My wife, Mary, and I have been married a little over 33 years and we’ve seen a lot, as most couple have. Battled too many Red River floods to count, (lost the battle in ’97), moved an old house twice, worked side-by-side in our greenhouse business for 20 years, raised 4 children (2 married, 2 in high school) and nearly lost our home to a house fire 4 years ago. And that’s just for starters. Most married couples could write a book, probably two.
We’ve always worked with plants and gardening, but I never quite got around to making a rose garden. We planted a rose bush here and there – mostly shrub roses – in the landscape at our old place, before the latest house move. Creating an actual rose garden was always on my to-do-someday list. Sometimes I’d sing Mary a line from “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden,” and we’d laugh.
Well, this summer it happened. Starting a landscape over from scratch has some positives. When debating what to plant by the back door, we decided it would be a perfect spot for a rose garden – a genuine little rose garden that we could see up close every time we walked back and forth from the garage. And not just winter-hardy no-work shrub roses, but genuine hybrid tea roses, the type that reward you when you fuss over them and tuck them in for winter under a blanket of straw or leaves. The type that require work.
I like shrub roses too, and we planted 8 of them in our landscape. But shrub roses are “hybrid tea wannabees” in flower form and fragrance. I decided if we wanted florist quality flowers and the heavenly rose perfume of hybrid teas, then we should plant hybrid teas. I suppose you could call them high-maintenance, but it isn’t work if you’re having fun.
Now the rose garden I never promised, but always intended, exists, and is currently nestled safely under a blanket of straw. The Peace roses in the photo below were extra special. The fragrance alone made any extra work well worthwhile. Happy Gardening!