The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Old roses: Rugosa Rose. Rosa Roseraie de L’Hay

Rosa Roseraie de L'HayWe are lucky that our garden is big enough to let some of our old roses grow into large tree like shrubs. This rose is about seven feet tall and ranges across the width of a six foot border. It is one of the old roses that I bought from Sagger’s nursery garden in Newport, Essex. I wanted to plant old varieties of roses but knew very little about these. Roger Sagger is a great guy to turn to for advice. He took a lot of time to find the perfect rose for each aspect.

Fifteen years later the roses have matured from the six inch sticklike things in long pots to roses that have a massive impact. Roses seem to initiate a passionate response in me, especially if I can bury my nose in a flower and enjoy their heady scent. Roseraie de L’Hay is my favourite by far. I don’t need to sniff, the scent is overwhelming when I walk through the rose arches and turn towards the small pond and the chickens. This rose lives near the end of a long twenty five foot border between the small orchard area and the chicken run.

This rose has been flowering well for about three weeks now. These are the months when she sings all her major operatic roles. As she has grown so large, she has become Wagnerian. Later in the summer she flowers a little on and off, now singing the occasional haunting song rather than the grand operas of May and June. And when her petals fall, they look beautiful on the grass

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  1. Helena Johnson

    I’ve grown three of these from three cuttings I took from my late mother-in-law’s rose bush! They all took and now I have a fantastic display. Until last week nobody knew the name as the original label was lost – David Austin identified it for me from a small sample with a flower. I love this rose and it has lovely memories for me.

  2. rbrussell

    Just got one of those roses. I’ll keep you posted on how it does, but even in its pot, I’m sold on it and want some more.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi rbrussell

      It is a lovely rose. As we have space we don’t prune it, rather just take out the dead wood. It now stands abut 8 feet high and is stunning. Covered with flowers and almost a tree!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Isn’t it strange, reading your comment about this rose I realised that I have never fed or deadheaded this rose. It is wonderful but it could be even better. Thanks for the inspiration, Sara.
    I plan to dead head and feed this rose at the weekend.

  4. We also have rose bushes that have turned into rose trees over the years. The amount of rose flower heads on them is amazing. Yours looks lovely.
    Sara from farmingfriends

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