Showing posts from June, 2010

Everything's Coming Up Roses –3

One of the first trial roses I was ever offered was the Red Double Knockout landscape rose and later, Pink Double Knockout. These are reliable, disease-free plants that rebloom again and again throughout the growing season, starting in early June. In 2009, I cut the last blossoms at the end of the third week in October (Zone 5B). The plants can look a little ratty between bloom events if you don't deadhead them, but they are self-cleaning, so it doesn't affect their ability to flower again. The only thing missing from the Knockouts is fragrance. If you sniff really hard, you can detect a very faint scent that seems to grow stronger once the blossoms are brought indoors, but they will not make your rose garden smell like roses.   Joseph's Coat is a lovely multicolor climber (also available as a standard bush rose) that is a handsome combination of light and dark pink blush with a yellow throat. I've seen, elsewhere, Joseph's Coat pictured as an orange rose

Everything's Coming Up Roses –2

Another rose with odd-but-endearing coloration is Cinqo de Mayo, a 2009 AARS winner. It's a Floribunda with a lovely bloom, but you need to be careful what you put it near to avoid color clashes. I happened to have an empty spot next to my Sambucus Black Lace, whose dark leaves provide a perfect foil for it. Pink Promise is another 2009 AARS winner. A Hybrid Tea Rose, its pale fragrant pink flowers sit atop long stems with dark green leaves (which makes it harder to photograph properly). A percentage of each sale goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. It's flowers start opening about three to four weeks later than many of my other roses (Double Knockout, Mardis Gras, Bantry Bay, Home Run, Oklahoma, and my unlabeled creamy white rose), so it's a great filler until the next wave of bloom takes place. Among the climbers, Coral Dawn is just finishing up and buds are starting to show on Joseph's Coat. I'd have to say that these are all easy care

Everything's Coming Up Roses -1

Whether it was all of the rain last year, or the combination of hot days and rain this year, the roses in my garden are doing really, really well. I'm blessed to receive trial roses from growers and, while you never know what you're going to get, some of them are a very pleasant surprise. One of these is Mardi Gras, a 2008 AARS Winner. I am not fond of orange-colored anything and was somewhat distressed when I first saw the color of this rose in the section I have set aside for the red roses and their kin. I got over it in a day or two when I saw what these roses become – huge, fragrant, masses of blush-edged, yellow-throated, creamy blooms 4.5 – 5 inches across. (Yes, those pictures are the same plant). In the realm of climbing roses, here is Bantry Bay, purchased as an own-root plant. Own-root roses are always a little slower-starting, but here it is in its second year. All around a pretty good show and a lovely, light fragrance. Over the winter, heavy snow a

Hypertufa Garden Troughs

Dan and I spent Sunday at the Watnong Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society meeting admiring club members' handsome hypertufa alpine troughs, viewing slides of troughs and alpine rock gardens, attending a workshop about creating an appropriate soil mix for the troughs, and learning about the giant alpine trough at the Haggerty Education Center at Frelinghuysen Arboretum. The presenter was Mike Wilson, who recently retired as the rock garden specialist there and now heads his own consulting design firm. Within the next few weeks, Dan will join our friend Diane and her neighbor to experiment with various recipes and forms for making the troughs. In August, the Garden Club of Central Sussex County will be holding a workshop for members and guests who want to learn "how to do it." I feel as if there's a vortex of hypertufa swirling around me, but I'm not especially interested in it myself. Dan read me a bunch of "recipes" and described a vari