In early May I lectured to the Town & Country Garden Club of Newtown about roses. It was quite a kick to hear myself introduced as a rose expert. I’m sure the folks at Elizabeth Park would beg to differ–but I digress.
My topic was Easy Care Roses–because I often speak of myself as the laziest gardener on the planet. That’s not quite true, but I am one of the most time-pressed gardeners that I know.
I also don’t believe in coddling plants. And of course I don’t believe in any chemical pesticides or fungicides.
But I love roses–and for awhile I thought that I wouldn’t be able to grow any. Then I found the shrub roses that at least resisted the need to be winter protected. My earliest ones weren’t exactly “easy care” in the sense that they didn’t get insects or disease that disfigured them–but they came roaring right back after infestation, grew less than 2′ from the road (in that same bed with the lilac I posted about last week–they too withstood snowplow damage!) and can withstand they heavy wet snow that the snowplows throw at them all winter along. What more could I want?
A lot actually. There are some trademarked roses that do even more. You see one of my favorites, above, along with a couple of new ones that I’m testing under some extreme conditions this summer. I’ll talk about each individually over the next month (as well as the practice of “trademarking” roses and what that means for gardeners, generally).
I’ll be lecturing again in August, again on Easy Care Roses, down in North Stonington. I’ll be bringing these same roses (I hope). That will be the ultimate test. If a rose can survive in a container and look good all summer, that means it really is “easy care.” We’ll see.