A Rose A Day: The Fairy

The Fairy Rose is a pink Polyantha rose that is part of a select group of roses designated as Earth Kind. (Read more about Earth Kind here.) This lovely little rose is disease resistant and can take the heat!  It just keeps blooming even during those hot, hot, hot days of summer! You can also expect the blooms to fade to almost white as the heat climbs!

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I have this rose in the ground and love it’s free flowing shape and how it moves and grooves in and out of the companion beside it but I hear it does very well in containers too.

The Fairy is hardy in Zones 4b through 9b and grows to about 3′ wide and tall.

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Up close and personal….

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Delicate bloom on a strong grower!
Delicate bloom on a strong grower!

A Rose A Day: The Portlands

Portland roses make up a small, repeat blooming class of old garden roses. There is some question about their parentage but they are most commonly thought to be a chance crossing of Damasks and China Roses.

I have two Portlands in my garden…

Rose de Rescht

Rose de Rescht is a lovely deep pink Portland Rose with a rich damask fragrance that dates back to before 1900. She is hardy in zones 4b through 9b.

This is the second year for Rose de Rescht in my garden, so we are just getting to know each other. To date she hasn’t grown very large, but we did have a nice flush of bloom. And, if she is like my other Portland, Comte de Chambord, I can expect a few more blooms through out the season.

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Comte de Chambord

Comte de Chambord is a Portland that dates back to 1860. I’ve had this rose in my garden several years and it is one of my favorites! Maybe it is the amazing Damask fragrance that is not to be missed. Maybe it’s the beautiful pink color with just a tinge of violet. Or, maybe it is the large, full-petalled old rose flowers that win me over … but win me it does — even though I have to keep my eye on this one for Black Spot.

These pictures give you a good glimpse of what I’m talking about…

Comte de Chambord
Large, flat, quartered old rose loveliness!

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Yes, I’m willing to forgive a little Black Spot for this one. 🙂

Especially when they look so yummy in a mixed rose bokay!

Old Beauties

A Rose A Day: Drifts

Today you are going to see 3 of my favorite roses–Peach Drift, Coral Drift and Apricot Drift.

As with all the roses in the Drift collection, these roses are amazingly disease resistant and small enough to fit into most any garden whether in a container, in the front of a border or in one of your nooks or crannies of the garden. I love to use them in front of my roses that have more sporadic bloom cycles.

These beauties are ever blooming so they give you season-long beauty!

Drift Collage

Drift roses come in other colors too… check them out here.

These roses are so beautiful and easy that I love to give them as gifts to new rose gardeners!

RED DRIFT ROSES……

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For information on Red Drift, read on.

A Rose A Day: Black Forest

BlackForest_001Black Forest is one of the amazing roses in the Certified Rose Simply Brilliant Collection and it is truly a simply-brilliant winner! In 2010 this rose received the prestigious German ADR award for its beauty and natural disease resistance.

This floribunda shrub took me to the Winners Circle too! I received the  BEST NOVICE  award for Black Forest at the Indianapolis Rose Society Show  (Read more about the show here.).

This rose deserves the award but not for anything special that I did. I just gave it a little fertilizer and lots of love and it is blooming non stop! The blooms are born in sprays that last and last and last whether on the plant or in a vase.

The growth habit of this rose is bushy and spreading to about 3’ X 3’.

WINNERS CIRCLE….

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Truly a winner in a no-spray garden.

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A Rose A Day: Graham Thomas

Graham Thomas is one of the roses that put me in the winner’s circle at the Indianapolis Rose Show last week!   (See pics of the Rose Show here.)

This rose is a rich, radiant yellow David Austin English Rose with a strong tea fragrance. If you want to grow this rose, know that he is very hardy and is sometimes grown as a climber so give him some room or be prepared to keep him trimmed.

For more details on this lovely shrub rose … read on.

The Naming of This Rose

This rose was named for Graham Stuart Thomas an English horticulturalist, garden designer, rosarian extraordinaire and one of the most influential gardeners of the 20th century. He actually chose this rose to be named for him.

Another fun fact about Graham Stuart Thomas — he was was mentored by none other than Gertrude Jekyll. He was starting his career as she was finishing hers so it was a match made in heaven.

Wonderful reference book...

His book, The Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book, is a comprehensive reference on roses –especially historical roses.

Back to the Winner’s Circle…

Graham ThomasAfter…

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I was in the company of greatness….

Our society has some wonderfully talented rose growers, arrangers and exhibitionist!
Amazing!

Look at all this beauty! Our rose society is filled with wonderfully talented rosarians!

