The Beauty of Clear Pink: 5 of the best roses.

Every season seems to have its predominant colour combinations. Early summer here  means gentle blues, pinks and whites. The blue geraniums glow in the dusk and white flowers pepper the meadows and woods. The intense green brought on by the rain this year is the perfect foil for the pale pink roses.
Here are 5 beautiful roses, all photographed in the gardens this week:
Rosa ‘Constance Spry’
Introduced in 1961 this is the grand dame of David Austin’s best roses. She flowers once a year but in such profusion and vigour that it is worth the wait. The flowers have a beautiful form and scent. Can be grown as a large shrub or climber. We grow ours as short climbers on a north and south wall.
Constance Spry
Rosa ‘The Generous Gardener’ 
Named to commemorate the work of the NGS (who we open for at Easter). I pass this rose on the way into the office everyday (you can see it next to the trellis gate by the tearoom where we grow it as a short climber ) Its great beauty is guaranteed to make me pause in admiration.
Generous Gardener (2) Generous Gardener (3)
Rosa ‘Gentle Hermione’
A relatively recent introduction that is making a healthy show in our meadow. A tribute to its natural vigour; not all roses can cope with the cold and competition in our meadow rose displays. I am looking forward to getting to know this beautiful rose better. The picture below shows an atypical flower that is charming nevertheless.
Gentle Hermione
Rosa ‘The Windflower’
I love the casual blowsiness of this rose, it is good for informal areas. The petals are loosely folded and the flowers exude the kind of charm that carefree children have.
Windlflower
Rosa ‘The Mayflower’
Our big hitter. We grow this as a hedge outside the tearoom. The blooms lack the form of some of the finer roses listed above but what it lacks in detail it makes up for with the big picture…It is very healthy and flowers throughout the summer. We get the most requests for its name of all the plants in the garden(despite the prominent label)
The Mayflower

And while I am on the subject of pink. This is our dark elder. Sambucus nigra. I think it is ‘Black Lace’ but we also have ‘Black Beauty’  Shown here with the elderflower cordial that I made from its flowers. For the recipe see my blog at Fennel and Fern (due to be published June 29)
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March at Easton comes in like a lion….

Last week the winds picked up and typical March weather had arrived. Small bulbs were unaffected by it and made brave showings in the cedar meadow. Coming out now to join the crocuses are Chionodoxa in blues, pinks and white.
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New daffodils are showing through every day including the Tenby daffodil (Narcissus obvallaris) (below) and, on the snowdrop bank, an old survivor from pre-restoration, sometimes known as ‘Queen Anne’s Double’. The flowers are stuffed with petals that threaten to bring the whole stem down.
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On sunny days (like yesterday) we spot frogs  in the ditch below the snowdrop bank. The weather was so fine that they ignored us to enjoy the heat and were splashing and croaking in the puddles. The grey wagtail has returned to the river where we can watch his bobbing flight with ease.
The hellebores are at their best now. Most of our hellebores are in the woodland walk where they blend with hyacinths, dogs mercury and golden feverfew. An unusual combination of plants that is well worth seeing.
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