I will never forget the eyes of a garden centre owner swelling like organ stops when he heard me chatting to Seraphina and referring to a part of my garden as the ‘Versailles section’.
I had designed a forty foot rose walk, a broad path where two could walk abreast and enjoy the scent of old roses in deep borders either side. A sort of scaled down semi formal vista that you might find in any old European garden. I have no idea why I thought of Versailles. Perhaps it was an old echo of the Moberly-Jourdain incident.
This was many years ago when my interest in vegetable growing was dedicated to just a single growbag filled with tomato plants each summer.
Gradually over the years we have chipped away at this haven. The chicken run stole thirty feet one summer, seven years ago. Then the rest of this border was made into a walk in fruit cage. As the vegetable garden has expanded we’ve dug up more and more rose bushes until only a few were left. The pride of these being a magnificent eight foot rose tree which was beautiful but cast a vast shadow on the vegetable beds.
This is my favourite rose of all time but we decided this summer that it just had to go. We could plant another one somewhere else if we wanted. The problem is that I don’t know its name. Can you help?
So for an hour each day I’m tackling the final removal of the Versailles section. I’ve given the rose bushes a short back and sides and fed the chunky stalks into a rather smart garden shredder that has spent years being tripped over in the shed. Now Danny has to dig out the roots which will be a long hard job. Hopefully alleviated by the thought of barrow loads of even more fresh organic vegetables.
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