Six on Saturday: Flowers for Mother’s Day

Rosa ‘Crown Princess Margareta’

~

Many years ago now, when my daughter was still at home, I was asked one May what I would like for Mother’s Day.  My wish that year was for a rose bush to plant beside the front porch.  I knew that a rose bush would give me roses each and every year in May; the Mother’s Day gift that returns year after year.  We went together as a family to my favorite garden center and I came home with a beautiful rose covered with  large, red flowers.

And my Mother’s Day rose grew into a beautiful, tall shrub that bloomed extravagantly every year after.   It was a climber, and I got these special, soft little metal attachers that I could hammer into the mortar between the bricks to permanently anchor it to the front of the house.

~

~

I left that garden and that Mother’s Day rose behind more than a decade ago, to move to this Forest Garden.  But our first year here, once again  I was seeking out roses.  I love roses.  I particularly love heirloom roses, climbing roses, and deliciously scented roses.  The English Shrub Roses bred by David Austin’s team are among my all-time favorites.

Roses have been a real challenge to grow in this garden, between the weather, the surrounding forest and the deer.  I’ve lost more than I’ve kept alive, which makes every blossom on every surviving rose shrub that much more special to me.

Rosa ‘Crown Princess Margareta’ is a climber bred by the Austin family.  Its rich apricot color and warm fruity fragrance remind me every spring why I love roses so much.  This one has grown up through a rose of Sharon shrub and it has blessed me this Mother’s Day weekend with more than two dozen blossoms.

The climbers are able to scramble up tall enough that the deer can’t munch the blossoms and prune all of the new growth.  Those that stay smaller have little chance to survive, but one I thought was a gonner last summer has come back from its roots and has already given us several flowers.  Every spring I read the new David Austin catalog wistfully, admiring the new introductions and old friends I’ve grown in the past.

~

An heirloom peony planted by an earlier gardener in this space.

~

I don’t give much time to such nostalgia, though.  And I certainly won’t even try to establish any new rose shrubs in this very wild garden.  This garden has ‘allowed’ me to expand my gardening tastes to include beautiful plants the deer will leave alone.  Some, like our Iris, are long-time favorites I’ve grown everywhere I’ve lived.  But I’ve learned to appreciate lots of other plants that I might not have tried, if necessity hadn’t inspired me to try new species.

~

Iris pseudacorus, the yellow flag Iris, also left here by a previous gardener.  Deer leave our Iris alone.

~

Mother’s Day is a moment to pause and remember the long line of strong women who have loved us and made our lives possible.  Some of these women might be special aunts and grandmothers, others family friends, teachers, neighbors, and others who have helped us along the way.  This year many of us are connecting with our mothers through phone calls and video chats.  Our greeting cards may be digital and our gifts delayed.

~

Siberian Iris, a gift from a friend.

~

But it is the remembering and expressions of love that matter, not the form they take.

Just as a rose shrub will give us a special Mother’s Day gift year after year, into an uncertain and often transformed future; so a garden helps us put down our own roots and grow into something new.  Each of us is growing and transforming, too.  Let us grow stronger each year; more generous and more appreciative of all life gives us.

~

Iris ‘Rosalie Figge’

~

Woodland Gnome 2020

Happy Mother’s Day to all of those who mother others

 

Please visit my new website, Illuminations, for a photo from our garden and a thought provoking quotation each day.

Many thanks to the wonderful ‘Six on Saturday’ meme sponsored by The Propagator

November Roses

Rose, "Crown Princess Margareta" by David Austen.

Rose, “Crown Princess Margareta” by David Austen.  Photo taken November 1, 2014

 

The roses which make it through to November have to be tough.

This one has been a special joy.

Rose, "Crown Princess Margareta" by David Austen.

Rosa, “Crown Princess Margareta,” side view this morning.

 

We stop and enjoy its fragrance every time we walk up our driveway.

The rose bush is in a bed directly beside the drive; the first bed I dug, specifically for roses, once we came to this garden.

Our November rose in bud on October 19, 2014

Our November rose in bud on October 19, 2014

 

These very tough David Austin roses have survived annual grazing from the deer, root damage from the voles, sun, drought, wind and snow.

And they still bloom this beautifully.

The same blossom of "Crown Princess Margareta" taken on October 25.

The same blossom of “Crown Princess Margareta” taken on October 25.

