The Fairy rose is an unusual, compact heritage Polyantha variety that has a host of uses around the garden. It has masses of rosette-like, double pom-pom pale pink flowers, 2.5cm across, held in sprays. They fade to almost white in summer heat. If you would prefer a darker or taller variety, have a look at our full range of shrub roses.
Why choose The Fairy? Well, it's been a garden favourite since it was bred by Ann Bentall in 1932 and there are very few varieties that have stood the test of time so well. It's a very useful little shrub with graceful, spreading, fan-like growth and glossy leaves. The Fairy has been honoured with the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit, so you can be sure it's been thoroughly trialled for many different garden settings. It's a tough little customer when it comes to shrugging off pests and diseases and will put up with poor soil and bad weather.
Although its flowers don't have much of a scent (if any, it has been described as slightly appley) it starts to bloom later in the season than other roses. The Fairy continues to do so long after other varieties have passed their peak, making it invaluable in late summer borders. Its spreading habit means it's perfect for use as ground cover and unlike most other roses of its vintage, it looks perfect in a mixed border. Try using it in a late summer/early autumn bed with herbaceous perennials like Echinacea (either the traditional deep pink variety or the self-explanatory White Swan), lavender, dwarf Echinops (globe thistle), Eryngium (sea holly), succulent Sedum (ice plants) and our pink and white Cosmos varieties. You'll get a timeless, traditional English garden look that will extend the flowering season way beyond August bank holiday weekend!
If you have a tiny garden, The Fairy copes well with life in containers, as long as it is kept well watered and fed. It will also cope with some shade and still flower well but does prefer a sunny site, like most roses. one thing to be aware of - Polyantha roses usually have thorny stems, so be careful if you're placing them near to a path or on a patio in pots. However, these thorns also make them excellent candidates for a low but impenetrable hedge, which is also extremely pretty.
If you want to use The Fairy as weed-suppressing ground cover, plant closely together en masse for a fabulous effect with no soil showing.
Companion planting is a traditional and organic way to keep roses and other plants healthy. To deter aphids and blackfly, try planting thyme or chives (or alliums) nearby. Not only are they edible, they also look good as ground cover and edging and suppress weeds.