Is there anything more indicative of summer than the scent of a freshly picked rose? In their quest to increase beauty and disease resistance, breeders have bred the smell right out of a lot of newer roses. There is nothing more disappointing in my book, than to encounter a rose that is stunningly gorgeous, only to discover that it is scentless. Luckily, there are a few roses nowadays that have the best of both worlds: beauty and strength. Three of my favorite this year are Sweet Surrender, America and Sunset Celebration.
Sweet Surrender is a lovely shade of light pink and its smell is simply heavenly. Its a strong citrus-rose scent and you can smell it from across the yard its so fragrant. Sunset celebration is another lovely selection. With flowers that open pinkish-orange, and become gold and tangerine in the center, fading to pink at the edges, it is a true show-stopper. Its smell is not quite as intense as Sweet Surrender, but is lovely nonetheless. It is a light, fruity aroma and matched with its incredible beauty, make this rose worthy of all the awards it has won.
Finally, my last favorite rose from this season is the America rose. This one is a climber, but more striking than most of the climbing roses you see around. I think the thing that sets this rose apart from the rest is the color contrast between the flowers and the leaves. The leaves are unusually dark and shiny, while the flowers are a gorgeous orange-coral color. They stand out particularly well against the leaves. The fragrance is outstanding and spicy, with hints of clove and orange. It also has excellent disease resistance, making this rose worth growing for its smell as well as for its fortitude.
Whether you grow these roses this year, or another that has these characteristics (great smell and disease resistance), this is the time of year that we can truly enjoy these lovely plants. Long live summer days and the flowers that make them memorable!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Bulb gardens tend to look most beautiful and dramatic when they are planted in swaths of color. For example, if you planted an entire bed with red tulips, it would look much more stunning than a bed with a mix of five or six colors. Also consider the height of each bulb when planting. Ideally you want to plant the shorter bulbs in front of taller bulbs so that you get layers of flowers. One neat idea is to choose bulbs with different heights and colors, but within the same hue e.g., various shades of blue. The result would be a texturally rich visual scheme but with a unified theme.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
It is hard to believe that it is November already! Where have the months gone? It seems as though winter is hurtling toward us at a breakneck speed. Perhaps it only feels this way because it was such a cool, and relatively short summer. Sure, we had a few warm weeks, but they were over far too soon. Now the end of autumn approaches and people have begun to put their winter pots together. Believe it or not, Christmas trees will be here in only 3 weeks!