Sensory Sensations: Roses and Lavender

Roses in the morning dew!

Jenny writes: Beautiful to the eye, many roses are now blooming in the garden. Personally, I love deep pink roses, creamy yellows and (secret crush!) salmon pink and orange ones. This deep pink variety, named ‘Gertrude Jeykll‘ after the famous 19th century garden designer, flourishes in the bed opposite my back door, so I can see it every day. What a joy!

To get the full benefit of it’s lemony/rose scent you have to bend in close and inhale – but it’s really worth the effort! Rose flowers and scent are a lovely aid to reminiscence or a way to start an interesting conversation: what better excuse do you need to sit for a while outdoors (or indoors with some cut roses) handling and smelling them – What are your favourite colours? Have you ever given or received roses? Can you smell them? Which other flower fragrances do you enjoy?

Watch out for the thorns! On some varieties they are fierce, but you can find thornless varieties if you need to grow roses that are safe to the touch. There are many types of roses for all positions in the garden, see this useful list on the RHS site

I also have two other roses – these are grown in containers. The creamy white is called Kew Gardens and the other is an exquisitely scented, deep pink, who’s name has been forgotten! It’s french…Madame/Mademoiselle … maybe someone recognises it from the bud photo above! Smaller varieties and specially bred ‘patio roses’ grow very happily in containers, without a lot of fuss- a bit of pruning and a top dressing of rose food every spring.

Roses and English lavender – a fragrant combination

I’ve chosen to grow roses alongside lavender. Gertrude’s beside a hedge of English lavender which will bloom later this month and well on into autumn. Not only does it look good and smell lovely when you brush past on your way down the path. But it also brings the lovely sight and sound of bees and bumblebees, so intent on their pollen collection they are oblivious to the humans passing by. Kew, on the other hand shares his container with a French lavender which has been in bloom since May but the bees don’t seem to find it attractive at all!

Revel in the sights and smells of plants and flowers! Happy Gardening, Jenny

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