Most people who know me at least know of my passion for roses. Yes, they can be finicky, prone to pests and disease and sometimes up and CROAK on you unexpectedly, but OH. There is something so universally romantic about them, and they bring me such joy. Over the past 10 years I’ve collected some 35 rose bushes, mostly heirloom/old garden roses, a few climbers, a few David Austen roses… no tea roses, they are the ones that up and die in my neck of the wood. Maybe if I lived in some mid-atlantic area I’d try the again, but since I DON’T, and I think the old fashioned double-stuffed (aka ‘cabbage’ type) roses are gorgeous, that’s what I’ll stick to.
Here’s a sampling of some of my roses, taken over the past couple of weeks. We had such a mild winter this year that very little died back. As a result, the climbers are stunning.
With clematis ‘Niobe’.
‘High Country Banshee’. These roses smell the way roses were MEANT to smell.
These climbers make me giddy! The pink is ‘William Baffin’ and the red… I think it’s Adelaide Hoodless, technically a shrub rose but I grow it as a climber.
WIlliam Baffin again, with an unknown antique rose on the left and a wild multiflora in the background.
Here I have a William Baffin (large dark pink) inter-planted with Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose. P.H.M. only blooms on second-year wood, and so here where winters not uncommonly get as cold at -30F, it dies back nearly to the ground most years. Which means no flowers. I debated for a couple of years if the occasional bloom after a mild winter was worth the continuous hacking (it’s a crazy, nearly-rampant grower) and putting up with a bloom-less vine three years out of four… so I put in the other, Canadian-bred, cold-doesn’t-phase-it, Mr. Baffin. This year, for the first time, they bloom together. I think it’s charming. 😉