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Saying Goodbye to My Rose Garden

 

I'd been saying goodbye to my rose garden for four years, and finally this past September, I dug up seventeen roses, a few perennials, a couple of shrubs and moved. Now in my new home, it seems I owe my well-loved garden a proper goodbye here on the blog. 

 

Carolyn Parker Under Rose Arch in Her Garden

I've gone through every emotion leaving a garden of so many roses, but I'm also excited to show you how the roses became a signature and main focus for thirty-six years.

 

Rose_Garden_in_Front

The garden is in Lafayette, CA, in the San Francisco Bay Area, on a flat, one-third acre with pretty good soil and lots of sun. Here it is on May 5, 2020 just past peak rose bloom. Eight-foot wide beds are bordered by a lattice deer fence of climbing roses. In front of the fence, roses are grouped by color and underplanted with matching perennials. The house is surrounded by an equally wide bed of pink roses. Originally a giant Cedar, which eventually had to be removed, grew where the white roses are now, and along the perimeter of the property tired junipers overwhelmed a two-foot split rail fence.

 

Front garden 2013

A similar angle taken in 2013 before the fencing filled in with roses.

 

Front garden facing peach roses

Another front garden view, this time facing the peach and yellow roses–that's Crepuscule in bloom, climbing the fence. Pink Gruss an Aachen, one of my favorites, is in the lower right corner. Love it when the grass is a little too long!

 

Just Joey Roses

Color grouping roses with matching underplantings, has been a thrill for this plant addict, because there are so many possibilities. Geum planted near Just Joey roses is a prolific bloomer and a great cut flower.

 

Carolyn Parker holding yellow roses

I took the pictures of me in this post with a remote clicker during the pandemic shut-down, and this shot reminds me of how crystal clear the skies were then.

 

Lamarque in Carolyn Parker garden

I'm including this shot because I love the memories and details. We are still in the front garden and I'm not even embarrassed to show the weeds (the pandemic's fault), and that all too frequent rootstock intruder–the red rose, Dr. Huey (it looks so pretty). I'm sitting on damp grass shooting with my iPhone. I'm nostalgic for three of the heritage roses here: Lamarque in the background on the fence; Madame Hardy budded to Dr. Huey, and Paquerette, the first polyantha in the lower right corner. 

 

Lamarque rose on lattice fence

Here is Lamarque from the other side of the fence, with Iceberg on the arbor, both are showstoppers four times a year. Along the entrance path, bordered by erigeron, is white bearded iris and California native iris. Abutilon, watsonia, phlox, dinner plate hibiscus, calamintha, molinia cerulea, guara, geranium biokovo, are some of the many white underplantings in and around this area. Now let's go see what's on the fence, along the sidewalk.

 

Rose border outside fencing

For years, I battled deer with one thing after another. When home remedies no longer worked, a lattice fence finally did the job better than I ever imagined. Yes, no more deer munched the Hybrid Teas, but a wonderful sense of privacy and fantastic opportunities opened up for climbing roses, and many new companion plantings. I especially love the boldness and textural contrast of New Zealand flax, and the African native melianthus major. Mexican feather grass pops over from the school across the street, and sews itself liberally all along this border.

 

Perle d'Or in Carolyn Parker's garden

Here are two shrubs of Perle d'Or, another favorite rose, with a guava and a persimmon tree in the background. Of course, I couldn't resist planting more roses outside the fence, and I do sometimes cover these with deer netting, but for the most part the roses up against the fence are not munched, and small flowered roses are often just left alone.

 

Shrub roses in Carolyn Parker's GardenUntitled-1

I must say, it's a proud moment when the bloom looks like this. I love it when large shrub roses and climbers come into their own. From the left, Albertine, Jeanne Lajoie, Peggy Martin, Kathleen and her-yet-to-be-named sport. 

 

Phyllis Bide Rose

I've shown you most everything but the back garden. A gigantic silver maple spreads its shady canopy over most of this area, and it's hard to believe how much bigger it is now than when I first gardened here. There are almost no roses in the back, but I'm fond of this shot of Phyllis Bide sheltering a bench taken many years ago. I'm hoping to use more blue flowered plants in my new garden.


