June 3

Apple trees and roses

We have a rough slope near the entrance to Duck Hill where eight semi-dwarf apple trees are scattered, mostly older varieties like Cox Orange Pippin, Mutzu, Gravenstein, and Empire. Daffodils are planted around the trees and I let the grass grow high here while the bulbs ripen. Sometime in early July, we cut the grass down, then give it another haircut late in the summer. A winding path is mowed through it so we can walk among the trees and get from the entrance to the garden. We call this spot “the mini-meadow.” In the background is a wonderful rose the size of a tree. It is Rosa moyesii ‘Highdownensis’ and is a fine splash of hot color, somewhere between fire engine red and Schiaparelli pink. The flowers are large and single and stud the branches, which are tall and arching in habit. In the fall, red flagon-shaped hips develop. I had no idea when I planted this rose, that it would grow so big, but it is fortunately planted in the suitable company of some white lilacs right by our driveway. Posy the lurcher, posing in the foreground, is a  true mutt–a mixture of Scottish deerhound, greyhound and a dash of border collie. She was a Christmas present to me four years ago.

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