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Friday, October 15, 2010

Can I grow David Austin roses?

According to the David Austin website, I should be able to....
I found this very cool website, which explained to me the definition of plant hardiness zones, and how to use it to predict what will successfully winter over. Now, mind you, I have already killed 5 rosebushes in a little bed I planted a few years ago. I didn't protect them through the winter, and I lost 2 (3?) the first winter, and the rest the next winter. Now, even if you have never been to Maine, perhaps you've heard that we have pretty cold, snowy winters?
Take a look at this post.
According to the David Austin information, I coulda' shoulda' woulda' done more to protect them from extreme temps. Ugh. I wish I had, especially the one of the 5 that was a DA rose, one of their oldest and most fragrant ones, the Abraham Darby. I also was guilty of neglecting their feeding and watering. Oh yeah, that and I had planted them in an area where they probably didn't get enough sunshine.
So, I'm trying again.
On Monday, Columbus Day, a nursery was closing for the season and selling off their stock at 50% off. Well, I'm a sucker for a bargain. They had some of 3 DA roses left (among other brands), and I bought and planted 1 of each. I made sure that the plants I chose had at least a bloom on them. I needed the fragrance for inspiration.
I also bought violas and coral bells and a large potted herb garden with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. And chives.The herb garden will remain in my dining room in front of a low-silled southwest facing window. Trixie, our rabbit has already been a happy beneficiary of the parsley! (I really must take more pics to post!)
So I brought my lovely greenery home and determined that I needed 3 rose holes dug, and 6 little holes around my lamp post to alternate the 3 coral bells and 3 violas. How convenient to have 3 sons. Can you see where I am going with this?

Yep! I got all 9 holes dug for me. I tried a little harder this time with the roses. I bought Rose-Tone and put it in the holes, with some old dead leaves (organic matter) that had come down from the trees in the yard. I should have a composter and feed the roses from that, and with future feedings I can use contributions from Trixie, if you know what I mean. The spot I chose probably doesn't get enough sun, but I have all winter long to campaign to take down a few critical tree limbs to greatly increase the amount of sun each day.And of course, any time there is outdoor activity, the dogs have to be a part of it. I'm surprised they didn't get into the spirit of digging holes! The funniest part was when Tammy, who is half the size of her brother and (thinks she) controls all of his access to food, water and affection, was drawn to the biological/organic aroma of the Rose-Tone and posted herself as sentry, growling if Tucker transgressed any closer than about 8 feet in any direction.We have the safest Rose-Tone in Maine.

8 comments:

Joansie said...

Good luck with your roses? Can't wait to see next year's pictures with a success story to go with it.

Pansy Cottage Girl said...

Oh I wish you a lot of luck...I have a black thumb!

Can do mom said...

How lovely! I love roses! I have shrub roses around my house and like you I'm not the most dedicated gardiner in the world. Most of them have done fine, in fact, some threaten to completely take over the garden!

We've had a beautiful, warm fall here (so far) and my roses are still blooming!

What zone are you in? We're right on the line between zone 3 and zone 4. My mother always told me to plant for the colder zone to be on the safe side but you lose a lot of options then.

Happy planting and happy fall!

racheld said...

Do you not think that she KNOWS HOW MOST BOYS ARE---rowdy around flowers and such---and may be thinking that only her guardianship will keep them safe from his oversized paws?

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

Good luck with your roses! Way back over 20 years ago I lived in Ohio, not quite as cold as Maine, but every year in late fall I cut the roses down, covered them with the styrofoam rose covers (basically an upside down bucket) filled with mushroom compost. They always survived.

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

Good luck with your roses! Way back over 20 years ago I lived in Ohio, not quite as cold as Maine, but every year in late fall I cut the roses down, covered them with the styrofoam rose covers (basically an upside down bucket) filled with mushroom compost. They always survived.

Laurie said...

I think growing roses is just an exercise in commitment. You do the research - check, feed them - check, water them, give them winter protection, mulch, and dust them if needed, and voila! They will give you their best, and their best is very nice indeed! Kinda like raising kids (human or goat), cattle, or Christmas trees.

Brambleberry Cottage said...

Oh, I think David Austin roses are so beautiful! Every time I see them advertised in a magazine I swoon. I have several rose bushes that bloom very nicely, but I still would like to have a few more.

I hope your roses survive the winter and then thrive from that point on. ;)

Thanks for visiting the Brambleberry Cottage. I would love for you to also join me at my other blog ~Urban Farmhouse Style~. You can access it from my Profile. I hope to start posting to that one this week.

Blessings,
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/