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The Fairy – Rose of the Day

The Fairy polyantha

You might think The Fairy to be a fragile pink rose, but in the 1960 Roses of Yesterday and Today catalog this sturdy polyantha is described as ‘unexcelled for vigor, spreading growth, perfect health and hardiness, and its superability to produce those charming pink rosette type blossoms in constant abundance, – each a fair flower, crisp and waxen like a pink sea shell.” The Fairy has proved herself to be a stalwart star of my mixed border for the past dozen years or more. She needs no fussing  at all.

Like all polyanthas, she is a small shrub, usually less than two feet tall, with a generous spread, and dense clusters of small flowers on short stems. The word polyantha means ‘many flowers’. In my garden she begins to bloom when the other roses are beginning to loose their oomph and she continues all summer.

The Fairy polyantha rose closeup

You can still buy The Fairy at Roses of Yesterday and Today, as well as at many garden centers and other rose catalog companies.


Thomas Affleck in all His Summer Glory

Thomas Affleck

I bought Thomas Affleck from the Antique Rose Emporium. It suggested planting it near the door so you would pass it often and enjoy the fragrance.  I did plant it near the door, at the end of the Herb Bed which is next to the entry walk. There is no fragrance that I can detect, but  it certainly is a pleasure to walk past it several times a day. This is a magnificent rose that requires very little care. It blooms well into the fall, although not quite this exuberantly.

Last Chance to Win a Copy of Roses at the End of the Road

Mrs. Anthony Waterer

If you leave a comment here by midnight tonight you have a chance to win a copy of The Roses at the End of the Road. So much easier to read about someone else’s garden adventures than weeding your own garden on a hot summer afternoon. For  more information about the book and the many ways to purchase it click here

I planted Mrs. Anthony Waterer, a beautiful rugosa last year and this is the first time it has bloomed. What a beautiful color. And fragrance! The deer have been nibbling at the garden, including on the Rose Walk, but I hope they will spare the few new blossoms on Mrs. Anthony Waterer.

Mount Blanc

Mount Blanc is probably my favorite while rugosa. Very hardy and deliciously fragrant. It will be beautiful next Sunday when we celebrate all the roses at the end of the road at the Annual Rose Viewing. Will you attend?


Year of the Rose Draws to a Close


Thomas Affleck rose 10-22-12

The Year of the Rose for 2012 as designated by the International Herb Society is drawing to a close. Thomas Affleck is the only rose in my garden that is still waving the banner.

It has been a difficult year for the garden. Because of a mild relatively snowless winter, we came into spring with a drought situation. That drought hit in full force during the summer and since I get my water from a well I had to be very cautious about watering. Vegetables were the priority. I knew the roses would survive a dry year, but vegetables would never make it to the table if they were not watered. Fortunately, the roses bloom and we have our Annual Rose Viewing before the drought became too bad. If you would like to stroll through a Virtual Rose View click here.

This spring a reader asked me whether Knock Out Roses killed bees. The answer is NO!  I gave a full explanation here.

This year I realized that I have aquired quite a number of rugosa varieties and I explained why here. I can tell you that the Kordes Goldbusch, and Rugosa Agnes are doing well.


Purington Rambler rose

As I look back over this year and see how lush the growth was on some of  the roses after the mild winter, and that the Rose Bank is filling out beautifully with a lot of help from the Purington Rambler, I realize how little of this I ever imagined when I planted the first rose, Passionate Nymph’s Thigh, next to the front door 32 years ago. And yet I still have plans, still have a list of must have roses, and stil expect a friendly crowd at the Annual Rose Viewing for a few more years.


Passionate Nymph’s Thigh rose

For more information about the Year of the Rose, and a preview of the Year of the Elderberry visit the International Herb Society.




Barren Branches – and Yet . . .

Yellow Birch on October 18, 2012

The  barren branches of the old yellow birch in my field retain a certain majesty this frosty morning.

Thomas Affleck Rose October 18, 2012

But the Thomas Affleck shrub rose that grows at the end of the entry walk is resisting the closing of the bloom season. The days have been chilly and windy, tearing dying leaves off many trees, but Thomas just laughs and says, “Look at me!”

I bought this rose from the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas and it has been hardier and has a longer bloom season than I ever dared hope for.

Winter Sunset – a Griffith Buck Rose

Winter Sunset

This blooming Griffith Buck rose named Winter Sunset might be warning me that winter is not that far off. 50 degrees this morning when I woke up, and tonight is promised to be even cooler.

For more (almost) Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.

Rose of the Day – Rosa setigera

Rosa setigera

Rosa setigera

Rosa setigera, sometimes known as the climbing prairie rose, is a native American rose, and while it is a climber it merely arches gracefully in my climate. It blooms later than the other roses and is a particular pleasure. I bought it at Nasami Farm the propagation arm of the New England Wildflower Society.

For more (almost) Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.


Henri Fantin-Latour – Who Was He?


Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) was a painter who gained great fame. He lived in the time when French artists were inventing Impressionism, but his own work is representative. American-born James Abbott McNeill Whistler introduced him  to England where his still lifes became very popular.

He spent many summers in Normandy with his wife, Victoria Dubourg who was also an artist. They tended a garden, growing many flowers, including roses ,that found their way into his paintings. He was so famous for his flower paintings it is no surprise that the Fantin Latour rose was named in his honor. It is uncertain when this rose was hybridized, or even who is responsible, but this rose, usually categorized as a centifolia, is sometimes called a ‘cabbage rose’ or even the ‘painter’s rose.’ It has proved very hardy in my garden, even growing in a wet spot which no rose would choose on purpose. Perhaps in a more ideal location it would become more obstreperous. I am just delighted to have Fantin Latour, this luscious fragrant spring bloomer in my garden. It is nice to have a gentleman rose to join all the lady roses.

Rose of the Day – Therese Bugnet

Therese Bugnet - June 1, 2012

Therese Bugnet is the Rose of the Day. And this line rhymes. Therese Boo-nay is the Rose of the Day. Even though I do have three whole years of high school French, it took me many years to realize it was not Therese Bug-Net. Oh well. Miss Rochelle is no longer here to be scandalized.

Therese Bugnet is a rugosa and it is the rugosas that are not only the hardiest roses in my garden, they are about the first to bloom. I love Therese’s doubleness, her sweet fragrance and her energetic growth on the Rose Bank.

Ambridge Rose

My roses are just starting to bloom but the Bridge of Flowers rose season is in full flow. I cannot tell you the names of most of them, but this is David Austin’s Ambridge Rose. Here is what other roses are in bloom.

Yellow roses on the Bridge of Flowers

More pink roses on the Bridge of Flowers

Red roses on the Bridge of Flowers

Any rose garden must have red roses. I love red roses like these.  And if there are roses in the garden, there must be peonies. Like these.

Pink peonies on the Bridge of Flowers

Just a reminder. The Bridge of Flowers is open all day, every day until October 30. Come and enjoy.

Pink for Resilience

Pink Grootendorst

There is lots of activity in the area as roads are cleared, stranded wedding parties released, MREs (the military’s Meals Ready to Eat) delivered by helicopter by FEMA, and damage assessed but all is quiet here at the End of the Road. The roses enjoyed their deep drink,  fatten their buds and bloom. The goldenrod is happy too.