Annual Rose Report

This is my current view outside the master bedroom window. Incredible isn’t it? The view is a happy accident really. For there is only one place in my shady yard that gets at least six hours of sun a day. And roses require sun, usually more than six hours.

I hemmed and hawed for years about the possibility of roses anywhere in my garden. Reality told me that I just didn’t get enough sun. Only one area was sunny for prolonged periods, and that was an awkward corner of the back yard.

My one sunny area sat neglected while I tried to decide on a solution to make this a beautiful focal point. As I was discussing ideas with a gardening friend one day she pointed out that I could try roses here. It wouldn’t cost very much so why not? That was the little push I needed.

However, I was pretty pessimistic about the prospects. Probably the roses would not make it, or if they lived, they certainly wouldn’t flourish. As I was poring over catalogs and articles I learned that there are a few roses that will grow with less than 8 hours of daily sun. Cecile Brunner and New Dawn are two such varieties so i ordered them.

They were planted in the fall and the next year we were rewarded with a beginning growth of beautiful blooms. Heartened but not quite convinced, I made little investment in their well-being.

The following year, they were still working to convince me they were here to stay.

The following year they really took off and the need for substantial support could no longer be ignored.

I turned to the company that had built our garden gate. This arbor was built two years ago.

Arbor construction took a toll on the bushes. The above picture was taken in August just after the arbor was erected. My poor bushes seem traumatized.

The first spring on the arbor they still seemed to be recovering. Would the earlier profusion of blooms ever return? I probably should have built the arbor then planted the roses.

Also, I had timidly attempted pruning the vines so that they would adapt to the arbor. But pruning tutorials differed and were not that easy to understand. Had I ruined them? This year I went online again and gave pruning another try. It seems to have worked out.

The blooms do not spill over the front side as much. They are chasing the sun that lasts longer on the back side. I’m not complaining, believe me. Every morning they greet me as I look out my bedroom window.

I am constantly relearning that gardening, a little like life, is an experiment. Some experiments work and some don’t. You can’t let the failures stop you. You just have to keep trying. And, boy, what a feeling when it does work!

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