A Rose A Day: Red Drift

We are more than 1/2 way through June — summer is here and she came in with some intense heat in my neck of the woods. I was up early doing some trimming and general gardening but am glad to come into the air conditioning to continue my celebration of National Rose Month by sharing another rose with you.

Next up is Red Drift. I love the entire line of Drift Roses from Star Roses and Plants but today I am excited to talk about Red Drift — fits well into our National Rose celebration with it’s bright patriotic red color!

This picture tells the whole story of what you can expect from this rose all summer. It is always in bloom!

Here’s a shot of one of my rose borders… Red Drift is showing off even when the roses behind her are taking a break.

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Here’s what Star Roses & Plants has to say about Drift roses….

Drift® Roses are a cross between full-size groundcover roses and miniatures. From the groundcovers they kept their toughness, disease resistance and winter hardiness. From the miniatures, they inherited their well-managed size and repeat-blooming nature.

Garden 2 Blog 2012

One of the highlights of Garden 2 Blog (and there were legion) was getting to meet our good friends from Star Roses & Plants–Kajsa Haracz, Jacques Ferare & Kyle McKean.

JaquesPAS_002P Allen Smith has many Drift roses on Moss Mountain, so I was able to see varieties I had never seen before. One of those was Coral Drift. OOH LA LA. Lucky for me, our local IGC, Country Harmony, had Coral Drift, so I am now the proud owner of 2 of those. But, I’ll show you those beauties another day.

Isn’t his garden just amazing…

P Allen Smith's Rose Garden
P Allen Smith’s Rose Garden

In My Garden…

I have 5 Red Drifts in my garden and they are about 18″ high and about 2′ wide. They keep my rose border alive with bloom from early spring to fall. Another bonus for me is these roses compliment other flowers and roses whether in the ground or in a vase. I love to add them to arrangements! Even though I only have 5, there are plenty of blooms to share! The blooms are in sprays which add great interest to vased arrangements.

These blooming machines are extremely disease resistant and a true joy in my cottage garden. All I do is give them a little fertilizer and they are good to go!

If you don’t have any of these beauties in  your garden–I highly recommend you add them. Even if space is an issue for you, they will fit nicely into a container or any nook or cranny and give you season long beauty!

Tomorrow…

Tomorrow I think I’ll share a rose with you that helped get me in the winner’s circle.

A Rose A Day: Gruss an Aachen

This light pink rose that was hybridized in Germany by Wilhelm Hinner and  by Philipp Geduldig in 1909 has the fragrant, multi-petaled lovely old world charm that I adore. It is considered by most to be the first floribunda. This rose has 40-50 petals, a sweet fragrance and is a repeat bloomer throughout the growing season.

I have also read it is one of the more shade tolerant roses. That was not something I considered when I planted it, but now that the Annabelle Hydrangea is out growing it’s alloted space, they may be competing for the sun!

Since this rose grows to about 3 1/2 high and wide, she will fit nicely in to most any sized garden.

Gruss an Aachen has been on my wish list for some time and this year I finally added 2. Even though they are in their infancy, they have produced some amazingly beautiful blooms.

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A Rose A Day: Francis E. Lester

To continue with my June 2013: A Rose A Day Series…


NOTE: This article was written in 2013 … be sure you see the 2016  and 2017 updates at the end. 🙂


You know I love historical roses and some of my first roses came from Roses of Yesterday and Today 25 years ago.

The story of Roses of Yesterday and Today intrigues me… It begins with a well-known authority on old roses, Francis E. Lester.

He was attributed with collecting and keeping available many old roses and writing about the subject in his book My Friend, The Rose published by J. Horace McFarland Co. in 1942. I have this book and it drips with information and charm.

According to Thomas Christopher’s book In Search of Lost Roses

Lester was born in England’s Lake District in 1868 and grew up during the heyday of England’s romance with the rose.

He moved to the United States around the turn of the century and spent nearly 25 years in Mesilla Park, New Mexico where he grew a 2 acre rose garden.

In his mid fifties he and his wife moved to California.  He searched the foothills and missions of California where he recognized the old roses from his childhood and  collected cuttings for propagation.

Pat Wiley said it was an honor for him when the British Government allowed him to quarantine roses at Sunnydale Nursery in England for export to the U.S.

I have read everything I could find on Francis and feel like we have a special rose connection. This year my hubby and son built me a very large and very beautiful new arbor and I knew I finally had the place for a big ole rambling FRANCIS E. LESTER rose. I found one  at David Austin Roses.

