Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm Quitting My Rose Addiction!

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.


crystal said...

I wish I could grow sunflowers! I do have blooming roses right now but it's warmer here. I hope all's ok with you.

Susan said...

Sunflowers are easy! Although a) they are prone to critter damage and b) I've never lived in your climate so I don't know what I'm talking about.

Don't forget to smell your roses! :-)

Jenny Hill said...

Tell Abraham and William I'd like to have them over for tea. Gertrude's not invited. She's too two-faced. Robusta can attend if she doesn't knock all the flatware onto the floor "just for the sound" like she did the last time. Scarlet's probably too busy with foreign affairs, but she's welcome too.

Susan said...

LOL! JHK, you might like Gertrude's son, Gertrude, Jr. Yes, my second Jekyll seems like a male to me; I don't know why. Perhaps you can help me rename him.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Susan, I can so relate! My Abraham Darby died this year, and I'm scared to take the inventory of how many others are gone, but I know I need to do that this week.

And thanks for posting the link to this site on my KT post. I think I'll be visiting again.

Susan said...

Hi Ruth! Thanks for visiting. I dug up Abbaye de Cluny yesterday and then realized it was still alive. Oops! I replanted, but without much optimism. It was new last year....such gorgeous blooms!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Susan, I've done that. Make sure he doesn't dry out, and he might be ok.

Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday. I really like yours. I wanted to ask if I can put you on my blog list.