Saturday, April 28, 2018


Oh, the fragrance! 
Hand someone a rose 
It goes right to the nose. 

Fragrance is the number one requirement of roses planted in our gardens.

Surprisingly, there are quite a few roses tolerant of our climate. They survive, unprotected, in year round wind and rain. They survive our winters plagued by multiple freezes and thaws. Let's begin with the tough guys.

There are at least three kinds of fragrant, wild roses growing in these parts.  
Rosa rugosa also known as Sitka Rose
Rosa acicularis also known as Wild Prickly Rose
Rosa nutkana also known as Nootka Rose

Wild roses are not only tough, but are typically low maintenance. They are pretty much trouble free and often resistant to pests and disease.
It is not always easy to identify one wild rose from another. 
So, I don't often try.

Thank you to Cheryl Stromme for the little start she dug up for me under her rose bush named Rosa rugosa 'Yankee Lady.' 

That little start grew into the beautiful bush below.
The thorns and stems of 'Yankee Lady' do not make the flowers inviting to include in a bouquet. But, whenever I pass by or reach beneath to cut some spearmint, I stick my nose into a bloom and enjoy the incomparable fragrance. On a warm day, the fragrance drifts around the gardens.

The photo below is of the first wild rose planted in our gardens. So long ago, I do not remember where or how we acquired this fragrant beauty with 3 to 4 inch flowers.

That first wild rose bush grew larger each year until it stabilized at about 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide. It sends out lots of starts around its' base.

Thank you to my stepdaughter, Karin, for this next wild rose. It eagerly spreads its' roots wherever planted. The sweet little flowers have a rosy, mild fragrance. The bush rises to a height of 3 to 5 feet.

Similar in size and habits to the wild pink rose above is the fragrant, pale yellow beauty in the photo below.

The yellow wild rose keeps a slightly lower profile at 3 to 4 feet tall.

We have had several different climbing roses in our gardens over the years. Although it looks so soft and fragile, this outstanding, tough climber is 
Rosa 'New Dawn.'

'New Dawn' is usually covered with clusters of very fragrant blooms from midsummer through fall. The blooms are a welcome addition to a bouquet. But, beware the large and plentiful thorns.

'New Dawn' climbs up over a trellis

and hangs down over a rock wall.

As with the climbing roses, we have only hosted one shrub rose in our gardens able to survive for the long haul without some overhead protection. 

Rosa 'Bonica'

'Rosa Bonica' grows unprotected, bushy and full to about 6 feet. It is covered with clusters of small, bright pink flowers from midsummer through fall. The fragrance is strong and fruity. Whether a sunny or cloudy day, 'Bonica' roses capture attention.                                                                                

And, 'Bonica' roses make a sweet little bouquet.

I could not resist taking a photo of my husband modeling this bridal bouquet filled with 'Bonica' roses.

The remaining three shrub roses in this review would probably survive well enough without protection. But, they all seem much happier and attractive when partially protected under an overhang of some sort. Our excessive rain can simply be more than some rose petals can endure.

Rosa 'Fred Bahovec'

I don't know the real name of this rose, but decided to give it the name 'Fred Bahovec.' It was Fred who planted this shrub rose long, long ago in front of the old Sitka Community Hospital.
Before the hospital was demolished, I took several cuttings from the very old rose bush and started new plants. All were given away except the two I planted at the edge of our covered garden. They have grown 8 feet tall and showy with many lightly fragrant pink bundles of medium sized blooms.

'Fred Bahovec' roses add a special touch of beauty to any bouquet of roses.

Rosa 'Honey Perfume'

What a welcome surprise this shrub rose turned out to be! It grew quickly, spilling out from our covered garden after only a few short years. It is about 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide. The bush is covered with very fragrant, medium sized, honey yellow roses from mid-summer through fall. Ouch! Watch out for those painfully large thorns.

'Honey Perfume' roses make up quite the bouquet. If I remember correctly, yellow roses represent friendship and joy in the language of flowers.

Rosa 'Madame Louis Leveque'
A cloudy day long ago. 
Lost in thought while weeding a garden, I heard a voice call my name. Out of the gray, Judy Johnstone and Jamie Chevalier smiled their way over to me and my bucket of weeds. "We have a gift for you." 
They and their gift were as welcome as sunshine.

I had never seen or heard of Moss Rose.
Up close, it is fascinating!

The tiny, intricately wrapped bud transforms into a bloom with an unusually large number of petals.

The petals of each flower are so compact and plentiful that they don't handle excessive moisture very well. This is why protection is recommended. The 5 foot bush blooms profusely beginning mid-summer.

The Moss Rose was bred by French father and son (both named Louis Leveque) in 1898 in honor of wife/mother Madame Leveque.

The Moss Rose fragrance is strong and intoxicating. I know that the Moss Rose is not the mother of all roses, but it sure smells like it is!  
And, good news for gardeners bordering the forest. Moss Rose is said to be deer resistant.

Grandiflora is a type of rose bush with large, long-stemmed, multi-petaled blooms growing in clusters.
Our one grandiflora bush was planted with protection from a nearby trellis and under the eaves.
Rosa 'Twilight Zone'

Here is 'twilight zone' filling a vase along with other fragrant roses.

Lucky for us, we have  an unusual space to grow roses and other plants that are not well suited for our climate. We have a large covered garden attached to our greenhouse. I love it.
It is dry and warm enough in the covered garden to host lots of beautiful flowers and vegetables without taking up the limited space in our greenhouse. 
The remaining roses in this post are all protected and growing happily in our covered garden.

Floribunda roses are defined as rose bushes growing clusters of blooms throughout the season.

Rosa 'Julia Child'

Wow! This rose has such a fruity fragrance! And, 'Julia Child' truly does stay in full bloom for a very long time. The flowers are so inviting in bouquets, that they are regularly picked as soon as the blooms open.

Rosa 'Moondance'

'Moondance' clusters are a reliable addition to bouquets. There are so many blooms all season long! The fragrance is a very light raspberry.

Typically, hybrid tea rose bushes have one large flower on each long stem. These are the roses seen so often in bouquets from florists. Their beauty is breathtaking. The challenge and thrill is to grow a hybrid tea rose bush with flowers that are not only beautiful, but also fragrant.
Such is the case with several of the hybrid tea roses we grew in our covered garden.

Rosa 'Perfume Delight'

Rosa 'Sheer Bliss'

Rosa 'Peace'

Rosa 'John Paul II'

Wishing you all lots of smiles and lots of roses!

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