I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Roses - Final Decision

I've decided on which roses I am ordering. I've read and thought about and reconsidered and now I've settled and I am moving on until next spring, which I'm sure I'll have decided on a few more. Let me tell you, diving headfirst into the world of rose growing is quite an adventure. There are something like 100,000 varieties, there are hot debates about spraying for disease vs. not within the rose growing community along with differences in opinion on original root or grafted root and if grafted then with what - multiflora, Dr. Huey, fortuniana and so on. There are some roses that are gorgeous but have fallen out of popularity and are now almost impossible to find (which sort of makes them even more desirable for some reason!) and others that are not so great, in my opinion, and can still be found in late October at the local big box home improvement store. It seems most people want pink and easy and going a little farther than that makes the experience all the more interesting for me as a gardener.

I've discovered that I have very little interest in pink and red roses, I much, much, much prefer yellows and apricots and some showy whites. The one exception is the Christopher Marlowe which is supposed to be an incredibly watermelon/salmon/orangey-pink that sounds very interesting and has certainly caught my eye. I've decided to order all my roses bare root from a Canadian seller, Pickering Nurseries, who graft onto muliflora root stock. This rose seller is really highly reputed in the online community so I am ready to give them a go.

For now the front beds will receive Christopher Marlowe by David Austin and OSO Easy's HoneyBun by Proven Winners. Both are low, small growers which will give a nice pop to the front of my house. I am going with the HoneyBun because I am new to growing roses and I want to see if a rose bred particularly to be disease resistant really is compared to the showier, more finicky roses I seem to prefer (from images).

Next, we will be creating another bed along the south side of our house which will extend the existing front bed island down the side towards our garden boxes. What is most exciting about this bed is that my husband has no idea it is going to be created! He really thought we were done with landscaping this fall aside from mulching and I know he is going to be just thrilled to discover yet more sod needs to be removed and more holes need to be dug and more compost needs to be liberally dumped into the area - creating these kinds of garden beds are really his favorite way to spend the weekend . In this bed I will stagger from largest to smallest four rose varieties. First and biggest is Tamora, followed by Charlotte, followed by Crocus Rose and finishing up the bed is the short, creeping Pillow Fight. I really, really want to try Bouquet Parfait but it is darned hard to find and it has a blush of pink instead of yellow. Pillow Fight will no longer be available for purchase after 2010 as Weeks is pulling it from the market so that fact along with it's yellow centers pushed it into the cart rather than me taking the time to chase down Bouquet Parfait.

We removed a medium sized pine tree last weekend that was going to eventually get too big for where it was planted near our neighbor's much larger cryptomeria (the landscapers just put it in based on the plan for the house right before we closed rather than realizing that longterm it would never work out, ridiculous) and now there is a nice bare spot begging for a medium sized shrub. I will be putting in Crown Princess Margereta there, another David Austin variety because she packs a lot of punch with her color and she is almost thornless, which is a plus since she will be close to where children are playing. It was really hard choosing her, the lack of thorns being the most important feature. I was loving Grace, and Sweet Juliet as well.

Moving back to the front of my house, there is a wall on the right side of my front bed that is begging for a climber, and I am going to give Maigold by Korbes a try. It is a gorgeous peachy/yellow rose that is supposed to be a prolific bloomer and I think I can train it to climb. 5-6 feet or so feet to give a nice splash of color.

If we decide to move forward with a patio in spring then I will probably order Grace and Lady Emma Hamilton to go in huge pots to add some color to the space. Or maybe not. We'll see what has caught my fancy by then.

A couple pics to show where roses will be planted.

This long stretch behind the laurel and in front of the veggie beds will be a dedicated rose bed, it gets full sun all day until around 4 p.m.

This interior wall will be where Maigold is planted. Let's hope she likes it here! It also gets full sun from sunrise until about 3 p.m. so she should be fine.




Carrie said...

Now how many hours of research did it take to narrow down the choices?? I'm sure it will look great once it is in! I have no idea what roses we have planted except that I think they are not "real" roses but some sort of other variety and they seem pretty easy to care for so far. (lol, why I think they are not real roses!)

Is there an extension society in haymarket? that can be a fun way to meet/talk to other gardeners.

Rach said...

We took all our roses out, lol! While I LOVE and ADORE them when they are in bloom, the rest of the year (for me, at least), they were nothing but prickly, brown sticks. ;oP I had nothing but a black thumb with them. :sigh:

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