Monday, June 4, 2007

Rosa Trigintipetala

It were historical roses of deep purple color that I was longing for the most. And I was not disappointed, because the one is more beautiful than the other. My favorite, however, is not an aristocratic purple one, but a literally peasant rose, the Trigintipetala.

This is the rose that has been used for centuries in Bulgaria for producing rose oil. I like rose oil and often use it as a medicine as well. I thought it would be good to have the rose producing it, too. But I had not thought it would be so beautiful.

It forms an exceptionally nice shrub.

And its flowers are like a host of princesses.

Here it can be seen it the company of another beauty, the Erinnerung an Brod.

class: Damascus rose. It was produced already before 1700.
height: 150-215 cm
width: 120-185 cm
American hardiness zone: Z4 (down to -32 ºC)
bloom: once. It blooms richly and for a long time, later also producing some hips.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A hedge of historical roses

Since the moment when I saw the first historical rose, I have been overwhelmed by their beauty. Hungarian nurseries, of course, have never even heard of them.

The greatest benefit of the accession of Hungary to the European Union was to me that since then we have been able to import plants without any restriction. And when God gives a pot, then He also gives the rabbit to be cooked in it. Soon after the accession I found the nursery of Peter Beales in England which has, I guess, the largest assortment of historical roses in all the world, and the oldest German rose nursery, Rosen von Schultheis, which has an especially large collection of the same roses.

My only problem left was where to plant these roses. They usually only bloom two or three weeks at the beginning of the summer. Some of them produce rose-hips, but most of them – and just those with the most exciting wine-colored flowers – do not, and thus in the rest of the year they are not that beautiful. After long considerations I have invented Spanish wax. I have not planted them in the garden, but – encouraged by what I had read about their resistant nature – on the street, along our fence. (Much later I discovered that this is how they were traditionally treated: they were always planted in a separate part in the garden.)

In this year our hedge of historical roses already bloomed in full glamor.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Paeonia 'Kokuryunishiki'

It arrived in this spring from the Staudengärnerei Gräfin von Zeppelin. A Japanese paeonia hybrid. Its Japanese origin is important, because the Chinese breeds – which are sold everywhere, often for extremely high price – are not frost-resistant, while the Japanese ones are. However, they are rarely found in Hungary. This German nursery offers a large number of Japanese hybrids that are surely frost-resistant even at us. They send beautiful and strong plants. This one, for example, already bloomed in the year when I received it. This is how it looked in this year. I guess now I managed to make a photo that shows its real color.

Friday, May 4, 2007

The Japanese tea garden

This is one of my favorite sitting places. Originally we wanted to place a garden seat here, but I could not wait until it would be prepared. I brought there two granite cubes that were left after the construction of the house, and on the top of them a plank, also a remainder of the construction. The result was forceful: we got a Japanese-style bench. I have immediately developed it further, adding one more cube and another plank, thus creating a corner seat. Later, when Tamás had time to polish the planks, I spread a mat varnish over it – but it in fact it had been beautiful even without that. We have brought an about 60 cm large white quarry stone with one flat side and placed it in front of the seat as a tea table.

The whole composition has a Japanese feeling while it also fits well in its not strictly Japanese surrounding. Nevertheless, for the sake of boasting off, we call it Japanese tea garden.

I sit a lot here, because I like very much the cool quiet of this place. This is what I see from here in the middle of April:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Gertrude Jekyll

Gertude Jekyll, as it fits to its name, is a demanding rose. Until I discovered that one has to prune it strongly and it needs a lot of nutriment as well as a watering equal to at least one rainfall a day, it only bloomed once a year. Since then it has always bloomed twice. Nevertheless, I have kept it in the honor of Gertrude Jekyll and in memory of our first journey to England.

class: English rose (David Austin 1986)
height: 120-305 cm - At us, as a result of the strong pruning, 120-150.
width: 120-185 cm - At us it is never wider than 120, usually it is even less.
American hardiness zone: Z5 (down to -29 ºC)
bloom: repeated

Comtes des Champagne

If one looks long enough at the full-flowered roses of Austin, then suddenly begins to see the attractive side of the simple-flowered ones as well. If at this time one finds the Comtes de Champagne, will certainly like it.

class: English rose (David Austin 2001)
height: 120 cm - At us often much higher
width: At us 120-150 cm
American hardiness zone: Z5 (down to -29 ºC)
bloom: repeated

Unfortunately at us it usually blooms only twice, first in the main season and then once more at the end of the season. However, it is such a poetic rose that I have nevertheless kept it.


