Meadowbrook’s Shrub Roses and Late Spring Bloomers

Greetings from the land up yonder!  This was going to be a post showcasing my shrub roses, but then-what the heck-I may as well include some other pictures too.

I arrived in Pennsylvania to a landscape choked with *very tall* seed-headed grasses and weeds. (My Lord–I’m going to have to do a post about one of these weeds that I have not previously seen to this extent!)  Partly, it has to do with our long cool rainy season this spring and that my residency here was delayed. Fortunately, I co-opted my youngest son to assist in reclaiming the veg garden and lawn with scythe and mower, so we have made headway although there is still much to do.

So, the first thing was to take pictures of this year’s glorious roses which were just barely holding their blooms aloft from the tall grasses. One wonderful fact to mention is that there was nary a Japanese beetle to be seen, chewing up the leaves and doing disgusting things inside the blossom heads.

I developed a love affair with Old Garden Roses (OGR’s) and shrub roses and adored climbers and ramblers about 25 years ago. I’ve never grown HT’s or miniatures. I look first for fragrance then hardiness with a preference (nowadays) for roses grown on their own roots. Most of mine are once bloomers that put on a fabulous show and then step back to let some some other plant take the stage.

My first rose orders in the early 1990’s were bare root and came from Wayside Gardens, White Flower Farm and Jackson & Perkins back in Oakton, VA where it is zone 7. I was able to grow Lady Banksia roses and Hybrid Musk roses which are impossible to chancy in my Maryland and PA gardens. In Maryland, my best looking roses trail over the tall retaining wall–but some of my favorite shrub roses (Albas) were felled by rose rosette disease (RRD) over the past 3 years.

In PA, I started by ordering from Canadian company, Pickering, for bare root grafts and then discovered container roses from Vintage Gardens (out of business but boy, it was a fantastic resource), Roses Unlimited, David Austin Roses and Rogue Valley Roses. I like Kordes roses and English roses as well as the OGRs.

I plant with compost added. Other than yearly cutting out the dead wood and interfering canes, I haven’t done much with my shrub roses. They would enjoy (Joan Epler taking care of them, no doubt!) regular compost and mulch and now and again some blackspot preventative, but honestly I often don’t even get that far most years since there is so much to do around here.  My main problem has to do with reining in those that can be climber/shrubs because they will reach out long canes and snag an unwary mower or pedestrian not paying attention.  Pests? Japanese beetles and the occasional midge problem some years. Diseases–just blackspot which is currently not too bad, even on my yellow roses. Oh, the Rugosas can get a bit rampant at times, taking new territory.

Since I took these pictures, more roses have come into bloom, but I haven’t taken any photos yet. And for some, I have forgotten the names without resorting to my records–so they are at present “unknown”.

Click to enlarge photos.

Since I came to Meadowbrook late, some shrubs and flowers have passed their bloom date, but I did take a few pictures to add. Right now I am very happy with my foxgloves that are about 6.5 feet tall.

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