At the end of the growing season, you often ask yourself “How did my garden grow?” Now is the time to assess a few things to make plans for next year.
What roses did well and what didn’t? Was your garden better or worse than last year? If it was better last year, what did you do or omit to do this year? How much can you blame on the weather? More importantly, what can you do to make it better next season?
The answers to these questions will vary from individual to individual because we all have different gardens, soil conditions, exposures, watering methods, microclimates and problems unique only to a few members. In addition, we all have different styles of gardening, some very intense and others more relaxed.
As we evaluate our gardens there are many ways we can help each other by sharing our observations and information. For example, which bushes did well and which didn’t. In my garden I was surprised that in spite of the heat, some roses did remarkably well when most of the others were stressed out. One of them that’s a survivor is Bow Bells, a great David Austin Rose. Bow Bells is a pink rose that will even grow in the semi-shade area of your garden. If you want constant color and easy care in the garden, this rose is a good candidate. Bow Bells is not an exhibition rose but a garden rose that’s superbly healthy and blooms non-stop even in the heat of summer. I planted mine on its own root just this spring and it grew up to six ft tall in its first year. While Scentimental which grows next to it was completely defoliated, Bow Bells green foliage is intact, no blackspot. I don’t spray and have only used four applications of Bayers All-In-One for the whole season.
My hybrid teas succumbed to blackspot but recovered quickly after the summer heat. I tolerate a little blackspot but I kept my garden tidy and free of diseased leaves. I planted companion plants to hide their bare legs in the summer. Much as I love the award-winning form of the hybrid teas, I prefer the fragrant varieties. I miss Lancôme and Perfume Delight and wish I had dug them up from my garden when I left New York. Another favorite is Gardens of the World which I was able to get from K&M Nursery.
As for miniature roses, I lost four minis this summer, three of which were planted in 2008 in our first growing season here and were on their own while we still lived in NY. Memphis Music though quite exceptionally beautiful in form and color is susceptible to disease and was completely denuded by the end of summer. First and Foremost which I got as a gift from the Lundbergs is quite disease resistant. I like it very much. Thanks Bob and Sandy. I don’t have many minis here but in New York, the older more established minis with deeper root systems survived the best. Misty Dawn, Magic Carousel and Dreamglo were with me for years. One miniature rose in my garden which was totally unscathed by heat and drought and bloomed madly all season was Misty Dawn. It’s the most disease-resistant, care-free rose I’ve ever grown.
Speaking of care-free, two shrub rose that are easy maintenance is Caldwell Pink and Oso Easy Cherry Pie. They are very healthy and bloom constantly. Since I don’t spray, it is amazing that these roses fare well. Caldwell Pink is truly a delightful pink polyantha that is so carefree. Mine is in a pot and quite happy. Cherry Pie, also in a pot, is a single that bloomed all season long and quite disease resistant. Cherry Pie is a red Oso Easy Rose that deserves some praise. My new favorite Old Garden Rose is Cramoisi Superieur which seemed to take the heat and drought very well. It is a non-stop bloomer and very disease-resistant. Louis Philippe which is mistaken sometime for Cramoisi Superieur did not fare well at all. They really look alike. Marechal Niel, a yellow noisette, is a monstrosity and taking over the whole fence, mine and my neighbor’s.
As I ponder plans for next season, one of my gardening “new year’s resolutions” is to put a thicker layer of mulch on the roses. Summer is brutal here and watering is a pain. I might even go for a soaker hose. Yes, I hand water my roses, always have for the last 40 years. As I watered my plants, I could see what was going on in the garden.
How did your garden grow? If anything interesting happened that you would like to share, please post a comment.
Roses are not difficult to grow contrary to popular belief as long as you know what they need. Why do you think Roses have been around for millions of years? All they need are food, water and sunlight. Just like you and me.
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