Thursday, June 6, 2013

roses are red... violets are blue...

Okay... that's a bit of a stretch since the roses are NOT red and the blue is NOT a violet!

Perhaps you remember this rose?  It's the Bolero rose I bought this year at Molbak's in Woodinville, WA.  I did finally get it planted along the driveway and the retaining wall that my husband built last year... along with four other roses, two hydrangeas, lupines, lime thyme, iris and boxwood... wow until I said all that I was thinking the bed was kind of bare!

The first of my three David Austin roses is blooming.  This one is Grace.  An apricot colored rose with a "warm scent".  This one was picked out specifically for this spot since it gets a bit of shade and this rose can take a little shade.  We have a locust "tree" that started as a bush 8 years ago... now it's a HUGE tree, hence the need for a shady spot kind of rose.

The roses are still fairly small but doing quite well.

We originally had some roses along the driveway... but with the retaining wall the bed got moved slightly.  Some of the roses were in bad shape and none of them made the transplant transition....

Sooooo, early this spring I started researching old garden roses.  Specifically the David Austin English Roses.  David Austin English roses combine the fragrance of old roses with the repeat flowers of modern roses.

Next of the three David Austin's is Queen of Sweden.  This one is a pale pink.  The blooms are cupped, like a peony and like Bolero pictured above.  The fragrance on this one is a myrrh fragrance.  This rose is known to be upright and bushy.  And like all David Austin English Roses, a repeat bloomer.  I think this one is going to be my favorite... but don't tell the others.

Lots and lots of little baby roses... I can hardly wait.

Finally of the three David Austin's is Winchester Cathedral.  This rose is a white rose, with a touch of pink in the center... I suppose that is why the buds are looking a bit pink now.  This rose has an old rose scent with a touch of honey and almonds.  It is also the largest of the three with a size of 4 feet by 4 feet.  It's location is away from the other two David Austin's and the Bolero rose, down towards the end of the driveway where the wall is the highest.  I picked this one for the size and the scent.

Here's a rather ugly view looking up the driveway from under the locust tree.  You can some lupines, lime thyme (a fabulous ground cover that doesn't get too tall and scraggly), then Grace, Queen of Sweden, Bolero and finally at the "top" is the boxwood.  If you look closely you can also see Molly, our 16 year old mini dachshund (she's the little black blob on the grass).  And all those little white petals on the ground?  Well last year, for the first time, the locust tree flowered... just a few.  This year it is covered with flowers and is kind of pretty despite it's killer-big thorns.

Finishing off the lawn around the retaining wall, curb and driveway is on my husband's to do list...

Soon the lupines will be in their glory.  I have a special spot in my heart for lupines... they really shout "cottage garden" to me.  The existing lupines were dug up to build the retaining wall and the flower bed was changed a bit... I did save their seeds and also added a couple of purchased lupines so that I'd have some right away.  I'm not really a very patient gardener.

And the blue violets?  Well obviously it's a delphinium.

One of my favorite plants at this time of year... the flowers REALLY are blue.  Electric blue!  I forget the name of this one... I'll have to check my garden journal from way back.

So that sums up the "red and blue" tour.  Our weather has been quite beautiful... and warm which I know the plants are loving.  And I think perhaps my dogs think so too....

They like to lounge around the yard in the evenings while I putter around and water.

And by the way... I'm a bit of a novice at this rose thing... so if you have any tips and tricks, well please share!

Looking forward to another blue sky and sunny day kind of weekend,



  1. Gorgeous! I have one David Austen rose - a huge shell pink one with an old fashioned perfume. It has NOT done well due to its proximity to a 60' spruce tree so I just moved it. Here's hoping it loves its new home!!!

    Happy gardening :)

  2. Hi Chris. Your little garden along the driveway will be so pretty when it all comes in. Just a beautiful profusion of color. I was excited to see your David Austen roses, because you are so knowledgeable about the names and I have two DA bushes that I don't know what the names are, but yours are different than mine. Mine are more of a single bloom where you can really see the center easily and I know one was named after his mother, but I didn't write it down anyplace. Love the lupines too..Happy Thursday..Judy

  3. That Bolero rose is so unique and pretty! I love seeing all your cottage flowers, keep them coming!

  4. Oh, I am so excited about your English roses! I hope you will post more photos as they bloom because your roses are the ones I have been reading about! I can't wait to add more of them to my garden. And as far as research goes, I have had to read up on the fragrances like myrrh (what is myrrh??), musk and old rose and tea rose. The last time I went to the nursery, it was like a wine tasting as I discovered all of these new rose fragrances! I am so happy you my found blog :) Nice to meet you.

    1. I had to look this up... myrrh, like it's friend frankincense, is the resin from a tree that has a sweet and woody scent. Some say it is a strong scent, even bitter. It is used in perfume making and incense (of course).

      I guess I'll know when it blooms!

  5. Oh all those flowers are beautiful . I love English roses that orange pink is wonderful ! We are waiting for our roses to open , Papa has a climbing rose bush and I have my knock out rose bush all filled with buds . Wonderful photos . Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

  6. Everything looks so pretty! I have a ton of roses...but none with names...they all came from Trader Joes or Home I am probably no help...mine all look and smell great though. Have a great day!!

  7. Oh looks like you are doing pretty good, I too want to plant some roses I should have years ago, but it's never to late. Hugs, Diane

  8. I have no tips, but they seem to be doing great! You have such a lovely yard. Those lupines are stunning!


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