My favourite roses are the David Austin varieties.
Charles Rennie McIntosh
In my early days of gardening back in 1978, I fell head over heels in love with a delicious and highly perfumed mauve rose.
My elderly next door neighbour, a gardener herself, told me it was a Lavender Rose.
(my Royal Albert China shares the same name)
The bush was old and established and was performing beautifully with very little TLC, in fact it had been thriving on neglect.
We were living in a rented home 3 houses from the waterfront at the time. The area was an older section of the city comprised of large roomy Edwardian and Victorian homes.
Most of the gardens were established and well tended.
(our rental was weedy and overgrown)
I did not want to have our patch looking shabby so I was learning all that I could about gardening...the wise advice and encouragement that I received from helpful neighbours really got me enthusiastic about mucking and pottering about in the soil.
I was surprised by the generosity of gardeners, both with their willingness to chat as well as their gifts of cuttings and seedlings.
I am happy to say this hasn't changed over the years!
I have attended many meetings, tours, joined Horticultural Societies and Clubs, read books, attended lectures, and basically jumped in and got dirty.
I am not a neat and tidy gardener, not at all like my former neighbour across the street who I might add...gardened in pearls, wore a straw hat and carried a trug for her freshly picked blooms.
I frequently am hatless, wear serious gardening gloves, am dressed in a casual, but matching, pair of Yoga pants and a jacket. My hair is a bit on the windblown side...that's what happens when you live close to the ocean...and I usually have some dirty smudge on my face!
Often I'll just go out and have a "peek" at how things are doing and end up getting messy...
I have been seen dead heading roses in a white dress wearing heels!
Roses are my greatest love in the garden...
I grow them for their perfume...I do not understand why anyone would buy a rose if it lacked fragrance.
I place freshly picked garden roses in vases throughout the Bungalow from May until October.
I prefer the repeat bloomers
they are hardy
Roses are heavy feeders and like lots of water.
I use aged manure and I'll occasionally dig banana skins near the roots of the roses.
Epsom salts work well too.
An award winning local grower swears by Rabbit food sprinkled once a month during blooming season!
(I think my local raccoons would be dining well if I followed that regime)
I won Best Rose in Show one year at our local Horticultural Event with a Peace Rose bloom.
No one was more surprised than I was... gobsmacked indeed.
I had the honour of having my name engraved on a silver rose bowl and was able to keep the bowl in my home until the next year, when someone else won the title!
Alas that rose bush is no longer with us, it grew gnarled and woody and was hit very hard by a cold snowy winter. It was a star performer and gave me many years of lovely blooms.
I also love being able to take bouquets with me when I am an invited guest in someone's home.
I buy vases at Thrift Shops and save them for the very purpose of having pre-arranged flowers so the hostess merely needs to find a spot to set them down.
My thoughts are running amuck and I have been quite abstract tangental...apologies forthwith!
Do you have a favourite rose?
Is it scented?
What is the colour of the bloom?