I am still seeing casualties from the hard winter we had this year – numerous Phormiums, palms, bays, callistemon, fatsias…all those shrubs that say in the books they are tender; up to now we have got away with it, and grown them in this country quite happily, but the prolonged spell of cold was too much for them this time.
One good thing that comes of a shrub dying, is that it either makes more room in the border for the other plants to have more elbow room, or it gives us the opportunity to grow something new. Maybe a touch more colour was always needed there, and something like a rose can now takes its place. Roses are fantastic for filling the garden with colour when all the spring flowers have gone. They look good in both traditional and contemporary gardens – climbers, ramblers, groundcover roses – I have many favourites, but here is one I have just planted – it is Rosa ‘The Fairy’ – extremely easy to grow, and I have planted it on a terraced bank – it will tumble over and flower all summer long ’till November.