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Jo Thompson rounds up her 9 favourite rose varieties

June is without doubt the month of the rose and multi award-winning garden designer, Jo Thompson, is famed for using Britain’s favourite flower in many of her garden schemes and gold medal winning show gardens.

Rosa ‘Cardinal de Richelieu’ 

Shrub Rose – June & July – Sun or part shade

Although this shrub rose has a relatively short flowering period, it’s worth it, as the deep rich purple blooms make the perfect foil for lighter coloured perennials and roses. It also makes a wonderfully fragrant cut flower and I like pairing it with Rosa ‘The Lark Ascending’, bringing the outside in.  


Rosa ‘Cecile Brunner’

Climber – June to September – Sun or part shade

This long flowering climber has sprays of delicately scented, double, light pink flowers that will cloak a sunny wall or pergola during the summer months. 


Rosa ‘Tuscany Superb’

Shrub rose – June to August – Sun

The fragrance of this ‘gallica rose’ is a feast for the senses, its deep-crimson double flowers look fantastic when teamed with dark dramatic foliage or flowers.


Rosa ‘Eglantyne’

Shrub rose – June to September – Sun

A beautiful, long flowering rose with a strong old rose fragrance, I really enjoy the way its soft pink outer petals form a shallow saucer that cradles the smaller ruffles in the centre. 


Rosa ‘The Lark Ascending’

Shrub rose – June to August – Sun

A beautiful vigorous shrub rose that is covered in golden-apricot blooms that have a delicate scent. They are as gorgeous in a vase as they are gracing a garden.


Rosa ‘Reine des Violettes’

Shrub rose – June & July then September

The lilac-purple flowers of this variety smother the bush on almost thorn-less stems in midsummer and it’ll reward the patient gardener with a second flush in September. I think that the lavender hue works particularly well with grey foliage plants.


Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’

Rambler – April to June – Sun

An early flowering variety that welcomes Spring to the garden with its delicate scent. This thornless rambling rose will scramble across an arch or pergola and can also be trained through a strong tree. Seeing its delicate lemon blooms always makes my heart sing.


Rosa ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’

Climber & Shrub rose (if supported) – July to September – Sun or part shade

This elegant, versatile rose was famously loved by legendary plantswoman Vita Sackville-West and I’m in absolute agreement.  It has deep claret coloured flowers and will thrive on a north facing wall, even in poor soils, and it too has few thorns so pruning is less painful!


Rosa ‘Louise Odier’

Climber & Shrub rose – July to September – Sun or part shade

One of my very favourite scented roses, its versatile nature means it can work in a border as a shrub or trained as a small climber.  It is particularly prolific and its strong perfume is wonderful around a seating area, entrance or path. 

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