1997 I discovered this interesting thing about gardening: if your gardening
style is to simply pull weeds and keep grass from dying, gardening is just
So I decided to grow something really simple: roses!
After planting them I discovered what everyone else already knew; roses aren't simple; they're high-maintenance - and beautiful.
In 1999, we visited a very high maintenance rose garden in Paris, France: the Parc de Bagatelle. I wanted to take it home, but I'm glad I don't have to weed or hedge it!
Most pictures on this page are of roses grown in my Zone 7 suburban garden.
Some pictures were taken at the Portland International Test Rose Garden.
Larger pictures can be viewed by clicking on the images below on this page.
I spent several year growing my "rose zoo" and then in 2005 we moved from that house to what we euphemistically call our "Palm House".
I had been uneasy about the amount of chemical spraying I needed to keep black spot and other diseases from ruining the roses. There are now research studies linking these fungicide and pesticide sprays to Parkinson's Disease. So in our new home I'm growing only rosa rugosa alba, similar in appearance to the RosRoseraie de l' Häy, except that it is a continuous bloomer. Not as neat and symmetrical as the others, but never needs spraying of any kind. And it is very low maintenance.
Of all the roses I used to grow, the ones I miss most are the very dangerous Climbing Altissimo and the very fragrant (but quite disease-prone) Yves Paiget.
|~ 1999 Roses ~|
|City of London
Like Sally Holmes, a single cut stem yields an entire floral arrangement with flowers in various states of opening.
|Climbing Altissimo, red single (Edumnds)|
|Easy Goin', H.T. (Edmunds)|
No picture in 1999
|Full Sail, white H.T. (Edmunds)|
|Gold Medal, yellow Grandiflora (Edmunds)
This one at the Portland International Rose Test Garden had a bad spring in 1998. I feel so much better...
|Ingrid Bergman, red H.T. (Edmunds)|
|Ink Spots (Weeks)
Better than Taboo, not a prolific bloomer. But the beautiful dark red color makes up for it.
|Margaret Merrill, fragrant white H.T. (Edmunds)
Absolutely fragrant, nearly single. A must-have, except that I'm violently allergic to it, so I have to leave it outside
|Roseraie de l' Häy, purple rugosa (Regans)
Once blooming. That's once. As in not twice. Very short-lived blooms best left outside.
No picture in 1999
|Sally Holmes, white/pink single shrub/landscaping rose. (Edmunds)
Another of the "flower arrangement on a stem" roses. Replaced so make room for my second Yves Piaget in 2001.
No picture in 1999
|Ultimate Pink, pink H.T (J&P)|
The big version is 832 x 624 (88 K)
|Yves Paiget, mauve-pink large peony-shaped blooms (Regans).
I planted eight varieties of peonies in 1998 and this is my favorite :-)
This lovely bloom at the Portland International Rose Test Garden inspired me to make some wallpaper:
|I'm really pleased with Yves; I got many large beautiful blooms in
the first year. So I planted another one in 2001.
The one on the left is mine, as are those below that I took inside for pictures.
|~ 1998 Roses ~|
|"Bow Bells", (AUSbells) PRR:
David Austin English Rose, purchased from Heirloom Old Garden Roses (HOGR).
I love this rose for its profusion of blooms, lasting well into fall. A prettier pink is hard to find. A disease-resistant compact shrub which benefits from staking.
Planted in the early spring of 1997, the flowers shown at left are from fall of the same year!
|In 1998 it really filled out (but still needs staking!). I've got
a nice picture from 1998 here.
On the left is a nice arrangement from 1999 that features my other gardening interest: Alliums (A. neapolitanum pictured).
|Caribbean, yellow Grandiflora (Edmunds)
With the really wet spring of 1998, it was hard to tell whether this rose would live up to the picture in the Edmunds catalog. I'm a sucker for the color, so I'm glad that as the season progressed the blooms had a better form with fewer petal defects.
The blooms are long lasting, and it is always in bloom. A keeper.
I made the mistake of planting this next to Royal Amethyst - don't you do this!. Next year RA gets moved next to something pink.
|Chaucer, light pink Austin (HOGR)
I removed this one to make room for something that actually blooms. Gorgeous twice a year wasn't worth the trouble...
|Cl. First Prize (HOGR)
I had three of these; two were "shovel-pruned" in 1999 because they got much more black spot than my other roses, which were doing just fine with the same care.
So much for the advice from the sales lady at Heirloom Old Garden Roses (humph...)
