For the Love of Gardening
What works & What doesn't...
I think that Roses are the most Romantic of all flowers and having a rose garden (or rose hedge) is the ultimate in romantic beauty. But many gardeners think they are too finicky. I used to think that, but lately, I stick by my experience that "roses really are easy".
Here are some things that I did that worked, and some that didn't. In fact, you can actually grow roses in the shade ! Yes, you can....
Also I have some secrets, tips, and hints about growing, feeding, pruning and overwintering roses. Let me share what I have learned from growing my own, and mostly learning from others.
Let's look at:
THE FAIRY ROSE: One of my favourite roses:
MOVING ROSES: What if you have to move your roses?:
OVERWINTERING ROSES: And eventually,
GARDEN DESIGNS....and of course, you need to design your garden... well, sort of.
BUT, if you'd like a bit of history....read on.....
First, though, this is what the fuss is about.
There's something quite wonderful in having lots of glorious rosebushes all for yourself.... and with a little sashay here and there, it feels a bit like having a royal title or something..look at me...
"...la de da... I have a rose garden.."
I was hooked the moment my little child-nose stuffed itself inside a mass of fluffy petals. And now that I'm all grown up? I still do that.... every rose draws me to it...they are my favourite flowers and I now have a whole garden of them.
It was just a matter of ...where to put them. To tell the truth, at first I was really only thinking about a single rosebush. ..... not a whole garden full of them. I thought that would be rather daunting. How on earth would I manage that when I wasn't really a gardener?
It all started on a bleak day in February with a big old tree that dropped a huge branch on the fence, and cracking down the centre so the poor thing had to come down. When the tree-man said it would be another $250 to take out the stump...
I bravely said, " don't bother....
I'll make a flower garden around it".
Well I did, and because it was in the middle of the back yard, there was a lot of sun. I put a pot of something bright and fluffy on the old stump with a few nice rocks around it.... and then,
..my first Rose Bush.
My, didn't I feel special. It was green, it came in a pot and was covered with buds. It was called a "DREAM ROSE- a Rose that everyone can grow". Except for me, apparently - because sadly, it died.... although it did bloom that year, but, in a rather pouty fit, it did not come back the next Spring. Perhaps it didn't like where (or more likely how ) I planted it? or the harsh winter (Zone 5)-
I have learned a lot since and am about to share....
I didn't know much about planting roses. Actually I didn't know much about planting anything - but I decided to learn.
Here, early in that Spring, is my very first Rose Garden.
but, the next year......ooh, la la....
When I placed third in my first competition, I was spurred on to enter again. I decided to plant more roses and sought out the experts. I drove a few miles to a rose grower where I imagined a nursery with rows of potted rosebushes, ready to burst into bud, begging me to choose. I was surprised when the 'office' handed out a printed list, which I tentatively filled in and waited.
Half an hour later, the receptionist came out of the back room, and in exchange for my $100, she placed a very large, black plastic garbage bag in my hand. I was confused. Especially when I went to plant them. 10 brown, bud-less, leaf-less sticks with roots. I had never seen a bare-root rose (see planting roses in the link below).
I placed each in a hole, with a large dose of hope and a prayer or two....and in the next competition....
I placed first.
(Oh, and out of those first 10 roses? I lost 8 over the next winter because I didn't know what to do with them in the fall.)
I had to learn a lot about OVERWINTERING ROSES
...... including ROSE TREES or ROSE STANDARDS
and since then, I have lost very few.
I'll share some secrets for PLANTING ROSES
and PRUNING ROSES here .
But here is how how it looked on judging day.
The bottom line is, if I can grow roses on a stump, you can grow one just about anywhere you want with sunshine, water, good soil and of course a large dose of faith and a smattering of hope.
See more below.