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: 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! 🙂

Rose Parade: Celsiana

Celsiana_2Here is the enchanting and very fragrant Celsiana blooming in my garden today. Many of you were aghast when you saw this picture on Twitter given that I garden in Zone 5b. The truth is, Celsiana was adopted this year from Guinivere Wiley of Roses of Yesterday and Today. She’s a Cali girl–thus the early start!

I have drooled over this rose in catalogs for years and decided this was the year to adopt one… actually I adopted two. 🙂

Guinivere sent me the most beautiful plants and I protected them through some very cold days and nights. But baby look at her now. She is truly enchanting!

Here’s what the Roses of Yesterday and Today online catalog says of Celsiana

Damask
Prior to 1750
4-5 feet
One annual flowering
Zones 4-9

The subject of one of Redoute’s most beautiful rose portraits, and a rose to inspire any artist. Leigh Barr Stamler, St. Louis, MO, says, “Celsiana is incredibly beautiful –
arching canes loaded with soft, lovely roses in the most perfect shade of pink! I sit on the grass in front of her for long minutes every spring, drinking in her beauty.”

A graceful plant with smooth, grey-green foliage and clusters of 4 inch warm pink flowers . . . which open wide with a special crisp twirl of crinkled petals showing tall yellow stamens.  True damask fragrance . . . if you plan to make potpourri, this rose should be included in your order.

I would highly recommend you adopt at least one Celsiana for your garden!

How can you resist….

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Rose Parade: Roseraie de l’Hay

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Roseraie de l’Hay

Roseraie de l’Hay is a rugosa rose introduced in 1901 and was named for the French rose garden of the same name.

Technically rugosa roses are species roses native to eastern Asia, but to me they are a bit of heaven on earth.

I have several of these beauties in my Zone 5b garden. When these roses are blooming our entire garden is filled with their beautiful fragrance. If someone new visits our garden during this time, the first question is always, What is that?

In addition to beauty and fragrance, the upside to rugosa roses–they are tough, trouble free and need very little maintenance. But, you need some room because these beauties grow to be around 6′ X 5′ in my garden. An extra bonus … rugosas produce large red-orange rose hips that are very high in Vitamin C and I am told make great jelly. We just let the birds enjoy them.

Roseraie de l’Hay is a good repeat bloomer for me, but nothing compares to that first bloom of early summer … see video below!

USDA Hardiness Zones 3 – 9.

Rose Parade: Francis Meilland

What a beauty!
What a beauty!

Star Roses and Plants award winning rose!

Here’s how they describe it…

Francis Meilland® is a tall Hybrid Tea rose with a very large bloom, good exhibition form and strong fragrance. It is a multiple award winner in Europe for disease resistance as well as aesthetics. It is one of the first Hybrid Tea roses to win the prestigious ADR contest in Germany. 2013 AARS winner.

This remarkable rose bears the name of a remarkable rose breeder, in honor of his 100th birthday — the legendary breeder of the Peace rose.

My friend, Chris, The Redneck Rosarian, says this rose grew to about 9ft in his garden last year. Wo…. I ordered two this year from Edmunds and they are planted in my new raised exhibition bed Mr. G built for me. I am so excited to see how they grow!

Tall, disease resistance, beautiful fragrance and beautiful form … I hope I have some ready June 15 to enter in the Indianapolis Rose Society’s Rose Show!! Fingers crossed.