Six on Saturday: 12 June 2021

Could this be the best week of the year in the garden? I think we’re reaching peak abundance, a generosity of growth and flowering that takes my breath away. This is the time to savour everything, and take far too many photos, and have far too many choices of what to put in Six on Saturday, and hope nobody minds too much that six is interpreted with much flexibility this week.

1 Rosa ‘Compassion’. I’m having doubts. I wonder if I should have gone for such a pink and blousy one here. I’ve got nothing against the rose itself – and what makes a good rose is so subjective – but I wonder if it’s right for its context. Perhaps something with smaller, more delicate blooms would have been better. What I can’t deny is that this rose is very healthy, strong and vigorous, and on its third season it’s reached the top of the arch. Btw you can just spot ‘Alberic Barbier’ rambling on the back wall there.

2 Front path roses. Lots of cottage garden frills here. The three roses you can see – the soft pink, the fuchsia-red and the soft yellow of ‘The Pilgrim’, were all here when we moved to this house, but the surrounding plants were not. I like the look of roses pushing through a mass of nepeta, geraniums, alliums, alchemilla etc. I would love to replace the not-very-attractive mesh fence with a white picket wooden one.

3 Rosa ‘Heritage’. I have added a few of my own to the front path, and this is my favourite. Its scent is the perfect rose scent, it’s what every rose aspires to smell like. It also has a beautiful porcelain delicacy. Well done David Austin on this one.

Here’s a close up of the fuchsia-red, almost magenta one, I don’t know the variety, so ID suggestions are welcome. It’s got a good, strong perfume and the shrub is upright and rather leggy. Seriously prone to blackspot but the flowers are lovely I think.

And here’s the pinky one, rather frou-frou but quite romantic mixed with the nepeta.

4 Rosa ‘The Pilgrim’. Another David Austin triumph, this rose flowers with such abundance. It makes a big shrub here, and judging by the sheer number of buds, I’ll be regretting not staking this better before long.

5 Companion planting with roses. I’m squeezing a few more photos in here, as the roses wouldn’t be complete without their companions, and to be honest, much as I love roses, I hate to see a leggy rose, so these plants do a great job hiding the spindly bits. The big stars here are the geraniums, the alchemilla (which has grown to monstrous proportions this year), and the nepeta. These are bringing in the pollinators and aphid-eaters in large numbers. I’ve experimented this year with leaving all the aphids untouched on the roses, and I can’t see any negative consequences at all so far.

6 Iris hollandica ‘Frans Hals’. I’ve got a pot of these on the terrace. I love the colours, and this bee with a rather pollinated bottom trying to squeeze in.

That’s all for this week. Hope you’re all keeping busy, but not too busy, in your gardens. I’ll be busy solving the conundrum of where to put the remaining dahlias, given that the ‘spaces’ in the borders that exist in my imagination are strangely occupied by other plants. How inconvenient. Similar issues exist in the veg patch, where peas, now producing an abundant harvest, appear to have bagged the space meant for the sweetcorn. I will have to have stern words. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading.

37 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 12 June 2021

  1. Stunning roses! Thanks for mentioning companion plants and aphid control. I have lots of aphids and whitefly on my rosebuds and apart from occasionally squirting with washing up liquid (diluted) and removing with my fingers (gross) I’m hoping that the predators will come soon and do the job for me. The catmint looks gorgeous too!

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  2. Such a wonderful display of roses! I especially love The Pilgrim because it was in the garden of one of my first gardening clients and Cyril so loved his roses. And he would have loved to see all of these beauties. I bet the air is heady too!

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  3. The front border is looking wonderful with those roses and their companions. Your mystery rose is a great colour. I’ve been trying to think what it might be, but nothing has sprung to mind. Could it be one of the Bourbons? They tend to be lax growing. The pale pink rose with the nepeta is a lovely combination.
    I’ve found the alchemilla to be elbowing everything else out of the way too and I could do with removing it and replacing with some younger plants.

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  4. A beautiful selection of roses and companion plants. My wife picked a Compassion rose last year and it’s baffled me. The late flowers it had last year look completely different to the early ones this year. I think they look good on your arch. You could always grow a smaller flowering clematis or two with it I guess.

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  5. I love your ideas for rose companion planting. I also dislike the look of the “spindly bits” and your suggestions promise to attract beneficials in droves. Inherited rose bushes can present an interesting problem, particularly when they are thriving in the “wrong” location.

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  6. Oh my, this is inspiring! I may have to put an arch somewhere. I love the Compassion, yet the white & yellow Pilgrim is top this week. My brother supported Leeds United. Those would’ve been his colours.
    Enjoy the savouring.

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    • Thanks Paddy, am sure you can squeeze an arch in somewhere. Never thought of comparing plant colours to football teams, now I’ll have to think how I can show support for team Belgium in flowers: the flag is proudly flying outside many of our neighbours windows right now. Black, yellow, red…challenging!

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  7. The roses and their companions all look very pretty and happy with each other! 😉 The lavender in your photos also looks very tall. I have decided some of my Nepeta and Salvia will have to be cut back and moved later in the year as the scary Alchemilla has swamped them!

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