|This box showed up on my doorstep a few days ago and an involuntary smile appeared...felt like a kid on Christmas...|
You see, I was a peony fan...and a poppy fan...and a ranunculus fan, but roses...not so much. Then a few years ago, I started reading about David Austin Roses and I was OFFENDED by the amount of money people were spending on these silly roses. I mean, come on, roses are thorny and have those weird little budded blooms and smell ok, but ICK the gaudy colors...bright red? I was totally over it. In fact, I even visited a famed rose garden and was totally not impressed. Rows upon rows of pruned canes, ground covered in mulch?? NOT PRETTY in my book.
Then I saw a picture of a David Austin Rose...the English Rose.
Have you seen a photo of a David Austin Rose?? I will have many to share with you in a few months, but until then, here is a photo from the catalogue. You see, David Austin bred OLD roses...the kind that you find in cemeteries and along the foundation lines of old houses long gone. Old roses that SMELL DIVINE and look like the most delicate peony and ranunculus combo you could imagine. Big fluffy blooms of intense scent. Sounds divine, doesn't it?
|Courtesy of David Austin Catalogue 2011|
If you are a skeptic, you would be saying...oh that just sounds like a peony. I can buy a peony root for $5 or dig a division up from a friend, right? RIGHT. ...and I would agree with you, EXCEPT David Austin has bred those old roses (with gorgeous blooms and divine scent) with modern roses that REPEAT FLOWER. That means flowers all summer long. No 2 week in spring peony show that gets killed by the rain.
I was sold.
Sold to the tune of $25 each for three of these roses. I know...I could have purchased 25 PACKS of seed at that price. ...but once in awhile...just once in a long while, it is worth it to splurge...well, it is worth it to ask your husband to splurge for a Christmas present :)
Anyway, I wanted to show you how these roses arrive at the doorstep. I have ordered plants and seeds from many suppliers and I have never received such a healthy, robust plant that had the care these roses had. Let me show you...
See those thick roots, attached to a strong stem, with healthy buds already? Notice there is no damage to any of the roots from being dug up. Notice that the roots clearly grew around a mound of dirt, spaced evenly around the plant. That is a good plant girls!!
When I first received the roses, they took a bath to soak the roots. (Notice those clean cuts? GOOD PLANT)
Then I dug the biggest hole I've ever dug for a plant (I'm usually a bit stingy and plants do fine, but I couldn't fail with these expensive roses...) Long, deep, wide holes with a mound of dirt in the center. I spread those (perfectly spaced and already trained to spread) roots around the mound of soil. Backfilled with soil, a layer of mulch and the roses were planted!
I know if you aren't a plant person, these look like nothing. Give me a few months and I'll have you DROOLING over these luscious roses. I purchased 'Emma Hamilton' (pictured above), 'Evelyn' (of Crabtree and Evelyn fame) and a climbing 'A Shropshire Lad'.
...and in case you are wondering...yes, I do have my 2012 picks circled in the catalogue already...oh dear...