Friends are emailing photos of their roses, all in spectacular bloom right now. Mine, too, and this NATURALLY has fueled a desire to buy even more. My current favorites run the gamut from groundcover roses like 'Good and Plenty' - the color of those scrumptious pink and white candies - and 'Happy Chappy' - a pink-gold-apricot - that are blooming up a nice, compact storm in the garden ... to several fragrant climbers that are doing their thing on the fence out front.
After reading a lot about roses, and talking to gardeners who grow them, I looked for climbers that are repeat bloomers, very disease resistant and fragrant. There is so much hype out there about plants - and roses are no exception. To read the blurbs, you'd think every single rose possesses all of the qualities I seek. So I jumped into the garden forums and flipped through some rose books and made my choices.
They are: 'Compassion,' 'Ginger Syllabub,' 'Golden Showers' and 'Portlandia' - all yellow, peach, apricot, pink - to climb on the front fence in whatever patches of sunshine I could find. The bright yellow 'Golden Showers' just went in over the weekend, with lots of water and mulch, but the others have a year or two under their belts and are doing great. It's fun to watch passersby suddenly stop, lean down to smell these incredible flowers and smile as they go on their way. I do it myself. (It's a bonus for taking out the trash.)
I planted four more climbers on the pergola, intertwined with Clematis 'Montana Rubens' and 'Henryi,' which truly deserves to be the best-selling white clematis - red 'Don Juan,' pink 'Zephirine Drouhin,' yellow/orange 'Joseph's Coat' and, I think, cream-colored 'Highfield.' These are too young to be blooming but they look healthy. Perhaps next year.