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!

This week’s bloomers…

Yesterday I had  the pleasure of creating some bokays for a special friend’s art exhibit. Check out the artwork of Kelly Wilkerson at Blue Bossa Prints here. Despite all the rain this week, I had plenty of flowers to choose from. The big question was which ones should I  use. The Belinda’s Dream roses paired with the Stargazer lilies won my heart and filled the vases quite nicely.

Take a look at my options for vases this week…

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Stargazer Lilies
Belinda's Dream
Belinda’s Dream
Black Eyed Susans
Black Eyed Susans
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Gemini HT
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Falling in Love HT
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Zinnias
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Zinnias!
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Doris Day holding up in all the rain!
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Lovely Senorita Rosalita Cleome from Proven Winners… a real winner in my garden!
More Stargazer Lilies
More Stargazer Lilies

Here are a couple of bokays I made earlier this week…

 

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DA Boscobel and Anna’s Promise
David Austin's Wollerton Old Hall
David Austin’s Wollerton Old Hall
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Lovely creamer from P. Allen Smith’s garden shop with Drift Roses … a true fav.

And here are the flower bokays for Kelly’s very first art exhibit…

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Love giving gifts from the garden!


Hope things are blooming in your world this week… whether it is in the form of actual flowers or beautiful snow that they are having in my friend Elspeth’s world in Australia!

Do you have a favorite flower you like to see in arrangements?

David Austin Enchantment Continues

I am putting in another David Austin bed this year. I know. I know. This is not a big surprise, but aren’t you just a little curious about which ones I chose to plant in the new bed? There are hundreds of beauties to choose from and they’re all beautiful.

Boscobel
Boscobel

What David Austin Says:
Boscobel’ bears beautifully formed flowers of rich salmon colouring. They commence as red buds which open at first to pretty cups, gradually developing into perfectly formed blooms of classic rosette formation. The numerous small petals are of varying shades, mingling to provide a most pleasing effect.

Why I Chose: Michael Marriott of David Austin said it was amazing. He has never steered me wrong. Rose Chat interview with Michael … here.

Golden Celebrations
Golden Celebrations

What David Austin Says: This is one of the largest-flowered and most magnificent of our English Roses. Its color is rich golden yellow and the flowers are in the form of a giant, full-petalled cup. It has excellent shapely growth, forming a nicely rounded, slightly arching shrub with ample foliage. It is very reliable and easy to grow. An ideal rose to mark any celebration or important event.

Why I Chose: I have succumbed once again to rose envy. All the pictures on Facebook and Twitter made this decision for me.

The Generouos Gardener

The Generous Gardener

What David Austin Says: A rose of delicate charm – its flowers being beautifully formed; their color a soft glowing pink at the center, shading to palest pink on the outer petals. When the petals open they expose numerous stamens, providing an almost water lily-like effect. It has strong, elegantly arching growth with polished dark green foliage. This rose would produce a wonderful effect towards the back of the border. It will also make an excellent climber.

Why: It was a wonderful Christmas gift!

The Ingeniouso Mr. Fairchild

The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild

What David Austin Says: The flowers are in the form of deep cups filled with crisp, upstanding petals – similar to those of peonies. The colour on the inside of the petals is a deep pink touched with lilac; the outside is of a paler shade. Looking at the bloom in more detail, one can see that the edges are an even deeper pink, giving a most delightful fringed effect – particularly in the earlier stages.

The growth is ideal with spreading, arching branches building up into a well-rounded, mounding shrub; its flowers nicely poised on its branches. It is very healthy and harmonises beautifully with other plants and perennials in a mixed border.

Why: This is another wonderful Christmas gift. Someone loves me.

Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell

What David Austin says: Its beautiful flowers are produced freely and with excellent continuity. When young, their outer petals form a perfect ring around an inner cup; gradually opening out to form a perfect rosette. The color is a deep rich crimson that takes on a tinge of mauve just before the petals drop.

Why I Chose: Big winner at the Biltmore Trial. And, did you notice the color?? Basically, I just couldn’t live without it. 🙂

Do you grow David Austin roses? Have a favorite?

Here is a favorite David Austin from last summer…

Charlotte

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David Austin Gardens
To see a video of the beautiful David Austin gardens read on.