but the upside of not being in bed asleep is that I can grab the moment of slack to post this image, taken 12 days ago, of the the high art of old shrub rose training. Carried out to perfection and executed at Sissinghurst (where else?). Rosa Ispahan, a damask rose, captured on camera newly bound and curled in arabesques before shooting into growth. With a squeak of the eye you will see the tieing-in. Left to its own devices this rose will lash out and look like a shipwreck. Here 3 stout posts – 1.5m showing above ground have been rammed in and the arms of the rose have been trained up the posts to arch back down in a loop. Rose branches are then neatly tied in on themselves as well.
Ispahan is a damask rose – my scribbled notes say don’t prune hard, only cut back each flowering shoot by a few inches.
There are other old shrub roses in this garden that get quite different treatment for training, some are supported by crinolines of what look like cherry branches. All have been given space and treated with a patient artistry that in early May had sculptural appeal.