I will say, however that the blooms are gorgeous when undiseased. (That's why I kept one of them.)
Update: Shovel-pruning two of the miscreants inspired the remaining First Prize to shape up. In 1999 I was more diligent with my spraying program (and it wasn't as rainy), and had many gorgeous blooms and much less black spot.
||Graham Thomas, yellow English (Jackson & Perkins)
Who doesn't have one of these?
Grows like a weed. I have to stake mine or it falls over. Beautiful warm yellow that quickly fades to white, this rose actually is quite disease-resistant (really!). But if I had a chance to choose differently, I'd get Golden Celebration, instead.
|Joyfulness, aka Froshin, apricot H.T. (Edmunds)
Produces a small number of exceptionally colored blooms over the entire growing season.
"Apricot" is not a good description. The blooms change color so often I examine this bush every day. In the evening or morning I swear the thing actually glows like it is radioactive.
|Kent, white English (HOGR)
Small habit, mine are only 12" high, but form a nice low, spreading bush with impeccably neat, small-leaved foliage.
"Cuter than a bug's ear", my wife would say. It does suffer more than others from blackspot, though.
The picture doesn't show it, but the shrub is covered with small blooms having a low petal count.
I use this to fill around other roses in an arrangement like florists use "Baby's Breath" and statice.
The big version is 640 x 480 (60 K)
I went a little nuts, and made wallpaper-sized pictures of my Olympiad shown
|Olympiad , breathtakingly red H.T. (Edmunds).
The first time I saw my Olympiad bloom my heart stopped. It is drop-dead gorgeous! It has inspired me to acquire another red rose (Ingrid Bergman) for 1999.
I'm impressed with how long the blooms last as cut flowers, too.
|Pat Austin, orange w/ yellow reverse English (Graham
Thomas x Abraham Darby) (J&P)
Planted in 1998, this isn't quite like the pictures showed it in the Jackson & Perkins catalog. The catalog says "shimmering copper on the inside petals, mellowing to pale copper on the outside." Mine is orange on the inside and yellow on the outside. It's still pretty.
I will say that the blooms to be "hang dog", tending to point to the ground. And the foliage seems to turn yellow quite easily. So in 2000 I replaced this with Livin' Easy.
J&P is the exclusive distributor in the U.S. 1998 was the first year Pat Austin was available in the U.S.
|sp. rosa Helenae (HOGR)
Essentially a wild species rambler rose, I bought this in the winter because the canes were a vivid bronze against dark green foliage.
Has many single pink blooms; the bumblebees come to this rose before any others, even though it is not fragrant. Go figure.
Very resistant to disease and to aphids, and is somewhat aggressive in sending out runners.
In 1998 it "set hips" in August, which is über-early.
A closeup is shown at the right.
A pulled-back view is on the left.
|Rosenstadt Zwei-Brücken, pink/orange.
I can hardly pronouce this German name, but I like the flowers!
They're like a combination of Playboy and Playgirl on one bush. Perhaps they should have named this rose... um, never mind...
|Royal Amethyst, fragrant purple H.T. (Edmunds)
Another delightfully fragrant rose. Its fragrance inspired me to order another fragrant rose for 1999, "Margaret Merrill" (also from Edmunds).
It didn't produce many flowers, so I removed it in 2001 to make room for another Bow Bells.
|Royal Bonica, pink (HOGR)
Kinda stingy with the blooms, but very cute when it delivers. Never a problem with disease. Very small plant, about 2 ft. high.
After a few years, it developed more flowers. I'm glad I kept it.
|St. Swithun, light pink English (HOGR)
Pretty when it blooms, often spoiled by the endless spring wetness endemic to Portland, OR.
Not freely blooming, a disappointment so far.
In 1999 I replaced this with Full Sail.
|Taboo, smoky dark red H.T. (J&P)
Not many blooms this first year. The color is wonderfully dark red, giving it a velvet appearance.
The rose form is rather untidy, in an artistic sort of way...
|~ 2000 Roses ~|
The big version is 832 x 624 (80K)
|Livin' Easy, apricot H.T. (Edmunds)
Saw it at PIRTG, had to get it. It's beautiful.
It was nominated for Best Portland Shrub in 1998, and I can see why.
Edumunds came out with a yellow sport called "Easy Goin", which I planted in 1999 and am very fond of.
|Big Purple (fragrant)|
|Veterans's Honor (red) Rose Standard|