Gardens Illustrated
Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’ (rosa mundi)

Key roses from designer Libby Russell's garden

Discover eight key roses featured in designer Libby Russell's own Somerset garden, Batcombe. Photos Jason Ingram

Garden designer Libby Russell's own garden in Somerset covers three acres and sits in a valley, backed by a shelter belt of native woodland. Here are a selection of her favourite roses that she grows there and recommends planting.

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Denise (left) and Desdemona spread out the flowerheads to allow for harbouring insects to escape before the roses are packed away and stored in the freezer.
© Andrew Montgomery
1

Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’

Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’

A classic hybrid musk rose with the best buff colour. It repeats well and will form a vigorous, medium-sized shrub. 1.2m. AGM. RHS H6, USDA 5a-9b.

2

Rosa Lyda Rose (= ‘Letlyda’)

Rosa Lyda Rose (= ‘Letlyda’)

A romantic small rose that looks like a wild rose but repeats. It associates well with ox-eye daisies and wildflowers. 90cm. RHS H6, USDA 5a-9b.

3

Rosa ‘White Grootendorst’

Rosa ‘White Grootendorst’

An elegant relation to the pink version, with frilly flowers that are wonderful for picking. It will continue flowering right into autumn. 1.2m. RHS H6, USDA 5a-9b.

4

Rosa Awakening (= ‘Probuzení’)

Rosa Awakening (= ‘Probuzení’)

The double version of pink ‘New Dawn’. Continues to flower throughout the season, even on a north-facing wall. 3m. RHS H6, USDA 5a-9b.

5

Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’ (rosa mundi)

Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’ (rosa mundi)

A favourite historic rose. Its highly fragrant pink flowers are striped and spotted with crimson. 1.2m. AGM. RHS H7, USDA 5a-9b.

6

Rosa Perennial Blue (= ‘Mehv9601’)

Rosa Perennial Blue (= ‘Mehv9601’)

A lovely magenta rambler with a delicate fragrance that repeats really well. Healthy but, unlike some ramblers, will not rampage out of control. 3m. RHS H6, USDA 5a-9b.

7

Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’

Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’

Its large, soft-white to apricot-pink flowers are almost luminous around the banks in this garden and it repeats reliably. 1.2m. AGM. RHS H6, USDA 5a-9b.

8

Rosa ‘Felicia’

Rosa ‘Felicia’
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Libby’s favourite pale-pink hybrid musk rose, with a wonderful fragrance. A vigorous cultivar that repeats so well and is a perfect warm pink. 1.5m. RHS H6, USDA 5a-9b.

Don't miss our feature on how to train roses, along with the top roses from Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst Castle.
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