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The Rose Garden

My Papa was a career cow farmer. First in the dairy industry then in cattle. When he got to the point that he could "retire" he set up a rose garden. First it was a dozen rose bushes, then another, then another. There must have been a couple of hundred at its peak.  I loved his rose garden and so did every visitor to the farm.

I guess I just had this nostalgic pull to put in a rose garden. However, rose gardens and organic gardening are near opposites of the spectrum. Most rose gardens are sprayed with toxic chemicals on a very regimented weekly basis to keep the bugs and diseases at bay. Not something I am willing to do.

In doing a lot of research I discovered that David Austin English Roses tend to be a lot more disease resistant than the typical hybrid tea rose that are the mainstay of most roses gardens.  They stay more shrub like and the roses are a lot more "antique" looking than what you see in the normal bouquet. Actually, the look fit much better with the adjacent English Garden anyway.

So I made the plunge and purchased about 70 David Austin English Roses in February 2006.  I ordered another dozen in 2008 to replace the smaller ones I relocated to the driveway garden.  They took off right away. A few of the bushes get some black spot in the heat of the summer but overall they perform remarkably well.  The aphids get devoured by the ladybugs we put out (and those that arrive naturally on their own) and the Japanese beetles get picked off by hand by any child who wants to earn a penny a piece.

Enjoy the photos from my rose garden.

*Update - in 2010 I took out some of the paths and incorporated the rose garden into a much larger "cutting garden".