That’s what HH asked me when I walked in the door, a pot clutched under each arm. No, really, he didn’t, but the raised eyebrows gave him away.
At the weekend’s start, I had my photos ready. All the words were rattling around in my head just waiting for a post, but after a thunderstorm on Friday, my internet was out for three whole days. It gave me more time to garden.
When I pruned the roses in the southeast border, I noticed two had succumbed, both Cl. ‘Golden Showers.’ To what? When I dug them, I saw that there was more clay in that bed than I remembered. Too much clay mixed with too much water (38 inches in June 2007) kills a rose faster than a Ferrari can gobble up race track. I also removed the two, long suffering ‘Joseph’s Coat’ climbers. You know a rose is pitiful when you can wrap your gloves around a central cane and yank it out of the ground.
I replaced these hapless shrubs with four new varieties. The first was Winners Circleâ„¢, described as a hardy new climber from the breeder of Knock Out®. It is supposed to be hardy to USDA Zone 5. Do you hear that my northern friends? The blooms are double and fire engine red.
Speaking of climbers, I forgot to mention in my pruning post that you should wait until after the climbers’ first big flush of bloom before pruning. Otherwise, you really decrease their performance. You can eliminate the dead canes and any dead tip ends, but leave the rest until they quit blooming. You’ll know because they will enter a growth period not unlike my thirteen-year-old boy.
I bought the next two roses because Pat, the rosarian at TLC Nursery suggested them. When I asked for help, I reminded him that I already have too many roses, and considering how many I grow, which two would he would he just have to take home? (This was before I knew I’d lost two more.) He said these two were among the best in his garden last year. When I saw that they also had the nod from the AARS, I was sold. ‘Dream Come True’ is a Grandiflora Rose, which is a strange class created from a cross between Floribundas and Hybrid Teas. I say the class is strange because it includes roses which are nothing alike. According to its tag, ‘Dream Come True’ has “stunning double flowers [which] open to a clear yellow with brilliant ruby red edges.” Pat said it looks like a ‘Peace’ rose. The other rose is ‘Mardi Gras,’ a Floribunda. I tend to have really good luck with Floribundas. It’s flowers are a “blended yellow, orange & pink,” and it is listed as “. . . a consistent performer in all climates.” That’s a lot to ask from one shrub.
When I pointed to my last selection, Pat smiled and said “Oh that one smells heavenly. Just remember it’s a Hybrid Tea.” I left without ‘Aromatherapy’ that day, but returned for it the next trip. It is supposed to be one of Jackson & Perkins most fragrant roses, and the blooms are pink. The blooms should blend well with ‘Mardi Gras’ and ‘Dream Come True.’ Frankly, all roses blend well with each other and everything else in the garden until they get blackspot. Yellow and black only looks good on bumblebees.
As the season progresses, I’ll let you know.
Martha/All the Dirt on Gardening says
Hi Dee –
Your garden is lucky to have you as its mentor – husband’s raised eyebrows aside.
We don’t grow many roses in our yard because we are spread out so much in our interests but I appreciate your recommendations.
How will you amend clay soi to help the roses thrive?
I already envy your going outside to smell that “heavenly” one.
Just a few more nighttime freezes ahead and then we can relax.
Hi Martha, I added lots of composted matter to the soil at the bottom of the hole, and then I mixed it in with the soil I was adding back to the hole. I never have enough compost, so I used Back to Nature. I like it. As to mentoring, I often think my garden mentors me.~~Dee
I’m glad you mentioned the Winner’s roses–I didn’t know about these. If they do as well as the Knock-Outs, then I’ll be happy.
We’ll see, Anna, we’ll see. Time will tell.~~Dee
Honey– I am supposed to be doing my own writing, not reading your blog. I realized that since I am not planting roses this year, I am reading all about them. You know, that is a lot less work. I consider it boning up for when I move and really garden again. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
CA, you make me smile. Now, get back to work.~~Dee
Hi Dee, thank you for your comment. I love roses very much. They are not that well suited in my climate. Never mind I will follow your roses on your blog. I just saw on my blog I lost my sky, the weathergods are still grumbling, they must have a bad issue, it is still more or less raining. Have a nice day. Trudi
Trudi, you are welcome to follow my roses, and look at it this way, you won’t get scratched by the thorns.~~Dee
I have killed every hybrid tea rose I brought home. Again, really really good rose information. Everyone around me is cutting back the antique roses and I have left mine alone and huge. I know in a couple of weeks these monsters are going to put on a show. Come the end of May I am going to be complaining about the pruning job I have to do, but it will be worth it. We just found out we can see Earth Kind roses(don’t know how to make the patented sign) at our MG spring seminar.
Deb, I can only grow HTs on the east side of the house where they get morning sun and lots of protection from the warm house. Otherwise, they are too finicky for me. I haven’t pruned all my antique roses yet, and I think this year they will only get a light pruning. I hope you show up photos. I have a couple of Dr. Griffith Buck’s roses which have the Earth Kind designation. Have fun at the MG meeting.~~Dee