Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Sweetest Flower That Grows

I have a thing for roses. Antique roses, English roses, climbing roses, single roses, double roses, floribunda roses, I love them all. Luckily for me, they seem to love me back. Behold my wild, overgrown, absolutely fabulous Rose Garden:

I'm particularly fond of old fashioned singles because they remind me of summer on Martha's Vineyard

Of course big fluttery doubles are gorgeous too. This little climber always reminds me of that song, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (yes, I know it's a naughty song, but I still like it).

Although yellows are sunny and cheerful, my favorites are the pink roses. This beauty gasped and grunted for a good five years before turning in to one of my strongest and healthiest climbers.

Here's a nifty little floribunda that was supposed to be a neat compact shrub. Instead it decided to climb and I'm so glad I didn't try to fight it.

Now this one is a mystery. I know it's an antique English rose, but I bought it with no label, so I may never know the name. It's perfume is strong and sweet.

Here's another mystery. This was a Home Depot cheapo. It was an orange 'Austrian Copper'. The nursery it came from had apparently grafted the expensive orange rose to a sturdy red rose shrub. After a couple of years, the 'Austrian Copper' graft died and now I have these delightful wild looking roses from the root stock. As you can see, I like to give them plenty of TLC, but I'm not big on 'controlling' them.In general I only prune them enough to give them good air circulation and prevent black spot.

I'll trellis them and train them more for health reasons than for aesthetics. For me a garden is about relaxing. I suspect the roses think so too.