Monday, February 7, 2011

Easy-Care Heirloom Roses

This Sunday, February 13, I will present a program for the Arlington Rose Foundation titled "Easy-Care Heirloom Roses".  The meeting, at Merrifield Garden Center in Fairfax, Virginia, starts at 2:00pm, and I will begin my program shortly thereafter.

I wrote this program to show folks that there are plenty of roses available for your garden that don't require heroic measures to look good and bloom. 

Most people get their rose information from mainstream nurseries or big-box stores.  These locations are driven by their suppliers, who buy whatever the reps are pushing, and this has increasingly become exclusively some sort of Knock Out rose.  This leads folks to think that their only options for easy-care roses are Knock Outs. 

We HAVE choices!! Don't feel as if you HAVE to plant a Knock Out rose ... unless a Knock Out rose is what you WANT to plant.

"But I HAVE to plant Knock Out", you say, "because other roses are hard to grow."  

WRONG!!!  There are SOME roses that take more effort to grow than others.  These are NOT the ones I'm talking about. 

The roses that I am featuring in this program grow and flower and thrive with minimal care.  Nothing in the garden is completely maintenance free.  Give these roses water and fertilizer, and perhaps the occasional spritz of fungicide (though not required), and they will reward your effort many times over.

My program is divided into sections:  Small shrubs, Medium shrubs, Large shrubs, Repeat-flowering climbers, and Spring-flowering ramblers.  This should provide more than enough choices for whatever situation you have in your garden.

Within each of the shrub categories, I am featuring both repeat-flowering roses and once-blooming Old Garden Roses.  Both of these types are very valuable in the garden, and I try to show folks that they need not limit their choices to repeat-blooming varieties.  (Banshee, the beauty I show above, is a once-bloomer, and the shrub without flowers is beautiful all season long.)

By the time I get to the end of the program, and I have answered the last question, I hope folks will leave having been introduced to at least one rose that they will want to add to their garden.

If you are local, I hope you can come out on Sunday to hear me speak.  I would love to meet you.  If you can't come, check back here next week and I will publish the whole list of the roses I feature.  I would do it now, but I'm still editing it a bit ... I may add one or two to the list between now and Sunday.


  1. Good for you, Connie! I loved this post, and your pictures are so beautiful. Thank you for giving me a rose fix:-)

  2. Connie,

    The photos are beautiful.

    I must admit that there are Knock-out roses on the front and sides of my house. They are easy, and seem to take whatever the city's road salting and snow plow crews heap upon them each winter, which has been a lot in the last few years.

  3. Yep, who needs Knockout when you've got Darlow's Enigma?

  4. You know, Connie.. it's too bad we can implement scents when people few our blogs, you know, like the playlists?...

  5. Dear Connie, This is my first visit to your blog (through Blotanical) and I feel I am in heaven! Your roses, your beautiful home, and that incredible barn are incredible! Your photography is stunning. I look forward to visiting often. Pamela

  6. My husband and I love roses. We left five bushes at our previous home. We replanted two at our new house. I look forward to the nice weather. I like to cut the roses and bring them into the house to enjoy.

  7. Connie I would love to visit sometime and hear you speak. It is a possibility maybe at some point. I have to see your farm of roses. When you are less busy with the upcoming nuptials it would great to see the roses and greyhounds.

  8. A rose farm? I wish I could see and smell them personally! I have no luck with roses, so no more attempts, with your post, I might give roses another try though our local ones are not as gorgeous as yours.

  9. Oh my! Pretty flowers everywhere! Praying for spring to come by soon!

  10. Connie, very encouraging post! I am now more excited about the 3 Peggy Martin roses I have coming for spring. And Darlow's Enigma has long intrigued me.
    I hope your presentation is great fun, and I look forward to the next post with the whole list.

  11. Wish I were closer and could attend this event. I am sure it will open many people's eyes to the joys of growing roses. Our Caldwell Pinks are a huge hit in our garden. Good luck!


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