Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Rosa Mundi at Compton Verney

Into the first week of June & one of my favourite Roses finally bursts into flower following many weeks of anticipation. I've inherited the management of these beauties that were planted, amongst many other plants around two years ago in the Ice House Coppice at Compton Verney. I've admired their blooms for some time, having first met them in around ten years ago.

The coppice area where the Roses are growing at Compton is now a woodland area of around two acres, with a recently renovated pathway for visitors to the mansion gallery. For over 300 years, the area has been under ornamental cultivation, & early maps show the area as a densely planted wilderness. Today this part of the grounds offers a shaded walk with mature Oaks, Yew & Boxwood dominating. A sprinkling of smaller trees add to the understory along with regenerated Elderberry, Portugal Laurel & a variety of wild flowers.

The Roses have been planted as part of a wider renovation of the area, the plan being for them to knit together with other plant varieties to form clumps of 'wilderness' like planting. Although still guarded from rabbit grazing, the Roses have spilled out nicely over their guards, & with the minimum of effort; add a slpash of colour to the green scene that dominates.

As often as possible, I take the opportunity to walk through the coppice, and at the moment, the Roses in question are sprinkled with flowers and buds aplenty. I've sourced some information on these lovely Roses, listed below in points. I hope the information is helpful, & I'd thoroughly recommend these beautiful Roses for sure!

Rosa gallica 'Versicolor,' Rosa Mundi, Rosa gallica 'Variegata'.
  • Rosa Mundi is a striped/variegated sport of the Apothecary's Rose (R. gallica 'Officinalis'.)
  • Gallica class of Rose.
  • Late 16th Century/early 17thC.
  • Semi-double flowers.
  • Height 1metre +, spread up to 90cm.
  • Grows strongly, even on poor soil.
  • Can revert back. 
  • Can be pruned to 1m in Spring to keep from growing tall & becoming untidy, alternatively needs support.
  • Can also be pruned after flowering in late summer, cutting back long shoots by a third and cutting back sideshoots by two-thirds 
  • Upright growth habit, can sucker from base.
  • Can be prone to mildew.
Rosa Mundi, further reading on the name origin of the name of Rosa Mundi: Miss Darcy's Library

Roses (Roger Phillips & Martyn Rix,)
Old Roses, (Graham Murphy,)
The Rose Expert (Dr.D.G.Hessayon.)
BBC Plantfinder


Alison Levey said...

I started growing Rosa Mundi' last year, wasn't really sure how much I liked it. Now I think it is wonderful and it flowers like crazy. A really good rose.

maria said...

What is its scent like?