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ROSE

Float around the garden, collecting their fragrant blooms in your trug - but don't forget the insecticide

Who wouldn't want a garden full of roses? Depends what kind. Modern hybrids are likely to come in virulent hues of orange and puce and be named after a game-show host or minor celeb. Old-fashioned scented roses, in soft shades of cream, yellow, damson and pink, you can't go wrong with. But, for every day you spend wearing a floaty dress, gathering fragrant blooms into a wicker trug, you will spend many more prowling around with secateurs and insecticide gun. For roses are prone to black spot, mildew, aphids, canker, rust and die-back. Rain and wind can also reduce a magnificent display to tatters in the space of half an hour. So, is it worth it? Yup. After all, they are the quintessential English symbol of summer. Hester Lacey

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