Rosa ‘Iceberg’

Perhaps the most famous of all modern roses (it was bred of hybrid musk parentage in 1958), ‘Iceberg’ is so tall and vigorous that it can, if you wish, be treated not as a floribunda but as a shrub rose, when it will have the virtue of perpetual flowering denied to the true shrubs. If you want this, prune it only lightly in spring, and it will grow to about 5 feet (1.5 m). ‘Iceberg’ has sprays of long white buds, tinged with pink, which open to a greenish white. The first flush of flowers is abundant and prolonged, there is then usually a slight pause, and then another flowering which is as good as the first.

The leaves are a pale fresh green. ‘Iceberg’ is much used in grey-greenand-white gardens with white herbaceous plants, turk’s-cap lilies, pinks, lavender, hostas, clematis and box. Box or yew hedging is an essential background to a white garden, or the whole ghostly thing tends to float away into nothingness. Iceberg’ is also lovely in a formal rosebed grown with the blueish-red ‘Rosemary Rose’, which has red foliage, so that both flowers and leaves provide a colour contrast. This rose is a modern floribun-da, but has full, quartered flowers like a Victorian rose, and a rich scent.

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