|'Eden' and 'Phyllis Bide' on the moon arch|
The moon arch in the top photo divides the lower terraces from the courtyard area. The archway is adorned with two roses - 'Eden' and 'Phyllis Bide'. I am not sure why I chose 'Eden' - maybe it was because it seems to be a very popular rose. So far, I am unimpressed. The flowers are nice after they fully open and display more of their soft pink color but before that, they are plump buds of a sickly ivory color. The fact that the rose has many blackspot covered leaves does not help its case. However, I am not rushing to judgement too fast. After a poor showing with the first blooms, I see another big cane loaded with buds. We will see.
'Phyllis Bide' is another story - it has been magnificent. A rambler rose that is covered with flowers that begin as yellow and turn to apricot. That doesn't really sound like an appealing combination, does it? Trust me, it works. It has bloomed for a long time and sadly, the spent blooms are not the greatest spectacle. I have been deadheading and hoping for more flushes.
|This photo was taken about three weeks ago. Since then, the number of blooms have quadrupled.|
Now on to some of the more stellar performers -
My favorite roses are the ones that cascade. In my never-ending search for plants to cascade over our retaining wall, I finally found one winning rose. It is called 'Swany' (available from Joy Creek Nursery). Planted just last year in the trough that borders our driveway, it has really filled in and the long-lasting snow-white blooms are lovely. Disease-resistant foliage is also a plus.
Another great rose that came from Joy Creek Nursery is 'Essex'. Planted under the 'Wolf's Eyes' dogwood, this is a mounding rose (about 3 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide) covered with single pink blooms.
'Michelangelo' is a Romantica rose, upright and narrow (going on 6 ft. already) and has the most beautiful lemon-yellow blooms. The thick, glossy leaves are also impressive and very healthy looking.
Some tried-and-true favorites from our former garden in Alabama include one of my all-time favorites 'Buff Beauty'. Here it is in its glory in that garden. I think it looks best when allowed to grow unhampered by any surrounding plants so that the long, graceful canes can cascade downward in fountain fashion. Our small garden does not allow such options plus it is growing like it is on steroids here. I am contemplating just letting it scamper up the fence to the left (unseen in the photo) and treat it as a climber and shrub.
My favorite name 'Marchesa Boccella' is also known as 'Jacques Cartier'. It is a Portland rose, a class of Old Garden Roses developed in Great Britain and derived from four rose species. It was moved from the Pan garden where it was too crowded and is doing much better in the front garden. However, the color is all wrong for the front so I may move this one yet again this fall.
I'm not sure why I chose to grow 'Home Run', probably because I needed a red shrub rose that would not give much trouble in the front garden. This one fits the bill nicely. Bright red blooms cover this 4' x 4' bush. It does indeed have good disease resistance and would make a nice low hedge.
|'Princess Alexandra of Kent'|
Finally, a few David Austin roses, beginning with 'Princess Alexandra of Kent', one that I lusted after seeing it at the Portland Rose Garden. I planted it in the Pan garden and I think it is too big for it. This is a rather large rose that wants to sprawl around. Right now, it is supported by a tomato cage but the blooms are so pretty. I just love it.
|'Lady Emma Hamilton'|
Last but certainly not least, is my favorite rose at the moment, the exquisite 'Lady Emma Hamilton'. The color of the blooms is described as tangerine and orange. It has just starting to show off. I have it planted right outside the front door. It is prettiest in the evening when the setting sun makes it glow.
Someone recently asked me how many roses I grew and I had to consult my spreadsheet - the official count currently stands at 43!
Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy