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June 2011

Carolyn Parker's Rose Garden 2011

A number of readers have written that they especially like seeing pictures of my garden. Admittedly I don't show it all that much- with that in mind- here's how it looked this spring.



Bound by a lattice deer fence of climbing roses, the front garden is the most mature and consists mainly of roses and perennials. After years of refining, few changes are made in the rose story- they are closely planted, often melding together. The roses are planted by color– this is the white garden still in bud, before the sun has made its way over the neighbor's elm trees.


The photographer usually avoids these early morning sunblasts, which she thinks of as spotlights on a dark theater stage. But this day, the light compelled experimentation.


The white rose section moves into red.

Oklahoma blooms were too dramatic not to photograph.


The photog's, gratified by the experiment, and is glad she caught Hermosa, Pink Gruss an Achen and Belle Story reveling in back light.

The garden beds are eight and ten-feet deep. Pink roses surround the house.



Five years ago, due to a road change, the property was increased by a 1400 sq. foot strip of land that borders the fencing. How could the gardener not plant roses on such a tempting parcel?? 

"There are so many roses out there now that deer damage is barely noticeable!"

This view, from the west side, faces the back garden, where a board fence, muffled in roses, hides a space shaded by maples. A horizontal path separates layers of roses– Renae grows on the fence and Zephirine Drouhin and Soaring Spirits, flanked by westringia, are planted across the path. Plum and persimmon trees are poised on the upper corners of the shot.

Peggy-Martin,-Jeanne-La-Joi,-Albertine Roses

Jeanne La Joie snuggles up to Peggy Martin, who's hurling over an expired tree, as Albertine looks on from the left. A space between the roses provides a small window on the fencing, which at this point, becomes lattice. 



This is an early spring shot of about half of the additional land, which is bordered by an 8-foot sidewalk. The roses are mostly shrubs and allowed to reach maximum growth where appropriate.

 "There's nothing like a fulfilled rose."


About a month later, Perle d'Or and Kathleen have come into bloom. Grasses, catmint, lavender, persimmons, pomegranates, stand-by reseeders, and special Annie's Annuals finds, call this home amongst the roses.


The great Mel's Heritage, hybridized by Paul Barden, boasts only one year's growth on an 8-ft metal tuteur. This very special rose can be purchased through the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden. Sales of the rose, in honor of Mel Hulse, who helped develop this renown rose collection, help with fund raising for the garden.


Mel's Heritage fits in with the rose mix and its borrowed landscape.


The photog especially likes how the light handily showcases Rouletii's climbing progress on another metal tuteur.

To the left, the first blooms of Monsieur Tillier and Mutabalis.


The blue-green swath, running through mid-image, is a warning to the "rose placement planning committee". This is the rampant runner James Mason, a Gallica who has no boundaries.

Luckily the space is big enough to handle a few roses like this, even so, sometimes the gardener is not so sure.



This image of pink wygelia reminds the gardener/photog why she is blogging.

When gardeners ask their nursery people suggestions for good spring flowering shrubs– they are introduced to the spring enchantresses– wygelia (ahem . . . ), forsythia, quince, lilac, philadelphus etc . . . These once-blooming beauties give 4-weeks of bloom, and depending on your location, 36-weeks as an ordinary leafy shrub, and 12-weeks as a leafless one.

So asks this rose blogger, "Why don't nursery people suggest shrub roses as fabulous, landscape worthy flowering shrubs?'

All the roses in this post fill the bill as special spring-flowering shrubs, and 14 out of 16 bloom more than once, and most are disease resistant in CA.

Need the gardener/photographer/blogger go on?

"I rest my case," she says.

And I hope you enjoyed this season's garden.

For a slide show at an earlier garden phase, if you haven't clicked the "My Garden" link in the sidebar, click here.