In time gone by the Walled Garden was the place where all fruit, vegetables and flowers for the big house were grown.
In two of the glass houses we have a most heavenly scented rose called Lady Sylvia. This is very appropriate as my husband’s favourite grandmother was Sylvia and a Lady to boot.
It comes into season around the start of April when there is very little to cut for the house in the Long Border.
JT is particularly good at pruning Lady Sylvia so she – it seems a little disrespectful calling this rose it(?) – produces long stemmed roses along the laterals. In the above photo you can see a spurs which already has a bud. Each of the spurs will produce a stem with anything from 1 to 10 or more buds. This particular specimen has probably been in the glass house for sixty or more years.
The kind of arrangements I can make at the height of Lady Sylvia’s season can be seen below. I’m sure you can imagine that the scent fills every room where I put an arrangement.
The other wonderful thing about this rose is that I can make scented potpourri if I dry the small buds in my dehydrator. This means that each of the bedrooms at Ballywalter Park has a small dish with my own rose scented potpourri for the pleasure for our corporate and shooting guests.
Every year I promise myself that I will make rose jelly, but so far I’ve not managed. This year might just be the right time to give that ancient confection a trail.