March 14, 2016


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A Garden of Roses


Clockwise: Pierre de Ronsard, Baronne Prevost, Riene de la Violettes and Cardinal de Richelieu.
Its hard for me to imagine a garden without roses, although I understand some do exist. My small garden is home to many varieties of this fabled flower. The fragrance and range of colors is far beyond whatever one could find in a store or from a florist. I am particularly fond of heirloom roses which I find to be hardy in my garden and have provided an abundance of blooms for endless arrangements through the season. 

There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.     -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Along the fence a row of Pierre de Ronsard roses lines one side of the garden.
My passion for this flower developed when I was growing up and would help my grandmother with her roses. There was something very special about the first rose of the summer. I decided that when I had my own garden I would grow as many roses as I could. And I did, about twenty seven different roses vied for space in the little garden and it was magical. 
Climber Zephirine Drouhin is ideal for a northern exposure.
I have discovered there is a rose for every need in the garden. From covering walls to filling in a space there is a rose made for every situation, each available in a rainbow of colors. I opted for a palette of pinks into dark purples which I happen to love and blends well with the color palette of the cutting flowers I grow like cosmos and bachelors buttons. 
All roses look good together and they always look good with blue and white. 
One thing I do to make sure that the roses look their best is fertilize them with Epsom salts. 
The bushes respond well and the roses are luscious for the effort. About 1/2 cup sprinkled around each rose bush in the spring does the trick for the season.

A centerpiece made from three stacked compotes and a melange of roses from the Rose Breakfast chapter in
An Invitation to the Garden.