So the last 15 years of my life I have been obsessed with growing edible things. I found out about rareseeds.com quite by accident while getting my oil changed in 2009 and I have been addicted ever since! I haven't ever wanted to grow flowers, I think that was due to a lack of space. If one has 10 sf to plant a garden, then one should plant 15 kinds of tomatoes before considering useless flowers! But now that I have a bunch of space it has been fascinating to feel my mind shift so rapidly! Part of it is probably because we want to have bees and other beneficial insects. It is amazing how the natural world will keep itself in check if you allow it to. I was just reading how nettles attract aphids (I hate getting stung by nettles, but I also hate aphids eating my plants) and realized I need to reevaluate my thinking on nettle eradication. This land was logged back in the 60s and then again a couple years ago. They didn't clear cut but they took out all the big trees. And I am not sure if logging is necessarily so destructive or if these guys just didn't care. But it is difficult to find a tree that doesn't have some sort of scarring from either trees falling or the machinery that cut in the access roads. I am guessing that at least 25% of the trees that are left will die sometime in the next 10 years due to injury and the resulting disease. We have lots of little trees that have been knocked over by the brush piles and smaller cut trees that they tossed beside them. Which is very sad to see. But also very exciting because it means I can plant whatever I want! This land has not been in a "wild" state for decades and for that reason we seem to have very few birds, very few insects and so far, only a couple squirrels and one lone chipmunk. Oh and rats. We have rats. So far not in the house but they crawled up in my engine compartment and ate some of the delicious wiring!! Back on topic... Roses. I want bees so I need flowers. Which then opened me up to looking at flowers. And I gotta say... the variety of flowers is astounding! So I picked about 30 types that will give the pollinators a good meal. And then I remembered roses. And roses and I have a complicated history. They feel cliche to me. And expensive. And everyone knows the cut flower industry kills dolphins... but roses also have an amazing history. Josephine Bonaparte collected them. The tsars brought in some specially to their gardens. Rose water has been one of the most sought after commodities, Bulgaria has a long history of growing Damask roses for perfume... and we can collect these little pieces of history and bring them into our gardens. Cuttings from a rose in Peterhof sailed down a river and across the plains and through the forests and eventually across an ocean and may land in my yard someday... it is just incredible! So here I am, 25 years after I swore off pink, 20 years after I decided flowers were too expensive and frivolous... I am relentlessly researching roses lol! It helps too that so far the best place I have found is in CO, which means I can get all of these wonderful pieces of history from my original home! I took these pics off highcountryroses.com if you are in the market for some roses, you should check them out. Their prices are amazing and their selection is marvelous!
The roses I plan to get so far are:
Enfant de France
Souvenir de Malmaison
Souvenir de St Anne's
A couple Damask roses, Isapan is always out of stock but I will find it someday! And I am hoping to find more Pemberton roses, as well as of course some David Austin climbing roses.