Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Roses in mid-May

The roses are nearly finished now, but this is what they looked like in the middle of May.

Swamp rose and Veilchenblau next to the vegetable garden

The foxglove is thankfully seeding itself around by the sidewalk and in the
front yard-adjacent bed. They even look healthy in spite of a very wet winter.

There's a swamp rose at the edge of the front yard too.

On the way down to the big bed I pass a big hulking sweetbriar. The flowers are small
and fleeting but the fragrance of the foliage is delicious. Most people describe it as
smelling like apples, to me it smells like a mixture of apples and honey. The fragrance
drifts for many feet once the weather warms up and is especially noticeable after a rain.

There are several big swamp roses down there, as well as several small and medium-sized
(young) ones, most started from cuttings. The greenery in the foreground are baptisias
and the dead branch is that of a fig. Both of our fig trees took a big hit from the cold
as they did last year. I cut off all I could with loppers but some will have to be taken
down with a saw. I wouldn't be surprised if the fig shoot up and covers the dead wood
before I can get around to cutting it down. Several trees in our area died all the way
down to the ground. Those are probably 'Brown Turkey'. Judging from the leaves we
think our figs are 'Celeste', which is the most cold hardy common fig there is.

A swamp rose next to an area across from the bed that I still haven't cultivated yet.
I plan on eventually planting a couple of sugar maples there perhaps as I'd like to be
able to see beneath their canopies to the fields beyond. There's a volunteer snowbell
next to the rose. I wish the snowbell had volunteered before I planted the rose there.

Roses next to the neighbor's pasture

One of the roses next to the neighbor's pasture has sized up nicely, and several at the north
end of the big bed (furthest from the house) are getting big too. I had just decided to plant
a bunch of big roses there because over 10 years of planting perennials had not proven fruitful.
The native bamboo always did better than everything else.

Swamp roses at the north end of the bed

There's still some willowleaf aster 'Miss Bessie' and orange daylilies, but hopefully the roses will grow over the daylilies soon. The orange daylilies are blooming now with the last of the swamp roses and the combination is .... not good. I'm going to clip them. I love groupings of orange daylilies, especially in a bit of shade to highlight their color so that they look like goblets filled with burning orange. Not with pink roses. Orange is a difficult color to incorporate into my garden. The only thing that can make pink and orange get along is the addition of purple, and 'Hippolyte' is done before the daylilies bloom.

Swamp rose and 'Hippolyte'. 'Hippolyte' is 4-5 feet high and wide now and has never looked
better. The flowers are full and ruffly and several different rich shades of purple... and
fragrant. An old rose fragrance that is as beautiful as the flowers.

The one and only 'Hansa' that is left in my garden with a swamp rose in the background.
Not sure what happened to them... they just died. I like the flowers so much that I ordered
another couple of 'Hansa' from High Country Roses. The habit isn't all that great -- it's been
a bit angular and awkward in my garden -- but I love the color and velvety texture of the blooms.


  1. Gosh, these roses on your property are absolutely amazing! They bloom in such profusion and the size of many of them is just mind boggling. My absolute favorite is 'Hippolyte', a gallica that I only can dream of growing, sigh... Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful roses from your garden. Seeing your photos brought a lot of joy to me tonight!
    Warm regards,

  2. You have such incredible masses of beautiful pink blooms! I wish foxgloves would self-seed with abandon like that in my garden. I have a similar problem with the overlap of pink and orange blooms - my dormant red-orange daylilies (possibly 'Sammy Russell') tend to begin blooming before the pink Alstroemeria panted alongside (by some prior owner) are finished blooming, created a garish contrast. However, this year, the Alstroemeria fizzled out early and the daylilies seem to be getting a late start so there's no need for an intervention.

  3. Oh my, these beautiful roses make me want to weep for some reason. You are so blessed to have such beauty surrounding you and I thank you for taking the photos and taking the time for writing up a post about them.


  4. I've heard foxgloves self-seed but no luck with it in my garden. Yours are so lovely, along with the beautiful roses. Hope you're getting a little rain. We're so dry but finally had a little last night.

  5. Your roses are lovely (and huge!). Wish I could grow foxgloves here but they don't seem to like the heat of West Texas. My miniature fig tree didn't make it through this winter either.

  6. Your garden is beautiful! I have been looking for the Veilchenbleu rose here but no luck yet.


  7. I'm not familiar with all of your varieties, but the flowers are spectacular!

  8. Your garden with its swathe of roses is the epitome of the romantic garden. I can imagine young lovers strolling through and stealing kisses behind the larger shrubs. (Tell that to your hubby the next time the two of you are out there sweating and weeding and digging in the dirt!) Your swamp roses are so lush. I have a rather scraggly one at the edge of the woodland garden. It doesn't get enough sun, but it blooms and in that area I am grateful for any rose blooms I can get.

    1. I wish DH was out there helping me in the garden! He's too busy with farm work and his vegetable garden (my contribution to that is daily watering). Plus he's the one who goes and buys hay now on the weekends, since I find it difficult to deal with lifting so much heavy stuff at one time.

  9. A person hasn't seen roses until they've seen your roses--wow!!! Ours started opening this week, which is a a bit early for us. Also, I thought of you this weekend as we planted our first Baptisia. Will post how they do. :)

  10. I always think your roses are just amazing. I can imagine that old rose fragrance. It must be incredible to walk in among them.

  11. Your roses are just spectacular--the photos make me think of walking through an English countryside, but they show that American gardens can be just as breathtaking. I don't think I've ever seen a shrub rose as purple as 'Hippolyte''; a lovely contrast to all the pink. I'm envious, too, of all the foxgloves you have; they never seem to survive for me.

  12. I love that rich color on 'Hippolyte'.

  13. Shame on me, I didn't even know such a name - swamp roses! Thank you! I am impressed! They certainly love your place! The house and the garden look like a fairy land!

  14. I am so missing roses this year! I have bought some replacements, but for this year there is a bit of a gap that the roses always filled. So nice to see your roses as a reminder of what a wonderful flower they are.

  15. Sorry Nell I accidentally deleted your comment. No, palustris scandens does not set hips. It appears to be a sterile hybrid.


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