Monday, May 16, 2011


(top two images from David Austin Roses, bottom two images ??)

This is my new plant obsession that I alluded to in a previous post: roses. I have long been dreaming of having climbing roses in my garden. It seemed like a small step towards achieving more of a Secret Garden vibe, rather than the junky-backyard look I'm rocking now. Once I started looking into rose options seriously this spring for the first time, I got totally sucked in. There are just so many amazing varieties. I chose 4 bare root roses from Pickering Nurseries. They are (clockwise from top left) Sombreuil, Comte de Champagne, Louisa Stone, and Leverkusen. The Sombreuil and Leverkusen are climbers. The other two are bushes. I love these big pouffy old fashioned types, and round cupped petals. Basically, I like roses that look like peonies. But unlike peonies, these roses should keep blooming throughout the summer! I have always thought of roses as tricky, labour intensive plants, but as I have been learning more about them, this really doesn't seem to be the case. All the research I have done lately has also taught me how to care for the couple of climbing roses that were already in the garden, so I've finally pruned and trellised them properly for the first time. Here is a photo my mom took of me when I was planting my new babies. I'll keep you posted on their progress!

Do any of you have experience growing roses? Any tips? Favourite varieties?


  1. I LOVE roses too and would probably fill my garden with them. Last time I was home, I took so many photos of the rose gardens in Wicklow (on my Flickr here - that was in October!

    I think the hardest thing is aphids love roses... but you can buy containers of ladybugs and they'll get rid with that. I like the peony-type ones best too.

    Can't wait to see yours in full bloom!

  2. I just looked at your photos Jane. So beautiful! So inspiring!

  3. Oooh Carly! Best of luck! Rose gardens are the most beautiful!

  4. Oh! A secret garden vibe is exactly what I look for in a garden. (I'm re-reading that book right now) Roses are the prettiest flower, I've always been intimidated by growing them, as well. Best of luck! I can't wait to see them in full bloom.

  5. Well, obviously I love roses, but I've never really researched them much, your Comte de Champagne ones look pretty unbelievable. Oh the secret garden, please re-create it. if anyone can do it it's you.

    Good luck : )

  6. Thanks for the good luck wishes guys!

    Caitlin - Even if the roses flourish I will be a long ways off from re-creating the secret garden. I don't think the secret garden was surrounded by ugly parked cars, ruining the views;) However, I will do my best. Thanks for the vote of confidence!