When a cottage garden is well designed it makes you forget the planning that went into creating it and takes over by establishing new hierarchies, thriving on apparent randomness and developing a personality of its own. Read more…
Us hopeful rosarians have to admit that roses are not just another pretty flower. There is something very special and noble about them, the older they are the more rare and valued their flowers and often the more persnickety they get.
Here are some cultivars to test your rosarian mettle. Read more…
I learned the most important facts about roses from my grandfather and they go like this:
Roses are not fussy plants, if they have full sun exposure they will put up with conditions that few perennials can withstand: drought, heavy soils, extreme temperatures on both sides of the spectrum and even salty water. Read more…
Miniature roses project an aura of frailty, and one would be tempted to shelter them in pots on a windowsill where they will be protected from the elements. Don’t!
First of all, these tiny roses, just like all the other roses, do miserably indoors, where they don’t have enough sunlight and fresh air.
Second, they are some of the toughest, most disease resistant roses I know. They don’t fall prey to the usual black spot, rust or Japanese beetles like their bigger, stronger cousins. They make it through the most aggressive droughts while blooming constantly. They are very successfully propagated from both soft and hard cuttings and put up with the heaviest soils. They will weather temperatures of 10 degrees below zero without protection.
Give them plenty of sun during the growing season, prune them when the forsythia blooms, and give them some food; they need no more.
Miniature roses are great for the front of the border, won’t grow very tall, 24 inches at most, and are absolutely precious. They come in white, cream, hot pink, blush, dark red, lavender, bi-color, and pretty much any color combination you can think of. Unfortunately they are not fragrant.
Does the word combination “care free rose” sound to you like an oxymoron? Give these tiny flowers a try. If they have enough sunlight, they will thrive. Please don’t forget that roses are social plants, they will thrive in mixed plantings and are especially happy around other roses.
A veteran among hybrid teas, the “Peace” rose lives up to its popularity. Healthy, strong and a prolific bloomer, it bears six or seven enormous fragrant flowers at a time. The long lasting flowers start up a creamy white with a delicate rose gradient edging and they fade to butter yellow, slightly darker in the middle. “Peace” has a classic rose fragrance, and its flowers are very suitable for bouquets and flower arrangements. It is a stocky plant with heavy canes and dark green leaves and it likes a well drained site in full sunshine. Roses like company, don’t plant them alone. If you would like your “Peace” to thrive, make sure it is in a border with other roses, and better still, other “Peace” roses.
The “Morden Blush” landscaping rose comes as close to the perfect rose image as possible. It displays bouquets of delicate peachy pink flowers, so many that the canes buckle under their weight. It does not have fragrance, but what it lacks in scent it more than makes up in color and versatility. It is a wonderful unpretentious landscaping rose with a relatively low compact growth that is a perfect fit for massing borders or sloped sites. Plant it mixed with old fashioned perennials for a romantic cottage garden look. It contrasts beautifully with cobalt blue delphiniums and blue-lavender asters.
If you ever considered making rose oil to use as fragrance or to add to your home made creams, potpourri and bath oils, “Bishop’s Castle” is definitely a great candidate. This Dave Austin hybrid English rose has the cupped, quartered, multi-petaled look of the Bourbons (80 petals or more), and the fragrance to go with it. It is a shrub rose with dark green ovoid leaves that sports bunches of raspberry colored flowers all summer long. A little drawback – the flowers don’t last very long, so enjoy them while they are in bloom.
Looks like the blush noisette, but it’s only a very resilient, ever-blooming, honey scented miniature rose called “Gourmet Popcorn”. It exudes a delicate perfume that seems to linger in the air somewhere beside it, so you can’t really tell what wonderful flower is gracing you with its sweet fragrance. It grows pretty tall for a miniature rose, about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide and it thrives on almost nothing. Great for landscaping and borders, it blooms all summer long and it covers the ground under it with a snow of delicate white petals like a little apple tree in spring. Deadhead it to stimulate it to bloom, however this bush rose is self cleaning and blooms freely anyway.