The roses

Over 600 species and varieties od roses were planted between 1996 and 2000. The drought years of 2004 to 2008, (under 400 mm of yearly rainfall), selected the most resistant and today, 400 hardy roses have pride of place.

Rose bushes in flower

The botanical species

The spontaneous presence of three wild species of rose confirmed the ability of the « Rosa » botanical genus to develop well in the garden, despite the cold winters and very dry summers: Rosa canina, the common dog rose, is the most frequent; Rosa rubiginosa, also frequent, with leaves smelling of green apples; and lastly, Rosa gallica, a species which is rarer in France, but which can be found in our siliceous-acid soil in the midst of the rock-roses and heather.

We have some of the 300 species of rose known in the world, including Rosa
rubrifolia with its blue foliage or Rosa spinossissima which blossoms in April, with a profusion of pale yellow dog roses.

Rosa gallica and Rosa spinossissima

Ramblers

Rambling roses are at their best when allowed to climb up trees, and Bobbie James, for example, adorns the top of a downy oak with an abundance of white flowers in June. These roses are never pruned and after flowering they are covered in fruits.

Bed of roses and perennials and Bobbie James

A rose garden is made up of roses combined with many other plants, in order to create a harmonious setting where the decorative properties of each plant can express themselves with every season.

 

Repeat-blooming and once-blooming roses

Repeat-blooming (remontant) roses flower several times, whereas the once-blooming only flower once and always in the spring (from April to June according to the species). Once-blooming roses are always old varieties whereas the repeat-blooming roses are hybrids which have been obtained since XIXth century.

 

Bulbs, perennials, annuals and shrubs are combined with rose bushes with respect for the needs of each plant in order to avoid all negative competition and even encourage the right alliances.

Aromatic plants therefore have pride of place in the garden to help the roses maintain a balance against insects and diseases.

Fennel and borage

 

Practical tip : pruning roses

At the abbey, pruning is done individually. Each rose bush demands a personalized treatment suited to its growing stage and its intrinsic character. Some roses are never pruned and others are in alternating years. But for all of them: no short pruning and we apply the principle of rejuvenation where all the oldest branches are removed to encourage new growth. In March, we prune the repeat-blooming roses and the once-blooming roses will be pruned after flowering.

 

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