Three things for July

1st is – watch out for Rosemary Beetles. They are very good at hiding in the lavender or rosemary bushes but they can cause lots of damage, so seek them out and I’m afraid, I’d say, destroy. Some completely ate a quite large lavender I had. I’m not sure wether I had lots of beetles that I missed or if they eat lots of leaves. It’s interesting that they seem such dull beetles on the plant, but close up they are quite extraordinary.


2nd is – take time to do a major deadheading bonanza and you will reap great rewards. I’m lazy in the garden (actually everywhere) so I don’t hold with much maintenance. However, I always love myself and the garden after doing it. Everything looks so much better, neater, fresher and you will get a second flush of flowers later on.

3rd is – grow roses, not too many, just a few. Too many and you have great bushes of dead flower heads that spoil the look of the fresh blooms. On the other hand, can a garden be truly beautiful if it doesn’t have any roses? There are three that are flowering in my garden now. R. Graham Thomas. It’s yellow and I don’t much like yellow as a rule, but it’s a soft custard colour and it’s just beautiful and smells amazing. Then there’s R. ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’. It’s a mad rambler that in my case in trying valiantly to patch up and cover a broken fence. It has so many sweet, pale pink pompom flowers it’s like a kind of flowery madness. Finally, I don’t know if it’s that popular but I love R. Ballerina. It isn’t fragrant and doesn’t have the classic rose shape, but if flowers for so long and is so damn cheery you just have to love it.

R. Graham Thomas



  1. Frances

    Thanks for this. I found it really helpful as I was wondering what sort of rose to get for my garden. I am envious of my neighbour’s incredible rich deep red rambler but am tempted by your R Ballerina. anything that flowers for an age and is cheery is definitely a must I think.

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