I want our garden to resemble a natural environment as much as possible but the roses don’t seem to quite fit. I try to incorporate roses in the garden anyway. I love roses and I think any garden without roses is not a complete garden. Any readers who don’t like roses and think that they are a pain to take care of, please do not take offense. It’s just my personal take on it.
There are periods, before the roses bloom in late spring and in between blooming (for the re-bloomers) when there are nothing to see but green leaves. I need plants to give some color to the trellises and the area adjacent to the rose bushes. There are a few plants I found that work well for our garden and make the garden look more natural.
The first choice, as recommended by many professional gardeners, is Clematis. They intertwine with rose branches and flower here and there between them. For mid-spring, Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’ is really lovely.
Peony is another good companion for roses. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten the name of the white one above. But the flowers large and quite fragrant.
A new wave of rose buds have started to emerge now, not as profuse as in late spring. I’ll keep seeking rose companions and in the meantime, the echinacea and garden phlox are in full bloom.
I didn’t expect to stay away from posting for almost a month, time flies. With the weather swinging like a pendulum, I find myself spending more time getting the garden in order. By the end of the day I was too exhausted to do anything else. But I can’t let summer passes by with out posting about roses.
The rose bushes in our garden are doing well this year. With rain early on and cooler than normal temperatures, it’s a perfect combination for roses. The first round of blossoms are just about to fade and just in time for the arrival of the heat and humidity. Now it’s time to snip off the spent flowers and feed them again.
They present their representatives, below, to vouch for the caretaker that has kept them well fed and healthy. That is why she has been MIA for a month.
Regarding love, instead of a quote from William Shakespeare’s works, may I present you with a crimson red and highly fragrant David Austin rose ‘William Shakespeare’ from our garden.
A deep red rose with more than 80 petals and a lovely old English rose fragrance. It offers that rich color of blood that runs through the heart and warms and washes over us in layers of love enveloping us as the years go by. It’s fragrance is strong but not invasive. It invokes the power of love that is strong enough to hold one close to the heart, but not so tight the loved one cannot breath.
Shakespeare wrote many plays and sonnets related to love but I have often felt that no one can explain love in a relationship better than Kahlil Gibran. In “The Prophet”, he wrote:
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.
And when it comes to explaining marriage in all relationships, he wrote:
Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, But let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone through they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Even in the garden, each plant needs room to grow. A wild bird is much happier than a bird in the cage as the freedom to move and make its own decisions is important to all living things.
As to why a red rose should represent love, my fellow blogger Rambling Ratz’s post on ‘Red Roses‘ informs us of its history. I always wondered about the genesis but hadn’t found the time to read about it.
Looking for more red roses for the garden? William Shakespeare is my favorite. Burgundy Iceberg has deep burgundy petals, not very fragrant but grows easily and blooms throughout the summer. It’s susceptible to developing black spots on the leaves though. All Iceberg roses in my garden seem to be that way. As for Mr. Lincoln, a big red hybrid tea rose, it has velvety deep red petals and strong damask fragrance. It needs a little bit more pampering than the others but it’s worth it.
I love spring time. There is a lot of work to do in the garden in spring in order to keep up with the fast growing plants but it’s the best time of year, in my opinion anyway. When the weather gets gradually warmer, plants follow accordingly and they are much easier to keep up with. This year the weather has been temperamental. It has gone up to 80° F for a few days then dropped down to low 40° F. When the temperature hit 80 degree, plants in the garden shot up really fast only to be stunned by a suddenly cooler temperature later. I have to put down a plan to widen the walkway. That entails moving some plants out of the way. It will have to wait until next year since the plants are now too tall for me to safely transplant them.
We lost some plants we really love to the harsh winter but what’s left in the garden hasn’t disappointed us. Color and scents throughout the garden.