Last year, I gave in to my desire to have more roses after spending a wonderful afternoon at gardener and rosarian Pauline Jacob's fantastic garden not far from me. Pauline has well over 100 different roses, including many of the Austins, and I felt the urge stir to start experimenting with roses again. Like the wonderfully coloured Cinqo de Mayo, above. The only trouble with roses that I have is getting accurate colour representation in some images. This particular rose is more spectacular than you can tell here. There are tinges of purple, orange and red in this beauty, which I picked up along with Sally Holmes and Morden Fireglow from den Haan's Garden World in Middleton, NS.
Blomidon Nurseries, and I had to have it. Catherine told me this is a Griffith Buck rose, who bred hardy roses with great fragrance. I don't know yet about the hardiness of Distant Drum, but its colour coupled with its fantastic fragrance totally caught my heart.
Baldwin's Nurseries in Falmouth.
While the flowers of Rosa glauca don't overly excite me, I grow this rose primarily for its blue-green foliage and bright red autumn hips. The flowers are single and pink and not fragrant, but they do show up well against the foliage.Bob Osborne of Cornhill Nursery in Petitcodiac, New Brunswick. Bob is the author of the wonderful book Hardy Roses, and his enthusiasm for growing own root roses has excited me and opened me to a world of new varieties. I bought this rugosa hybrid, Polareis, about 8 years ago. The shrub is now massive, and the flowers change from pink to white, with great scent. A highly recommended choice.
Springvale Nurseries. This is the third Snow Pavement in my garden, and all are doing fine.
I was told by rosarian Peggy Ann Pineau of Old Heirloom Roses that this fabulous rose, 'Alchemyst', can be tricky to overwinter. Don't anyone tell my plant this, because it is currently holding ten-foot tall canes, that are covered in buds. The flowers change colour from apricot to yellow-peach to pink as they mature, and yes, this beauty is fragrant, too.
Harison's Yellow is supposed to be a tricky rose to propagate from cuttings. I collected a number of cuttings from a farm some years ago, and one of them has survived and is thriving nicely. The beauty only lasts for a few days, but when the rose is in bloom it's just such a dazzling show.
Pristine Pavement is a close relative of Snow Pavement, though without the wash of lavender colour. It is very fragrant, and the pure white flowers contrast well with its deep green foliage.
I can't remember where I bought Robusta, but she is well named, presenting me with dozens of single, deep red flowers. Despite my fondness for double or quartered rose blooms, I also have a deep fondness for the clean, unfussy look of single roses.
Last but not least is another feast for the eyes and the nose, the white rugosa hybrid Souvenir du Philomen Cochet. Closely related to Blanc Double du Coubert, but with even more fragrance. The only thing I find difficult about these white rugosa types is that they tend to "ball" in foggy or rainy weather, turning into a mass of soggy, tissue like petals. But aside from that, they're pretty much perfect and I think everyone should have one.
So far I have come home with about 8 different species this year, and I suspect more will come along as the nurseries show off more and more varieties. What about you--do you have a romance with roses going on? (Please tell me yes. I don't want to be addicted to these fantastic plants all by myself).