After a few years, flushed with the success of the climbing roses and hybrid teas growing close to the walls of our house, as well as the rugosa hedge, the Dog-Rose and the Rosa Moyesii surviving the bitter winds, I decided to try my luck with a rose bed surrounded with little rockery plants which would give colour when the roses were not in bloom, and to plant them all in front of the house where they would get the benefit of the sun all day.
Before making our purchases, it was important to make sure each of the roses had the frost-hardy symbol next to it. My overall plan was to put large shrub roses down the centre of the bed, with ground-covering patio roses around them, followed by the rockery plants at the outside. Among the shrub roses were species such as Felicia, Complicata, Ballerina, Yesterday, Fruhlingsmorgen and Fantin-Latour. Some of the Patio roses we chose were Queen Mother, Magic Carpet, Scented carpet and The Fairy.
They all grew really well, producing great clusters of flowers over the first few years. However, during one particularly cold Winter, their stems were burned black. Accepting that there had been some truth after all in our local villager’s warning that we wouldn’t be able to grow roses here, we decided to cut our losses and be thankful for the ones which are able to withstand the ravages of our gales and frosts.