I don’t exactly remember when these photos were made, but we were already deep in the autumn. The wine-colored roses of Austin often wither in such a beautiful way.

class: English rose (David Austin 1999)
height: 100-150 cm - At us always at least 150.
width: 100 cm
American hardiness zone: Z5 (down to -29 ºC)
bloom: repeated

Unfortunately at us it does not belong to the best flowering roses, but when it blooms it is wonderful.


An extremely sturdy and vigorous rose. It is good that I have found just this image of it, as they usually comment on its – in fact existing – good properties, and they only occasionally say that its withered flowers stay on the shrub. You have two options: either you continuously cut them, or you try to see what is nice in them.

class: hybrid musk (Joseph Pemperton 1925)
height: 150-305 cm
width: 150-185 cm
American hardiness zone: Z5 (down to -29 ºC)
bloom: repeated

The Help Me Find regards it as shadow tolerant, and we have experienced the same. I have just read in the Help Me Find that it has to be pruned very cautiously or it does not have to be pruned at all. However, I have pruned it quite strongly in this spring. And indeed, since then I have been observing that this rose does not like something. Now I know what. I hope it will recover soon.


This is certainly not the rose of the maniacs of order. Its huge shoots bend at random and confusedly. However, just this is its most attractive feature if one finds the proper place for it. The other attraction are its extremely rare porcelain-colored flowers.

class: English rose (David Austin 1983)
height: 120-150 cm
width: 150 - 250 cm
American hardiness zone: Z5 (down to -29 ºC)
bloom: repeated

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Unfortunately, this one here is not our original specimen. That one was brought in 1996 from England, but I planted it on a too shadowy place together with some other roses, and in the next spring, while replantating them, by mistake I gave it to someone instead of the one I wanted to give her.

I was very sorry for it, and when in 2004 we purchased new roses from David Austin, I ordered this one too. It has always belonged among those roses that I have never had any problem with.

However – the rose has changed in the meantime! Originally it had a very lively pink color, while now it bloomed in a nice dull pink tone.

No, we did not receive faulty copies. The one published in Austin’s book in 1996 had the same lively color as ours, while the catalog of 2006 displayed the same pastel tone as the new plant. The rose does match its picture. However, in the course of ten years it has changed its color.

To my grief.

class: English rose (David Austin 1988)
height: 90-150 cm
width: 75-120 cm
American hardiness zone: Z5 (-29 fokig)
bloom: repeated

The Help Me Find regards it as shade tolerant. The present one is on a relatively sunny place, but the first one was planted under a walnut tree (of which I had thought that it would not grow larger). Nevertheless, it developed well until the tree casted a strong shadow on it.

Narcissus Rip van Winkle

One of the great successes of this spring.

I bought it in last autumn, and on the basis of the picture on its package I hoped it would be beautiful, but I was not quite sure.

Nevertheless, it is wonderful in live. It sprouted very early, so it bloomed at one time with the pulmonarias. It has an extremely rare, and especially nice greenish yellow flower.

By now it has already shed its blossoms. And, according to my expectations, as it is low, therefore it is not too conspicuous as its stem withers.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Squirrels in the garden

This morning I managed to make photos of two squirrels in the garden:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Brother Cadfael

This is one of my favorite English roses. It looks as if it has escaped from a Baroque painting. It has very beautiful dark wine-red twigs and forms a compact upright shrub. It has a strong smell.

class: English rose (David Austin 1990)
height: 105-245 cm - At us, even with a strong pruning 150-250 cm.
width: 90-150 cm - At us around 120 cm.
American hardiness zone: Z5 (down to -29 ºC)
bloom: repeated
At us it blooms continuously from the beginning of June until the first winter frosts. As soon as one bloom is over, it immediately begins to produce new flowers. One of the best blooming English roses in our garden.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


An extremely sturdy rose. In the first two years it was planted on three especially wrong places, nevertheless it bloomed nicely everywhere. It also has a nice shrub.

class: hybrid musk (Bentall 1937)
height: 90-185 cm - At us 120-150 cm.
width: 70-150 cm - At us 120-150 cm.
American hardiness zone: Z5 (down to -29 ºC)
bloom: repeated
At us it continuously blooms from the beginning of June until the first winter frosts. As soon as one bloom is over, it already begins to produce the new flowers. It tolerates half shadow.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Abraham Darby

I could hardly find any place for it in our cool, half-shadowy garden. It did not develop at all, thus I dig it out, placed it in a pot, and by chance put it on one of the sunniest spot in the garden. Then it immediately began to grow. Later I also read that in fact it has to be planted on sunny place.

class: English rose (David Austin 1985)
height: 120-300 cm
width: 90-150 cm
American hardiness zone: Z5 (down to -29 ºC)
bloom: repeated
In our climate it beautifully remonts.
It needs sunshine. In contrast to most English roses, it does not suffer half shadow.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Useful links

Information on plants
databases: pages of information
databases: nurseries
paeony, hortensia, clematis
perennials in general
bamboos, grasses and rock plants
bulbs & tubers
rose nurseries
paeony, hortensia, clematis
perennial nurseries
bulbs & tubers

Royal Horticultural Society: For me it was extremely interesting to have an insight in the life of the most important society of gardening of a country where gardening is pursued with as much enthusiasm as in Britain.

Gazlap: Everything in one place – in Hungarian.


databases - pages of information:

Dave’s Garden: One of the largest databases and forums on gardening in English. I use it primarily as a database. Besides the height of the plants it also includes their width, blooming period and water demand, often pictures and various opinions as well, and – very important for me – their tolerance of cold temperature.

Missouri Botanical Garden's Kemper Center – The PlantFinder: A database on the page of the Missouri Botanical Garden, with the data of more than 3500 plants. Very thorough and reliable. This is the one I use the most besides that of Dave’s Garden.

BackyardGardener: An American gardeners’ information page. I have linked it principally because besides the American hardiness zones it also provides the heat-zones and sunset-zones of each plant, accompanied with detailed information. The knowledge of these latter is important for knowing which plants tolerate our hot summers and which ones not. If I knew this earlier, I would have known for example that I should not plant Astilbe which, to my deep grief, were spoiled in the hot of this year.

University of Connecticut: A large and meticulous database of trees and shrubs. I check it before any new purchase, because it always indicates if a plant spreads is spreading or stoloniferous, as to my experience the majority of the shrubs at sale in Hungarian garden shops are such (obviously because they are easy to propagate).

BBC - Gardening: A useful and informative gardening page of the BBC.

Le Jardin de Béatrice: A page in French, and although I do not speak French, it has well constructed tables, figures and images that help me a lot. Like the one before, it also provides data on the durability of the plants, and indicates realistic period of bloom.

databases - nurseries:

I have no experience with the nurseries below, but they have so good catalogs that I often use them as databases.

Digging Dog Nursery: An American nursery. As the master of three dogs that show a keen interest in gardening, I can appreciate their name. Apart from this, they offer very precise plant descriptions.

Lazy S'S Farm Nursey: One of my favorites, with exceptionally realistic information. And in addition they are also dog fans, with very sympathetic dogs.

Fort Pond Native Plants: It not only indicates the optimal circumstances of plants, but also provides their limits of tolerance.

Crocus: The page of a British nursery with beautiful photos and with many realistic information.

Binny Plants Nursery: A British nursery with a large offer. Their catalog often includes the description and eventually the image of some rare plants.

Esveld Plant Store: A Dutch nursery with so good plant descriptions that I use it as a database. In the case of ground-covering plants, for example, it also indicates whether they are compatible with other plants or not. This is very important to know when you put these plants not under shrubs but together with other perennials, because those incompatible crush all the other.

Artner Bio-Baumschule: An Austrian bio-nursery. It has an especially large offer of berries and wild fruits, with detailed description of each of them.

Gärtnerei Naturwuchs: A German nursery with a large offer of wild fruits, also with detailed inscriptions.

Rosenmeile: The page of Christine Meile, rose gardener and photographer (as well as a dog fan). Wonderful and rich in information.

Helpmefind: Everything that is rose. They publish several photos of each plant (and eventually links to gardens where the respective rose can be found), give very precise data about their height and width, and often also about their tolerance of shade. They provide detailed information about special sorts like the completely cold hardy Canadian roses which had been developed in the last decades. This is the site I use the most about roses.

RogersRoses: The web version of that fabulous English book whose illustrations incited us ten years ago to establish our rose garden and that I have been regularly browsing ever since. The internet version has a very good search function.

EveryRose: One of the largest rose databases with an advanced search function. Its composite searches were a great help to me as a beginner.

RoseFile: Another rose database with many good images and information, and with a special page on roses for cold climate.

