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June 19, 2016


The David Austin catalogue has been some of my favourite reading at times - so many roses, so little space. We planted a couple of ramblers (cannot now remember their names) in the tiny, communal back garden in London a couple of years ago, and they are really starting to get going. Funnily enough, it was only yesterday that I mentioned to Mr GftNC that we should order some more for under the kitchen window in the North Country. I wouldn't have a hybrid tea under any circs (there was one when I came here, but it died and I was glad). I cannot really see the point of a rose without a scent, and they are much too rigid and regimental, whereas to me the charm of roses is their relaxed, sometimes blowsy generosity, a bit like fin de siecle courtesans.

Perhaps a Tiffany?


I actually prefer Old Garden (or Heirloom) roses. They don't produce the long straight stems that would make putting them in vases easy. But they look (at least to my eye) much better in the garden/yard. And smell better, too.

just came home from big sister's house in southern NH. she has knockouts. smell great, look good, tolerate partial shade, easy peasy to maintain. she just cuts them way back in spring.

The wild variant of Rosa majalis, the cinnamon rose, is both beautiful and sturdy. It grows naturally throughout Northern Europe and Siberia, so it will probably survive in New Jersey, too. Here in Finland, I is commonly used as a decoration of public spaces because it forms pretty, but impenetrable barriers and does not require much maintenance. For example, planting roses by a wall is a good way to avoid graffiti. (The bushes only seem impenetrable, though. A child or a small adult can easily crawl under the bush if they are willing to soil their clothes. I've spent many a hide-and-seek game in a rose bush.)

My garden philosophy is that you should only grow plants that can survive without extensive care. Pruning once a year should be enough. Then, the point will be to find a mixture of plants that are both pretty and can live in constant competition with each other.

It does look like a David Austin ... colors yellow through peach to pink, you don't get that in the real Old Roses, but the very double shallow cup shape is just what he breeds for. So ... check out an old David Austin catalogue, 2006 to be safe. The online catalogues don't show the years developed, and the color of the bloom varies a lot depending on temperature and time of year.

Mmmm, Block Island. Great for a day trip, or a bike ride around the island. Do the locals still hate mopeds?

I have honeysuckle in my yard that I love. Beautiful scent fills the air when it's damp out.


Yes, but not as much as they used to, because there aren't very many any more.

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