Coming Up Roses

First year climbing rose

First year climbing rose

I love roses.  I truly do.  Next to hydrangeas, there is no better perennial at yielding lots of flowers in your garden over most of the summer and fall.  While I have dabbled in roses over the years, I haven’t invested much in them as they’ve been too picky.  They get infected with mites and leaf mold.  They take more effort and chemicals to keep healthy than I like.  They don’t meet my requirement for a trouble free flowering plant.

With all that said, I still love roses.  And while I do love minimal plant maintenance, I’m going to make an exception this year.  I’m going to learn all about the proper care and feeding of rose and actually do it.  🙂  This will be the year of an abundance of roses at the Bettine house.


My new rose garden- view from top of hill

I have a flower bed on the south side of the house that gets lots of sun that I’m dedicating completely to roses.  There are three rose bushes that were already at this house when we bought it that I have moved into this bed.  Last summer, I bought three climbing bushes as I envision a wall of roses, that I had planted in this bed.  And, about a month ago, I attended a rose class at a local nursery and brought home another three rose bushes – one carpet rose bush for the spot under a house overhang, one truly low or no maintenance rose bush and one regular long stem rose bush.  I have a total of nine rose bushes in this garden bed.  It’s going to be beautiful.


My new rose garden  – view from bottom of hill

In this class, I learned that you prune rose bushes in February.  Rule of thumb is that you can prune in the fall to your hip and prune in February to your knee.  So I set about pruning the existing rose bushes after I got home from the class.  I also purchased the recommended feed (Magnesium sulfate, alfalfa meal and rose and flower food) and systemic insecticide (aphids!) that they recommended in the class.  I will need to feed and treat again in May and in July.  I don’t want to spray insecticide on the roses for the sake of our bees, but maybe the systemic won’t hurt them.  We’ll keep an eye on that situation to see.

So now, my new rose bushes are planted, my older rose bushes are pruned and all rose bushes are fed and treated.  I’m looking forward to a beautiful blooming rose bed this summer.

I’ll keep you posted.  Roses to you, Sheri

About sheribettine

I love gardens, bees and family. In this blog, I write about our experiences as beekeepers, organic gardeners, and the love of nature.
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