Surprisingly, a rose garden was not in the plans for landscaping our 3 acres at Parterre twenty-two years ago. My dear friend, and “garden whisperer,” announced that they were too much maintenance; best to spend time on the perennial beds, etc. (and she was correct!). But it wasn’t too many years before I began missing the presence of roses as I walked around the property. It occurred to me that they didn’t have to be in a “formal bed;” their beauty and essence could be appreciated in many other ways. Then, the fun began for me (one who always loves a challenge) as well as inspiration for this post. And yes, they provided additional cutting opportunities galore!
This awakening unfolded organically. I needed look no further than the areas of Parterre that I used so after during the day, coming and going…the back courtyard, with its 4 garages, and the side door that opens into the mudroom and on into the kitchen. Driving under the wonderfully designed metal arch (with its scroll detail at each end) I fantasized about viewing that arch draped in roses someday. “Someday” is now!
Newport’s morning mist always adds a romantic note to roses (these are ‘Eden’, also seen in the feature image at the top of this post).
But before that, I had identified 2 styles of elegant metal trellises as a starting point, dressing up the side of the fourth free-standing garage. I bemoan the fact that they are no longer available and thus cannot pass along this source.
The enhancement of this back courtyard area really took a big step forward when we continued the black metal theme with an 80′ rose chain (last week’s post). The bittersweet note here is the confetti of petals as the first (and most exuberant) blush of roses passes.
The eastern wall of the garage faced the cutting garden and was crying out for a statement. Voila! David Austin’s ‘Falstaff’ couldn’t be happier here, even though it only receives a morning’s worth of sun. Aside from their delicious color, I adore their high petal count as shown off so well in the second image.
Across from this rose espalier, wood lattice creates a see-through fence for a cutting garden that now includes formal rose beds (22 years later).
Along the deep, green lattice at the Cutting Garden, ‘Deelish’ is surrounded by Clematis ‘Princess Diana,’ one of my favorite examples of how well roses share their space.
Moving around the corner to the formal areas of Parterre, we’ve had many plants and trained vines in this pair of striking stone planters. But David Austin’s soft buttercream yellow ‘Charles Darwin’ are by far the most satisfying selection. Here, I prefer bamboo tuteurs to metal.
Lastly, looking across the green lawn at the Orangerie, I couldn’t resist draping the 2 antique leaded glass windows with again, ‘Eden’ (or ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ if you want the old-fashioned name).
So there we are — designing with roses. If you have any creative ideas you’d like to pass along, please do! Temptations are something I can’t resist…like sharing an arrangement of roses for my first house guest in months (below).
Have a glorious Fourth of July…and God Bless America.