Last updated on April 17th, 2016
JUNE IS FOR ROSES, including the luscious, pink ‘Bonica,’ above. This one, and others, too, grow almost too well here at A Garden for the House. Would you like to see them? Here they are — along with a few cultural tips — in a click-to-enlarge photo gallery of color and perfume:
I have never met a hardier rose than the ‘Fairy.’ From June through frost this compact grower (3-4 tall and wide) produces spray after spray of tiny pink buttons against pale green foliage. Two fairy roses flank the south wall of my tool shed; another brings a great splash of pink to the steep bank in the Serpentine Garden. In each location the shrubs flourish in blazing, all-day sun and poor soil. I give them no attention whatsoever.
With its double, pure yellow cups and tea-rose scent, ‘Graham Thomas’ always invites comment. It looks well with the light pink ‘Baby Blanket’ rose at its feet, and the red, climbing ‘Blaze’ rose in the background. Because the canes of this David Austin creation are thin and weak, they drop to the ground just as the flower open. I find that an iron pillar set over the rose at planting time keeps matters upright.
‘Crown Princess Margareta,’ above, is another David Austin beauty. The large rosettes of bloom are painted apricot-orange. These emit a strong, fruity fragrance, especially when the early morning dew is upon them. Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and an accomplished landscape gardener. Together with her husband, who later became King Gustavus VI Adolfus of Sweden, she created the famous Swedish Summer Palace of Sofiero in Helsingborg.
Save for the climbing ‘Blaze,’ the only other red rose in my garden is Austin’s ‘L.D. Braithwaite.’ This one has a cheery crimson coloring; it looks best against a green background, here provided by a weeping pine. The slightly cupped blooms offer little fragrance at first. With age, however, they develop a rich, old-rose scent.
I can’t think of a more ravishing rose, nor a more useful plant to cover an eyesore (like my tool shed), than ‘Zephirine Droughin.’ Blossoms of purple-pink, a citrus-scent that carries for yards, and the ability to bloom even in partial shade are this exuberant climber’s three great attributes.
With the exception of ‘The Fairy,’ which thrives without fuss, all of my roses receive regular attention. This means deep watering once each week, and monthly feeding with an organic formula. (Update: Back in 2010, when I wrote this post, I tried Bonide Fruit Tree Spray on a few of my roses in an effort to thwart the Japanese beetle. But Bonide is nasty stuff. I’ll never use it again!)
Is there a particular rose in your own garden that makes you swoon? I’d love to hear about it.
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