Roses on Quay Street, Orford

On Saturday I went to Orford on the Suffolk coast to hear an organ and voice recital as part of the Aldeburgh Festival. The performance was held in the village’s medieval church of St Bartholomew. Parking was down near the quay, but there was an agreeable walk up Quay Street to the church.

Of course, June is the month for roses and this delightful, east-facing climbing combination was at peak bloom.

As was this clever elegant use of a white climbing rose or two, at ‘Avocets’, further up Quay Street. This planting also faces east with the blooms in the sunlight and the roots planted about five feet down in the dip of the front garden. It isn’t obvious from the road there is such a difference in levels, but if you look at Quay Street on Google Street View you can see the single storey house along with the front garden from 2011 before the hedge screened the property from nosy passers-by like me.

White roses at ‘Avocets’, Quay Street, Orford.

Turning our attention to the other side of the road a pair of painted cottages are set back from the highway with an open aspect facing west. One cottage has a well-trained rose set off against the painted brickwork. However, the first floral flush had waned and there were only a couple of rich, red blooms still in flower.

As we continue the walk up from the river Quay Street becomes Church Street and just before we enter the churchyard more climbing roses are flowering well despite fairly tough growing conditions. They are planted very close to the walls of the building, in tiny beds and are in partial shade from the large trees opposite. I expect they need plenty of watering and feeding. In truth these conditions are more suitable for hollyhocks and as you can see in the photographs the hollyhocks are doing well, and look vigorous and healthy.

Red and yellow climbing roses and hollyhocks on Church Street, Orford.

As with so much in life, gardening is all about choices. Choosing the right plant for the right place often makes life easier, however, sometimes the extra effort required to maintain, in less than ideal conditions, a striking planting is worth it. I think the folk at ‘Avocets’ struck a workable balance with the aesthetically pleasing combination of time-demanding roses together with low-maintenance variegated euonymus and rosemary to edge the driveway.


Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

20 thoughts on “Roses on Quay Street, Orford”

    1. Thank you. Ah the recital opened with a sublime chant “Magnificat Primi Toni” performed unusually by solo soprano and then followed by a brilliant and vigorous playing of Bach’s”‘Fuga Sopra il Magnificat” – BWV 733. The whole programme worked incredibly well in the acoustics of the church. I felt very privileged.

    1. Thank you. Oh my the ‘island’ I’ve not been over since I was a young teenager and a family friend used to take my father, sister and I in his small boat for fishing/picnics. At the time it was supposed to be strictly off limits. We’d be on the coast side way down from the Pagodas, but still I was a little nervous we’d get into trouble!

    1. It is a street from my childhood holidays and I have mixed feelings when I visit nowadays. Obviously, you don’t want to see places wallowing in dire economic poverty, but like so many ‘fashionable’ beauty spots in the UK the influx of outsider ‘big money’ tends to erode away at the core of any local identity. My parent’s Orford friend was an early ‘outsider’ arriving in 1964, but he stayed and made Orford his full-time home for nearly 50 years. Nowadays, it’s quite a few second homes and holiday lets.

      1. It is indeed. A tricky issue, but not one this government is remotely interested in tackling. Probably does not poll well with their core vote.

    1. Yes, it does look delightful although this time it struck me as ‘chocolate-box’ and not quite the village of my childhood when we used to come and stay with a family friend.

      1. I lived in Stalida (Stalis) on Crete for five months. At the time, it was an independent village. Now Google Earth shows it has been swallowed up in one continuous sweep of development along that coastline. Thank goodness for my old grainy photos.

      2. Oh yes, across the whole of the Mediterranean coastline it’s near enough the same story. Apparently it’s called progress.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: