All the Roses

Lady Bank's Rose via

Cottage Rose via

Every Spring, about the end of April, I start watching for the roses to bloom. The first one to go is always the Lady Bank’s rose that’s on the site gate arbor. After that, the rose hedge starts to go, and then about now, all of the rest of the roses join in. It’s my favorite.

This year is especially exciting because I have several new roses that were given to me by a friend before she moved to California, and so my rose collection effectively doubled instantly. The roses smell AMAZING. I haven’t brought any inside yet because I can’t bear to take them out of the garden, but as good as they smell, it’s only a matter of time before I succumb.

The most fragrant of the roses is one that’s new to me, Variegata di Bologna. It has a clean, fresh scent that’s just intoxicating. I’ve never had a striped rose before and I probably would have never bought one because I would have thought I wouldn’t like it. But I loooove it, and not just because of how it smells. It’s so pretty!

Variegata di Bologna
Variegata di Bologna Rose via

The other new rose that’s blooming is one that I have photographed in rose gardens over and over and over again because it’s just that perfect. It’s called “Cottage Rose” and it’s a beautiful pink cabbage rose. I don’t have a picture of the gorgeous quartered bloom, but trust me, it’s stunning. And also smells fantastic. I am so thankful to have been given this rose.

Cottage Rose
Cottage Rose Cabbage Rose via

Another fragrant rose that I brought with me from my old house is this beautiful Rugosa rose called “Hansa.” It’s been transplanted half a dozen times (eeep) and still is going strong. I just love Rugosa roses for this reason.

Hansa Rugosa Rose via

The house also came with this mystery rose that grows on the back fence. It surprises me every year because it’s huge and it grows and blooms in nearly full shade. I suspect it may be a Dr. Huey growing from a rootstock. It grows from the other side of the chain link fence, and the neighbor (who is also a Master Gardener) has tried to get rid of it, but it just keeps growing. Now it’s all on my side, and the roots are under the hedge, so I think we’re stuck with it. There are worse fates. You can see it even better in the pictures I posted last year of it blooming.

Dr. Huey (?)
Dr. Huey Rose via

The first rose I bought and planted myself is the Lady Bank’s rose that’s on the arbor gate. It blooms early, and only once, and when it’s done that’s it for the year. But it’s worth it to see the cascades of little yellow flowers coming down. There’s a clematis on there with it, too, so it will give us purple flowers as the season continues.

Lady Banks
Lady Bank's Rose via

The most traffic-stopping roses I have planted by far are the roses in the rose hedge. I’ve been gradually adding a couple of plants each year, bought either on clearance or bareroot at the beginning of the season, and eventually they will stretch across the entire front of my front garden along the fence. The first six I got for $2 each on clearance and I didn’t know what colors they were. They’re Knock Out roses, and I have a mix of the regular bright bright double pink ones and the slightly lighter medium pink double ones. These roses are amazing. They bloom like nobody’s business and you can cut them with hedge clippers in Spring to keep their shape. They don’t get any blackspot (a plague in my region) and just go and go and go. They’re not fancy, but they’re great for what I’m using them for. My only wish is that I had all medium pink ones beause the bright ones are SO BRIGHT, but really, I’m lucky to have so many roses blooming without maintenance, so I won’t complain.

Knock Out
Knock Out Rose Hedge via

I’ve started underplanting the hedge with catmint (this is “Walker’s Low”). I started with one plant and divide it every year. Soon I’ll have enough to stretch the whole way along with the roses. I love how the purple and pink look together. Plus it keeps the deer out of my garden.

Here, you can see how the catmint only is on the first section so far:

Knock Out Rose Hedge via

It’s always a process! 🙂 I’m hoping this year is my year, though, to finish this front border. I’ll have to wait on the roses, but I have been able to scrounge up the fence posts and I have lots of catmint. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find some of the roses on clearance this fall.

Meanwhile, there are still a few more roses crammed into my garden, but none of them are blooming yet this year. I’ll let you know when they do!

Do you have any roses in your garden?

~Angela :-)

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  1. Oh, do I have roses! Most of my roses were here when we bought the house. I have no idea what they are but I love them all. I added a small rose garden beside the driveway – a couple of David Austin shrub roses that have grown tall enough to cover the garbage/recycling bin enclosure, two roses that were in honor of my father and his love for roses (one was in a beautiful basket from a dear friend for his memorial service). Both roses have ‘returned to their roots’ and they are not what they were supposed to be. One is gorgeous and I love it – the other has gotten leggy and ‘strange’ this year but it’s full of tiny, sweet red roses. It is supposed to be ‘Hope’ – a soft yellow with slight pink edges. There are two stems of that and the rest (most of the bush looks like a single, red rose!). I love roses and yours are gorgeous! I don’t think I can ever have enough roses!

    • Adrienne, your rose garden sounds beautiful. Those leggy small red roses are the rootstock, probably Dr. Huey. If you prune them all off and just leave the yellow rose, it may regain itself. Eventually, if left to it’s own devices, the Dr. Huey will take over and the hybrid will be gone. But it doesn’t matter if you enjoy them!!

      I loooove David Austin roses and I would love to have some here. None yet, but someday! My absolute favorite is Abraham Darby. Sooo pretty.


  2. Barbara H. says:

    Your roses are beautiful, Angela. I’d love to see some pictures from a distance. You had done some work in the front that looked wonderful – perhaps on the sides? Too lazy to go back and look. It showed me that you are truly an artist. Glad you are having such a good rose year.

    • Thank you, Barbara! I keep meaning to put up the “tour” pages — if I can find the time then finally it will be easy to see what I’ve done. It’s on the list! 🙂 I have done work all over the garden — it’s so different from where I started with just grass, bark dust and a handful of overgrown rhododendrons. ~Angela~

  3. Love that Hansa!

    • Thank you, Skye! The Hansa is great because not only does it smell great, it’s tough as nails. I mean, you just cannot kill it, and it never gets diseases. It’s fantastic. ~Angela~

  4. Your yard is truly breathtaking! Looks to me like you’ve done a lot of work on it! And believe it or not, roses do very well here in Arizona! Just a bit south-east of where I am there are huge fields of them grown for nurseries. And do you think I have any in my yard? That’s a big no! But thinks to your post, I can see that changing this fall! Thank you, my friend!

    • Hi Dona! I am surprised they do so well there, I would think they’d need water! But I know they really prefer to be dry — the wet here is hard to battle without just the right types. Blackspot is the bane of the rose grower’s existence here! But my method is to chuck out anything that can’t keep itself disease free. ~Angela~

  5. They are all beautiful. I cannot wait to get home on Saturday and see what’s happening with my roses. I’ve thought about knockout roses before – maybe I should plant some!


    • Thank you, Claudia! I probably wouldn’t have bought them originally because I really prefer the cabbage/English roses, but they were $2 each one year on clearance and I couldn’t help myself. But now that I have them, I really like them. They are just amazingly prolific bloomers, healthy, like tank trucks. They used to just come in the super bright pink, but they have several shades now. ~Angela~

  6. Your garden is enchanting. I would spend my day watching the roses bloom. I have roses as well, but none are blooming yet since our spring is the coldest I’ve ever experienced in Brittany.

    • You know, a week ago I would have said we were having the hottest Spring on record, but now it’s so cold! It’s been raining for days and days. Although that is kind of normal for here. The heat was strange. I hope your roses bloom soon! ~Angela~

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