Fireworks and Fragrance

In life and in gardens the right companions can make the difference. They can make us stronger, cover up our short comings and enhance our beauty.

My garden style is cottage gardening …. I grow everything from trees and shrubs to herbs and roses. These garden companions work beautifully together to give me just what I want—continuous beauty. In fact, once we get through one of the midwest’s hard, cold winters, I am looking for fireworks and fragrance. Nothing adds the fireworks and fragrance like roses.

In April, lilacs give me beauty and fragrance that garden dreams are made of however, in a few weeks they are finished — for a year. Forsythia make a huge showing too— bringing all that yellow sunshine into our world—for a few weeks. Just as I am saying goodbye to those lovely shrubs, along comes the Rugosa Roses and Old Garden Roses with an explosion of blooms that fill the garden and many vases to the brim with beauty, fragrance and over the top charm. While most of the old garden roses only have one bloom per season (about 4 weeks), many of the rugosas don’t stop with just one bloom cycle and will give you at least a few fragrant blooms throughout the growing season.

Just as the rugosas are taking a break and the one-time blooming old garden roses are finished for the season, here come the easy care roses I call garden roses (sometimes referred to as shrub roses).  These power bloomers go to work and believe me their bloom season will continue all the way to fall. There is no shrub or perennial that gives me season-long bloom like the garden roses and paired together, they work their cottage charm.

Rugosas putting on a show in my garden!

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Roseraie de la Hay putting on her show this week!

Whether you are like me and have have lots of space, or you have a few nooks and crannies you would like to brighten or have containers on a balcony that need some punch, there is a garden rose for you. Garden roses come in all sizes and colors and will take no more care than any other plant or shrub in your garden. Give them sunshine, water, a bit of fertilizer, a quick trim of the spent blooms, then just stand back and enjoy. (And have your vases ready to fill and share.)

When deciding on companions for your roses, the first thing to consider is compatible growing conditions and here are two companions that have their relationship all worked out and have become a match made in heaven… roses and clematis!

Etoile de Violette and New Dawn Climber

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Here are some easy care, power blooming shrub roses that fill my garden with beauty and work well with all of the other plants that catch my fancy.

Petit Pink… This small shrub from the Proven Winners OSO Happy series is constantly happy in my garden covered in these dainty pink flowers. We can thank David Zlesak for this amazing shrub!

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Music Box and her companions… This is a lovely blooming machine from the Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance Collection. Starts out creamy yellow and adds more pink as it matures.

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Sunrise Sunset… also from the Easy Elegance Collection paired with Double Red Knockout

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The Generous Gardener… One of the best and most disease resistant David Austin roses I have ever had!

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Peach, Apricot and Red Drift Roses… These beauties from Star Roses and Plants grow low and spreading fitting nicely in the front of a border but they also do equally as well in a container. These are super blooming garden roses.

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Quietness… This lovely Buck Rose is a part of the Earth Kind series and is one of the most beautiful bloomers in my garden. If it can make it through the rigors of the Earth Kind testing program and is considered hardy for your zone… take a chance! Did I mention it is very fragrant!!

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Quietness with her lily companions…

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Beverly HT from Kordes... Beautiful, sustainable and fragrant. Big winner at the Biltmore International Rose Trails. Love it!

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Belinda’s Dream and her companions… This is another rose from the Earth-Kind series. This rose grows big and strong in a container on my deck and is rarely without beautiful and fragrant blooms.

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Cherry Pie… The amazing bloomer below is from the Proven Winner’s OSO Easy collection. This picture is of a three-year-old rose in my herb garden. What started out as a tiny test rose, is now a show stopper.  She has more than proven herself to me!

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The rose is our national floral emblem and
the most popular
and beloved flower!

So, if you have shied away from roses in the past, thinking they are divas that take more time and energy than you have … Think again!

It’s not just hair styles that have changed since the 80s… The new Millennium brought us new classes of easy care, sustainable garden roses and we are getting more and more every year.

Maybe it’s time to dress up your shrub borders and add more blooms to your flower beds with the new rose kids on the block–they will bring the fireworks!

16 thoughts on “Fireworks and Fragrance

  1. WHAT A WAY TO START MY MORNING, viewing the most beautiful, fabulous garden in the universe. Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Gorgeous Teresa, I am very excited to try out a Rugosa in my garden, I have found a spot! What is the name of yours please? I love that magenta!

  3. beautiful beautiful beautiful, love your garden. it looks wonderful, that new dawn is that the old one recovering or did you get a new one, mine finally is recovered and started to get big again after only 3 years. what a tough rose.

  4. Teresa,
    Thanks so much for showing us the beauty of your roses. I do have a question. Do you prune to have larger blooms? I haven’t done that, but when looking at yours I know I’m doing something wrong. Also, my Music Box has grown into a shrub with blooms at the top, not pretty like yours. Could you show how you prune for such beauty? Again, thank you.

    1. In the spring I will prune Music Box to about half her size. I don’t do specific pruning for size. Many of the shrubs roses just get a rough trim of at least a third. My hybrid teas usually die way back so they need to be cut back almost to the ground each year.

  5. Teresa, your garden is just lovely! I am green with envy! I live in Southwest Louisiana where our hard season is the hot, dry summer or, sometimes, overly wet! Can’t grow rugosas but love Beverly, Belinda’s Dream and warm weather Austins. Looking forward to the fall when our roses start to recover and produce blooms for fall shows.
    Thank you!
    Julie Engert
    SWLA Rose Society
    Lake Charles LA

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