A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at Roses, Inc. Green Country in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa, one of my favorite towns. Speaking about tough roses for the Oklahoma landscape, makes me think of all the roses I’ve loved and grown here. It is a wonderful thing to get to chat with folks who adore the same plant you enjoy. Roses were my first passion, and while I don’t buy every new one now because of Rose Rosette Disease, I still love them, and I love gardeners who do too.
The nursery tempted me, and I brought home four roses for my garden. ‘September Song’, a Griffith Buck rose, was one. I do enjoy Dr. Buck’s roses, and September is my birthday month. It seemed a good one to add. I also got another ‘Darcey Bussell’ which I placed in front of Mary in her garden. Behind it is ‘Tropicana,’ a Hybrid Tea that Bill was growing when I met him. It’s probably 35 years old. I think he had it ten years before he met me. You may remember I tested three different roses for David Austin a few years ago. ‘Darcey Bussell’ is the hardiest, most fragrant and disease resistant of the three. I also got ‘South Africa’ which is the first Grandiflora I’ve grown in years. I put it in a special place in front of ‘Peaches and Cream’ Japanese maple and ‘Molineaux’ rose of David Austin. ‘Molineaux’ struggles here, but is still hanging on.
Here are some other current favorites. This list is ever changing and is only what works best in my Oklahoma garden right now. The roses I like best at the moment are the shrub type. I still harbor a fervent desire for ‘Carefree Beauty’, but I also love the newer shrubs created through good breeding for disease resistance and good plant habit. I am pretty excited about the Drift roses. I especially like Apricot Drift, Coral Drift and Pink Drift. I’m also in the second year of testing OSO Easy Lemon Zest. It’s very pretty. I still like OSO Easy Paprika a lot. It’s in the orange section of the garden. I know many of you don’t like orange, but I find it refreshing in our hot summer sun.
Last winter, I lost ‘About Face‘ which makes me sad. I haven’t a clue why I lost it. It just up and died. Roses do this sometimes. Interestingly, ‘Cliffs of Dover’ did the same thing, but now it’s back from its roots and is growing like gangbusters. I bought ‘Gourmet Popcorn’ yesterday from Roses, Inc. because I’ve always wanted it. I placed it in a spot where it should really be happy. I normally put a purple fountain grass there, but I decided to try this rose instead.
As always, ‘The Fairy’ is blooming spectacularly. She always does and has few problems which is good because she’s as prickly a rose as they come. None of the roses look all that good in the rain, and we’ve had a lot of rain for several days. I am so grateful. Maybe this will break the drought. Maybe not.
The Rainbow Knockout roses below are strutting their stuff. They always look better in spring and fall because they don’t bleach out so much.
As for all the roses I had to cut to the ground, they are starting to grow. ‘Dame de Coeur’ has already grown pretty large. ‘Frontier Twirl’ is still very small as is ‘Mutabilis.’ I’m sure once the heat really starts, they will make up for lost time. I still need to cut back the crapemyrtles now that I can see how far the cold nipped them back. That will be some fun work in a few days. I also have a few roses to cut back even now. I know that’s terrible, but I only had so much time to work in the garden this year, and I don’t have a helper. Anyone out there in north central Oklahoma want to come and work in my garden? I would pay for some help once a week. Email me. Ha! I only have about six left to work on. I’ll do them next week too. Plus, I need to feed the soil around a few of them. There’s always work to do in the garden, but it’s blessed work.
Oh! I forgot. I found the ‘Peggy Martin‘ rose when I was in Texas. It is famous for having survived Hurricane Katrina and is considered one of the toughest roses there is. Plus, it doesn’t have thorns. I’m thinking of placing it on one side of the arbor where ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ presently sulks, or on the other arbor where ‘Don Juan’ once bloomed. I bought ‘Peggy Martin’ from Barton Springs Nursery, which has a wonderful selection of antique and OGR roses. I’m still trying to decide where Peggy should ramble. I’ll let you know when I figure that one out.
That’s it for the rose parade this week. Soon, it will be daylily season–my favorite time of the year.