Every year I look forward to certain “big events” in our garden. It’s a quarter-acre plot in total, a size the Royal Horticultural Society would describe as “small” but plenty big enough for us to keep an eye on everything.
In fact, the best advice I ever got was from the former head gardener of Somerleyton Hall near Lowestoft who said: “Look after what you’ve got before going out and buying more.” It’s not always easy of course but the rambling rose that we now have growing up an old hawthorn was rescued from the hedge shortly after we arrived here 15 years ago.
It’s the highly fragrant ‘Wedding Day’ and blooms around the time of my birthday in the first half of June, flinging its scent across the garden.
As for looking after it, I’m afraid we don’t “unwind it and carefully train the shoots by fanning them out” or tie in new stems as the RHS recommends. The tree is on a high slope and very difficult for us to access safely. The best we can do is snip off the stems that veer out wildly and that job is usually reserved for the hedge cutters who have the nerve to reach them.
Even so, the RHS gives excellent advice as always so do give it a look.
It only leaves me to say that our rose has apparently thrived on our neglect and is more wonderful every year.