A Rose Garden, Hope Springs Eternal

Rudyard Kipling said, “Remember Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade.”

Gaga's Rose Garden in Bloom
Gaga's Rose Garden in Bloom

However, shade sitting is never quite so satisfying as when one is contemplating the beauty of a rose garden from the prospective of being in it and having created a rose garden in the sun.

A Garden is A Gathering Place to Kick Back & Relax with Friends
A Garden is A Gathering Place to Kick Back & Relax with Friends

Here is the one rose I planted in bed pictured below and it performed beautifully.

First rose planted in new floribunda bed
First rose planted in new floribunda bed

Those of you that show roses will relate, I committed the cardinal sin of people who show roses. I said I would never forget the name of the rose bush; I know it well. Guess what? I can’t remember the name of the rose. I have perused the entire ARS Handbook over and over to jog my memory. I can’t believe I am publicly confessing this. But here’s the first rose planted in the floribunda rose garden. I bought it because it’s a rose that regularly wins ribbons at shows. If you know what it is rosarians let me know please.

New floribunda rose garden bed in planning stage, non-elevated, eastern exposure
New floribunda rose garden bed in planning stage, non-elevated, eastern exposure

Here are the roses I have planted in the bed pictured above, all rated in the 2012 American Rose Society Handbook for Selecting Roses 8.0 or Higher. Notice there is a shade producing overhang that I am concerned about.Playboy, Red blend ARS rating   8.5

Rainbow Sorbet, yellow blend  8.0

Sunsprite deep yellow,  8.4

Sheila’s Perfume (didn’t really perform that well in Texas, we’ll see about Illinois) 8.2

Rose gardens are easier to have than you might imagine and the envy of all your neighbors. A rose garden can be a gathering place for friends & family to collect a lifetime of memories, a morning of glory, or an evening of wine & roses.

Here’s the easy do-it-yourself way to start.

Layout

Plan your rose bed with the maximum amount of exposure to the sunshine. Roses need full sun and do best when they get at least 6 full hours of sunshine during the growing season.

Design for Easy Maintenance

A raised bed is ideal for growing roses; it gives the soil good drainage and saves your back from a lot of back bending. Landscape timbers are what I recommend and I used for my beds in Texas. They are light and easy to work with. Build the timbers three tiers high and two feet wide for a single bed or five feet wide for a double bed.

If you have two beds that are parallel, leave enough room to walk between them.

Elevated Rose Bed Design
Elevated Rose Bed Design

Drainage

Raised beds have the best drainage. Make sure if you don’t have elevated beds that the beds have good drainage and that water does not pool in the planting area. Roses do love water, but they don’t like “wet feet.”

Organic Soil Amendments

Lay out the dimensions of your rose bed. You can do this with a string. Now remove the sod and spade up the existing subsoil. To the subsoil add compost, Canadian peat moss, ground bark, garden gypsum, sand, and bone meal. Use a Rototiller to mix this organic material if you can. This mixture in a raised bed should a little higher than the second layer of the landscape timbers since some settling will occur.

Planting

Now you are ready to choose roses that you love. Pick roses by color, fragrance, hardiness and profusion of bloom. Plant them generally two to 2 ½ feet between bushes is normal. I have seen bushes planted closer together in hot climates to allow for mutual shading. Just allow enough space to work and water your plants.

Hope Springs Eternal, Bare Root Mini, All-ATwitter is buried by Bear
Hope Springs Eternal, Bare Root Mini, All-ATwitter is buried by Bear

I mentioned that I am replacing some annuals with miniature roses is this is the planter that I have planted the new miniature All-A-Twitter. You may have seen my picture on Facebook of it covered by a wooden bear, ice and snow sine temperatures droped to 20 degrees after I planted it. 😉 Funtimes.

All-A-Twitter Miniature Rose Planter
All-A-Twitter Miniature Rose Planter

Also, alas, do as I say not as I do since I am planting roses directly in the ground along a walkway, not an elevated bed. I will be posting pictures of how they do. The soil is rich with good drainage lots of sand so I added Canadian peat moss, lots of feather meal, and Annie Haven’s Moo Poo Tea for fertilizer. And remember folks, my son Michael says I end abruptly but “The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30″    —-Lorne Michaels, creator of Saturday Night Live

All-A-Twitter Miniature deep orange too new to rate

Ordered not planted:

1 Easy Does It
1 Hot Cocoa
1 Betty Boop
1 Ketchup & Mustard
1 Iceberg
1 Julia Child
1 Fragrant Cloud
1 Baronne De Rothschild
1 Peace
1 Stormy Weather (LCI)

 

This is my neighbor, he get's 'cause he pays attention! OUI call him Lyle Lovett Llama
This is my neighbor, he get's 'cause he pays attention! OUI call him Lyle Lovett Llama

3 Replies to “A Rose Garden, Hope Springs Eternal”

  1. Love your post and your rose garden plans. It is awful when you plant something and cannot remember the name!! It becomes an obsession, trying to find out. I do hope someone knows. Well good luck with your roses.

  2. Susan, Your home is going to be as georgous outside as it is inside. I hope all your roses grow strong and well and bring you years of pleasure. And how great is this weather we are having currently?!!! AND halelujah-hooray for this great time change that brings us an extra hour of daylight in the evening. Smiling……..

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