GAR­DEN­ING The roses that stole the show

CON­NOIS­SEURS’ UNI­VER­SAL FAVOURITE Bed­ford­view rose gar­den a geo­met­ric beauty set off by touches of blue.

The Citizen (KZN) - - CITY - Alice Spenser-Higgs

ctober’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.

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