It seems to me, that nature must love the color pink, because she dresses some of her most beautiful flowers in pink.
I am embarrassed to admit that I do little to deserve the beautiful peonies that grow in my garden. A generous helping of mulch and an application standard fertilizer seems to prompt repayment well beyond what is owed for such a minimal amount of effort.
I don't even stake the big floppy blooms. When they droop with the weight of early summer rains, I ruthlessly cut them instead. I bring the flowers inside, fill many wide mouthed vases and shamelessly enjoy the very subtle fragrance drifts up from each cluster of flowers.
This is a Cora Stubbs Peony that I saw at the Royal Botanical Gardens last
summer. I have been thinking that it would be a nice addition to my family of peonies.
The forgiving ways of peonies do however have their limits. I have found out the hard way, that once established and comfortable in a garden spot, they do not like to be moved. There was a single petalled, pink peony in my back garden that pouted and refused to bloom for two years after I moved it. That will teach you, it taunted me every time I looked in its direction!
Peonies also demand full sun. I have put this to the test and can tell you that they protest a less than ideal location by not only going about the business of growing at a tortuously slow rate, they utterly refuse to be generous in their production of blooms.
I like to mix in flowers like roses, weigela and spirea into my casual arrangements of peonies.
If the peonies in my garden are undemanding, my roses all but make more than up for it. They need winter protection, copious amounts of water, regular applications of fertilizer, and protection from insects and disease. Though I love the my David Austin roses they are the worst offenders. Despite the fact that I cover them during the winter months, these particular roses suffer through the cold Canadian winter only to emerge in spring looking defeated and forlorn. With a good deal of fussing on my part, they limp back into flower. Frankly, there has been many a spring when I have thought of ending this dependent relationship once and for all. Then when the roses open, all is forgiven.
I have been keeping my eyes open and my ears to the ground on the lookout for more hardy, battle ready roses. In a summer trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, I made mental notes on roses I might want to consider adding next spring. I figure, if they can make it through winter in this open park, maybe they would make good replacements for their more finicky cousins.
Here are some of my favorite rose pictures from last summer.
The Royal Botanical Gardens(RBG) in Hamilton has a large rose garden that is encircled by
weathered grey arbors.
A hybrid tea called "Gemini" at the RBG in Hamilton.
A beauty from the Lucy Maud Montgomery garden. Sorry, we were unable to find an identifier. The David Austin rose "The Mary Rose" is very similar.
Planting more than one shrub rose can make for a spectacular display. RBG, Hamilton.
This Hybrid Musk Rose called "Belinda"at the RBG was growing in part shade. I plan to order one from Pickering Nurseries for my own garden.
I like nontraditional roses that look like apple blossoms.
The "Alchymist"from the RBG in Hamilton.
Marjorie Fair Rose
I get more questions from passersby about this rose than any other in my garden. People usually think that it is some kind of new variety of hydrangea.
David Austin's Mary Rose
A great repeat bloomer this delicate pink groundcover rose is aptly named the Fairy.