 

This particular rose began as a bud in mid-October.  We had already enjoyed it for several days when I first photographed it on October 19.

It was so stunning, my partner suggested that we photograph it.

The same rose again on October 28.

The same rose again on October 28.

Each day it has gotten  more beautiful.

And through wind and rain, cold nights and sunny warm days it has lingered.

An unknown rose planted by the previous gardeners here.  It is covered with fragrant buds and flowers today.

An unknown rose planted by the previous gardeners here. It is covered with fragrant buds and flowers today.

 

Last night we dropped into the mid-40’s here in our garden.

Today dawned overcast, cool and wet;  bone shivering wet and windy.

Another bud of the same rose in bloom

Another bud of the same rose in bloom

 

So much so, that I was inspired to spend the morning bringing in a hanging geranium we’ve left outside in the crepe myrtle tree, the first of the succulent pots, and a even the large variegated geranium which has lived by our kitchen door since May.

 

Rosa, "Lady of Shallott," another rose bred by David Austen.  This shrub rose is extremely vigorous with tall,arching canes.  It has bloomed non-stop since May.

Rosa, “Lady of Shalott,” another rose bred by David Austen. This shrub rose is extremely vigorous with tall,arching canes. It has bloomed non-stop since May.

 

But my first thought was for the roses.  We love them so much this time of year as they give their final flowers of the season.

 

R. "Lady of Shalott" in bud

R. “Lady of Shalott” in bud

 

And our stalwart rose by the driveway continues to bloom, every petal intact, and offer up its fragrance each time we stop to visit.

We have made great effort to grow roses in this garden.  It is the reason we work constantly  to keep deer out of the garden, as rose buds are the sweetest of “deer candy.”

 

R. "The Generous Gardener,"  a fairly new introduction from David Austen.

R. “The Generous Gardener,” a fairly new introduction from David Austen.

 

Given good soil, sun, and moisture; roses are relatively easy to grow.

But like pets and children, they require supervision and timely intervention. 

R. The Generous Gardener

R. The Generous Gardener

 

While tea roses thrive on pruning, shrub roses may be allowed to grow without such drastic pruning.

They respond well to having dead flowers cut off, spring shaping and general maintenance; but they require far less maintenance than the hybrid teas.

 

The last flower of the season on this floribunda rose from Jackson and Perkins.

The last flower of the season on this floribunda rose from Jackson and Perkins.

 

David Austen’s hybrids are my favorites for fragrance, form, and color. 

He has reached back over the centuries to the older full and fragrant varieties as the parents of his modern disease-resistant hybrids.

His hybrids offer  the best of the old romantic roses on hardy, easy to care for shrubs.

 

Hybrid tea roses, like this one, generally have fewer than 40 petals per bloom.  Austen's hybrids frequently have more than 80 per bloom, offering rich fragrance.

Hybrid tea roses, like this one, generally have fewer than 40 petals per bloom. Austen’s hybrids frequently have more than 80 per bloom, offering rich fragrance.

 

We  don’t ever “spray” here with chemicals.  These roses are all grown organically.  Once established, the shrubs remain healthy and give flowers all season long.

Even in November.

What more may any temperate climate gardener hope for than a garden full of roses on the first of November?

 

R. "Lady of Shalott, blooming in our garden this morning.

R. “Lady of Shalott, blooming in our garden this morning.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

R. "Golden Celebration," another of our favorite David Austen roses, at the end of May.

R. “Golden Celebration,” another of our favorite David Austen roses, at the end of May.

 

 

Crown Princess Margareta

May 11,2014 Bamboo and roses 017

This beautiful English shrub rose, “Crown Princess Margareta”, bred by David Austin, bloomed yesterday for the first time this season.

David Austin’s roses have the delicious scents and colors of  antique roses.  How I wish I could post the fragrance for you, but until technology evolves, we will have to manage with only the photo.

The garden is full of roses and Iris this week, and the peonies began opening today.

May is the month of sweet fragrances and beautiful flowers in the garden.

May 11,2014 Bamboo and roses 018

Photos  by Woodland Gnome 2014

Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues

Please visit and follow Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues to see all new posts since January 8, 2021.

A new site allows me to continue posting new content since after more than 1700 posts there is no more room on this site.  -WG

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 777 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com

Topics of Interest