My little collection of roses is starting to “represent”, as my Texas friend would say. I only grow a few. The dwarf climber Jeanne LaJoie is perfectly hardy and willing for me; it does not mind at all being planted with the electric meter. Mini-Jeanne is paired with a voluptuous large flowered climber named Eden-the flower is so beautiful, and the plant is so-so for me, although the foliage seems healthy. This large flowered climber, also known as Pierre de Ronsard, and bred by Meilland in 1987, hasn’t flowered yet-but it is showy.
I grow the shrub rose “Carefree Beauty” for good, and sentimental reasons. Griffith Buck bred very hardy, very sturdy shrub roses-this is one of my favorites. I alternate this with his rose “Earthsong”. Some say its better than “Carefree Beauty-I can’t tell. But if your interest is in a low maintenance rose, these qualify. The tall ,English bred shrub rose “Sally Holmes” has gorgeous peach buds, and large single white flowers; I have been growing it for years. One year it died back almost entirely to the ground, but came back.
I am not a rosarian by any means. I am not really crazy about rose gardens either. But I do like roses in a mixed border. Roses are such prima donnas-they sulk if there’s anything growing at their feet. So I try to keep my white Japanese anemones, and boltonia out of their hair. I wouldn’t want to do without a few roses.