Try as I might (and I have, I have) I can’t grow roses. It’s always the same – after a couple of weeks the lower leaves start to dry, stalk by stalk, and fall off until the whole plant is bare and dies. Is it a virus? Am I over-watering? Is the balcony just too hot and humid for them? I don’t know, but until I find out I’ve given up.
However, as a hangover from the days when I was trying, I still receive the Barni Roses catalogue to show me what I’m missing. They carry roses from a variety of growers, but the majority of their stuff is their own. If you’re a rose freak, check out their new rose Etrusca, which is the most stupendous apricot colour. It’s one of a collection called Le Toscane, which also contains my all-time favourite Bella di Todi, (the photo on the site doesn’t do it justice). The different collections are listed on the left hand side of the site - if you like old-fashioned roses, look too at Le Farfalle.
I also love their trailing roses and if I ever have a garden again, it’s going to have to have a bank with a low stone wall so that I can grow them.
Meanwhile, back on the balcony the mirabilis jalapa is finally doing itself justice. Don’t know why they call it the four o’clock plant – seven o’clock is more like it for mine. I suppose plants are like people – some of us just take longer than others to get out of bed ….