Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’ A.G.M.

Louise Sims

Laura knows a good rose when she sees one! A few years ago she spotted a neglected specimen which was just about surviving near an aircraft hangar at Shoreham airport. It was autumn, the perfect time to take rose cuttings, and they thrived. She gave one to me and we all called it Rosa ‘Shoreham Airport’ until some time later I spotted it growing in a friend’s garden in London … and there was the label still on the shrub.

Once seen, never forgotten, it is the most beautiful rose, bred by Robert Holmes in the UK, named after his wife, and introduced in 1976.

The unopened, pointed buds are pale apricot tinged with pink and they open through pale pink, to large, single, creamy white flowers. The flower clusters are huge, one on its own would be the perfect wedding posy, and they are borne on almost thornless stems and set off by fabulous glossy foliage.

This is a strong growing rose, and seems to be 100% healthy (no blackspot, no mildew and no aphids) but make no mistake, it is vigorous, and many growers’ indications of size are a little coy! Apparently ‘Sally Holmes’ can be grown as a climber. Ours is well above my head right now but after flowering I will prune a couple of feet off each flowered stem. It is a really good repeat performer.

Now Laura’s husband Tim has spotted a beautiful red rose growing near Horsham station …..

Great Plants this Month, Summer, Uncategorized

2 Comments

  1. Just keep going as you are, very enjoyable reading & we know what you mean about opening your garden, next year is our 20th year for the NGS.

    1. Wow 20 years – that’s fantastic! – such a great charity. Everything about its aims are pretty lovely aren’t they. Thanks you so much for your comment. Wishing you both a lovely weekend, Caroline

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