Benjamin Britten Rose courtesy of David Austin Roses
I don’t know if it was joining a local rose society (Philadelphia Rose Society) that did it (I am already a many year member of the American Rose Society), or re-writing my rose growing article to reflect how I garden today that did it, but deer or no deer, woods or no woods, I just need more roses.
Roses are my first gardening love. So once again, I have stopped fighting it. When I evaluated my existing roses it was still winter. But even then I could see which ones I had lost completely. And another which had been weakened by black spot. So I ordered two more David Austin‘s own-root bare root which are already planted and starting to sprout growth – Benjamin Britten and England’s Rose.
England’s Rose courtesy of David Austin Roses
I also decided I wanted rugosas. People think of them as beach roses. You can see them all over, especially New England. They are salt resistant and wind resistant and winter hardy.
Blanc Double de Coubert.
Now they are among the thorniest of roses and I might well curse them vigorously as they grow BUT hey, they are also naturally vigorously disease resistant (less chemicals yay!)
The prickliness of rugosa roses makes them deer resistant yet friendly to birds and small wildlife.
Rugosa roses are also known for their magnificent rose hips. And people make jam from them. Rugosas have smaller, more wrinkled and almost leather-like leaves. Native to the coasts of Japan and Korea, I have decided they would fit with some of my other Asian lineage plants in this garden.
Bayse’s Purple Rose
I decided to go to Heirloom Roses for rugosas. They are located in Oregon. I ordered from them years ago. I don’t think the company is owned by the same people any longer, so I will hope for the best. I have bought a white rugosa I owned years ago, Blanc Double de Coubert. The second one is Bayse’s Purple Rose.
But always a glutton for punishment, I decided to check out another favorite rose source from days gone by – Antique Rose Emporium.
From Antique Rose Emproium I have bought two more roses. The first is another rugosa named Mary Manners. They describe her thusly:
‘Mary Manners’ originated as a white sport of ‘Sarah van Fleet’. It is much more than just another sport though. It’s one of the whitest roses out there and as a Rugosa, you can count on it being a tough landscape shrub. Try using it in place of ‘Iceberg if you have lots of black spot in your area.
They had me at “if you have lots of black spot.”
The other rose sourced from Antique Rose Emporium is a found rose. Found roses are so much fun. They are often lost roses discovered by people. I literally had this book in my garden book library for years called In Search of Lost Roses by Thomas Christopher. This is about the search for “old roses”–the original breed which all but vanished after 1867, when roses were hybridized. Not of interest to most people, but I loved it. I recently found a used copy of the book and am happily reading it again.
So back to the found rose. It’s from Antique Rose Emporium and is called Caldwell Pink:
This everblooming rose, “Caldwell Pink”, is one of the most popular roses with landscape designers in our area. Its double, lilac-pink flowers form clusters that can be seen at a distance, and the compact bush fills out nicely with a minimum of pruning and maintenance. It is not very particular about soil conditions, but prefers a sunny open space. Some rosarians have suggested that this is the old China rose, ‘Pink Pet’, but we feel that it shows traces of wichuraiana or multiflora heritage and fits more naturally in the Polyantha class. The study name comes from a neighboring town, Caldwell, Texas, where this rose was found
I have a bed along the driveway where I am going to rearrange and add in the rugosas. Caldwell Pink will go in a front bed after a bit of rearranging there.
Rearranging. That is all about garden evolution. As your garden grows, so may your vision of it. So has the case with mine with my roses. I love my David Austins and I have a monster Queen Elizabeth who was rustled by me a few years ago when a nursery was closing. They were just going to toss her out. Queen Elizabeth is a Grandiflora and she is a beautiful tall and fragrant pink rose.
I have decided to experiment with found and rugosa roses because of the disease resistance and although super throny, that is a benefit in keeping deer off of them. But especially with the rugosas they are a rose that as they grow birds love to nest in them and little critters nest below because of the very thorny nature.
My garden is a layered cottage style in front especially, so I need to start experimenting with roses which can be more self-sufficient. And do not require tons of pruning. Rugosas grow glorious hips so it is a rose you do not have to completely dead head if you so choose. You can allow the spent blooms to go to hips.
In other garden news, black haw viburnums arrived today along with my shag bark hicory seedlings. I ordered them from GoNative Tree Farm in Lancaster, PA. They sent me a black gum tree as a present. Black Gums are new to me, so I will have to learn about them and into the rear of the woods it will go.
The last word today are some more current garden photos of my garden. I will note the sky at present is a stark contrast of shades of steely gray with the new green of trees leafing out. We are definitely getting some weather later.