Roses are among our favourite garden plants – and deservedly so. They are versatile, produce vibrant colour all summer long and well into autumn or even winter, and many are deliciously scented. Garden designer Joy Grey shares her favourites.

The British have a long-time love affair with roses and this has been a bumper year for roses. I am often asked the near-impossible-to-answer question ‘Which is your favourite rose?’ There is so much choice and the answer very much depends from what aspect – beauty, fragrance, health, shrub, climber or just a very good all round rose?

Here are some of my favourites for clients’ gardens. With a little care and attention all, to my mind, are wonderful.

For exceptional fragrance and flowers: R. Gertrude Jekyll’ 

For a shady or north wall: R. ‘Madame Alfred Carrière’ 

For a sunny sheltered wall: R. banksiae ‘Lutea’ 

For climbing into trees: R. ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ 

To train up pillars: R. ‘Pink Perpétué’ 

To train on a wall: R. New Dawn

Attractive foliage: R. glauca  

For impressive hips: R. ‘Geranium’ (moyesii hybrid) A

Thornless: R. Zephirine Drouhin

For hedges: R. ‘Roseraie de l’Haÿ’

For ground cover: R. Kent

For a sunny mixed border: R. The Generous Gardener (pictured above)

As a standard: (6Ft.) R. Ballerina

Best disease resistant: Bonica

There are, of course, many more very beautiful roses to choose from and your tastes might well be different to mine. Whenever possible try to see roses in bloom before purchasing by visiting rose nurseries or rose gardens during the flowering season. Now is a good time to do this.

Places to see roses:

Malleny, Balerno, Midlothian

Saughton Park and Gardens, Edinburgh

Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden at The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh 

The Alnwick garden, Northumberland

The Queen Mother and Piper Aplha Memorial Garden, Aberdeen

The Grey Cottage, Goose Green, Gullane EH31 2AT
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