We recently visited the National Trust property Basildon Park and got to walk round Lady Iliffe’s  beautiful rose garden.  

We went on a Bank Holiday Monday that was a bit grey and wet (aren’t they always?!) but I have to admit it made the rose garden no less lovely. If anything the glistening droplets of water on the petals made them even prettier. 

Now truth be told I’ve never been a huge fan of roses, dare I say it I always considered them to be a bit of an old lady plant but hey ho now I’m a total old lady so I’m having a rethink. 

My mother had a rose garden when we lived in South Africa. My mum says there were over 20 varieties but I can’t truthfully say I recall. I only remember avoiding them (thorns!) and that once my mother and our live-in gardener had a disagreement and as revenge he snipped off every single rose on every single bush. 

So now I’m contemplating. But how to choose? That’s the thing with roses, there are bloody millions of them. And where do I put it? Do I get a shrub, a climber or a rambler? Decisions, decisions… 

We went to Dorset this past weekend to celebrate my mother in-law’s 70th birthday. As we arrived at the house you couldn’t help but notice the beautiful roses. She has Iceberg roses all over the front of their house. Two were growing up obelisks and another was growing up and around the front door. Funnily enough my mother also has a rambling Iceberg climbing up the front of their house.

Mother in-law’s Iceberg roses

After looking into some rose varieties I think I will opt for Iceberg or one of these. All are fairly pale in colour (I’m not keen on brights), aren’t particularly thorny and have good disease resistance. But I won’t be buying one until I’m sure I have solved the small issue of deciding where to plant it! 

Gentle Hermione

7 Comments Add yours

  1. thestarter1978 says:

    I love roses. Do you want them to be scented? Would you like me to make you some recommendations?

    How do you feel about pale yellow?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh yes definitely up for recommendations! I’d def consider pale yellow!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. thestarter1978 says:

    Cool. I’ll have a think. Will reply tomorrow after I’ve voted.


  3. thestarter1978 says:


    My gardener recommended David Austen Roses so I ordered mine online from him. Mine came bare root but I think it depends on the time of year.

    White roses

    I have this one, which I love.

    However, I also love these:

    Yellow roses

    I have this one. It looks far more yellow when in bud but once the flower has opened, it is more creamy. I was a bit in two minds about getting a yellow climber but my gardener said he loved yellow roses so I did (and was glad).

    I also like the look of this one:

    Pink roses

    This may well be darker than what you are looking for but it is my most successful rose.

    I also have this one, which is paler:

    And this, which is almost white. It is almost thornless but isn’t as good a flowerer as some of the others (but it may get more wind):

    I wonder if this is your sort of thing?

    I have some lovely red roses too (my favourite of those is Munstead Wood) but they are definitely not pale.


    1. Thank SO much! I really like Claire Austin, Iceberg and the Whiter Shade Of Pale is right up my street! Thank you x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thestarter1978 says:

        Hey, you’re welcome! I love tasks like this.

        Liked by 1 person

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