The roses that stole the show
BLACK TEA: CONNOISSEURS’ UNIVERSAL FAVOURITE
Bedfordview rose garden a geometric beauty set off by touches of blue.
October’s annual rose bus tour not only showcased Johannesburg’s most beautiful rose gardens but also informally polled gardeners for the roses that caught their eye and the type of gardens they like.
For the second year in succession, the favourite was Black Tea, with its perfectly shaped blooms and most unusual colour; changing from orange-red to a deeper brownish-grey as the blooms age.
This Japanese-bred rose is one for the connoisseur; tall growing, with long, prickly stems that look spectacular in a vase.
No surprises either that the intensely perfumed Double Delight was a favourite, yet again.
It is second only to Iceberg in popularity, even though it is now an old rose that was introduced almost 40 years ago.
Compared to other more recent roses, it is not as vigorous or disease resistant but is still the rose of choice for fragrance.
Newer roses that made it on to the list of favourites were Forever Busy and Not Simply Pink, and both stood out in the gardens where they were planted.
In the Melrose garden, in which the roses are just a year old, Forever Busy was a show-stopper for its massive sprays of pale golden-yellow blooms, each one a perfect shape.
It was massed as a border with other floribunda roses of the same height – Bridal Pink and Amarula Profusion – with the taller Vodacom behind.
It was a breathtaking combination of roses, put together by landscaper Karin Gardelli, who made the most of the sunny section of the L-shaped garden to create two huge rose borders.
Forever Busy is a landscaper’s dream because it is a flower-producing machine that is a top choice for borders and beds. Not Simply Pink was
an unmissable display at the Mayfair Mosque, where it was enhanced by a backdrop of taller Iceberg.
The beautiful yet relatively unknown public rose garden at the Mayfair Mosque contains just about every fragrant rose it is possible to grow in South Africa.
The rose garden that stopped everyone in their tracks was a 2.5-hectare garden in Bedfordview designed by Shirley Wallington and planted by Lizette Nieman of Strylitzia landscapes.
Although the garden is more than 20 years old, it was completely redone, and now features a formal rose garden.
The four geometric beds that surround a water-feature with a rose and wisteria-covered loggia
as a backdrop combine roses in soft shades of cream, apricot, lemon yellow and pink deepening to red, including Black Tea.
A rose that showed off particularly well was the apricot Clocolan, which is an Eco-chic disease-resistant rose growing to shoulder height, that produces clusters of long-stemmed cuttable blooms, with very little care.
It was combined with the fragrant, soft pink Perfumery and creamy-apricot Garden and Home with an edging of the lower growing Happy Home that has classical pickable blooms.
The apricot tones were further enhanced by splashes of blue delphiniums and an ornate blue urn as a focal point that draws the eye through the bed of roses.