People often ask me why we planted hundreds of roses. I can come up with a list of practical answers such as the right climate, farm practices and business reasons, but the truth is, we simply adore them. And we are not alone - Cleoptratra loved roses, Nero would shower his guests with roses until they occasionally perished under the weight of them. Roses have inspired poets and painters for millennia, and for good reason. They are exquisite, divine, fragrant and fierce. They live as an enduring symbol for love, as much for their prickles as for all their charms.
We are entering PEAK ROSE here at Birdsong Orchards for the next few weeks, and our You Pick Flower Field is open. Make a purchase and reservation here to come pick your own generous bucket of fragrant roses and other fresh blooms. We still have a few slots open on Mother’s Day, but they won’t last long.
Where to Order Garden Roses
I know, I am sorry, I don’t mean to tempt and tantalize those of you afar who cannot visit our rose garden. So here are a few of my favorite sellers of rose bushes online. There’s a rose for almost every climate, and this is a good time to plant roses in most of the northern hemisphere.
David Austin Roses are famous world wide. They are thought of as old fashioned roses, and many of their characteristic traits of outstanding fragrance and intensely dense petals are, but these roses are all bred in the past few decades by David Austin himself. We have a few dozen of them in our cutting field. The one in the photo below is called Port Sunlight.
More locally to me, I have been thrilled with Weeks Roses based here in California. They have a huge assortment of disease resistant and vibrant roses bushes, that comprise the majority of our rose collection. For my local friends, Aladdin Nursery in Freedom carries them as does San Lorenzo in Santa Cruz.
PS: Next year, we plan to sell roses here as well, so stay tuned!
Some of My Favorites
Munstead Wood is a great place to start my favorites list. Very few roses have this true dark plum burgundy color I adore so much. And the fragrance, well, if you haven't smelled this rose, you haven't lived. Munstead Rose was bred by David Austin and is a low shrub that hasn't gotten more than three feet tall in my garden. The flowers are great for cutting, but short stemmed and thornful.
Vavoom is the best orange rose I grow, and orange is one the best colors. It’s a fragrant floribunda, with excellent disease resistance, great height and prolific blooms. Vavoom was bred by Tom Carruth and released in 2007. I purchased my bushes through Weeks Roses.
The Peace Rose is the rose that got me hooked on roses. They had been planted at a house we lived in many years ago by the previous owners. I thought I didn't like roses, but their exuberant growth and endless flowers charmed me, wooed me, and taught me how to prune and care for them.
It was developed by French horticulturist Francis Meilland, in the years 1935 to 1939. When Meilland foresaw the German invasion of France, he sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the United States to protect the new rose. It is said that it was sent to the US on the last plane available before the German invasion, where it was safely propagated by the Conard Pyle Co. during the war. - Wikipedia
Obligatory Cute Puppy and Other Pasture Pet Pics
Finally, this post would not be complete without an update on our puppy Delhpine. Shockingly, she is still cute, and getting bigger by the day. Here she is meeting the emus.