One of the very first blogs that I became smitten with is the beautiful blog Trouvais penned by Trish Allen. Trish is an authority on antique textiles, all things french, rough luxe, and most of all a passionate gardener. Trish also hails from Northern California, a bit north of me. She has a enthusiasm for antique roses that is infectious. I have often referenced her blog to find out which roses have prospered in her garden. Her climate is a bit different than mine but close enough that most roses that do well in her garden will probably do well in mine . Trish graciously agreed to an interview with me.
Do you have any modern roses in your garden? If so what are they?
"My modern roses are the David Austins ( Mary Wrenn, Cressida (seen below),
Gertrude Jekyll (in the foreground),
Glamis Castle), the Eden rose produced by Meilland, also known as Pierre De Ronsard, and a few Iceberg roses. The David Austin's have the benefit of the bush and flower shape of old roses, but just don't come close to matching their scent, in my opinion. I have a row of white Glamis Castle mixed with nepeta and backed by Italian Cypress, and a blanket of erigeron (Santa Barbara Daisy) that is nearly effortless and beautiful from Spring to Fall off the Master bedroom".
What is your favorite rose and why?
“Madame Isaac Perrier...the deep magenta 19th century Bourbon rose.
Unlike several earlier rose classifications, Bourbons have a repeat bloom, but inherited the full cupped shape and intoxicating fragrance of the earliest french roses. This particular Bourbon rose is larger, more fully cupped, an incredibly bright rose madder red, and the MOST fragrant of them all. She is a nice 5 foot or so shrub rose shape, and is beautiful paired with her sport, Madame Ernest Calvat",
...a later "model" with lilac pink blooms, a plum tint to her new leaves. I like to give the deepest color roses the most sun. I'm trying to figure out where to place a second Madame Isaac Perrier in my garden...giving it more than 6 hours of sun, but somehow give it a bit of respite from the hottest midday sun that bleaches out the gorgeous color”.
What rose is the best performer in your garden?
via garden web
“Sombreuil is fantastic. She was sent by mistake...should have been Souvenir de Malmaison. I've had her for 20 years...she is great against a fence, so that her long canes can be pulled horizontal for more growth. She's about 5 feet tall and 7 feet wide, is tolerant of a bit of shade”.
(Interestingly Trish and I both have Sombreuil planted against a fence in much the same manner)
What roses have you “shovel pruned” and why?
“Gallicas, Mosses, Damask...too prone to mildew and rust in my garden...all for one bloom period. Portlands. Nice big roses, but urn shaped bush like modern roses, not the romantic old rose shrubby shape bush I prefer”.
What is your favorite climber and why?
"Souvenir de Malmaison!"
(the” icy pink” pictured above)
"She performs much better as a climber (on the arch at the back),
and you can hide her tendency towards mildew with a companion clematis, etc. Getting her up high seems to make her happier...more sun and air circulation, perhaps. And...a beautiful icy white pink, heavily cupped shape, wonderful scent”.
What are your favorite companion plants?
Lavender, Nepeta Mussinii, dwarf round and conical boxwood, Iris Palladia (which only bloom once in Spring...but has interesting varigated spikey leaves all year)".
Do you have a favorite feeding program that you follow and if so why?
“ I started years ago with Rayford Reddell's Rose diet http://ucanr.edu/sites/MarinMG/Marin_Master_Gardener_Independent_Journal_Articles/?uid=120&ds=275 and follow it somewhat loosely”.
“I used to use fish emulsion and switched to Maxsea seawood fertilizer. I also add in alfalfa pellets, and epsom salts, and buy "Walt Whitman" compost from American Soil Products...a good rich compost that I top dress with once a year”.
I have to say what I enjoyed most about this post was going back and rereading past posts of Trish's garden. If you have never visited Trouvais you are in for a treat here http://trouvais.com/. But I must warn you it is addictive. Grab a cup of coffee, take your time, and relish each and every post.
Thank you so much Trish for sharing your wealth of knowledge and your beautiful garden with us!
All of the beautiful photos except noted were taken by Trish and can be found on her enchanting blog.