Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The "New Dawn" Rose

I have always admired roses. Over the years I have planted lots of roses, but always felt disappointed that they never looked the way that I had hoped they would for my garden. I pictured these beautiful roses on arbors, going up a tree or just this mass of fragrant flowers on this huge healthy bush. I started finding roses to be high maintenance and not worth the effort. I really did not care for or have the time for using sprays to control diseases.

Several years ago, I worked at a customer's home where she had beautiful roses trained on the side of her house. They were even growing up and over the roof. These were the roses that I wanted in my garden. I also had admired the roses that I had seen in several books written by P. Allen Smith. He wrote about the "New Dawn" rose in the book and I thought I would give it a try. I placed an order for it and waited for it's arrival. When it came it was small but what a fast grower. The picture above shows the rose in it's third year in the garden. Each year it gets bigger and better. Naturally I did purchase a second one for the garden last year.

"New Dawn" is a climbing rose that was patented in 1930 (the very first rose to get a patent) and it grows in zones 5-10. It has fragrant pale pink double blossoms in early summer that really puts on a good show of flowers. It also is a repeat bloomer. "New Dawn" has glossy foliage on canes that can grow to 25 feet. What I really like is that it is low maintenance and disease resistant. It also provides rose hips for winter interest and food for the squirrels and birds.

I now have changed my view of growing roses. I look for old garden roses and species roses that grow on their own root systems. I look for plants that are disease resistant, low maintenance and vigorous growers. Living in a home that is over 100 years old, I think that old roses work best for my landscape. I just ordered two more roses for the garden this year. One is "Cecile Brunner" and the other is "Buff Beauty". I guess the right roses can change your mind on growing roses.

Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Fragrance of the Mock Orange

I always look forward to the blooming of my Mock Orange each year. It fills the garden with the fragrance of orange blossoms on those warm evenings. Mock Orange or Philadelphus is a beautiful flowering shrub for the garden. The white flowers bloom in June or July and cover the plant fully in white. Flowers are single, semi double or double blossoms depending on the cultivar. This shrub is very adaptable to many soil types but does prefer a moist well drained soil. Mock Orange does benefits having a sunny location in the garden but it can do very well in a lightly shaded area. If you prune this shrub, prune after it blooms and lightly thin out the shrub of old branches at ground level by a third each year when mature. Propagation of this shrub is very easy by cuttings. Mock Oranges come in several different sizes from dwarf to 10 feet tall depending on the cultivar. Mock Oranges range from zone 2 to 9. If you plant several together they can make for a wonderful hedge or dwarf varieties can be used in a rock garden. This is a stunning plant to add to a all white garden.

If you are looking for a shrub that is colorful and fragrant, give Mock Orange a try in your garden.

Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener

'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood

Years ago, I purchased a very small tree that was only 6 to 8 inches tall. It was a 'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood. It had beau...