I try not to play favorites in the garden.
April and May though…
April and May makes for some easy obsession for the roses in my garden. Last year I found myself picking so many flowers that the garden looked bare by the time it was the first week in June. Which, as a
snarky bitch competitive gardener, is totally unacceptable. But with moderation as my nemesis, not picking flowers for my house was not an option.
The solution was simple – grow more!
I designated a simple 8′ x 3′ horse trough as my “cut flower” section, and planted a small variety of great smelling roses. ‘Just Joey’ and ‘Sterling’ are the larger producers, with some miscellaneous David Austin’s flanking the sides. I even tossed a few mini roses for under planting (these were either gifts or little sterling roses that I suspect will naturalize back to a larger bloom over time). After the roses were in their bed, I scattered some sweet pea seeds around for even more fragrance. Now in the throws of spring, I kind of regret mixing the roses and sweet peas, as the pea tendrils are strangling the secondary rose buds, despite by efforts in trellising.
With this new rose section to clip, I have purposely left my front yard ‘Benjamin Britten’ collection in tact, only clipping about 3-4 stems this spring season. Last Saturday, I decided to count every single bud and every single rose in bloom – in my entire garden. I grabbed a hot chai, a notebook and a number H pencil, and got counting…
Here are my notes –
3 plant cluster ‘Benjamin Britten’ – 139 buds, 86 blooms
newly planted ‘Benjamin Britten’ – 8 buds, 5 blooms
climber by the stairs in the front – 5 buds, 5 blooms
hidden ‘Just Joey’ topiary – 1 bud, 1 bloom
single petal yellow in terra cotta – 38 spent blooms, still petaled as of today
yellow/cream rose from Oregon cutting – 36 buds
rambling peach/apricot, bonsai pruned with arching branches – 69 buds, 114 blooms
Fairy rose rambler in 15 gallon – 19 buds, 2 blooms
entire cut rose trough, 7 roses total – 58 buds, 39 blooms
multicolored sunset rose single petal in terra cotta – 9 buds, 21 blooms
random 15 gallons – 6 buds, 9 blooms
rose in 24″ box in too much shade – 26 buds, 8 blooms
new 5 gallon ‘Sombreuil’ staked – 47 buds, 4 blooms
jiffy pot mini rose – 4 buds
wine barrel rose – 4 buds
rosa rugosa in 5 gallon pots from job – 9 blooms
rose in large, mixed terra cotta – 12 buds
‘Sombreuil’ rose climber from mom’s garden (cutting, 17 years old) – 34 buds, 29 blooms
multiple roses in chicken coop area – 29 buds, 37 blooms
‘Sally Holmes’ climber (way too many to count!) – 1 large stem = 72 buds. 1 medium stem = 31 buds and blooms
Total Bud Count = 502
Total Bloom Count = 376
*Minus ‘Sally Holmes’ climber.