JustOurPictures: The most beautiful rose photos I have ever seen.

paeony, hortensia, clematis:

Klehm's Song Sparrow: A breeder with superb plants. It is a must to watch!

Paeonia Project: A fantastic database of Carsten Burkhart in several languages. An incredible amount of images and information on paeonies, easy to use and linked to nurseries as well. Unfortunately the plants I purchased from them were not this high quality.

Piviones Rivière: A paeony nursery active since 1849, with 650 sortments.

All About Hydrangeas: A beautiful and informative page by an American lady about hortensias.

Clematis: Polish wholesaler clematis nursery with a good English language encyclopedia.

Clematis on the Web: Data, good description, accessory information about more than 3000 clematis.

perennials in general:

Heritage Perennials: One of those few gardening pages that does not only provide the optimal circumstances of the plants, but also their limits of tolerance. To me it was of a great help.

Bluestone Perennials: A similarly good American nursery that also provides the limits of tolerance of each plant.

Walters Gardens: An excellent American perennial nursery that gives exceptionally detailed and realistic information on plants.

Homestead Farms Nursery: I saw it when browsing for hostas, and found it very informative. It also offers exhaustive information on daylilies, paeonies, clematises, Siberian irises and cold hardy ferns (by the way Hungarian garden shops regularly offer ferns that do not survive our cold winters?).

Plant Delights Nursery: Another American nursery with a very good selection of plants and excellent descriptions.

Annie's Annuals & Perennials: Detailed and precise descriptions of more than 2500 plants with good images.

Cotswold Garden Flowers: A British nursery specialized in rare perennials and small shrubs. Its encyclopedia gives very useful descriptions of about ten thousand plants.

Staudenkulture Stade
: A German perennial nursery that offers more than 3000 plants. It has a very useful composite search function. A search for “dry, half shadowy forest border” for example had a result of 122 plants.

Helenium - Phlox: On Heleniums there are a few reliable and nice photos, but about Phlox hardly any. This page, however, has many of them. They are so beautiful that it is worth to check even if you do not actually want to buy Phlox. (But after checking it you will surely want.)

Hortensis: A small German nursery selling mostly rare and unusual perennials. I have never purchased from them, but I have learned a lot from their catalog.

Staudengalerie Olaf Grabner: A nursery specialized in wild flowers and difficult sites (dry shadow, dry sand). Their catalog was of a great help to me.


Mickfield Hostas: This is one of the most informative pages I have found on hostas.

Q & Z Nursey: The width of a fully developed hosta can be even two and half meters. Obviously, if a nursery keeps quiet about these sizes, can sell more plants. This is what nurseries usually do. This page, however, belongs to those few that correctly report the actual size of each hosta.

Bridgewood Gardens: Exceptionally beautiful photos, more than one about each plant.

Hosta Patch: With realistic sizes and beautiful photos.

Homestead Farms Nursey: Apart from the height and width of hostas it also indicates the size of the leafs. With beautiful images.

DirectSourceHostas: This page does not give as exact descriptions as the previous ones, but it adds many useful personal commentaries to its beautiful images.

Hostas & ZO: A Belgian hosta nursery with the description of very rare sortment in its catalog.


When buying daylilies at our climate, one has to take in account that our hardiness zone (Z5) is only good for the dormand sortments, while evergreen and semi-evergreen ones require at least Z6.

Daylily World: The page of the American daylily breeder David Kirchhoff. I guess here you can see the most beautiful daylilies of the world. It is a must to see. One would not believe that such a beauty even exists.

Iris en Provence: The nursery of a French breeder in Provence with beautiful plants and informative pages.

Tagliliengarten Baumgarten: I found it rather expensive, but it has beautiful images.

Eurocallis: Expensive too, but similarly beautiful images.

Hemerocallis-web: A German nursery of hostas and daylilies with a nice catalog.

bamboos, grasses & rock plants:

Fragesia - Der Gartenbambus: A German page on bamboos, composed with a true German thoroughness. It also indicates whether the given bamboo is spreading as well as the degree of their cold hardiness. As most bamboos aggressively spread and are not cold hardy, therefore in Z5 – and unfortunately the most part of Hungary, in spite of any contrasting opinion, belongs to this zone – is good to know these data before buying bamboos, in order one could avoid any unpleasant surprise.

Bluestem Nursery: Another favorite of mine. A beautiful Canadian page on the grasses usable even in cold climate field grown plants.

