Monday, October 12, 2015

ENGLISH GARDEN? REALLY

Yes, it's a little confusing to say the least because in my English garden you will find Carolina jessamine, Japanese anemone, Texas clematis, Mexican feather grass, Australian leatherleaf acacia and of course the Philippine violet which is blooming in my garden as I write.


So why did I call it an English Garden? The dry stone wall. It was the very first thing I did. With so little native soil underpinned by deep rock it really was the only answer to being able to plant. The 2' high wall follows the contour of the concrete garden wall. It took months of stone collecting as the house was being built and hours of labor to put it together. Not to mention some trapped finger nails.
Walls like this, but much higher, were built all over the North of England to fence off the fields after Enclosure. They are a part of my heritage. And to be honest it is one of my favorite gardening jobs.


If truth be known most of the flowers you see growing in the English gardens are not native but brought to England by the great plant collectors of the 18th and 19th centuries. However, I would like my garden to look a little more English and that is one of my ongoing projects.

English gardens are known for their roses so this week I added a new English rose to the garden. It was actually an impulse buy. I kept checking my local nursery to see if they had Rosa 'Felicia' which I needed to replace due to hail damage, but to no avail. Then I spotted this rose, Rosa 'Molineux' and fell in love with her musky tea-rose scent and her peachy yellow bloom. Plus, she is a shrub rose suitable for a pot.


I have the Rock 'n Oaks garden club to thank for the addition of Rosa 'Molineux' following their visit to my garden this spring and their generous gift following the hail damage. I still plan to keep looking for 'Felicia'. She is truly the most wonderfully fragrant, repeat blooming musk rose there ever was! Even with all the stem damage she is putting out the odd bloom in response to some cooler nights


But a little more about Rosa 'Molineux'. She is a David Austin rose, patented in 1994 and named for the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football club which is located close to the David Austin Gardens, in England. Another gardener wrote of her, ' I do not know of another Austin with all the virtues of 'Molineux' This rose has a lot to live up to. Our climate may not be as welcoming as that of England but
she has a nice location on an east facing wall. I will move her up to the house for winter protection.
There are other roses in the garden. A circle of knockout roses around the bird bath....


and lots of rock roses, Pavonia lasiopetala, that seeded themselves in front of the bedroom window. New blooms open up every morning.


We added a couple of trellises this year with a Clematis jackmanii on each. Both were from bare roots . One did better than the other which I may have to replace next year. Another trellis is planned for the opposite wall and I am looking into plans for a wooden pillar on which to grow a pillar roses. I saw this idea at Mottisfont gardens in England. These will be on each side of the archway. If only we could have a rainy day so that I could bury my nose in a few gardening books.

13 comments:

  1. Now with so many changes I'll just have to come back and see how the "new" English Garden looks! It was so beautiful that day in April before the storm we just had to help out. Now you are taking it as an opportunity to change things up a bit. Good to see Felicia is trying to mend.

    I'm forwarding this to the rest of our Rock 'n Oaks members to share the new rose with them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think your English garden already looks fabulous but the new roses are certainly great additions. I've never tried David Austin roses but the more I hear about them from people like yourself and Amy at "A Small, Sunny Garden" who live in tough climates, the more I'm convinced that I should try trading out some of the poor-performing hybrid teas I inherited with my garden for David Austins. I remain utterly enamored with your Philippine violet, which I've yet to find locally (although I've located a Barleria obtusa, which seems to be doing well here thus far).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barleria cristata is amazingly successful here, whatever the weather. i does de to the ground each winter but usually comes back. I have had at least three grow from seed and they are identical to the parent. Must check the variety you have.

      Delete
  3. I've always loved your rock walls, especially knowing that they were built by you and came from rocks found on site. Plus as far as I can see you've never made a bad plant choice -- always beautiful! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Alan. I have made many bad plant choices. My problem is letting them stick around for too long. But thanks for the compliment.

      Delete
  4. I love the walls in your garden.
    They not only remind of England, but of the limestone ledges of the Texas Hill Country.
    The best of both worlds?

    Here's hoping we get some rain.....soon.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love that dry stack wall! I really wish I'd done something like that instead of my awful prefab landscape block. Changing it all now would be quite the chore, but believe me, I think about doing it anyway on a regular basis!

    The Molineux looks lovely. I'll be watching to see how it does for you. With the growing shade in my garden, it seems like soon the only spots left for roses will be in pots on my sunny back patio!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your garden has always been lovely, but the changes are bringing a new sort of beauty into your spaces. What a delightful way to respond to the damages of the storms earlier this year. It isn't only your garden or plant choices, but it is the WAY you garden that serves as such an ongoing inspiration.

    Those rock walls are things of wonder. How very satisfying to look at those and see your own labor! Start to finish...your gardens are a step above. Here's hoping we all get the rain we need!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love rock walls, and yours is so pretty. That is one of my favorite things about living in New England now. I have old rock walls that border two sides of my property, but sadly they are hidden in the woods. Your new rose is lovely, and I love those rock roses too! I love the look of English cottage gardens, and am aiming for a garden somewhat like that. It is definitely more of a challenge down south, but your English garden is looking beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful walls! I'm interested to hear about Rosa 'Molineux,' since I've been looking for a David Austin that would be happy in a container. What a lovely garden you have!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've always felt an "English" vibe from your garden. No matter that ypu are in Texas, your garden shows your heritage. Have you seen the new book of gardens by Arne Maynard? Yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am sure your roses will love their new home in Rock Rose's garden. I can just imagine the profusion of blossoms next spring.

    ReplyDelete