Friday, March 14, 2014

My Passion for Roses

My Passion for Roses

American Beauty Climbing

My spring shipment of own root container grown roses from High Country Roses arrived yesterday. Despite the unfriendly terrain on our rocky clay ridge, I’m determined to cultivate a utopian garden filled with all that nature has to offer, including roses.

Harlekin Kiss of Desire

Despite their reputation for being finicky, most modern roses are hardy, disease resistant and easy to grow. My challenge has been to determine how to enrich the shale filled ground, to dig deep enough holes, and to remember not to fertilize with anything but bone meal. Naturally, the high humidity of our Virginia summers can create some fungal problems if I’m lax in spraying Neem oil regularly. But the results are worth the effort.  Some of my early efforts were compromised by poor judgment in location. Just like with real estate, it is all about location, location, location! I’ve learned (hopefully) by trial and error where and how to plant. Unfortunately, unlike my spouse, I’ve been a measure and cut kind of girl. He is ALWAYS measure twice cut once! Me, I’ve planted and erred more than once. But this time, I’m sure I’ve got it.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

After conducting a lot a research on Dave’s Garden Watchdog, I settled on High Country Roses in Denver, Colorado. For anybody thinking about ordering plants online, Dave’s Garden is the resource. If you want to explore, start with this link about High Country Roses:  I always check out the reviews before ordering any plants!


It was time to replace the climbing roses I had originally planted when we first moved into our house, three zephirine drouhin climbing rose bushes. These roses are thorn-less and gorgeous, but sensitive to humidity.  They were too enclosed to thrive after other plants started to grow larger.

Austin Blush

But I could not replace just those three roses. Only a modicum of fiscal responsibility kept me from order one of each.  I settled on seven thanks to the generous gift from my parental units at Christmas.

So, now I am hardening the plants to ready them for planting next weekend – seven lovely roses that will not doubt bring us joy and beauty for years to come.

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