The Alpine and Grass Nursery: A British nursery. I have no personal experience with them, but their catalog is overwhelmingly rich and informative. I regularly use it as a database.

Jeepers Creepers: A very good page on ground-covering plants that even includes the limits of tolerance of each plant.

Green Roof Plants: A page of an American company producing green roofs. It includes the description of several very resistant plants that tolerate both shining sun and dryness on the one hand, and half shadow and humidity on the other. It also reports their cold hardiness which is very important because for example the real zone of the Sedums are often quite different from popular ideas on them.

bulbs & tubers (lehet, hogy a tuber nem kell):

Dahliaworld: The data of more than fifty thousand dahlias and several dahlia nurseries.

The National Dahlia Collection: They have a large dahlia database with beautiful images.

Deutsche Dahlien- , Fuchsien und Gladiolen- Gesellschaft: The reliable description of more than 1200 dahlia with photos. Good search function and links to dahlia nurseries.

Brent and Becky's Bulb: An American nursery giving thorough and reliable information on their plants.


The National Trust: The most beautiful buildings, parks and gardens of Great Britain.

Gardenvisit: Garden history, schools of gardening, garden tours and more than 2000 gardens all over the world.

Great British Gardens: Short overviews on the gardens of Great Britain, with the links of the gardens’ homepage if available. One can also search for the works of some more renowned garden designers.

The Beth Chatto Gardens: The portal of Beth Chatto’s garden. Unfortunately it is rather a commercial page and it does not really convey how fantastically beautiful the garden of Andrew and Beth Chatto is. Nevertheless it is worth to visit. The books you can order here give a much better presentation of the garden, and you also find much useful information on their plants. In my opinion Beth is one of the greatest gardeners of all times.
I think that at this moment it is Hortus Carmeli where you can find the most photos on the garden of Beth Chatto.

Sissinghurst Garden: This was the first famous English garden I got to know (by the way from a very good book, Tony Lord: Gardening at Sissinghurst. Frances Lincoln Limited, London 1995). Not everybody can be a British aristocrat, but this garden has a sort of a generosity that can make even the smallest garden look monumental.

The Great Dixter House and Gardens: Another world famous British aristocrat’s garden. The emphasis is again on generosity.

Bressingham Gardens: The page of one of the most beautiful British gardens.

Privétuin van Anja et Piet Oudolf: In my opinion Piet Oudolf is amongst contemporary garden designers like Rembrandt was among the painters contemporary with him. This page of a Dutch nursery presents the most images of the garden of Anja and Piet Oudolf.

The Battery Gardens: One of the most recent works of Piet Oudolf.

Timbers Press: Piet Oudolf: This is the shop that sells the most of Piet Oudolf’s books.

The Claude Monet Foundation at Giverny: When I started to compose our garden, I always compared each part completed with the paintings of Monet to check whether it was done successfully. Not much later I found a book that revealed that Monet in turn composed his pictures by painting his own garden (Vivian Russel: Monet’s Garden. Frances Lincoln Limited, London 1995).

Foerster Stauden: Karl Foerster was one of the greatest German gardeners of the twentieth century. This is the page of his still active nursery with some information on him as well.

Ein Garten in Norddeutschland: This was one of the first pages on gardening I saw on the net. From time to time I come back to check it and I still find it beautiful.

Moosey's Country Garden: The beautiful, rich and interesting page of Moosey from New Zealand on her – beautiful, rich and interesting – garden and on everything that is garden.


Check the information on gardening as well, because many nurseries are presented there!

Praskac: The West-European nursery that lays closest to us. It offers a full scale of plants. It is among the few nurseries that have an official license to sell the roses of David Austin, and with right, because their English roses are excellent. They have an extremely good web catalog in German. They do not only include the height and width of plants, but also their demand of light, soil and watering, and all this quite reliably. They also report correctly the blooming period of flowers – in contrast to the publications of Hungarian nurseries, they do not want to make you believe that all flowers bloom throughout all season.

rose nurseries:

David Austin Roses: In my opinion the most beautiful roses of the world. They look as marvelous as historical roses, but in contrast to them they are remontant. They have fantastic colors, some of them smells wonderfully, and some are extremely sturdy. In my experience, however, we in Central Europe should better import his roses from more nearby regions, Germany or Austria, because they are stronger and develop better at us.

