Roses that are Survivors

Each spring (for about six years), my father-in-law gave me a rose bush for my garden. He would remind me how to protect it so it would survive our Alberta winters. I was, should we say, less than successful as a rose gardener.  I did everything by the book, and usually the rose plant would be dead by spring. Eventually I decided that every plant in my yard had to be able to make it through the winter with no extra help from me – even the roses.

As a result, only three rose bushes survived last winter. The deep pink one below barely escaped the compost heap by offering up a few feeble leaves to indicate it was still alive. The yellow-orange one gave a good leafy show throughout the summer, but only a couple flowers. The third rose bush is a good ‘leafer’, but has yet to produce a flower.

Then, while the rest of the garden was starting to put on coats of fall color, two of my roses decided to become ‘bloomers’. They have produced a dozen or more flowers in the past few weeks, and considering they are barely as tall as my knees, it is a remarkable show!

64-rose-pinkThis Rose bush was almost consigned to the compost heap!

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.
– Eleanor Roosevelt –

64-rose-yellow-orangeThis Rose Bush really didn’t kick it up a notch until after the first light fall frost.

One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Oh no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.
– Dorothy Parker –

I can’t help but think of the nursery rhyme – ‘Mary, Mary, quite contrary – how does your garden grow?’ In my garden, though, it is the roses that are contrary.

Do you have a contrary plant in your garden?

11 thoughts on “Roses that are Survivors

  1. When we lived in Calgary I tried growing roses but wasn’t very successful. Like you I tried to follow the “book”. My next door neighbour practically threw bushes into the ground and then ignored them. Her bushes gave her beautiful roses with very little effort on her part. It was very frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I expect a lot depends on whether the roses are hardy for the Calgary climate. It sure isn’t the easiest place to garden in.


  2. My plants have to be able to survive our summer, it’s our winter they love! (I live in Arizona.) I have neighbors with roses, but I’ve never been able to grow them.
    Love the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt! 🙂


    1. We spend a few months in Arizona during the winter. Last winter I was given a miniature rose house plant. I put it in a pot on the patio when it quit blooming indoors. It perked right up, and started to bloom again!
      Isn’t that Eleanor Roosevelt quotation the absolute funniest!

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.