Alan Titchmarsh How to Garden:

Growing Roses

by Alan Titchmarsh

The rose is the nation’s favourite flower and never goes out of fashion. In this definitive guide, Alan Titchmarsh shows how to grow and care for roses in your garden. He covers all the essential techniques and provides inspirational ideas for training and planting schemes that will ensure healthy plants and stunning displays year on year. This title features: A-Z directory of Alan’s recommended roses; essential techniques for pruning and support; how to combine roses with other plants; suggested roses for all garden situations, including shady and exposed sites; and, comprehensive guide to understanding rose types.




BBC Books





Author. Peter Beales.

  Updated, enlarged and re-illustrated, with more than 600 new colour photographs.
Classic Roses is an authoritative history and the essential manual for all rose growers and rose lovers. It identifies and describes all the species, cultivars and varieties that have stood the test of time, including the ancient Chinese teas, the York and Lancaster roses, the Provence and Bourbon roses, and the humble and hardy rugosas.
This definitive work is a grower’s guide to the buying, propagation, feeding and pruning of old roses and importat hybrids, shrub roses and climbers.
Special contributions from US rose experts include: William Grant on the phenomenon of rose-rustling in California and the southern states of America; Malcolm M. Manners on mosaic virus; and Malcolm Lowe on North American pests.

 Available from Amazon and The Book Depository.


Over 1000 varieties of roses in stock




By Jennifer Potter

The rose. No other flower has come close to capturing the western imagination in quite the same way.
Tulip fever may have flared fiercely and suddenly in seventeenth-century Europe.
The Madonna lily may match the white rose for its symbolic purity. But no other flower fascinates like this mysterious flower.
In its very ambiguities lies the blood of Christ with the sweat of muhammad, the sacred and the profane, life and death, the white rose of chastity and the red rose of consummation.
In The Rose, Jennifer Potter sets out on a quest to uncover the life of a flower which has been viewed so hetrogenously by different cultures in different countries across the centuries.
She discovers what it is about the rose that has driven people to distraction, where the roses of today originated and how they propagated and spread.
From the Greek and roman empires, through Europe and the Middle East to China, Jennifer Potter’s search unfolds across the world, enriched by fabulous historical characters, literary evocations and man’s perpetual love of this unique flower.

Quite simply, the most beautiful and desirable book of the year from Atlantic’s award winning Production and Design team. 

|Available from Amazon. Waterstones.  Foyles and Paddyfield.

Published by Atlantic Books.  1-11.2010.

ISBN  9791848871762




Pink Ladies & Crimson Gents

Portraits and Legends of 50 Roses

Written by Molly Glentzer

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

Shaped like a miter’s cap or delicately hued like the pearl-colored petticoats of a duchess, scented like honeyed almonds or nodding heavily in the wind, every old-fashioned rose possesses a unique character. And their names–often drawn from history and mythology–have stories as enchanting and evocative as the flowers themselves.

This gorgeously photographed collection of fifty exquisite roses reveals how some of the world’s most storied, beloved plants received their names, and how the names go hand in hand with the flowers’ appearance and fragrance. It’s a voyage of discovery for rose connoisseurs, garden enthusiasts, and anyone else who appreciates delicate blooming beauty.

Joining the rose parade are:

storied characters such as Greenmantle, the heroine of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Redgauntlet. As attention-getting as the character’s exquisite green silk cape, the rose’s leaves, rather than its blossoms, are the source of its heady fragrance.

Artful personalities such as Peter Paul Rubens, the Flemish master whose paintings often featured the luminous skin of voluptuous goddesses. Fittingly, his namesake rose is a heavenly flesh color, tinged with pink.

Heroes, heroines, and rascals such as Napoléon. The petals of his eponymous rose become darker and more disheveled as they age, much like the emperor who fell deep into madness after building an empire.

Nobles and notables such as King Louis-Philippe. Some liken the rich fragrance of this rose to cherries, although the shape of its buds may be more true to its namesake’s character: The king was often portrayed in caricatures as a pear.

Well-bred ladies and gents such as the intrepid British tea thief Robert Fortune. On a secret mission in China, he clipped the rose that became known as ‘Fortune’s Double Yellow’.

