Chilly May brings memories and yellow and pink roses

I didn’t make it on time to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day this month because we had a graduation for one child on May 15, and a banquet for another on Sunday The Diva, Megan, graduated with her Masters Degree in Social Work and Bear, Claire, who is now seventeen–can you believe it–had her choral banquet. If we’re friends on Facebook, you saw way too much of my family last weekend. May is pretty much the graduation parade on Facebook though isn’t it? Fun to see all these “kids” grow up and move on into their lives. Makes me a bit melancholy too.

Part of 'Peggy Martin' rose and the garden beyond. Roses
Part of ‘Peggy Martin’ rose and the garden beyond. It’s almost finished blooming after four weeks.

A chilly May with gray skies doesn’t help my mood either. I need the warmth of the sun. In August, please don’t remind me that I wrote this. I will be way tired of Mr. Sun by then.

The newest garden border with young plants and Rosa Home Run® in the upper border.
The newest garden border with young plants and Rosa Home Run® in the upper border.

In other news, yesterday it rained so hard I couldn’t get out to take photos. Today is really chilly out there–52F when I last checked.  I’m truly grateful for the moisture, but I don’t like this cloudy and cool weather day-after-day. The garden and the roses especially sure like the rain.  The beds are lush and crowded. I don’t normally space everything according to Hoyle because most plants don’t grow to their full potential in my climate. This year, however, they’re all muscling each other aside. It’s topsy and turvy, and I keep pulling up the worst offending perennials, not the whole plant, but whole sections.

Mummy blooms on a trial rose. I can't remember the variety right now, but it's an amazing plant.
Mummy blooms on a trial rose called Sunshine Daydream. It’s one of the best roses in my garden. Completely disease resistant. 

The roses are blooming happily and fingers crossed, I don’t see any Rose Rosette. I do see this virus all over the town of Edmond though. Ugly, ugly. One of my roses, a trial from Star Roses doesn’t like the chilly weather and the resultant thrips, so it is giving me mummy blooms. These things happen, but it’s a strong bloomer throughout much of summer, so I’ll just cut these off and enjoy my other roses for now.

Rosa 'Anna's Promise' is a new one to the garden this year. She is the most beautiful color. I also bought 'Pretty Lady' which is pink.
Rosa Anna’s Promise is a new one to the garden this year. She is the most beautiful color. I also bought ‘Pretty Lady’ which is pink.

Are you surprised I still have roses? I am too, but roses are tough. I still have twenty or so out of the 100 I once grew. Many have come and gone, but some like ‘Abraham Darby’ bloom on. I also planted nine new roses this year. I’m giving some a try in beds where I had no Rose Rosette Disease, and I’m now planting them near the house where I can really enjoy them. I decided that my garden without roses was sad indeed, and I have a new attitude. If one gets sick, out it goes. Roses aren’t that pricey unless you buy them at a specialty nursery, although there’s good reason to do that. If I get a few years out of one before Rose Rosette takes it, I’m okay with that. There’s always the possibility that RRD is finished with my garden.

Rosa South Africa™ rose, a beautiful golden yellow Grandiflora.
Rosa South Africa™ rose, a beautiful golden yellow Grandiflora.

I said possibility.

My new roses this year are: The Lady Gardener™ and Claire Austin™ both David Austin or English roses, Sultry Sangria™, a Floribunda, St. Patrick™ a Hybrid Tea, that buds out green and turns to yellow, Anna’s Promise®, a Grandiflora and Pretty Lady™ a Hybrid Tea. The last two are part of the Downton Abbey series. There was a time when I wouldn’t plant Hybrid Teas or Grandifloras, but hybridizers have improved many of these for disease resistance and increased bloom. South Africa™ is a great Grandiflora that is a proven performer in my garden. I love that rose. If you want more information about growing roses, here are a few of my secrets. Along with the roses I love, here’s the rose gardening gear I use all the time.

Unknown pink rose I bought from Bustani Plant Farm years ago.
Unknown pink rose I bought from Bustani Plant Farm years ago.

Today is the last day I have Kari to help me in the garden. Since last spring, she’s been helping me every two weeks. This spring, she’s come, starting in March, almost every week except when I was out of town speaking. She is moving to Grove, Oklahoma, with her beautiful family. Her help and friendship are immeasurable, and I will miss her dearly. We took this photo today before we said goodbye. She’s promised to return with her family to see the daylilies bloom in June. I hope she does.

After a full day of gardening, Kari and I said goodbye.
After a full day of gardening, Kari and I said goodbye. It was so nice and cool today that we were barely sweaty.

As with all things in life, some things end as others are just beginning. Children graduate, marry and have children of their own. Friends move away. Time passes, and the garden grows. I hope your gardens are full of new beginnings this year too.



  1. I guess beauty grows despite all the unpleasant surrounding conditions. Thank you for sharing your lovely post! I really enjoyed the pictures, you obviously have some skills. I’ve never grown roses myself, but I know that it requires lots of dedication and care, and not everyone can be so devoted.

  2. Anonymous says:

    RRD is certainly rampant in my neck of the woods in Edmond, as you stated. There is a general lack of education… Nurseries are hush hush about it, and the general public does not seem to take this disease seriously. The roses in my garden have yet to be touched by the disease, but our roses at each of the entrances of our neighborhood are rampant with RRD. I sent our HOA numerous reading materials about the disease, but all they did was have the mowers cut them back 🙁 Very frustrating, as this will certainly only spread the disease to other yards.

    I am from Keller, TX, and most of the nurseries there refuse to stock roses, due to RRD.

    We are in the process of moving to Jones, which borders Edmond and OKC. We will be moving to a home that sits on 5 acres, and is a complete blank slate. I’m saving the rose names you are having success with, as once RRD runs its course, I’ll be back to rose planting. Prayers that this disease will come to an end one day. Roses are my favorite, and as you stated, a garden without roses is sad indeed.

  3. Your roses are amazing. I love the Rosa South Africa – that color is so deep and rich – and an unusual yellow.

  4. Acacia says:

    Love your site, found it through the blogs to follow in Southern Living. You’ve truly got a green thumb.

  5. Well done, Mom. Well done!

  6. Rose says:

    I’m glad to see all your roses, Dee; I really thought you had lost them all after last year. ‘Anna’s Promise’ is such a beauty! I may have to re-think my hesitation about growing roses after seeing this one.

  7. Mummy roses? I’m unfamiliar with that term. I’m with you. I plant and enjoy roses, and if the RRD gets them, I try again.

  8. Amazing roses….I love how tough they can be!

  9. I am glad you didn’t give up on roses. They are lovely!

  10. IT is a chilly May. I think some flowers are doing better because of it. My irises in particular seem to be able to stand longer this year. Sweet time will all the graduations. All the best to Kari! Thanks for sharing your garden.

  11. Amazing how our life changes daily yet we don’t notice until a graduation or a dear leave taking. Then we are jolted into seeing our lives change…hopefully for the better. Sometimes we feel left behind. I know your garden and you will survive all these transitions. Beautiful blooms. Cheers…

  12. indygardener says:

    What a beautiful post, Dee. Makes me want to grow some more roses… I just have a few Knockout™ roses and a couple of miniatures here and there. And I hope Mr. Sun doesn’t make up for lost time in your garden later this summer!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hey Carol, well, you know I’d about given up on roses, but these made me want to give them a try again. Fingers crossed.

  13. What a cute photo of you and Kari. And, oh yes, May can be a crazy, busy month–especially for moms who are gardeners. Congratulations on your kids’ accomplishments!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Beth!

Comments are closed.