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.