I’m just back from a holiday in the south of France, having taken our new addition to meet our family and friends out there.

We enjoyed wall to wall sunshine and roses. The weekend of our arrival in my uncles village of La Colle sur Loup was the ‘Fete de la Rose’, and they were in full bloom everywhere.

Having returned home, I see that my own are not quite there yet, but the buds are fit for bursting.

Roses are a diverse group, consisting of shrubs, climbers and ramblers, and as such are suitable for growing in borders, against walls, over arches and as ground cover.

Whether you grow them for the stunning blooms, delicious scent or decorative hips, we all have our favourites. Here’s mine: I’m a sucker for yellow roses, so I’m in love with Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’.

It’s a rambler (not to be confused with climbers) that will quickly adorn an arch or pergola in a sunny, sheltered spot.

It produces masses of delightful pale lemon yellow, delicately scented flowers but one of the best things about this rose is that it’s thornless.

Keeping with the yellow-ish theme, Rosa ‘Alberic Barbier’ is a vigorous rambler, great for north facing walls.

Its fully double, creamy yellow flowers will bring little rays of sunshine to shady spots.

Or if you’re more a ‘pink person’, Rosa ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’ with its large, perfumed, blush-tinted creamy white flowers will happily do the same job in a dark corner.

My favourite ‘red, red rose’ has to be ‘Velvet Fragrance’. It produces the gorgeous, deep red, stereotypical flowers similar to those that fill florists around February 14 each year. The fragrance will knock your socks off too!

‘Iceberg’ may be one of the nation’s most popular white roses but I prefer ‘Margaret Merril’. Admittedly, she’s not pure white, but she’s better than that: this floribunda rose produces classy pearly white, blush-tinted, exceptionally fragrant blooms right through the summer. Offering good resistance to disease to boot, I don’t know why it’s not grown more!

Mother nature is my gardening muse and she does roses well. Take our native dog rose, Rosa canina: this variable rose produces delicate flowers in shades of white and pink which decorate hedgerows up and down the country.

And after the flowers have faded, plants produce edible orange-red hips.

Whatever rose or roses you choose to grow, remember they are hungry plants.

Mulch them well with well rotted manure and feed them generously each spring and you will come up smelling of roses for years to come.