Peter Beales Roses: The other world famous British rose nursery alongside with Austin’s. They sell more than 1300 classical roses, and have a quite fantastic offer concerning wild roses and historical roses. The page has a very good advanced search function that also includes the roses’ demand of light and soil, an information otherwise hard to obtain. (Nevertheless, take with caution the periods of blooming reported by them.) Their roses curiously tolerate better the change of climate between Britain and Hungary than those of Austin.

Rosen von Schultheis: The doyen of German rose nurseries with a large offer and good quality. It sells a lot of English roses, and also a number of such specialties like the Canadian and Estonian hybrids which are surely cold hardy at us.

paeony, hortensia, clematis:

Staudengärtnerei Gräfin von Zeppelin: They are mostly specialized in iris, daylily and paeony, and are especially good in this latter. Our winters are usually too cold to the Chinese paeonies on sale in our nurseries, but they usually offer certainly cold hardy sorments, and send beautiful plants.

Miely's Pfingstrosengarten: An Austrian nursery specialized in paeony, with a huge offer. We received very good plants from them.

I have never bought hydrangea from any special hydrangea nursery. Two types of the common hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) with white globe flower, the Grandiflora and Annabella are often on sale in any garden shops. The problem is that they usually do not know which sortment they are just selling, and the Grandiflora is twice as large in our garden than the Annabella. In Budapest, in the New Garden chain sometimes very interesting and good sortments are on sale, but you only must buy there if you exactly know what you’re buying, because otherwise you can make a gross mistake. The Praskac has a not too large but well selected offer, and their plants are nice and strong.

Westphal Clematiskulturen: I am just going to buy from them, but their catalog is overwhelming anyway.

perennial nurseries:

Staudengärtnerei Gaissmayer: I have browsed through a large number of perennial nurseries until I found them. They have a sensitively selected offer, and I have good experiences with the quality of the plants sent by them.

Friesland Staudengarten: An incredibly large company, at this moment they offer 25945 plants in their catalog. They have so good search function that it can be also used as a database. However, it turned out only after sending my order that at least half of the plants that were indicated as being on stock were in fact not available at the moment. Their shipping fee is also higher than usual. But at least we received very good quality plants from them.

Rühlemann's: A German nursery offering 1400 medical plants and spices. A friend of mine often buys from them and is satisfied with them.

Vasteplant: A Belgian perennial nursery. I have very mixed experiences with them. They have a fantastic offer and the plants they sent were beautiful. BUT: They counted an irrealistically high shipping fee. They required payment in advance, and then only sent two thirds of the plants ordered, saying they were not at stock. (In every other place they check the stock after receiving the order, and send the invoice only on what they have on stock indeed.) They did not reply to our reclamations. What will be with the money paid in vain to them? After several months they replied that if we send them our invoice number then they will send the money back. (We originally paid by bank transfer, thus they always had our invoice number.) Thanks to God, this was the only case when a Western nursery made an unfair advantage of the fact that their clients are not Western people.

Kwekerij Joosten: The nursery of Freddy and Marianne Joosten in the Netherlands. They offer more than 1500 daylilies and irises. They have a good catalog with beautiful and realistic images, and they send very good quality plants.

Dolce Daylily Farm: A daylily nursery in the Czech Republic. The photos do not always do justice to the beauty of their plants, but if you click on the name of the plants you receive exact descriptions. Due to the Hungarian customs and post service, their first package arrived after two weeks – and all the plants survived.

Hostakert: I can say the best of them. You might be terrified by the fact that it is in the Eastern Hungarian city of Nyíregyháza, and that they are a bit more expensive than usual at us. But you should not. They guarantee an absolutely professional Western quality, for a price much lower than there. They have a huge offer, selected with a great knowledge (almost a thousand breeds of hostas, including a lot of very special ones). I received beautiful, strong plants, including some that were so large that I could immediately divide them. The plants were carried to us by my friends, and they praised for a long time how fantastically kind and friendly they were with them. At first I was afraid to order by post from them, but the plants carried by my friends were so skillfully packaged that then I risked it. It was worth. Immediately the next day following my order I received an extra copy of a hosta (a much larger plant than usual, as we agreed by phone) that is only on sale at two more places in all Europe. I planted it on a difficult place (this is why I needed an extra copy) and it developed beautifully throughout the summer. I trust that after three or four years it will be really two meters large, with two meters high flower stems.

Évelőpark: We have bought from them for more than ten years. They have an average stock, but they always have some interesting sortments as well. In 2007 for example they sold some really fantastic daylilies. They are a wholesaler nursery who sell in small quantities only in the shop at their center in the countryside. Nevertheless, as their prices are usually half or less than what you spend in a garden shop, you’d better collect a voluminous order and ask them whether you can buy that quantity.

