Let’s be honest – we only grow roses because of their flowers. For most of the year, many of the plants are ugly stems that grab and scratch when we go too close. The flowers don’t make up for that, in my opinion.
The previous owner of my garden planted many roses here. Some I’m happy to have but I’m not keen on the hybrid tea roses planted in front of the bedroom windows. I toyed with the idea of removing them last winter but opted to savagely cut them back instead. Needless to say, that simply encouraged them.
After deadheading them all several times since spring (and getting attacked yet again) I am now certain they have to go. I don’t like their colours, their growing habits, nor their position. Decision made.
I have, though, planted a rose I have long admired – a Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’. This is in a sunny position in my backyard and it is glorious. I planted it last winter and, while it will take a while to establish itself, it is already providing the most beautiful single cupped flowers.
If you haven’t seen it, look at the way the flowers change colour. Buds start as pink, then open to reveal yellow petals. As they age, the flowers become coppery-pink and finally a watermelon red. All those different colours on a single plant! I can’t wait until it spreads so I can prune it as a shrub.
Are you a rose lover? What’s your favourite?