Princess Alexandra of Kent (the rose) is a rare treat. Every one of her attributes is exaggerated to challenge credulity: each flower consists of about 130 petals. Deeply cupped they are disproportionately large compared to the rose bush itself so the effect is all flower. The fragrance has won awards around the world and starts off as fresh tea maturing to a citrusy lemon scent as time passes and she never gets ill! One hates to call her the Cindy doll of the rose sorority but the comparison bears scrutiny. And all of that before we have discussed the inviting, warm pink with a hint of blue colour that Princess Alexandra of Kent exhibits. The outer petals are a softer pink giving the flower an aura of light. The petals themselves are so numerous that the rose almost looks like a particularly frothy peony. Gosh! A real princess in our collection of roses for sale.
Being well bred, Princess Alexandra mixes with all sorts with equanimity. She slots into a pretty cottage garden along with Lychnis coronaria, Alliums and purple geraniums. Include Phacelia tanacetifolia, a bell shaped mauve flower, that is particularly good at attracting hover flies and bumble bees - aphid eaters and pollinators respectively. The colour works well in quite strong colour combinations; what about employing bright blue meconopsis? Equally paler pastels or whites like Marie Boisselot clematis or the gorgeous Winchester Cathedral are brilliant too. Grow the plants in groups of three so that the number of flowers is balanced by the amount of bush. Princess Alexandra would also look wonderful grown in the grey of stone or lead pots.
Obviously this rose was named after the elegant Princess Alexandra of Kent, grand-daughter of King George V and so a cousin of the queen who was brought up in Buckinghamshire. She is a very keen gardener and particularly loves roses.