Gardeners cuttings from Sissinghurst Castle Garden
June is unequivocally the month for roses at Sissinghurst. There are roses to be found in every individual room (even the Herb garden has two), as well as the Orchard, and around the buildings and meadows immediately outside the garden
But not surprisingly, the main show is in the Rose Garden itself, with around 140 different varieties. There are roses tumbling from the walls, scrambling up poles, standing free in the beds and arched over hazel benders and chestnut frames.
Roses are one of the main contributors to the romance and abundance which Vita so desired in the garden. They not only provide a visual feast of colour and form, but their scent is also gloriously overwhelming. This particular attribute is one of the main reasons Vita favoured the old roses - those varieties which were bred before the creation of the first hybrid tea ‘La France’, in 1867.
Old roses are once-flowering, and so to keep them looking their best for as long as possible, we have a team of volunteer ‘dead headers’ who are solely dedicated to this task throughout June and July.
Frustratingly, despite their beauty and strong scent, the old roses are often prone to blackspot, rust and aphid. This year we are making a concerted effort to reduce our reliance on chemical sprays and have been trialling a new regime of organic alternatives.
The gardeners will as usual be busy weeding, mowing, tidying, deadheading and probably watering.The hot, dry weather we have come to expect in Summer has meant that our watering cans and sprinklers do make an appearance more often than perhaps they used to.
If you would like to know more about how we prune, train and care for our roses, feel free to ask one of our gardeners about it.