Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Antique Roses in the Herb Garden
May is a bit overwhelming in the garden; there is so much going on its hard to know where to go. The Peonies in the Boxwood collection survived the rains of the past few weeks and are still wonderful, though possibly slightly past their peak. The non-fragrant yellow/orange native Rhododendrons are beginning to flower now, as are the evergreen Rhododendrons. Roses, though are the real stars of late May and June. Over the past few years, we have done mass plantings of a number of different "Landscape" or "Shrub" roses in various places around the Arboretum. This is a useful group of plants that has come into its own of late. Though generally lacking fragrance, they are extremely resistant to the fungi, that typically plague roses, so for $20 or $30 at a nursery, or even a Home Depot type store, you can buy a relatively carefree shrub that flowers all summer. There are masses of these roses flanking the New York Avenue gate, around the front of the Administration Building, and outside the Morrison Garden.
The best roses though, are the old-fashioned roses, and the best place to see them at the Arboretum, and one of the best places in the area, is the Herb Garden. The fragrances will overwhelm you! We have been reworking the plantings over the past several years. Stefan has directed pruning, some resiting, and general care, so that what had always been one of the nicer displays here, is even better. The next week or two will be the peak, though there will be something going on throughout the growing season. The weather has been fairly rose friendly over the past year. The drought that aversely affected our gardens last summer was probably good for the roses, as was the past warm winter. The cool spring is a plus and the rain has been a positive thing so far, though it could turn into too much of a good thing.
Posted by ChrisU at 10:43 PM