Climbing rose arch

For all the years that I have lived here, I gardened for myself in honor of creation, and in the mix, neighbors just loved it, and children, from preschool to the fifth grade, at the school across the street, have had what I hope are unforgettable childhood memories of beauty. I documented much of the garden's progress here on the blog, which I hope you enjoy exploring.

In retrospect, I always felt like I had unlimited space for roses; so I fearlessly grew the largest shrubs and climbers, never thinking one more rose was too many. However, my attitude resulted in very high maintenance, which is indeed a luxury in today's world. On the other hand, I learned how rewarding large scale, mostly Heritage roses are to even the smallest garden, and when planted with intention, they are valuable garden shrubs that for the most part bloom much more extensively than the most popular spring-blooming shrubs. 

So now in my new garden space, which is probably one-fifth the size of my old garden, I have to forgo roses like Lamarque, Albertine, and Cecile Brunner, but I do have plans for a long arbor lavished with seven climbers! I am making room for Kathleen and a few other large shrubs, and sure, there will be some Hybrid Teas and the honored David Austins. I can't wait to get started and look forward to showing you the steps along the way.

Button_subscribe-to-rosenotes

Please leave a comment–I'd love to hear from you! 

 


Pink Rose Memories

 

Imagine an adventurous and hot day in the glorious Sacramento Old City Cemetery Rose Garden shooting hundreds of pictures (this was in April 2015), and then a seventy mile drive home with two best flower friends. It must have been about 5:00 pm when Susan and I dropped Mary at her doorstep. Mary cheerily invited us to hop out of the car and take a tour of  her garden. 

Spring-Blossoms-&-Roses

Weary me was less than enthusiastic, though I did pause long enough to shoot Mary's pretty side yard on our way to the rosebeds in the back garden.

 

Small-pink-single-roses

But then I perked right up when I saw this powder pink rambler by the back gate.

 

Sparrieshoop-rose

And when the perfect blooms of Sparrieshoop, in the same color palette, presented herself I was at full attention with my camera. The opportunity to frame these blooms on a patch of lime feverfew was good too.

 

Christopher-Marlowe

Then the joy of zooming in on the button center of Christopher Marlowe . . .

 

Color-magic-rose

only to find Color Magic was waiting for me, a few yards away.

 

 

Blush-Peony

 

Mary has a number of (hard to grow where we live) peonies. Don't you love the blush on this one?

 

Spent-peony

And how about this graceful farewell? I relish catching shots like this.

Thanks so much for the tour Mary and the fabulous photo op!

 

BACK AT HOME 


Pink-Zinnia

The pretty pinks followed me . . .

 

Elephant-and-Pink-Rose

even into the house.

 

Pink-knitting-yarn

 

I just loved all these pictures when I first saw them and looked forward to making a post here. It was amazing to get so many good shots in such a short time (especially after a day of intensive shooting in Sacramento). It's almost been a year and hopefully its never too late. Let me know what you think. That is my daughter Anna's knitting with yarn she purchased at the amazing Webster's in Ashland, Oregon.

 

Pink-Rose-Blog-Post 


Before the Roses Bloom

The roses are ready to pop and thrill, but before they take center stage, I want to show again some of the lovelies I've been playing with for the last few weeks.

 

Early-spring-harvest

Orlaya, senecio, geum, aquilegia, and valerian all stand on their own in the garden and do very well in bouquets. 

 

Early-spring-flowers

I've been particularly charmed by the orange geum, they just keep blooming and last very well as a cut flower.

 

Bucket-of-pink-senecio

I bought three of these senecio plants at Annie's Annuals a year ago. I waited and waited for them to bloom- it took a whole year! They are worth the wait. Who wouldn't want five-foot tall pink daisies in prolific bloom. This is an excellent cut flower.

 

Senecio-harvest

Along with geum, philadelphus and oat grass they are ready to party.

 

Pink-senecio-bouquet

 

Bouquets-on-kitchen-counter

 

Senecio-bouquet

 

ANOTHER SHOT OF THE BASKET I'VE BEEN FILLING

Flower-basket

The rehmania is a surprisingly long lasting as a cut flower. The clump these native iris came from has been extremely generous, picking must promote more blooms, because I've been cutting these regularly for three weeks!

 

PHOTO SET-UP

Photo-set-up

That bucket of flowers might not look very big, but I had to lay down on the floor to shoot it. The paper backdrop is four-feet wide. That's my foot popping up, if you can't tell.