Monday, June 1, 2009

Roses - not for me.

They are not for me.
Wayyyyyyyyyyyy too much work for the return.

This past winter, during what I am calling my economic cone of doom I took on a maintenance job.
The garden that I now maintain was one that I designed 10 years ago.
It is a Mediterranean styled rose garden.
Great fun to design, not so much to maintain.

The garden is made up of Olive trees, lavender hedges, rosemary borders, citrus trees and roses. Lots of demanding little rosy debutants who mock me with their ever present black spot, rust and occasional aphid infestation.

Yes, like all winter time rose garden slaves I raked up all the fallen rose litter, tore my favorite pair of work pants while performing the ritual winter prunefest , endured punctured fingers and scraped arms despite heavy duty leather gloves and donned a full face mask three different times to spray a concoction of bordeaux spray to fend ( ha hah ha hah ! ) off the summer time rust and blackspot. NOT.

I have one rose at my own house , I planted it as a memorial for my mom whose name was Evelyn .
I don't lather on the attention to this particular rose and when it totally defoliates itself from black spot , I am happy that there are low to no maintenance succulents and ornamental grasses surrounding it so no one can see its ugliness.

I'll happily design rose gardens for other people, but I never want to maintain another one.
I already take care of one rose garden that has only about 40 roses and that is way too much already.

As far as I'm concerned, If you want a high maintenance garden , then plant a rose garden. You won't be disappointed.

From Loropetalum chinese

White Iceburg - or it should be called Blackspot burg
From Loropetalum chinese

From portfolioMay08.jpg

From portfolioMay08.jpg

From California Gardening

From California Gardening


Gina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gina said...

Michelle - when I started gardening in 2007, the first thing I planted was roses. 26 of them in a long straight row along the walkway in the backyard. They're so not worth it, but they remind me of my grandmother. That's why I chose them.

My roses have now been through 2 chicago winters and each year I've lost about 4 of them. Good riddance! They are so not worth it! Now I'm trying to decide if I want to buy knock-our roses to put in the space where the dead roses were, or just plant something totally different.

In summary, I feel you!

Sarah O. said...

We have been "fortunate" that every rose we plant dies after the first winter - I guess it's a combination of our freeze-thaw cycle and quite acidic soil... it certainly saves on the maintenance!

TexasDeb said...

Love your honest take on roses and rose gardening and appreciate the labor to produce the results in the gorgeous photos of the garden you designed.

I adore the idea of roses. I have a few stuck in here and there from my earlier attempts at gardening that occasionally/rarely look great from afar. They seem to be holding on despite Texas droughts and record hot temperatures. Some roses are tough old ladies, that is for sure. Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree about roses!!!! I do love the lavender borders and rosemary hedges though. So much more interesting/fragrant than the boxwood or yew we get up here.

danger garden said...

I second your Rose Rant! Imagine living in the Rose City where we are in the middle of the Rose Festival, I feel like such a freak here! (here is Portland Oregon)

Avis said...

Wow, I thought I might try roses one day when I step up from a balcony garden to an in-ground garden, but I think you've convinced me not to ;-) Cheers!

EAL said...

I inherited a rose garden, removed most of them, and am now adding a few back. Go figure. But some roses, like Abraham Darby, are too gorgeous and smell too good not to have. Plus, now I have them in a mixed planting, not an exclusive rose space, which is asking for trouble.


Well, these photos are spectacular, but no roses for me. I have a single rose left after yanking the other dozen out a few years ago. I ignore it, and because it's buried in daylilies and other plants, it's not visible when it's not presentable. My garden is marching toward older age, as am I, and simplicity will be appreciated a few years down the road... But I am glad that others are willing to grow them for our enjoyment.

julie said...

Hmm. I didn't know roses were difficult to maintain. I am brand new to gardening and I inherited a garden full of really old roses. They hadn't been maintained in at least 10 years. I chopped them back by half and have ignored them ever since and they seem to love the neglect. They are covered with flowers and grow like weeds. Maybe I'm just too new to gardening to notice if there is something wrong with them, but they look fine. : )