Thursday, August 15, 2013

The "Minnesota Rose Gardener's" Rose Gardens

I thought the "proof of the pudding" of the "Minnesota Rose Gardener" blog would be to show all of my rose gardens at their peak in mid-August.  So here they all are, with comments on each:

 This is my main Earth Song bed.  Earth Song is our favorite rose; very disease-resistant, winter-hardy, fragrant, and beautiful, and makes a long-lasting cut flower.  It's also one of Griffith Buck's only Grandifloras, so it's especially good as an exhibition rose.  Incidentally, I propagated all the roses in this bed from air layers and stem cuttings.

The bed in the background is temporary, for this summer only, and takes the place of a 5,000 gallon koi pond that we removed this spring.  I wanted to do something with the 14 cubic yards of good black dirt that we poured in the hole, so I bought about 10 packs of zinnia and cosmo seeds, plus the cleome aleady coming up in other parts of my garden, and spread them all around. It was a really big transplanting and thinning job, but it's really beautiful right now.  More on that bed later, because my Morden Centennials are hiding behind all of those annuals.

This bed is in the front of my house on the northeast corner and includes Buck Earth Songs in the foreground and Buck Carefree Beauties in the rest of the bed.  The Earth Song in the foreground (a very big plant) is the parent of most of the other Earth Songs in my garden.

This is the other end of the front Carefree Beauty/Earth Song Bed, with Carefree Beauty in the foreground. These roses are upwards of twenty years old.

These are four Earth Songs at the front, southeast corner of our house, right by the garage.  Did I mention that we love this rose?

These are the Morden Centennials behind the area where the koi pond was.  They have a few nice peony plants mixed-in for spring color.  To the left are the temporary cleome, zinnias and cosmos.  My mom called the cleome "spider plants".  As anyone who grows them knows, once you plant cleome/spider plants, they seed themselves exponentially every year.  If they weren't so pretty, we'd probably call them invasive weeds! I usually let them grow around my mulch pile as a barrier.  The down side of that is they pop up the next year everywhere you spread the mulch, including the rose beds.  Fortunately, they're easy to pull.  :)

Here's another view of our Morden Centennials, which shows the electric deer-fence behind the garden. The back of our yard is in the watershed of Nine Mile Creek, which flows into the Minnesota River and thence to the Mississippi (as does just about everything in Minneapolis).  Accordingly, we have a large herd of deer that lives along the creek wetlands behind us; and, of course, their favorite food is roses.  The electric fence is baited every night with aluminum-foil strips smeared with both peanut butter and a deer attractant. Licking the fence really gets their attention.  It uses a standard, farm, cattle/horse fence controller and is called the "Minnesota Deer Trick".

This bed is on the North end of our yard and features two Robustas and a big raspberry patch, which belongs to our granddaughter Cosette.  This is Japanese Beetle heaven at this time of year.  Here's a little picture of a pretty, single Robusta:

These are two terraced beds at the back of our house, behind our three-season porch/deck.  They include Buck Earth Song, Folksinger, Prairie Harvest, Honey Sweet, Paloma Blanca, Hawkeye Belle and Prairie Star, as well as Morden Blush, Winnipeg Parks and, last but not least, Dr. David Zlesak's gorgeous, yellow, "Number 7" (which we are very privileged to grow).

And now, finally, here's the old "Minnesota Rose Gardener" himself.  Photo credit to Mary Eileen, my sweet wife of 49 years, who puts up with a lot and is absolutely the best dead-header in all of Minnesota!
(Yes, I'm sitting on the sweet alyssum, but who cares!)    :)

Jack Falker
August 15, 2013