Rose 'County of Hampshire' (Korverlandus)

Val Bourne

Val Bourne introduces this gorgeous and compact rose.

This compact rose is a member of the County series and it has masses of bright-pink, semi-double flowers and glossy green foliage. This series has been specially selected for disease resistance and flower-power. Height & Spread 30 x 50 cm (12 inches x 20 inches)

These are easy, adaptable roses capable of performing well without being pampered. ‘County of Hampshire’ has won over 100 awards worldwide, so it’s a performer in countless situations. I think it’s the star of the series.

Where to plant

These prostrate, ground-cover roses are very adaptable and they can be grown in containers on patios in part-sun. They can also be used on banks as ground cover, or along low walls. They also make good front of the border plants (in mixed herbaceous borders), or in front of other roses.

How to plant

When planting any rose always improve the soil by adding well-rotted organic matter to the hole, which should be twice as deep and wide as the root ball. Garden compost is ideal, or well-rotted manure. If both are difficult, add some John Innes no 3 compost to the base of the hole. Never plant in waterlogged soil or in frosty conditions.

Container-grown roses

Container-grown roses are available all year. Always soak the rose for a couple of hours in a bucket of water to rehydrate the roots. Then plant your rose, matching the soil height of the container to the hole. This ensures that the graft is in the correct position, two to three inches below the soil.

Bare-root roses

Bare-root roses almost always out perform container-grown roses as they get away better and they are often cheaper too. They are sent out in the dormant season between November and March. Ideally they should be planted as soon as they arrive.

However if the ground is frosty, store your rose somewhere cool but frost-free - in a shed or garage. If the soil is not frosty but planting is still impossible, heel them in temporarily by putting the spade into the ground and lifting the soil to create a slanting gap. Then lay the rose in the gap.

Once you’ve dug and prepared the hole spread the roots out. Then position the rose so that the soil is three inches above the bump - where the roots meet the green growth. Fill the soil in and gently firm with the feet. Mulching with more organic material in late spring helps to keep weeds away.

When to prune

Ground cover roes are cut back with shears, or secateurs (if they need it) in late spring.

Grow with...

‘County of Hampshire’ (not to be confused with the rose ‘Hampshire’) flowers from July until November and the bright-pink flowers fit into classic cottage-garden colour-scheme with campanulas, hardy geraniums and peonies. But bear in mind that this rose only reaches a foot in height and forms a hummock. So use contrasting uprights like the purple spires of Verbascum ‘Jackie’, or the upright silver-blue Geranium pratense ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’, or the dark English lavender ‘Imperial Gem’.

Good rose companions must show off the bright-pink flowers of ‘County of Hampshire’. They include the upright, striped pink and white ‘Ferdinand Pichard’, the slightly taller and lighter pink ‘County of Cheshire’ and ‘Little White Pet’.

Some late-flowering clematis are gentle enough to scramble over ground-cover roses and their small, asymmetrical flowers match the scale of smaller roses. ‘Etoile Violette’ is a deep-purple, ‘Betty Corning’ a lilac and ‘Alba Luxurians’ is a wispy white.

Herbaceous clematis would also work well and they include blue forms of C. intergrifolia and C. tabulosa ‘Alan Bloom’.

Where to buy

Supplied by Mattocks Roses at Notcutts Garden Centres- or go to the rose locator website for more suppliers.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.