To me the Franklin Land Trust Farm and Garden Tour this weekend was really an extended Rose Viewing. Hundreds of people visited the garden, and many of visitors had the same questions. Some asked “What is that plant on the Rose Walk?” Well, it’s a rose. I understand why some people were confused. The foliage is very unusual, and the tiny flowers don’t look much like Roses, but it is indeed an ancient rose. When I bought it 27 years ago it was called Rosa rubrifolia, but now it is listed as Rosa glauca in catalogs. It is the foliage and the graceful shape of the shrub that make it a stunning rose that always gets a lot of attention in the garden.
“Where do you buy your roses?” I have bought roses locally, but most of them have been purchased from mailorder nurseries. Passionate Nymphs Thigh came from Roses of Yesterday and Today which went out of business, but which one visitor said is now back. This year my roses came from Chamblee’s and from the Antique Rose Emporium. I have been very happy with these nurseries.
“Do you have hybrid tea roses?” No, I do not. Hybrid teas are too tender to thrive in Heath, or in Franklin County without a lot of babying. “Do you provide winter protection?” No, I do not. I have had many fatalities over the years, but the roses that survive do so under their own steam. They are old heritage varieties like albas, tough rugosa hybrids, and cold hardy disease resistant varieties created by Dr.Griffith Buck. The rose above, Ghislaine de Feligonde, is a hybrid multiflora and in some gardens it would be a climber. Climbers in my garden seem to be discouraged by the weather; while they may bloom prettily, they never are vigorous enough to produce those long canes that can climb.
A very frequent question was about Japanese beetles. I do not have them. I put down Milky Spore Disease 28 years ago when I gnashed my teeth over the wretched things. Traps did not work. The Milky Spore Disease has. I’ve added more Milky Spore as the Rose Walk has grown. It is a little expensive but the disease, which only affects grubs, stays in the soil for decades.
Many people wanted to know the name of this peony. I could not tell them. I can tell them that there are a number of similar peonies offered by the Klehm Song Sparrow Nursery which has been the source of many of my peonies. Just scroll through the online list and you will find many peonies, that bloom early, mid and late season. I have chosen several mid and late season varieties so they will be in bloom at the same time as the roses.
“Are those new rose shoots?” Alas, no. This is the Rose Bank, planted where a wicked blackberry patch grew when we bought the house. When we had the foundation repaired about four years ago the whole area was bulldozed, scraped and left a muddy mess. I thought the blackberries were gone for good. They are back. You can see them coming up through multiple layers of cardboard and wood chips. They loved all the rain last week. Every day I would go out and clip them back and the next day they would return. I haven’t given up yet.
The Annual Rose Viewing gives me a chance every year to talk about hardy roses – and to learn about how other people manage. It is a great event for sharing.
This Post Has 4 Comments
I love your Rosa glauca. That is a rose that I regret not planting. Now I would have to search long and hard for a place to plant it. Love the color of that foliage.
I love your posts, and some day I hope to get down to the rose walk.
Last year for our anniversary my husband gave me a gallon of Milky Spore Disease. Only the rose gardeners understand what a great gift that was — everyone else gets a funny look on their faces and wonders when the divorce is 🙂
Phillip – I believe High Country Roses carries R. glauca – under both names, but I am sure it will not be too hard to locate. It is a wonder.
Kate – What a wonderful husband! You must both share much happiness.
Thanks Pat, He’s a keeper. Whenever I buy more roses he just shakes his head and says, “Well, you always promised me a rose garden!”
I was admiring your Ghislaine de Feligonde. Had never had that on my list, but now I look it up and see it is a Zone 5 and I know why. Sigh. Looks gorgeous! And your photos are better than the catalogue photos as well!