The name tag collage didn't turn out quite like I wanted with name of each rose. This little garden represents my tours of England that I took in 2001 and again in 2006 and the fact that I am not only a student of English literature, but I share my passion with I hope eager students.
Top Left: Winchester Cathedral-- named for the cathedral located in Hampshire, England originally dates back to 642 and is the burial place of Jane Austin-- will bloom all summer long. The red rose is Tess of the D'Urbervilles, named after a Thomas Harding heroine in the novel of the same name publish in 1891. Along with Jane Ayer, Tess is one of my favorite English heroines. Row 2: the pink climber named for famed Irish flute virtuoso Sir James Galway will provide a beautiful backdrop to the court yard pond. Shropshire Lad, named for the county that borders Wales has already bloomed and will certainly put on a show by mid summer. The David Austins will grow 4-5 feet tall and will bloom abundantly with sweet rose perfumed fragrance all summer long. They gracefully unfurl from the center with rippling rows of petals that smile back as I admire their beauty. Once established, they will be hardy in our hot, dry climate.
Lastly, the tea roses by Weeks Roses Justy Joey and St. Patrick, both have bloomed and seem to be liking their new home. When we bought the roses, I was looking for color not names. Once I got them home, the name Just Joey sounded so familiar, so I looked back at my old notebook from the old house to see if I had a Joey, and indeed I did, so Just Joey has returned, a beautiful prolific bloomer. Finally, a bright yellow rose St. Patrick adds pop to the courtyard among the pinks and reds that are already there.
My favorite rose brand was Jackson and Perkins, which has gone out of business and, according to a nurseryman, has sold its fields to Week Roses, so the quality will still be there. J&P roses can still be purchased through their online catalog, but I prefer the potted roses to the bare root roses. Right now the nurseries and garden centers are well stocked with roses, but I would imagine that they will go quickly as they make wonderful gifts for Mother's Day. Last year I bought two roses at Home Depot, off brands that were cheap. One died for no good reason (that I could tell) and the other struggled, but this year seems to be coming on stronger with a dose of good rose food.
My daughter consulted a rose specialist to inspect her tiny rose garden because she couldn't get her roses to bloom. She was ready to tear them out. With a bit of sound advice from the rosarian and Bayers Systemic rose food, her roses began to thrive. So I converted to Bayers and am quite pleased with the results. My roses have always been plagued with aphids and this systemic feed also kills the pests. Some say that today's gardeners tend to shy away from roses because they require so much work. Not really, though they do have specific requirements. I told my husband a while ago that I would to have one hundred roses. I doubt that I will invest in that many roses, but my collection is sure to grow.
The iris are also starting to put on a show.
Such easy keepers and prolific bloomers, iris add a dash of color and elegance to any garden spot. I had a nice collection of roses at the old house and moved some that haven't bloomed yet, so these are new bloomers left behind by the last gardener blooming for the first time since we have lived here.
So what's new in your garden this week? Hope you all have wonderful Mother's Day.