The White & Green Rose Garden
I previously showed you the beginning of the kitchen garden, which is right out the back door, adjacent to the outdoor terrace room. So now I wanted to show you the other side of the house with the White and Green Rose Garden Room, as it continues telling the story of creating beautiful 'rooms' in all the different areas around the property. This really has been one of the most exciting parts of buying a property with no garden as such because it gave me the most incredible blank canvas on which to build my vision and dreams. I could start from scratch and carve out all the areas I wanted to have. A beautiful lavender field here, a gorgeous peony field there, I've been able to make a statement with my land that truly satisfies all the creative ideas that I have been quietly collecting and filing away in my heart for many years. So a serene and classic white and green rose garden was first on my list of 'rooms' to plant out for my new country home.
I've always loved white and green together, as it's such a fresh and clean colour combination. Everyone responds to its quiet beauty. As much as I am mad about vibrant, glamorous colour - which the Kitchen Garden is a testament to with its hot pink and orange roses exploding away in amongst all the herbs and leafy greens - I also very much appreciate the understated, classic elegance of a white and green room.
So within days of moving out here, I got to work on this space. I wasted no time in finding a landscaping crew to get to work on creating garden beds to frame the house, as literally, there was nothing here but a sea of green grass.
I decided on having a lovely long (20m) and deep (2.5m) bed at both the front and side of the house. This matches the proportion of the house and the size of the land surrounding it. Any smaller would have looked twee, and any bigger wasn't necessary. The structured beds now give the humble country house the character it deserves. She - the house - now looks like a lovely lady, beautifully dressed and accessorised with just the right touches to showcase her shape and form. LOL! I told you I approached 'designing' my garden as a fashion stylist, always thinking about what goes with what and how to wear it! You can take the girl out of the fashion world but not the fashion world out of the girl!
The challenge was now to try and style some form of symmetry in this space. As I've mentioned in previous posts, my approach to the way I like to style the house and the garden is to have some structure and semi-formality. I'm not a purist about it, but I do prefer it to a more free form.
I did this by working with the living room windows as the central point. Two large pots of cone-shaped English box sit beside the window frame, with either - depending on the season - a pretty bench (in the winter) or round table and chairs (in the summer) underneath it. Directly in front - and so forming a visual triangle - is a large urn with a round English box topiary. On either side of this - spaced out to work in with the full 20m length of the bed, are the handsome white obelisks.
The obelisks are fantastic pieces in the garden, and in fact, I have them dotted around the property in every area. Up in the rose display walk, at the front door rose garden, in the kitchen garden and in the nursery as decorative pieces. They provide a strong and solid structure that works with the scale of the property. They can be seen in every direction, providing a visual statement that perfectly matches and mirrors the landscape. Not too big, not too small, but just right.
I'm delighted to say that I will be offering obelisks as one of the first products to sell out of the Country Style & Life collection, which will be available soon. I have a gorgeous new design made by a local master craftsman - a more upmarket version than these, one that is built to exacting standards - available in white, grey, black and garden green. But more on that in a future post!
Again, dressing the garden rooms is exactly like dressing an outfit. It's all about establishing the base silhouette and adding the top pieces for colour, drama, character and glamour! Beautiful, tall and commanding obelisks play a huge part in the styling of this white and green rose garden and have become a signature piece at the property.
There are 30 roses planted in this garden, comprising of 2 of each of 15 varieties. Some I had brought with me in pots from my coast home - such as gorgeous 'Jardins de Bagatelle' and 'Mother's Love', not strictly a pure white rose, but I like having her here in this garden - which was wonderful, as they already had a year or two of growth, and then most were new, bare-root roses I had ordered. Varieties include classic pure white roses, such as 'Tineke', 'Grand Nord', 'Elina', 'Karen Blixen', 'John Paul II', 'Spirit of Rural Women' - which I thought was entirely appropriate! - 'Guardian Angel', 'Couer de Neige' and 'Lamarque' is a sweet, little climbing rose that has fun making the most of the obelisk!
left to right from top: 'Guardian Angel', 'Tineke', 'Grand Nord’, ‘Margaret Merrill', 'Lamarque', 'Jardins de L'Essonne'
All in all, I've been delighted with how the White and Green Rose Garden Room has developed. Along with the roses and the decorative pieces to build out this garden, I've added Lamb's Ear as a ground cover, pops of white Italian lavender and white tulips and white irises who all pop up their pretty heads in the spring. To finish it all off, I've spread black mulch, which acts as a 'Little Black Dress' for the white roses. It looks dressy, chic and simple.
What started as a no-man's land patch of boring and endless grass with no beginning and no end has been lovingly transformed into an oasis of serene beauty. It comes to life in the spring when everything starts blooming, and it then becomes a gorgeous garden in the summertime. When it's hot, I come out here first thing in the morning with my tea, as it's often the coolest spot on the property. When the sun is high and the heat of the day starts in, this light and pretty garden invites one to sit down for a minute, to enjoy the perfume of the roses, the buzz of the bees and the gorgeous view to the lavender and the fields beyond. It's in those quiet, perfect moments that I know this is my forever home. xo