Friday, March 21, 2008

Old Fashioned Roses... A Lost Dream

The weather outside may be cold and misty, but I'm touring warm, sunny gardens overflowing with bright flowers... though they are paper gardens; it's garden catalog season. I must admit, I'm being tempted again by roses. When I first began my garden here, one of the first things I planted were rows of old fashioned roses, which grew to huge sizes, tumbling over with lush flowers every June. Unfortunately, the garden has since then gradually grown more shady as a host of other shrubs and also trees, planted faithfully every spring by the wheelbarrow-full, have steadily grown so that the roses, as they became progressively more shaded, began to get blackspot and then to die back altogether.
Alas, I know it's a foolish notion to consider planting more roses; I've cast my lot with rhododendrons, Japanese maples, and Magnolias, underplanted by hosts of small, shade-tolerant perennials and bulbs... not boon companions for roses in this climate. Therefore, one after another the rose catalogs have gone into the recycling bin, their sun-filled pages glowing with roses are just a fool's dream for me. Now where is that RareFind Nursery catalog of rhododendrons?

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I feel for you! I love roses, but seem to be unable to ever get them to come back in the spring.
I'm trying once again to have some great climbing roses on the go .. but who knows with this wicked winter we are STILL having what will happen .. try at least one other rose out .. keep the hope alive ! LOL
There are some roses that will handle shade quite well, Don; the Pavement series of rugosa hybrids, especially Snow Pavement--one of mine is under a maple tree and still blooms quite well, though not as floriferously as the one in full sun. And it's fragrant too, about as lovely a rose as you can imagine, and being a Pavement rugosa, is tough, salt and cold resistant too. I only grow hardy roses here, Explorers, Parklands, some of the shrubs, and old fashioned ones like gallicas and rugosas.
I know exactly how you feel, in our almost 12 years we've lost more and more sun and received more and more shade. I'm ready to give up on several "sun" beds and change over the planting material to shade plants. At least that way I'm guaranteed a hurricane will come and blow down all the trees (only after I change the plant material of course).
cinj... i wont miss spraying them!

Joy... climbing roses here are really a dream!

Jodi... I'm thinking my roses may have rose rosette disease (tons of it in the multiflora roses in the woods around here).

Melanie... must be interesting gardening there :o(

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