Saturday, March 2, 2013

Roses in my garden

I have had a love/hate relationship with roses over the years. When I first started this garden 25 years ago, I attempted to grow a number of hybrid teas. They proved to be fussy, finicky, black-spotty and very high maintenance. As one after the other kicked the bucket, I thought: No More! But as usual after a good emotional outburst, I decided to check out options other than the hybrid teas. I am happy to report that a number of different types of roses do very well for me and I am in love with each and every one of them.

Let's start with the climbers:

I have 'Blaze' in 3 locations (and some of those have been moved several times!) 'Blaze' is a strong, hardy deep red climbing rose that blooms repeatedly, right through early fall into the first really cold days of November.
Most of mine are in direct sun or they get sun for at least 6 hours a day. The biggest one has long outgrown its trellis so it needed extra wires and support. It's right beside 'New Dawn', another popular climber, so maybe it's the two of them together that keep yanking down the trellis.

This year I think I will really feed them and pamper them more. They already put on a good show but I have seen photos where the flowers absolutely cover the whole plant. That's what I want! And I'll fertilize them to achieve that.

Here's 'New Dawn', a pale pink beauty that compliments 'Blaze' beautifully or stands out as royalty in its own right.

This stunning yellow rose lasted about 4 years in my garden and then died out, I'm not quite sure why.
I had planted 'Lichtkonigen Lucia' to intertwine with my deep purple Clematis 'Jackmanii' but they never did bloom at the same time. I did enjoy it while it was around and may consider replacing it someday.

Rugosa roses bloom only once in the season but are abundant and the most lovely shade of deep pink. They are shrubby and have phenomenally painful thorny stems but require absolutely no maintenance whatsoever, therefore I have several in the yard. They can grow to 6' x 6' so if you plant them, make sure you have the space.

Explorer roses are considered to be Canada's greatest contribution to the world of roses. They are named after famous (and not so famous!) Canadian explorers. The roses are very hardy, disease and mildew resistant and are often repeat bloomers.

At their peak, mine look magnificent against a background of the variegated leaves of red twig dogwood bushes.

I only have one David Austin rose 'Mary Rose' and it fights the shade of a huge linden tree now. But it blooms so delightfully, stretching out tall in search of the sun. She's a real trooper and I adore her. I bought this plant at the grocery store! (Amazing sometimes where you can get terrific plants!!)

I have a couple of lovely delicate-looking shrub roses called Flower Carpet White beside the peonies near the deck. They grow 3' x 3'. Their buds are a soft apricot shade but they open white. Gorgeous.

I have another white shrub rose that has grown into a monster - at least 8' x 8'! It sort of takes up the middle of a bed but blooms so nicely - single white blossoms blushed with pink once in early July - that I tend to ignore its bullying tendencies.

And last but certainly not least is the polyantha rose 'The Fairy' - a pale pink beauty that blooms profusely in summer and then all over again in late fall. Its buds are tight and deep pink and then it opens into a paler version of the same colour. I have it near some 'Silver King' artemesia and deep green evergreens. It's astonishing and unstoppable.

So if you are considering roses for your garden, remember - there are so many different types that I'm sure one or two "easy" ones will do beautifully for you!


Jay said...

Hi Astrid,
Greetings from S-W.Ontario. I appreciate your Blog as my Zone is very similar to yours. I always get excited when I find a fellow gardener I can compare my plants and gardens with. I thought I should let you know that your first two white roses are most likely Iceberg Rose. They come in shrub or climber, so if yours are different shape, you may have one of each. I love them as they bloom without stopping till heavy freeze stops them. They are very easy to grow. If you want to see what I have in my garden, pls. visit

HELENE said...

I love roses, can't get enough of them and wish I had room for many more! Loved all of yours but I have a special thing for David Austin roses. This winter I have dug up two of mine that hasn't been doing so well and placed them in larger containers instead, the idea being that they will now get more light where they are placed. Hopefully they will bloom better and grow bigger!

Astrid said...

Hi Jay
Welcome! Always nice to meet another Canadian gardener, especially one from Ontario. I will take a look at your Pinterest site soon. Thanks for dropping by.

Hi Helene
You're right. The David Austins are scrumptious. Perhaps I should add more of them to my TO BUY list (which is growing bigger every day - yikes!)
I look fwd to seeing your lovely garden as it starts to bloom.

Nadezda said...

Astrid, I love and have two Canadian roses: 'Martin Frobisher' and 'Therese Bugnet'. Both are bushy and tall roses, bloom all summer till September. A week ago I bought another Canadian 'John Franklin' and hope it will grow well in my garden. As you I was upset with hybrid teas, they've gone away after a winter and I spent money, now don't plant them more.

Astrid said...

Hi Nadezda
EXACTLY!!!!!! :)
Best of luck with the new Explorer Rose!

Alistair said...

Astrid, much as I like Roses I would also like to see ours smothered in blooms. I particularly like the reds. That Blaze of yours is a beauty.

Astrid said...

Hi Alistair
Maybe it's the Year of Manure - for both of us! I am certainly going to dump some on all of my roses this year and see what happens.

Jennifer said...

Hi Astrid, You have quite a number of very nice roses. I love my Fairy rose and the couple of Explorer roses we have in common. My Mary Rose which is a definite favourite.
P.S. I got an email from Pickering Nursery. They have an early bird deal on for Canadian rose orders.

Astrid said...

Hi Jennifer
I'll check out that tip about Pickering Nurseries. I also hope to get to Humber Nurseries this spring.
I remember going years ago and being awed. I want to write down a lot of the new plants I'v been reading about in the other blogs, and seeing what I could buy.
Don't you just get "itchy" to get out there at this time of year??? Instead, it's drizzling out. yuck.
Spring will be here soon, I hope!

debsgarden said...

Your roses are wonderful, and you have a very nice collection! I have a few, and I have to be careful to plant low-maintenance ones. I want to add some more and the Fairy is on my list. Seeing yours confirms my decision!

Łucja-Maria said...

Dear Astrid!
I send you greetings on the occasion of Women's Day.
I greet the Polish far!

Astrid said...

Hi Deb
You'll love The Fairy rose. It's one of the hardiest and most reliable plants I have.

Welcome Lucja-Maria! Happy International Women's Day to you too! And happy gardening soon.