the girls and I took a little trip today , and like anytime we spontaeously decide to take off and see garden or two we call it an adventure. It sounds much more exciting that way , and plus it always involves stops for lunch or ice cream, or both ,and maybe a little shopping too if there is time.
Today’s adventure was to Elizabeth Park in Hartford CT. Elizabeth Park is just over 100 acres of lovely gardens icluding a very formal bedding garden , a perennial garden , lots of beautiful open space for recreation, and a beautiful rose garden as it’s pièces de résistance. I have had this trip on my must do list, but rose gardens in New england peak in late June early July and that time of year is never particularly free for me. So i dream all winter of how I can possibly fit it in, and finallhy this year had time and made the trek.
We did, in fact ,stop to smell the roses, every variety. We also took pictures of the labels on those considered potential additions to The Burrow. Throughout the girls would delight in the color of fragrance of a particular rose ( Faith leans toward the traditional look of the floibundas and Erin toward the wild and crazy ramblers) and say ” this one would be good” to which I would often respond ” we have that one. It became clear to me that although I think there are many roses here it is a case of the familiar “too many yet not enough “syndrome that strikes every garden.
Some roses can be finicky plants and here those that are grow in mixed borders for the most part so if they are not behaving other flowers and foliage will cover their sins. Mostly I grow them to go out and pick for the house or carry around and sniff as I work. There are also many easy care varieties here, like loads of the Drift Roses from the breeders of the ubiquitous Knockouts, and several knockouts in both pink and red, Magic Carpet roses, and a few from the Earth Kind list put out by Texas A&M.
But the fussier ones are often a little more difficult to chance upon as you stroll, you have to know where to look. I hesitate to add more when I take a second to think about the losses ( Ebb Tide, Baby Cheryl, two William Baffins, Lion’s Fairy Tale, Golden Celebration, 2 of three Christopher Marlowes, Yellow brick Road, Sharif Asma, Coral Magic Carpet, Pink Home Run, Don Juan, Several Iceberg climbers, the list could go on and on). Some were lost to rabbits ,, some to weather, and a few, including my favorite that I can’t find a replacement for ,Kiss Me from Easy Elegance. were lost to the fence/pool construction.
So the question remains ……add more and deal with growing struggles and loss or stick with what is working ? The answer , as you could probably guess is add more!
i really like ordering from David Austin Roses , so will probably stick with them , As we speak the catalogue is on my desk and the post- its are ready to stick. I was really drawn to the wine/purple colored flowers today so will try to any in those colors to my list,. I may also branch out to look for one that especially struck me today called Easter Basket .It is a floribunda bred by Meilland and supposedly widely commercilly available, It also gets high marks for performance from The New York Botanical Garden which is a no spray rose garden .
Tonight I took a walkabout when we got home with the camera to see what’s going on here rose-wise and things are not too shabby. There are many ( maybe a dozen or so) that are still in tight bud, but those that are blooming are looking A-OK.