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Roses & Fruit

First of all l have a small confession to make. Strictly speaking these are not my roses. I bought them in England from David Austin, brought them back to France, planted them, fed, watered and pruned them BUT not in my garden! They are in a client’s garden who just happens to have a love of English roses, especially David Austin, oh and only in Pink, so who am l to argue. They live in Switzerland and only visit a couple of times a year but, fortunately for her, had timed one of her visits the other week so was able to enjoy the first of the blooms.

Constance Spry

The first one here is Constance Spry, it has a strong myrrh fragrance, almost like the smell of a bar of Camay soap of dream like quality. It can grow 12ft or more as a climber. A full flowered rose. Great as a cut flower.

Gertrude Jekyll

Next up is my all time favourite, and the nation’s as well by all accounts, Gertrude Jekyll. This has the most amazing fragrance. I wish we had smellinet and l could share it with you! David Austin describes it as having ‘the quintessential old rose fragrance’. I fully agree. I could get high off this fragrance! A real ‘must have’ in any garden, but beware, this lady is quite prickly.

Paul's Himalyan Musk

Paul's Himalyan Musk

Another rose l planted was in the corner of their house as it has a reputation of being quite a rampant, vigorous rambler, Paul’s Himalayan Musk. This boy can reach up to 30ft and is ideal for a pergola or to cover a building. This, too, has a great fragrance. The flowers are quite delicate and only flower once but wow, what a display.

James Galway

I also planted two ‘James Galway’ either side of their front door. These have done really well and make a wonderful entrance. the flowers are full and, again, have a beautiful old rose fragrance. Some people say it is a shame roses cannot be in flower all summer long but l think this is what makes them so special. For most of them to be in flower in the months of May and June, this is what makes an English Summer.

In this garden they are lucky enough to have several fruit trees. My favourite is the Quince so l was really pleased to see the fruit had set on the tree. Nothing can stop us now from having a good crop come September and October. A late frost got last year’s blossom and there wasn’t a single fruit to be had. It should be a good year for all fruit, both in the garden and the hedgerow. Can’t wait!

Quince

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Flowers, May, The garden

 

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‘Cast not a clout till May be out’

How true! I don’t know about you but here we are still having log fires in the evenings and wrapping up in fleeces during the day! A friend of mine who lives in the south of France told me the other day that she had snow and power cuts and it was -1c! Its not as bad as that here but l have had enough of that northerly wind.

MAY-1stWEEK

2. Sow Runner Beans Outside.- In the south and midlands runner beans and dwarf beans may now be risked outside. By the time they are through the danger of severe frost will be fairly remote. It is still early to plant out those raised under glass, but they should be hardened off as much as possible.

4.Sow Beet and Sweetcorn.- Sow seakale beet and spinach beet in rows 18-in. apart. Put the seed in pinches at intervals of 9-in. Sweet corn seeds may be sown out of doors now in the south, but they may need cloche protection for a short time.

6. Keep Strawberries Clean.- When the flower stalks of strawberries appear, clean straw should be placed around the plants to keep the fruit clean. It must be put down carefully and the trusses placed over it. Special mats of straw can be purchased for the purpose.

7. Sow and Plant.- Sow and plant out lettuce. Sow more peas, and plant out tall peas raised inside. Finish planting potatoes. Thin parsnips and other seedlings. Prick out celery and celeriac. Sow scorzonera out of doors and radishes for succession. Hoe and keep down weeds.

Beanpoles

My beanpoles are in and l have planted some of my sweet peas to mingle with the beans as they all grow up the poles. In the middle of the poles are a catch crop of lettuce which l should be able to harvest before the peas and beans get too big.The cultivation of runner beans posed a serious problem during the war as there was a shortage of bamboos and long stakes prompting some people to actually steal them!

runner beans

I planted some runner beans, Lady Di, in my unheated greenhouse and they are doing really well. I saved the seeds from last years crop by leaving some beans on the plant and letting them dry off naturally. These then went into a sealed box in the fridge over winter.

celeriac

The celeriac is growing well and this weekend l will thin them out ready to grow on and plant out. I love celeriac roasted and one Christmas l went out into my garden to gather the vegetables ready for the dinner. When l came to pull, what looked like a beautiful row of celeriac, the plant literally broke off in my hand. On closer inspection l noticed that something, probably a mouse, had completely eaten away the inside of the plant leaving the outside shell untouched. Very clever!

First broad bean

Looking forward to lots more of these!

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2010 in May, The garden

 

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