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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Harkness Roses: New at Hampton Court ‘09

Posted by Graham Rice on 20 Jul 2009 at 11:09 AM

Rose Red Hat Lady ('Harpeep') - New at the 2009 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show . Image: ©Harkness RosesOK, this really is the last new Hampton Court Palace Flower Show plant. The trail has gone cold on the new astrantia I spotted but one slipped through the net along the way: Harkness Roses finally introduced the last of their new roses for the year, Red Hat Lady (‘Harpeep').

This was held back from their pre-announced Chelsea Flower Show launch but launched instead at the Tudor Rose Festival with a presentation to members of the Red Hat Society, the international society dedicated to fun and fulfilment for women approaching fifty and beyond.

This is a neat Floribunda rose - and so many new Floribundas are compact in habit - reaching just 60cm/2ft in height and as much across. The rich dark green foliage makes an ideal background for the dome shaped clusters of slightly fluffy looking, rich and brilliant red, semi-double flowers. Red Hat Lady blooms not just on the top of the bush but almost down to the ground and each flower is sparked by an occasional white fleck.

With its long flowering season and compact growth this is a fine rose for containers and for low hedges although it has to be said that many others are more strongly scented - even the raiser gives it two out of ten. But it makes up for this in its profusion of flower.

The Red Hat Lady rose is available by mail order from the Harkness Roses website.



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on 06 Aug 2009 at 02:04 AM