12 June 2012 - 9:37pm

Roses out now - 3 of the best

Such a lovely time in the garden, not only is it looking good despite the weather, but there is so much more to come.

Three of my all time favourite roses are out now: from right to left - modern climbing rose 'Laura Ford', Climber Mme Alfred Carriere and Gallica rose 'Tuscany Superb'.

Laura Ford is an easy, short climber to around 10'. Its smallish but abundant flowers start as bright yellow buds and then open, fading with a hint of pink. It is at it's best now, but does repeat flower given a good soak and a feed. The scent is lovely, not too overpowering.

Mme Alfred Carriere is a more robust climber, to 20' here. Lovely ivory white, good scent, happy on a quite exposed wall. Fabulous show this year, repeat flowers a little, but sporadically.

Tuscany Superb is an amazing, velvety, blousy, very beautiful rose. Gangly plant, no repeat flowers, but who cares, it is so beautiful. I have it in a bed closely planted with hardy geraniums, foxgloves and regale lillies, lavender at the front. Not radical, but very lovely and fragrant, makes me happy.

I like roses in small groups in mixed borders rather than a bed to themselves. They work better for me that way as its easier to mask them when they are not at their best which, after all, is a fair proportion of the year. Plant spring bulbs under them and perennials to scramble round them, keep them well fed and watered and you will enjoy your garden from spring into late autumn.