My Rose Garden Party Primer part 1

Part 1

June 13, 2018

I am sitting in my big easy chair, typing on my bride’s grandfather’s desk. I dropped the front down so I can set my laptop down.

I am glad laptops have evolved from the huge heavy beasts they were. Mine is at least three years old. I know that because I am still making payments o it.

My Rose Garden Party. This is the first installment. More to come.

We lived in a traditional 2-story house with a small yard (50”x150”).

Our cold climate limited roses to those that could survive the bitter winters – as in Proctor Minnesota. However, in my experience the big killer was springtime. I was trying to grow varieties of hybrid tea roses as they do in the spectacular Rose Garden in Duluth MN just about 15 minutes drive on the Interstate.

I prepared a mound that would be of a size to plant about 18 roses. More on that in a future post.

Topsoil, with equal parts of compost/manure, sphagnum peat moss and a good amount of perlite.

Duluth Rose Garden is only a 15-minute drive but it is entirely different climate. No doubt it is Zone 4 compared to my Zone 3.

USDA Hardiness Zone Map here.

Lake Superior provides cover by moderating the weather.

I have read books and books on the subject. Because of the Internet, I can find an answer to almost all questions that arise.

This is not a formal rose gardening article. I don’t pretend to be an expert or even moderately educated on roses.

This is the story of my successes and failures of growing roses for over 20 years.

Hopefully, you will find it somewhat helpful and a little entertaining.

Why write this? It is cathartic. It is a memorial or testament regarding more than 20 years dreaming, planning, digging and resolving frustrations.

20 years of growing roses, trees, shrubs, and a variety of plants

20 years of spending time in the dead of winter absorbing rose catalogs like Jackson-Perkins, Roses, Wayside Gardens, The American Rose Society and my absolute favorite Hortico Gardens in Canada.

Warning! Once the thought “maybe I should try growing a rose” strikes you are on the garden path to addiction.

A word of caution and you are in a let’s say, grocery superstore and see “SALE Rose Shrubs” and you see bare-root roses, all shiny with a waxy look, with a price of $3.99 or so, RUN!

These are not what you are looking for.

A Rose by any other name…

The rose is not called “The Queen of flowers” for no reason. There are times that an appellation “The Symbol of Love” is also added.

And rightly so. Why not grow a beautiful, fragrant rose and drop petals so you can sprinkle the love of your life’s pillow. Before she wakes I would recommend.

She will wake up to a delicious surprise and you gain another title, as the ‘Man of Ultimate Romance’. I wonder where that will lead.

She might even take a fancy to help tend the roses by deadheading spent blossoms. She may even bring blossoms into the house that you can feast on the aroma when you arrive home from work.

Come on!

Take a baby step.http://www.hortico.com/home/  and go to this address, click on products, a page with 4 headings will pop up. The box on the right is labeled Roses. Click on that and a smallish yellow box with blue links will pop up.

Is that all there is you think to yourself.

Ah ‘grasshopper’’. Click on ‘roses by section’. Another yellow box will pop up with about 30 different TYPES of the queen will pop up.

Each type contains dozens of different plants,

What a way to spend a cold, blustery winter evening. The fire is crackling in the fireplace. A small toddy is at hand.

Soon you are warm inside also. Color, blossoms, forms, and texture start you buzzing with excitement.

Which ones will grow in my Zone 3 on the zone map?

Where can I place her my yard so she shines and preens for you and your guest?

You have to buy one that will be happy where you plant her and will grow and blossom for years to come.

A few of my favorites that grow well in Zone3 climates.

William Baffin,  Darlow’s Enigma, because she doesn’t give up,  or any Canadian Explorer rose

My Favorite. She is shown here by Chalet Nursery, a third generation nursery that has aided gardeners for 100 years! Pavement Roses, a Snow Pavement to be precise.

A Purple Pavement rose from Heirloom Roses.

An excellent guide to the Pavement Series of roses is here. Good description, a good guide to growing, clear Language.

Don’t be scared off by the section on problems. I never had any problems.

Here is a picture of one of my highlights:

This bush started as 2 plants. It is now about 4 feet tall with a spread of 8 feet.

She sits just off the front walkway to the house. As you approach the house you catch her sweet fragrance. /soft, tantalizing, great to bring into the house and float blossoms in a shallow dish with tepid water. (Would you like to come indoors and immediately soak your feet in the cold water? I think not.)

She will reward you for years (mine about 20 and still going strong.)

I cut her to the ground two years ago. All of the old dead canes are gone.  Fresh new robust green branches as she quickly approaches her previous height.

Her name: Snow Pavement

She will have an amazing show of blossoms in her first flush this year. She will be greatly missed.

As will all of the gardens.

After 43 years my bride and I have to move to an apartment. My legs just can’t do stairs anymore. With no cartilage in my knees compounded by the nasty effects of diabetes in my feet, I haven’t been able to tend the gardens the last two years.

I hope you have been rewarded with a brief introduction to roses and how I feed my fascination for over twenty years.

Please leave your comments. If you have questions I will try my best to answer them.

Next we will start looking at each garden.

Abraham Lincoln on roses Google images
Abraham Lincoln on roses

Thanks for stopping by.

Craig

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