Szigeti & Társa Kertészet: They have an average offer, but they are in Budapest and have good prices. They are wholesalers, too. When I went to their nursery, I was able to buy in a smaller quantity as well, but you have to agree with them in advance what they are willing to do for you at the moment.

Hegede Kertészet: I can only tell the best of them. They were cooperative and flexible, we received very beautiful plants from them with a short shipping time. On the internet they are wholesalers, they only sell small quantities in the shop in their center. Nevertheless, as their prices are usually half or less than what you spend in a garden shop, you’d better collect a voluminous order and ask them whether you can buy that quantity.

Zsohár Kertészet: I have also known them for more than ten years. At that time they had a good offer, but since then they have moved rather to the average. One thing, however, has not changed: that each time when I enter in connection with them, somehow they always come off well at my disadvantage. The last time – as I still have not learned from my previous experiences – I have ordered a larger quantity of plants from them, including twenty-some special ferns (two euros per piece plus VAT plus shipping etc.) When you receive a lorry of plants you do not have the time to individually check all the plants. Nevertheless I should have done so, because among the ferns they sent there were only two of that special breed, otherwise they grafted off their idle inventories of much less valuable ferns to us.

Beretvás Kertészet: I was looking for one kind of ground-covering plant, I wanted to buy a large quantity of it, and also some two dozens of other plants. As they are more than sixty kilometers from Budapest, I called them by phone to know whether they have that given plant. Yes, they have. I can calmly go. I went. They did not have it. They shrugged their shoulders, they were not really touched by the fact that we drove more than a hundred kilometers in vain. They behaved if they did me a favor by serving me for two dozens of plants. I also took some special perennials to them as a gift. They put them under the striking sunshine and left them there as long as we were there.

Nursery of Pál Mocsáry: Since we have our garden, I have bought the most from him. His nursery is a true joy for me. He is passionately interested in plants and loves them. Accordingly, he has the best offer of perennials in all Hungary. He grows a lot of plants that one could buy only from the West – for ten times more. He has no homepage, but he has a printed catalog. He is also a wholesaler only. (e-mail: or

Etnoflora: The herbs nursery of Zoltán Zatykó. I hope he will also sell wildflowers again. Ten years ago, when one could not find wildflowers in any nursery, he gave us the first real woodland plants. He had some stems of woodroof and pulmonaria that he generously shared with us. Since then we have become a great power of pulmonaria, while the emphasis of his nursery has shifted on medical and spice plants. As he also belongs to those few who live not only from, but also for the plants, he always has a very exciting offer. The last time I found at him an apricot-colored, cold hardy Agastache that I had searched in vain throughout all the net, but in all Europe it was only sold in a German nursery, for ten times more than at him. He has no homepage either, but you can contact him by e-mail:

bulbs & tubers:

Gärtnerei Wagschal: A German dahlia nursery with some cannas and daylilies as well. They have a fabulous offer.

Köstritzer Dahlien: They have a large offer, and send very good quality plants.

Tulipánvilág: They have an interesting offer of bulbs and tuber crops.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


We have nearly a hundred kind of roses in our garden. They are mostly historical and English roses.

In 1996, when we started to develop our garden, we began it, as true intellectuals, by buying books. One of the first books was about roses (Halina Heitz, Roses – How they develop and blossom the best.) This was the first book in which I saw historical and English roses.

We immediately tried to acquire such roses in Hungary, but nurseries and breeders have not even heard about these sorts.

At the beginning of 1997 we visited in England the sister of Tamás who spent six months working and learning English with a religious order taking care of elder and handicapped people. She took us to one of the most renowned gardens of England, Wisley. At this occasion we did not manage to visit the garden, because Tamás and me got stuck in the shop of the nursery in front of the garden. (Two years ago I finally managed to pass through the shop and visit the garden, too. It is very interesting indeed.)

We left the shop with twenty-two historical and English roses. The salesgirls enjoyed our enthusiasm so much that when they got to know that we wanted to transfer these roses by plane to Hungary, they took them out of their pots, washed the earth off their roots, and packed them one by one for us. In addition, they gave us a gift as well, a book on English roses written and dedicated by David Austin.

Now the only question was how to smuggle home our roses, as we had neither time nor money to procure sanitary certificates, without which it was strictly forbidden to import plants to Hungary in those times.

