Such fame as my Massachusetts garden has is our collection of 60+ hardy roses, rugosas, gallicas and albas. My daughter Kate, who was married amidst our roses 13 years ago, and her family now live in Missouri City, just outside Houston, where hardiness of a different kind is required. Roses there need to be able to survive hot hot summers and heavy gumbo soil. When we visited in mid-April we went nursery shoppping and bought lots of star jasmine to cover some of the fence around her yard. But the rose selection was poor, mostly Knock Out and more Knock Out.
We timed our visit to coincide with the Bluebonnet Festival in the town of Chappell Hill. We expected warm, if not hot weather, and did not pack for any other contingencies. This was a mistake. It was cold and breezy, and for most of the 60 mile drive we didn’t see a single blue bonnet. We thought we might have made another mistake.
However, as we drew close to Chappell Hill we saw increasing numbers of bluebonnets along the roadsides, their blue a reflection of the clear skies above us. Once in town we saw lots of vendors, sun catchers, crowds, kettle corn, giant smoked turkey legs, crowds, jewelry made from typewriter keys, quilts, and big metal stars to put on the front porch. Oh yes, and we found a few packets of bluebonnet seeds, and some t-shirts with a bluebonnet design.
It was not until we wandered away from the crowds and found a lady selling divisions from her garden that we found the rose we were looking for. Belinda’s Dream, full and pink, and the lady told us it was very hardy. She wasn’t selling roses, but she sent us to a particular nursery where they had lots of Belinda’s Dream as well as special rose soil to dig in to the heavy gumbo. We even bought Knock Out, a rough and ready and hardy red. They have both done beautifully. Kate took the picture of the last two roses of fall on December 20.