I Love A Romantic, Non-Fussy Rose
When my Swedish-Dutch husband first called on me he appeared with a simple card. We went out for pizza and movie. The pizza was good. The movie wasn’t. But I knew I liked him. As we said good-night I heard him say to himself, “I should have brought a rose.” Should of, would of, could of… I knew we’d see each other again. We did. And he brought a rose. That was the first rose of many. The roses he often brought were much like himsef. Beautifully simple. Sincere. Non-fussy. They always made me smile.
Fast forward a few years and many roses later. We had our first home and I decided to grow my own roses. Unfortunately, times change and so did my rosy relationship. I planted them, fertilized them, hovered over and loved them… They failed. I stamped my feet, called them divas, and cried. I looked at my husband. He shrugged. I heard him say to himself, “That’s why I go to the florist.” Sigh. I tried again.
Of course, I didn’t know then what I know now about roses, but I was trying!
When you garden, a certain tenacity sets in. You learn not to give up on growing what you love. You keep going at it until you find what works for you. Through a lot of trial and error I found my way to a group of roses I love that make me smile.
Roses To Smile Over
I now grow garden roses. What are garden roses? Garden roses are beautiful, flowering shrubs that are easy to grow. I planted four last season that are winter hardy to -30° F. All have leaf buds and are growing again this season. A rose that returns definitely earns a space in my small garden. Here are just a few other reasons why garden roses make me smile:
- No chemical spraying needed – I don’t use any chemicals on these roses. I use an organic fertilizer early in the season. They’re bred to resist diseases.
- The bees like them – I had bees and other pollinators all over mine last season.
- Rarely need pruning – I actually like to prune, but I have other shrubs in my yard that require a bit more attention. It’s nice that these aren’t time consuming in that way. I did cut them for fresh bouquets. They didn’t seem to mind. In fact, the ones I cut from bloomed even more frequently.
- Bloom all season – I was surprised at the number of blooms all the shrubs had throughout the entire season. I expected to get a first flourish and then taper off, especially since it was their first year. But, they bloomed right through until fall.
- Color variation – It’s no secret that I enjoy lots of color in my garden. Garden roses come in a variety of colors and hues. You’re bound to find that perfect shade you’ve been wanting for your garden.
- Containers – Garden roses are ideal for containers. They come in a variety of sizes and growing habits. Most are clearly marked on the tag. If you grow in a colder area like I do, bring your container into your garage or a cool basement once the rose goes dormant. You’ll need to make sure it doesn’t dry out during the winter by adding water once a month or so. But, it should survive the winter that way and rebloom when you bring it back out in the spring.
Garden roses are incredibly popular right now. You’ll find many different varieties at garden centers everywhere. Have some fun exploring! Find the ones you enjoy the most. The ones I grow are all from the Easy Elegance series put out by Bailey’s Nursery. (I recently had a chance to visit their growing facility. Fascinating place! If you’re interested in bare root roses, stay tuned. I’ll be writing about that soon.)
I’ve had great luck with Little Mischief, Calypso, and Music Box all from the Easy Elegance series. I also grew High Voltage and learned an important lesson. Roses grow best when they get morning sun. Who knew? Well, apparently not me when I planted my High Voltage. But since garden roses grow on their own root stock (not grafted) and the roots are still alive and well, it will get another chance this season. I’m going to move it to a better growing site, it will rebloom true to it’s name and be beautiful! One more reason why garden roses keep me smiling. They’re tough enough to handle a few of my gardening errors.
Once last thing before I go….I learned the growing tip about roses needing morning sun from Paul Zimmerman’s book Everyday Roses. I was given a copy to review. It’s a great resource filled with solid rose growing information, great tips for beginners, and includes a host of myth-busing facts. There’s also a whole chapter on suggested roses by a variety of breeders. It’s easy reading and he’s also fairly funny….a little bit of a wise-cracker.
I still enjoy all roses, but I’ll let others fuss over the difficult to grow ones. There’s enough other things to fuss over in life.
Happy rose growing,
PS My Swedish-Dutch husband is still a great guy who often brings me roses 🙂
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