With vivid accounts of the colorful figures who inspired the names of the roses and with lyrical descriptions of the flowers themselves, Pink Ladies & Crimson Gents is a valentine to the rose, a feast for the eyes, and a delightful gift for any romantic soul.


Available from Amazon.




Naming The Rose :
Discovering who roses are named for .
Roger Mann ; photography by Yvonne Arnold and Paul Barden

The rose brings beauty and joy to those who grow and admire them. Often a rose will bear a person’s name, for the breeding of roses is an art and, like all artists, the raisers of roses enjoy dedicating their creations to people they love or admire.

But who was Madame Hardy? Bettina? Lorraine Lee or Henri Martin? Vita Sackville-West asked this question many years ago and rose-lovers are still asking.

Here, at last, in an elegant, timeless and beautifully illustrated edition, is the answer.

Anyone who loves these delightful flowers will find this collection of stories as beautiful as the bloom itself.

Available from Amazon





A Rose by Any Other Name:
The Little-Known Lore and Deep-Rooted History of Rose Names
By Douglas Brenner and Stephen Scanniello


Of late several books have descended on the market, providing us with the history and narrative backgrounds of roses. In 2008 first Molly and Don Glentzer’s lovely and informative book was published: Pink Ladies and Crimson Gents: Portraits & Legends of 50 Roses; Roger Mann’s Naming the Rose: Discovering Who Roses Are Named For appeared shortly thereafter, a handsome volume that includes over 100 rose histories—though some are rather cursory at best. Now in 2009 we have a truly remarkable book written by Douglas Brenner and Stephen Scanniello, A Rose by Any Name: The Little-Known Lore and Deep-Rooted History of Rose Names.

Brenner, a former editor of Garden Design and of Martha Stewart Living, is also a writer on gardens and their design. Scanniello is president of the Heritage Rose Foundation. He has written three other books on roses, and recently was honored as one of two Great Rosarians of the World for 2009.

The number of roses the authors address is astonishing. Included are stories and references to vanished roses, commercially rare roses, Old Garden Roses, as well as the latest hybrid teas and miniature roses, all numbering to more than 1000.

We are told the imbricated history of ‘American Beauty’; the seesaw tale of ‘Blaze,’ whose marketing pitch “transform[ed] a mediocre rose into a best seller”; the myth and truth of ‘Rosa Mundi’; the legend behind ‘Nur Mahal’; the complicated background of ‘Harison’s Yellow’ and its segue into the ‘Yellow Rose of Texas.’ We become rather well acquainted with the real Constance Spry, an antiquarian who “refused to accept that modern is invariably better than old-fashioned.” Through her—the chapter on ‘Constance Spry,’ that is—we get a nodding introduction to Graham Thomas, Gertrude Jekyll, Ellen Willmott, and the roses named for them, as well as a number of parsons: J.H. Pemberton, Reynolds Hole, and other less prominent rosarian clergy.

Indeed, each chapter, despite the focus of its rose title, is a divergent path through the garden that leads also to other roses. Thus, the chapter “Barbra Streisand,” after a tale or two of its namesake, finds us in a bed with stardom, discussing Greer Garson, Helen Hayes, James Mason, and other actors who also loved roses. (Though not mentioned in the book, Greer Garson once wrote an article or two in the 1940s for the American Rose Annual.)

So it is that while some chapters provide us with histories that bred the rose, others rely rather more on a list approach with an occasional aside. A case in point is the chapter on china roses. The writers list Chinese appellations of given roses: ‘Jin Niao Fan Lu’ (‘Golden Bird Splashing in Water’), ‘Drunk Green Lotus,’ ‘Tipsy Imperial Concubine,’ etc. The chapter “Chrysler Imperial” launches into a list, sometimes with no or only a brief commentary, on roses named for technological or scientific advances: the radio, radium, Nautilus, Sputnik, Thomas A. Edison, Lindbergh, and the like. Accordingly, the book’s subtitle is somewhat misleading, for though the history of many rose names is given, just as many names offer no “little-known lore” or “deep-rooted” background. But then, in spite of its 1000 or so rose names, the book is not meant to be an encyclopedia.

