I'm determined to go cold turkey this year. Clearly, I'm not the rose gardener I thought I was, and that's okay. There's a few things I do well in the garden, like sunflowers. Sunflowers are good. If I can stay ahead of the slugs, rabbits, and deer, my sunflowers come out on top. Literally.
But too many things conspire against me with roses. Big things like winter. I always do my homework and plant hardy varieties (I would never choose a hybrid tea, for instance, and I've learned to avoid floribundas). But even so, most of my roses stay small while I, thrilled that they even survived, ooh and aah over every blossom. All three of them.
This year we had a lot of ice and a lot of freezing and thawing. I looked at the plants that didn't make it, and for the first time didn't feel inspired to replace them with more roses. However, all it took was one visit to a rose website to rekindle my desire to pick out new ones.
I don't think that's the best idea. Maybe we can blame it on my two elderly dogs, who interrupt my sleep a lot, but I'm tired! Tired of digging big holes, tired of wondering if I'm giving the roses proper care (I'm probably not), and most of all tired of trying to reconcile the glorioius images in my mind of large, healthy, blooming roses with the reality in my yard.
So.....this year I will enjoy the rugosas, which are popping out leaves all over the place as I write this, and the Bucks, and my intrepid Gertrude Jekyll, and the William Baffin, and the vigorous Robusta, and the Scarlet Meidilands, and (what's left of) the Abraham Darby, and the few unnamed antiques, and when I feel a craving coming on I'll prowl a iris website.
Sounds like a plan.