‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’

Nine weeks ago, I pruned all my repeat-flowering roses back so they’d flower on cue next weekend for our wedding. Then I had a panic attack about all the preparations… so we decided to change the date to give ourselves an extra fortnight to get everything done. I forgot to tell the roses not to rush though – and even then, some of them have shown up early. ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ is looking glorious today. She’s smothered in beautiful crimson-pink blooms that are dripping petals all over the rock wall at the end of the stables. My photo just doesn’t do the colour justice – it’s bright, but in no way garish, and the foliage (which hasn’t been sprayed at all) is perfect too. ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ is a fragrant David Austin English rose that can either be grown as a tall shrub or a short climber, though mine seems to be trying to be both. It has a compact shape at the front with a big spiky mohawk of tall canes at the back.

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