Clearly the book is meant to be entertaining. And it is! Take, for example, the droll opening sentence on the damask rose: “Lustrous though they are, the flowers known as damask roses do not take their name from heirloom linens . . .”, or this rather campy beginning of “Hebe’s Cup”:


Poor Hebe. She seemed to have it made on Mount Olympus as cupbearer to her fellow Greek gods.A double nectar for Athena, a refill for Ares, a nice desert wine to go with Poseidon’s ambrosia.Everything was fine until—damn it to Hades!—Hebe suddenly slipped on the golden floor andfell…. Her replacement was a mere mortal: Ganymede . . . , boy toy of Hebe’s own father Zeus.This book is not short on humor. At times, however, like the Glentzer’s book, it verges on cute: “If you believe in fairies, clap your hands, but if you want to grow ‘The Fairy,’ put on your thickest gloves.”

More seriously, Brenner and Scanniello present some of the inner workings of nurseries and rose societies. Though they claim that “naming rights are fiercely guarded,” the evidence suggests otherwise. In fact, those rights to rose names seem carelessly, even indifferently guarded. While they assert, “Name duplications are verboten, although a previously registered name can be reassigned if the new rose’s grower proves that the original plant is extinct,” the evidence again shows otherwise. The issue may lie in semantics (or perhaps irony). What is meant by “extinct”? Merely the fact that the rose is no longer sold in the United States? International as roses are, what if it is still sold in Europe? What of gardeners who still grow it? And propagate it? And pass it on to others? Numerous roses, many of the same class, bear the same name, a fact Brenner and Scanniello themselves attest to (four ‘Adonis’ roses, two ‘Bacchus” roses, etc.). We have two ‘Marco Polo’ hybrid teas (1971 and 1994), two ‘Moonlight’ hybrid teas (1984 and 2004), not to mention a hybrid musk, a patio mini, and a climber all with the same name. I needn’t go on.

Despite this contradiction, A Rose by Any Name is a wonderful book. It entertains by highlighting special topics and categories: roses related to “Hair and Make-up,” roses named after “Decorated Veterans,” roses pertaining to “Royal Woes,” roses named for famous authors. Where the latter is concerned, the authors write, “One of the two ‘Saint-Exupéry’ hybrid teas bred in France provided pollen for the breeding of ‘Vol de Nuit’ (‘Night Flight’) named after the author’s poem with that title.” Here the latter fact is wrong: Vol de Nuit is a novel—prose—not a poem. But I digress. This rose book even contains a section on “How to Make Rose Water.” In addition, short biographies on rose breeders deepen the content, biographies on Gene Boerner, Dr. Robert Huey, Wilhelm Kordes, Dr. J.H. Nicolas, Pernet-Ducher, and Harry Wheatcroft. One wishes Walter Van Fleet, Francis Lester, and a few others had joined the pantheon.

A word on the illustrations. The book contains old sepia as well as old black and white photographs, some in cameo style, and contemporary photos in color; reproductions of old advertisements and catalogue covers; famous paintings; and stunning pictures of roses by Henry Curtis, Paul de Longpré, Redouté, and others. One unfortunate choice, however, is of the ‘Cherokee Rose’; the flower is white, but the painting shows it buff yellow. Poor color reproduction by the printer? Still, “reading” the illustrations is as delicious as reading most of the text.

This book is rich in information. At just above 300 pages, it closes with a helpful glossary and bibliography. Any rosarian who enjoys biography and history will enjoy this little volume. I had heard of it four months prior to publication and ordered it immediately. I awaited it with excited anticipation and was not disappointed. You won’t be either.

 Available From Amazon


Green Essentials – Perfect roses

Sue Stickland

 The English have a love affair with the rose, but being blighted by so many pests and diseases it has become the Achilles heel of the true organic gardener. Also, with the withdrawal of many of the popular chemicals more conventional gardeners will have to turn to organic management of roses. Essentially the reader is able to make an educated decision through helpful illustrations and examples of disease resistant varieties. Roses suited to practically every situation found in a garden are recommended. Information about perfume, height and flowering period is also given. This is followed by planting and good husbandry tips. The final chapter describes pests and diseases with succinct information as it poses the problem and sets out the solution. The book’s style gives quick and easy reference for the busy gardener through a helpful yearly planner.


Available from Impact Publishing