Monday, March 15, 2010
La Vie en Rose
My mother has an amazing rose garden up north in the summer. She babies her roses and they reward her delightfully. She's been urging us to grow roses here for a long time, but I've always resisted, for several reasons. First, roses can find it very hard to deal with Florida's hot and humid summers. Second, roses take a lot of care and specialized knowledge, and I wasn't sure they were a good fit in our mostly native gardens.
So what changed my mind? First of all, a prime piece of sunny real estate became available in my gardens - the croton bush by the front door went kaput in the freeze, and since I've never been that fond of it anyway, we decided to pull it out entirely.
Second, I've become acquainted with the amazing plant called the Knock Out Rose. Fellow gardeners have informed me that this is the rose for people who don't think they can grow roses. It's disease-resistant, heat-tolerant, and almost impossible to kill, even in Florida summers. Perfect!
After removing the old croton bush, we prepped the hole with some bone meal and blood meal, and popped the rose in. We added fresh mulch around the base, but left room for the plant to breathe. We watered it in thoroughly, and voila, our Double Knock Out Rose is in place to welcome visitors!
My mom also bought a couple hybrid tea rose plants for us to try as well. We planted these in the backyard where they can get some dappled shade in the hot summer afternoons. I'll be curious to see how these little fellows fare as the season progresses.
All of gardening is a bit of an experiment... even native plants can sometimes be a challenge. I'm not sure how successful My Florida Backyard will be with its roses, but we look forward to the effort and the possible rewards!