It is time to order new roses, even if I have to look at a wintry landscape for some weeks yet. I looked through the catalogs and agonized but I finally made my decision. I am ordering two roses from the Antique Rose Emporium (ARE) because they send large container grown roses. This makes the shipping costs more expensive but the healthy bushes are such a nice size that the extra cost is worth it to me.
Basyes Purple, a rugosa cross, is my fail-safe choice this spring. It is rated as hardy to zone 4. This promises to have a really rich unusual color. I have several hardy rugosas, often bought because of the description and reputation of the color. Scabrosa is a big hardy shrub with single pink flowers. It has been billed as ‘the best of the rugosas’ with “purplish-crimson’ flowers but I don’t think they are substantially different from the common rugosa beach rose. I will say the flowers are large with beautiful golden stamens and big orange hips in the fall. It is also true that the bush is vigorously spreading.
The gamble I am taking this spring is David Austin’s Abraham Darby. David Austin’s goal was to create modern fragrant everblooming roses that looked like the romantic roses of yesteryear. His roses are beautiful, and fragrant and so far have been too tender to survive for more than a couple of years here at the End of the Road. However, I am going to try to grow Abraham Darby once again because it is such a beautiful big fragrant rose whose petals shade from apricot to yellow to pink. Just luscious. It is billed as a tall shrub or short climber. It never got too big for me, but when I gave one to my daughter who lives is what is theoretically zone 5 it grew into such a vigorous climber that her husband decdided it was too ‘messy’ and took it out. Our climate has definitely changed over the 32 winters we have lived here and are now listed as zone 5, but I have to remind myself that it is more than average temperatures that make up one’s zone. The Antique Rose Emporium does list it as a hardy rose so we will try again. The photograph here does not truly suggest the delicious buttery-ness of the large blossoms.
I’m not guaranteeing I won’t buy another rose or two this spring, but this is today’s order.
Don’t Forget – Still time to enter the BOOK GIVEAWAY of The Speedy Vegetable Garden. Click here and leave a comment. Drawing will be Thursday morning, Valentine’s Day!