Pretty in Pink

photoThe copious rains we’ve had this June have resulted in a lush display from the roses.  These are the William Baffin climbing roses that I battle each year. They want to colonize the world and I want to keep them trained along the fence.  If my scratched, bloody arms are any clue, the Baffins and I call it a draw: Some new canes are stretched along the fence, while clumps of fresh canes sprout in the boulevard beds, seemingly overnight, no matter how many times I cut them down.

That’s the price I pay for hardy climbers in zone 4b.  They are pretty, though.photoAlso doing surprisingly well are my Colonel John Davis climbers next to the front door.  The canes were ravaged this winter by hungry rabbits who climbed the snow banks to eat all the bark, far up the canes.  I had to cut out a lot of dead canes this spring, but the main plants survived.photoColonel Davis is well-behaved, has fewer thorn than the Baffins, and forms lovely arcs off the trellis. My only disappointment here is that the purple clematis threaded among the roses is meant to bloom at the same time, but, although full of buds, this clematis has yet to bloom.

The heavy rains and a severe pruning last fall has also produced a lush display of rugosa roses.  This plant is beneath the study windows and the scent of these roses is so wonderful on a warm morning.  The rugosa roses all have clean, deep green foliage.  I highly recommend seeking them out if you find roses “fussy” and refuse to grow any. These roses require no fertilizers or pesticides, bloom well in partial sun and are hardy into zone 3.photo

After all, what is June without roses in the garden?

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