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The Plants Bees Love

In this day and time, I would hope gardeners understand the importance of bees and other insects in the garden. However, from time to time, a person comes into the nursery and asks for plants that will NOT attract bees (sigh). They are not really gardeners though, they are just looking for a plant to fill a space. I find myself more and more intrigued by bees although I don't know that much about the different types. I do make note of plants that they like and try to add as many as I can to the garden. Over the past weeks, with watering a daily activity amidst a lingering heat-wave, I've conducted an informal survey and noted the plants that they seem to like the most. Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) is one of my favorite perennials and the bees love it too. I don't think I've ever seen a butterfly on it but we don't seem to have many of those. Everybody wants the "Showy Milkweed" (Asclepias speciosa) but I knew

A Good Year For Roses

'Crown Princess Margareta'

Who would have thought that our cold, wet spring would result in such healthy roses?  They have been remarkable, and the continuing cool temperatures keep them looking good.

I was more ruthless with pruning this year and I'm not sure if it was that factor or the lush rainfalls we got back in May, perhaps a combination of both, but the result has been a significant growth spurt and an abundance of blooms.

'The Impressionist'

'The Impressionist' has been one of my favorites. It has suffered a lot of abuse from my hands, having been moved twice and then its stiff canes forced down horizontally along the front fence. I was seriously considering moving it again but decided to give it one more chance and it listened.

'Lady Emma Hamilton'

'Lady Emma Hamilton', one of the most deliciously scented roses, was wisely planted near the front door along the sidewalk. It isn't a carefree rose and displays an occasional odd mosaic pattern on the leaves, but overall it is a stunning rose.

'Julia Child'

For years, I've heard nothing but raves about 'Julia Child' and finally found a spot for one. Generally, pure yellow roses are not my favorite, but I'm anxious to see what this one does.


'Swany' is a rose I got from Joy Creek Nursery. My plan was for it to drape over the trough that runs along the back of the driveway. It had other plans and has now grown over the top of the fence above it and continues to run down on the other side. The blooms this year are astounding, so thick you can't see the canes or leaves, and pure white.

Others -

'Lady of Shalott'


'Grandmother's Hat'


'Radway Sunrise'


'Buff Beauty'

'Gold Medal'

'Lyda Rose'

'Gertrude Jekyll'

'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'


'Sea Foam'

'Dublin Bay' with Clematis 'Jackmanii Superba'

'Darcey Bussell'

'Robin Hood'


Michael pruning and deadheading

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. They are all gorgeous, Phillip, although I'm especially taken with "The Impressionist', a rose I've never seen before.

  2. Your roses are so beautiful that I could almost smell the stunning scent of each one. Thank you for sharing these.

  3. Oh wow. Your roses are just perfection, Buff Beauty is a real romancer!


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