Nymans Rose Garden contains old-fashioned varieties, modern shrubs, English Roses and ramblers. The former vary in bloom with subtle tints and delightful fragrance – many flowering just once – whereas modern shrub roses repeat-flower and are rich in colour. David Austin (English) roses combine both aspects together with disease resistance and the ramblers flower once in pendant sprays followed by hips.
Subtle rose perfumes punctuate the air on approach, but inside the yew-sheltered garden itself the aromas combine and grow heady and visitors can be seen chasing a particular bouquet to its source. All our roses are scented in varying degrees, but perhaps the most distinctive (and certainly most popular) is ‘Jude the Obscure’ with its powerful, almost lemony musk.
The reason for planting beneath roses, and on path edges, is firstly to hide the bare woody ‘legs’ of the rose plants themselves with something leafy, floriferous and lasting – such as a geranium - and secondly to generate a pleasant smell as garden visitors brush past – using, for example, nepeta (catmint) or lavender.
We remove spent blooms but leave some once-flowering roses to produce autumn hips – particularly ‘Complicata’ and the ramblers. Long new rambler growth is tied up for future use, whilst fertilising after the first flush helps repeat-flowering roses perform. We also remove and burn diseased material and trim the geraniums and nepeta (catmint) as they grow scruffy, leaving the lavender to flower.