Anyway, we had other more important priorities and so the roses stayed. Eventually, I decided that since they were there; why not give them a little attention. I learned to prune them and provided some occasional fertilizer. They responded by not dying and providing a springtime show – some a better one than others and gradually I considered adding some more interesting varieties. I don’t remember the ones that either died on their own or were ripped out but two were with me until the bitter end after which the new owner ckeared every plant in the front yard and replaced them with a grass lawn livened up with one palm tree carefully placed in the center. Oh well….
The roses that survived my reign at the old house were good credible varieties that I would never have selected. They kept being good enough that I hesitated to cull them. They were also hybrid teas (well I guess Queen Elizabeth is not really and HT but close enough) which I never even consider anymore.
Queen ElizabethIn my garden it was a gangly teenager with ok but not beautiful flowers. It did keep blooming.
Chicago PeaceJust did enough to survive although it was on my list.
The Dark LadyMy first Austin. It had a nice deep red color and the flowers were attractive and full but it didn’t bloom a lot. I treated it like a hybrid tea which probably didn’t help. I was just getting to understand Austins when we moved.
EvelynMy second Austin. Lovely flowers and a reputed wonderful smell although I can’t remember being overwhelmed. It was just getting going when we left.
Souvenir de MalmaisonMy first old rose, a Bourbon. Slow growing and just coming into its own when we left but with beautiful flowers.
Mme Cecile BrunnerI mistakenly ordered climbing which because a huge rambling mound in my rose bed. Lots of blooms.
ScentimentalI was trying here to get some blooms. I also planted a grouping of three to get some mass. It worked well but made the overall look of the bed rather odd.
French LaceSame planting as Scentimental. I loved the color and shape.
Things I learned
Over time I got better at pruning but only at the end did I begin to understand that not all roses are hybrid teas and since I kept eliminating the hybrid teas and replacing them with other types, I had to develop some sensitivity which is not a normal behavior for me. (I am still learning that as you will hear in my NorCal rose report sometime soon)
I also explored better fertilization adopting a four week cycle of fertilizers, Epsom salts and something else I don’t recall and a Spring tonics of alfalfa pellets. I got good growth but I think my pruning sabotaged the effort.
I never got to the point of thinking I was a rose expert but I was beginning to feel competent. So much so that when I was telling the landscape architect what to include in our new backyard plan, I told him I wanted some roses. He blocked out space for three.
How is it working out three years in to the new yard. I'll get back to you.