June Roses

'Eden' and 'Phyllis Bide' on the moon arch

Technically, the roses began much earlier than June, around the middle of May. Some of the early bloomers, like 'Lady of Shallot' and 'Mutabalis' that I showed in a previous post, have finished up already and have now been cut back. Others that began in mid-late May have persisted with blooms and the wonderful cool weather we have been having has helped them linger for a long time.


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'

'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. 

'Kardinal Kolorscape'

It seems that many roses that I had put on the "at risk" list improved greatly this year. Case in point, 'Kardinal Kaleidoscope', which was facing eviction after a lackluster performance last year, has greatly improved this year. Perhaps threatening them makes them sit up and take notice?

'Dublin Bay'

'Dublin Bay', a red climber that I chose to go over the entrance gate in front, has taken three years to really get going. It still doesn't have canes long enough to reach the top of the arch but the blooms have been breathtaking and they lasted a long time - at least a month.

'The Impressionist'

'The Impressionist' still seems a bit puny but the blooms were incredible this year. I have been babying it with extra water and fertilizer.

'Tequila Sunrise'

When it comes to blackspot, I'm convinced that you have to just live with it to a degree but the worst offender - 'Tequila Sunrise' - suffered so greatly last year that I almost shovel-pruned it at the end of the season. I did not, however, and it has been really beautiful this year, although the black spot is still pretty evident. I am spraying the leaves with liquid sea kelp (something I read about online) and I'm considering trying a mixture of skim milk and water, a tip I heard last week on a garden tour.

Now on to some of the more stellar performers -

'Climbing Iceberg'
'Climbing Iceberg' is a vigorous rose and has quickly overtaken the tower that I was hoping to wind it around. It has completely smothered the structure but has maintained a vertical stance although it wants to keep reaching for the sky and I now have canes shooting straight up into the air.

'Climbing Iceberg'


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.

Another yellow beauty that is new for me is 'Chinatown', another Joy Creek find. A bit stiff and gangly but the blooms are stunning. I've never been drawn to yellow roses in the past but all of a sudden, I am loving them.

'Buff Beauty'

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.

'Marjorie Fair'
'Marjorie Fair', was another favorite in the Bama garden. Sometimes referred to as 'Red Ballerina', the blooms looked redder in that garden and more pink in this one. It is still a fantastic rose and one that wants to get big.

'Marchesa Boccella'

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.

'Home Run'

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


  1. Lovely ! Most of my roses come from Joy Creek , I like 'China town" I'll have to remember to look out for it .

  2. 43 roses! That is impressive. The rose blooms are divine, I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite. I wonder if all are fragrant as the garden must smell wonderful this time of year. The moon arch in the first picture is simply gorgeous.

  3. You have the best luck with roses. You know how to pick em and you know how to grow them!

  4. I did the same with Buff Beauty-no support and let it roam. And Lady Emma -also one of my faves. I think the bronzy foliage and stems tipped the scales for me. Eden is such a dilemma; after the first flush I shake my fist and threaten it with removal but just can't bring myself to take it out-the flowers are not like any others in spite of the blackspot-rust mess. One of the shrubs planted in it's vicinity has helped to camouflage the unsightly base and the canes up to the top of the 6ft fence.

  5. Hi Phillip, You do have a way with roses! It would be impossible to pick a favorite. Your garden is maturing so beautifully.

  6. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous....! Your 'Buff Beauty' is magnificent, 'Iceberg' ditto. 'Swany', 'Phyllis Bide', you picked some choice ones.

    Here 'Eden' was a horrific Ruster, and repeat was just about nothing. When the flowers are good they are very very good, but one flush in spring wasn't enough to make up for the Rust. Giant Cheeto.


Post a Comment