Friday, April 13, 2012

The Big Picture

I have grown roses for over twenty years but for most of those years, I have simply grown roses.  I would acquire one here and one there and plant them in the next available spot.  When we moved to Prague three years ago I decided I would grow a rose garden.  That may sound like a subtle difference but it is one that is noticeable when comparing my current garden to places I have lived before.  
All of these roses were planted in the past two years (either last spring or the spring before that) with the oldest just starting their third year.  That reminds me of a conversation I had with a Korean friend about how old we are.  We were born just days apart but he always said we were a year older than I counted.  The difference came from my thinking that you are a year old a year after you are born and he said you enter year one when you are born.  To him you are one when you are born and two once your first year is over.  This year will be the year that we begin to see the garden mature I think.  For the most part the roses are just about to start blooming.  Some of course, have been going at it for a little while.  In the picture below you will see the red-fuchsia blooms of Siren's Keep on the right and the very lavender color or Lavender Crystal just left of the gate.
The tall bush at the corner of the house is the Hybrid Musk Lavender Lassie.  This bush was significantly affected by Rose Rosette Disease/Virus at the beginning of last Spring.  I cut each of the effected canes all the way off at the very base of the plant.  I thought that I had managed to save the plant because I had no other symptoms on the bush last year.  However, this spring I had a new basal breaking cane that showed all the typical signs of infection.  It is hard to believe because the rest of the plant seems totally uneffected.  I'm going to let it go through its spring blossoming and then I expect to take it out.  I do have a year old replacement plant growing from a cutting of this bush.  I hate to take it out but I don't think it is possible to save it at this point.
The roses in this area of the garden cover the range from red (Braveheart) to purple (Rhapsody in Blue) to white and cream (Popcorn and Jude the Obscure).  Popcorn is in the foreground of the photo below I have also moved some purple Iris into this area that used to live in the back of our yard. 
Just beyond the fence are Treasure Trail, Abraham Darby, Pat Austin, Graham Thomas (the tall one in the middle), Golden Buddha, and Jeri Jennings.  Beyond Jeri Jennings is my cuttings bed.  The section of the garden obviously moves between the yellow and orange themes with some pink and salmon mixed in.  This area wouldn't even grow weeds before we moved here.  It was just bare ground.  It has come so far when we moved here. 
Siren's Keep is just starting its second year.  It is proving to be a prolific and early bloomer.  Its flowers have about 40 large petals loosely filling 4-5" blossoms.  The color is somewhere between red-fuchsia-pink and its blooms are a real eye catcher.  Behind Siren's Keep is DayDream. Planted at the same time one has grown more upward while the other is more spreading while Lavender Lassie overlooks them both.
I wanted to get a picture of Rhapsody in Blue with the purple Iris blooming just beside it.  I think the colors go pretty well together.  Just to the left is Jude the Obscure and it is still a long way from blooming.  It felt like Jude's color would provide a nice complementary color.  And just in front of both is Jack, our Italian Greyhound.  Jack just can't resist getting in on the action.  Unless it's cold or wet, he is my constant companion when working in the garden.   
The longer I work in the garden, the more I find myself taking a step back and seeing the big picture.  This takes you through a good section of half of my roses.  I will take you through the other sections in the next two posts.


  1. Hi Scott, your roses are lovely! We can't expect any rose bloom for another 6 weeks, sigh. I really like your Rhapsody in Blue and purple iris blooming together. I love the color of Golden Buddha, it is somewhat like one of my favorite roses I grow, Apricot Nectar, but more intense.

  2. Love seeing your garden! So sorry about your Lavender Lassie. I'm keeping my eyes open and fingers crossed - but I know one day my garden will be affected, too. Rhapsody in Blue looks perfect with that purple iris. I bet your garden is glorious when all the roses are in bloom!

  3. Great to see these photos of your garden. Iris and roses are wonderful

  4. Thanks each of you. Rhapsody in Blue and the Iris really do work nicely together. I was concerned because sometime when colors are close but not the same it doesn't work well. They have all exploded this week. I may have to just do an update from the same angles this week.

  5. Your roses all look very happy and healthy! I really love the color of Siren's Keep. What kind of rose is she? Sorry to hear your Lavanders Lassie isn't doing well I know that must be very disappointing.

  6. Meghan, Siren's Keep is classified in that great generic class of "Shrub Rose." It is a rose bred by Paul Barden from a combination of English, Hybrid Perpetual, Gallica, and Miniature roses. It is most similar to an English Rose. I started some cuttings from Lavender Lassie when it first got RRD/V and have one ready to replace it even though it's just two feet tall.