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 and ice storms took their toll. We lost Lady Elsie May, a landscape rose that I'd had for nearly ten years and whose tag was only revealed when the stump of the plant broke off as I tried to reseat it. Rainbow Knockout was another victim of those storms. The weight of the snow had pulled both plants out of their planting holes, exposing the roots.

Since we had never had this happen in all the years of gardening here, I'm not sure we could have prevented the loss. The roses are up on a steep berm and the snow was thigh-high. I've since replaced Elsie May with an own-root version, although it is currently too short to be seen at the top of the berm. The Rainbow Knock-out's space has been filled by Pink Home Run, which I received as a trial rose this year.

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More next time…..

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