening Light; have been planted on the newly constructed pergola.
Other roses planted over the past three years are beginning to settle down and come into their own. Geoff Hamilton (above middle left) was an addition last year and has beautiful clusters of lovely pink blooms with a soft scent, whilst Creme Brulee (above top left) was also purchased last year but was only planted early this spring to climb up a post on the swingseat.
I couldn't end a blog on the roses without mentioning a rose that was here when we arrived, though it was in a pretty sorry state. It climbs up trellis on the front of the house and when we arrived it had been neglected and was lanky with lots of spindly growth. We've pruned it a little at a time, more work is required to ensure that it is rose-covered on all its height. Rosa Masquerade (above centre) is worth growing for its multi-coloured flowers alone but has the added bonus of a delicious scent. It will flower throughout the summer if deadheaded - but how to reach the ones at the top!
I haven't mentioned all of our roses here but hopefully it gives a flavour of the variety and value that roses add to Holly Grove.