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My Choice of Late Flowering Roses

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

This year's warm autumn has been a great opportunity to see which roses like to flower late...and there are some absolute beauties.

It’s nighttime here at No 19. I’m cuddled up with Frappis in the front bedroom that overlooks the village pond. It’s the first dark, stormy night we've had for a while and I've become accustomed to going to the field and watching the sun go down over the hills with Wolfie.

Lu's downstairs sleeping against the old wooden chest by the kitchen stove. I can hear the rain hitting the windows and the wind is howling around the house. On nights like these I lock my door and go to bed early. It’s like the house comes to life and starts to creek and moan.

Doors that were closed are now open, and the sounds of gasps and wheezes follow you as you climb the stairs. I know it’s just the storm, but I still prefer to be safely in bed with Frappis.

Although the evening has all the characteristics of a summer storm like progressive darkening of the sky and uneasy stillness after a hot cloudless day, followed by sudden winds and then finally night rain, it’s already October and we usually have such storms in August.

The one thing this warm weather has brought back, is roses. Its October and the garden is full of blooms... and they’re magnificent. It’s almost like it was a little too hot for them in June and July, but the cool mornings and hot sunny days have given these late bloomers just what they need.

One of the most abundant and beautiful bushes this autumn has been William Morris. I’ve never seen it bloom so well. I didn’t even really deadhead it. But cane after cane of fresh buds have given a spectacular array of gorgeous flowers which I now don’t mind picking for the house.

Another one which seems to have gone crazy is Lady of Megginch. This produces clusters of wildly romantic flowers that hang heavy and draw the eye.

This one’s always had a tendency to want to flower again later, but this year the blooms have been fabulous and just keep coming.

My Lady of Shalott is a little out of sight since the garden’s become a jungle, but even now there are beautiful flowers brightening up that corner of the garden, matching the now golden leaves of the Staghorn Sumac.

This rose is just amazing and seems to flower all summer. The scent is light and fruity and the petals range from peach, through to orange, with pink spots on the falling flowers and red tipped tight buds. It also grows extremely well from autumn cuttings.

All the bushes seem to have shot up after the initial flowering of early summer, and then all started blooming again. I cut my Marinette back a little in July but it grew right back with 6’ flowering canes which covered the garden path making it impossible to pass.

Marinette makes a perfect rose to cut for the house. The stems are long and the flowers range from the classic rose shape when closed, all the way to a large open flower with a dash of yellow in the centre.

I often find myself putting off cutting back in summer as I know it’ll look unpleasant once done, and I hate cutting off the flowering canes.

But in late summer, and this year in autumn, not many people come to see the garden so I’m happy to do the job and bring the flowers inside.

Litchfield Angel seems to also love the autumn sunshine and is looking like it's going to keep flowering until the first frosts. Having white roses in the garden is wonderful especially in the evening when they really shine.

I have a whole host of unknowns in my garden: David Austins bought as one rose, but when flower are clearly something very different.

These surprises are often very pleasant and I'm happy for them especially if they continue to flower late.

The evening’s storm will bring much needed rain to the area, but sadly probably not enough. The days are perfect at the moment with cool mornings and low golden sun streaming through the upstairs windows of No 19.

The cats are getting fat, the wood is chopped and dry, ready for the life giving kitchen stove, and despite it being October the roses are still flowering…

It's actually hard to believe at the moment, but I have a feeling winter is just around the corner 💙

Below are some links to further information about these roses 💜♥️💜

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