We did not dare to check them in the luggage, fearing that they would break, so we thought that we would take them on board in our hand-baggage. As we had no bag to put them in, a colleague of Tamás’ sister gave us two large shopping bags. There was just enough room for the roses in them.

We entered the board with devout prayers. However, the stewardesses at the sight of our shopping bags – which exceeded by far the permitted maximum size of hand-baggages – looked at us with an almost unnaturally large smile, and one of them even asked us whether the shopping had been successful. We tried to keep poker face and replied positively – as it was the truth indeed.

Only much later we got to know that the shopping bags we had received from this old woman who worked as a volunteer with this poor religious order, had come from one of the most elegant supermarket of Britain.

Since then we also have tried to get new roses in Hungary, but still nobody understood what we were looking for. In our grief we purchased some home-made roses, but none of them spent more than one season in our garden. They looked miserably provincial on the side of our historical and English roses.

Fortunately after some years we discovered that the nursery Praskac in our neighborhood, near to Vienna also offers historical and English roses. And after 2004, when Hungary entered the European Union, we were also able to order via internet from renowned European nurseries (Schultheis, David Austin, Peter Beales).

I have to add that the roses purchased in this way are not necessarily more expensive than those to be found at home, but their quality is incomparably higher. And I also enjoy that I do not just have a “red rose” or a “yellow rose” in my garden (Hungarian nurseries usually go this far in the classification of roses), but all that rich cultural history too which is connected with these magnificent roses.

As I gradually make photos of all of our roses, I also publish them here in the blog with their most important parameters:

List of roses(The roses in brackets are not in our garden any more.)

historical roses:
Alba roses:- Amelia
- Belle Amour
- Blush Hip
- (Great Maiden's Blush)

Damascus roses:- Rose de Rescht
- Jacques Cartier

Gallica roses:- Cardinal de Richelieu
- Charles de Mills
- Complicata
- Empress Josephine
- Hippolyte
- unknown Gallica
- Rosa Gallica Officinalis
- Rosa Mundi/Rosa Gallica Versicolor
- Sancta
- Sissinghurst Castle
- Tuscany Superb
- Violacea

Portland roses:
- Arthur de Sansal
- Duchesse de Rohan
- Indigo
- Portland

English roses:
- Abraham Darby
- Ballerina
- Brother Cadfael
- Charles Rennie Mackintosh
- Claire Rose
- Comtes des Champagne
- Cottage Rose
- (Cymbeline)
- Dark Lady
- English Elegance
- English Garden
- Falstaff
- Francine Austin
- Gertrude Jekyll
- Grace
- Heather Austin
- Heritage
- James Galway
- Jayne Austin
- John Clare
- Jubilee Celebration
- Jude the Obscure
- Kathryn Morley
- L.D. Braithwaite
- Lucetta
- Mary Rose
- Noble Anthony
- Othello
- Pat Austin
- Redouté
- Saint Cecilia
- Scepter'd Isle
- (Shakespeare 2000)
- Sharifa Asma
- Sir Edward Elgar
- Summer Song
- Sweet Juliet
- The Herbalist
- The Prince
- The Squire
- Tradescant
- Winchester Cathedral
- Wise Portia

other roses:

hybrid musks:- Ballerina
- Cornelia
- Francesca
- (Kathleen)

Canadian roses:
- David Thompson
- Henry Hudson
- Jens Munk
- Martin Frobisher
- William Baffin

modern shrub roses:
- Westerland
- Bonica

Rugosa hybrids:
Belle Poitevine
- Dagmar Hastrup
- Gelbe Dagmar Hastrup
- Hansa
- Guna
- Parfum de l'Haï
- Ritausma
- Roseraie de l'Haï
- Thérèse Bugnet
- Zaiga

wild rose hybrids and shrubs:- Erinnerung an Brod
- (Frühlingsmorgen)
- Frühlingszauber
- Ghislaine de Féligonde
- Golden Wings
- Karl Foerster
- Kiese

Fruit-Grafting Lady Day

Fruit-Grafting Lady Day. This is how Hungarian people calls the feast of today.

It happened about two thousand years ago, on a spring day like this that

“... God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said. ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her. ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:26-38)

On the feast of the Fruit-Grafting Lady I recommend to Mary this garden diary that I open today. And I ask her to beg her Holy Son – who has not only created this beautiful world, but on this day also hallowed it by assuming human body – to permit that this diary might serve to His glory and praise, and to bless all its readers.