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Hubby and Son…. Craftsmen!
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Isn’t it beautiful!

Quote from Roses of Yesterday and Today….

The business was called “Lester Rose Gardens” and some of the roses can still be found at that address just up the road from the current “Roses of Yesterday and Today Garden.”  Lester put out the Lester Rose Gardens catalog that served as a model for the rose catalogs for years to come.

He wrote in 1941, “This catalogue differs from many catalogues you will receive;  it has no expensive colored illustrations, and, I hope, no extravagant claims.  But it does offer you the benefit of long experience with roses;  it tries to tell the truth;  and it offers you nothing that has not been tried out and found to be of real merit, not for the expert horticulturist but for the amateur gardener, whom we try to serve faithfully, and whose interests we hold to be paramount.  My occasional personal comments about the Old Roses, I trust, be excused, for they come from the heart.”

All I had to do was read this and he stole my heart and I consider his book to be one of my prized possessions. Reading it is pure pleasure!

 My Friend the Rose

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His book is in good company…
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A prized possession…

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Francis E. Lester Rose in his glory in the David Austin gardens…

Francis E Lester in David Austin's garden
Francis E Lester in David Austin’s garden

David Austin Roses says of the Francis E. Lester rose, “A strong, completely reliable rose which is smothered with huge bunches of small, single blooms. These are white, delicately tinted with soft pink at the edges, later becoming almost pure white, creating the impression of apple blossom.”

This rose was also one of the roses that “passed the test” in Longwood Garden’s Ten-Year Rose Trials.

Aren’t you excited to see what he does next year?


2016 Update on Francis E. Lester Rose…

Francis blooming strong with his good neighbor, Peggy Martin! Read the fascinating story of the Peggy Martin Rose here.

 

Francis & Peggy 2016

SPECIAL NOTE: In 2016 I received a lovely email from a lady who found my article and was in tears. She told me a lovely story of growing up in Francis Lester’s rose garden. He and her father (a local doctor) were great friends. She said she was thrilled to know that his rose and his story is still being told. For me, this was a major highlight of growing this rose. Many of the roses in my garden have wonderful stories attached to them, it is one of the many reasons I am honored to “tend” this garden.


2017 Update:

He’s May 19, 2017 and he’s  just getting better and better!

 

A Rose A Day: New Dawn

One of my favorite roses is NEW DAWN. Healthy. Beautiful. Low maintenance. Sweetly fragrant.

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Over my Potting Shed last week…

About

  • New Dawn is a large-flowering climber that was introduced in the 1930s … a “modern” rose with old rose charm.
  • In 1997 New Dawn was voted the most popular rose in the world at the 11th World Convention of Rose Societies.
  • It actually was the first plant to receive a patent.
  • It is hardy in Zones 5 – 10.
  • And, I learned this spring that it’s P Allen Smith’s favorite. When I was in Arkansas for Garden 2 Blog, New Dawn was everywhere, on fences, trellis, in cemeteries and the walls of buildings. New Dawn in full bloom, especially in mass, is breathtaking.

Here are two trellises that face each other in one of my garden sections… both are laden this week with New Dawn!

Dueling New Dawns... :)
Dueling New Dawns… 🙂

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In my garden…

I have three of these beautiful roses. One covers the pergola over my potting shed porch. The other 2 are on an arbor over a garden gate.

10 years ago I bought my first New Dawn from White Flower Farm. They sold New Dawn as part of their Dawn & Dusk collection … pairing it with the clematis Etiole Violette. This is a perfect pairing that I would highly recommend!

On both sides of this arbor are New Dawns and Etoile Violettes…

Dust and Dawn combination...

When they bloom in the spring …. they B L O O M. The softness of the petals and sweet fragrance make this rose just breathtaking. It is officially a “reblooming” rose but I don’t see many blooms after the spring bloom.

Just like the tag says, this rose is disease resistant and low maintenance however, you need to provide a strong support–this is a vigorous grower. And, I would advise keeping up with the pruning …. it can get out of hand! Every 3 or 4 years I do a fairly major pruning to keep the rose fresh. The New Dawns on my arbor were cut back hard last year but have already reached the top! They are hard to discourage!

One more thing, when pruning a New Dawn gauntlet style rose gloves will be your friends. Hiding behind those yummy blooms are hooky thorns that mean business! But, once you experience the blooms of a New Dawn rose, you’ll forget all about the thorns.

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And, one more picture…

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We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. -Abraham Lincoln

Have a wonderful day! Come back tomorrow … tomorrow’s rose is gonna be a show stopper! 🙂