Friday, October 19, 2012

Growing Roses: Pleasant Outcome in Pennsylvania!

When my husband and I were first married, we rented a 1940s house with two beautiful rose bushes growing on the side of the house.  They were the red long-stemmed kind that any woman would kill to have at her disposal any time she felt like a rose! Although I didn't know anything about roses at the time, I was happy to cut the flowers and bring them in to vases.  Unlike the recommended full sun, these were in mostly shade.  Those rose bushes that defied the odds made me think I could use any condition to grow roses in our new home. 

So when we bought our first home, I tried over and over to grow long-stemmed type roses in our full sun backyard.  That's what the books recommended.  Over and over the roses bushes would die.  Even the existent rose bushes that came with the house all died off within a few years (the ones in the full sun) and the ones in the shady front yard continued to grow.  What gives, I thought?  To this day, I can't explain the success of the ones in the front yard.  However, I just finally had success.  Now, it's only been a few months (and I tend to kill them after the first year), however the growth of this bush gives me hope!
Here's the rose bush only 2 months in the ground, already growing!
If you remember my deck makeover, I had added a cheapy rose bush.  I mean cheap!  I bought it at Produce Junction on a whim for $12.  Then I just plopped it in the ground where the daylilly used to sit.  I wish I could say I prepared the soil with compost or that I really cleaned up all the daylilly roots.  Nope.  I was rushed for time and just added some cheap fill dirt.  I really didn't expect it to live.  Apparently, this hands off approach has worked!  Just 4 months later and the bush has more than doubled in size and the roses are already long enough to cut for a vase!  I'm so psyched.  I wish I could tell you what kind of a rose bush this is, but at the discount store where I bought it, they were just labeled "Roses, $12", nothing more.  Looking back, it not only has full sun for almost 8 hours a day, but being in the surrounding deck bed, it is like a mini-raised bed.  And with all of our Pennsylvania rain, maybe the drainage was the biggest issue in past growing seasons.  Time to get the rose clippers and fill the vase again!
October 2012, already almost as tall as the deck rail!