Remember visiting May Kald’s garden on Vancouver Island in British Columbia last month? (Refresh your memory HERE and HERE.) Back then, we were dazzled by her collection of rhododendrons. Now she’s back to dazzle us with her roses! It’s like a completely different garden!
May says, “Gardeners are always facing new challenges. As years passed and my garden grew, so did the numbers of rabbits and deer in the neighbourhood. My first solution was to put barriers around the more susceptible plants. The list of vulnerable plants needing protection kept increasing, in spite of my choosing “deer-resistant” varieties, until one day I realized that I was not looking at a garden, I was looking at a series of wire and mesh barriers.
“I tried using an electric fence around a newly-planted section. That seemed to work for the deer, certainly it zapped me often enough when I was not careful, but it was unsightly and was not feasible for most of the area I wanted to protect. Next I tried a motion-activated water spray. Again, it was not the right solution as the area protected was small, it soaked not only the deer but anything else that moved, myself included, and was not useable on windy days at all. So in 2002 I started to build fences.
“Did I mention that this is a rocky, hilly acre? Digging holes for fence posts can be difficult to impossible (without blasting or drilling rock). Wherever it was possible, I put actual wooden fences, in other places I used deer netting or other physical barriers. I designed and built the fence panels myself, preferring an open airy look, a physical rather than a visual barrier. And loved the result. Both my eastside neighbour and I planted old-fashioned rambler roses along that section, which is stunning when they are in full bloom. The beauty of those first roses led to a period of rose frenzy for me.
“I learned about, purchased or propagated roses from friends’ gardens until I had over a hundred roses, some in new beds, most tucked between other shrubs and perennials. Eventually, those areas of the garden looked fantastic during the first flush of rose bloom every May/June. And my fences kept the deer predation to a tolerable level.
“However, as my young trees and shrubs grew, they and my neighbours’ trees created far more shade than most roses prefer. They also competed with the roses for water and nutrients. Unhappy roses become weak and diseased. Though some died, mostly I dug up and gave away those that could no longer thrive.
“At this point, I still have a lot of roses, but many have been replaced with rhododendrons, which I also love, as they preferred the increasing shadiness. And so the garden evolves and matures. Hope you enjoy today’s glimpses.”
Beautiful, May! I can’t wait to see what the next stage brings.
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i LOVE everything about May's garden this time as well as the other features. the deer barriers are a visual part of the garden as well as functional my favorite part,,,,,,,,,,,the cedar sauna! i expect Frodo Baggins to open the door and invite me in . nothing cool came with my property just stuff to get rid of . GREAT garden , May!
My goodness, May, what a bundle of productive energy you have been throughout your gardening life. Your rose collection is just beautiful.It's amazing to think you first sought them out for the protective aspect of their thorns...it's like if the most effective fighting units of the military just happened to be filled with beauty queens!
Your one pictured clematis/rose combo is stunning...have you paired a clematis with any of your other roses?
Beautiful. It is so fun to visit a garden through various seasons and see the succession of beautiful plants and containers. Please continue to share your garden.
How refreshing to here how difficult gardening really can be. Your garden is gorgeous thanks to your can't be defeated attitude. Your practical solutions turned out to so charming. The results are far better than the staged photos some other magazine show. I love the zig zag fence sections and that hot cocoa rose is an amazing color. Keep fighting the good fight and keep sending us pictures.
Yes, tntreeman, the cedar sauna looks great from the outside, hopefully will last until R. New Dawn smothers it completely!
Meander1 I do still have R. America Pillar combined with C. Polish Spirit, both doing well. Another combination, a yellow large-flowered climber R. Goldstern, a small-flowered purple R. Veichenblau, with white clematis Madame le Coultre and blue clematis The President, unfortunately just did not thrive. Their location, a trellis/gate/fence at the corner of the back garden, turned out to be too rocky and dry to sustain them for more than a couple of years. Only R. Goldstern still clings to life, but is not happy there. Clematis seem to struggle here, even the strong varieties like C. montana and C. armandii. One huge rambler, R. Amaglia has recently grown to the point that it is blocking me from visiting a lower western section of the front garden. Of course it does keep the deer from coming in at that point too.
"Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?"
I love your garden, in this post and the previous ones. As to the fading rose (4th down, left column), from pink to white, that is true of many old roses. One possible identification, mentioned by grannymay in her post, is American Pilar, although yours seems to have more petals per blossom and may start as a paler pink. http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=5207 It is just coming out now in my Maine garden and is retaining a bright pink color because the sun has yet to shine on it in a series of rainy days. When it has been blooming for a while it takes on a multicolored effect with newer blooms a brighter color. Question: are your roses plagued by Japanese beetles? I grow mostly old ones that bloom once so that the flowers are gone when the beetles emerge, but I'd like to try repeat bloomers.
Just love your garden. Thanks for sharing it throughout the seasons. Roses seem to love the Island. Brings back memories of my mother's garden with her 100+ roses. I love the combination of clematis and rose.The sauna is a great touch. Would make a great tool shed, I expect, but looks like the inside doesn't get used.
Feel free, in December or January, to share photos of the last few blooms in the garden. For some of us, it will make us green with envy, and it will be the only 'green' we get until May.
I love your garden, May. It has much charm and character -esp. from all the unique approaches you used to solve your deer and other challenges. Your roses are spectacular! That chocolate one is 'drop-dead gorgeous! Do you get Japanese beetles? If so, how do you handle them? I have a limited # of roses, well-about 6 , mostly small. Same goes for lilies and fritillaria and the Asian Lily beetle...I'm only willing to hand-pick so many and I don't want to use pesticides. A ground hog just moved in under my shed. Hmm.....Time for new strategies...that's part of what keeps us gardeners going, I think!
Glad to have time to pop in- and this time I get to admire
your beautiful rose collection! Such lovely varieties that
grace your surroundings, May!!
Don't know if you have trouble with what they call Rose Slugs? But have noticed on one of my David Austin English rose bushes to have what appears an attack of. Apparently, it
can look like fungus damage, but be this little worm-like
Rose Slug creating defoliated leaves and turning brown.
In my case, I know it's not Japanese beetles or Winter moth!
So I'm guessing. How 'bout you?
Beautiful roses! Love roses but don't like their defense system. They've attacked me more times than I'd like to remember. I'm so jealous of British Columbia's growing conditions compared to Nebraska. Thanks for sharing.
Well, wouldn't you know, after posting my comment, went online to look up Rose slug and lo 'n behold - found it to be
the larval stage of the Sawfly insect!
Have a great week-end, everyone!!
Thanks everyone. tractor1, a very interesting article, makes me glad my parents did not name me something unpleasant! Of course not all roses have a fragrance and their names frequently give no clues.
Mainer59, sorry for the confusion. Picture 4 is a close-up of R. Blushing Lucy. I didn't show a close-up of my unidentified pink rose... it is somewhat like R. Fantin Latour, but a deeper pink, with the petals curving back as it opens, very fragrant, climbs to 10 feet, flowers in small clusters, and is relatively thornless.
I don't spray at all, so I do get aphids,slugs and other bugs (currently masses of Tent Caterpillars), however Japanese Beetles have not been a problem. The old rambler roses usually only bloom once, so generally don't suffer from predators (except deer and rabbits!) before their flowering is over. I've gradually phased out most of the roses that seem more susceptible to disease and bugs. Once they don't look nice most of the time, it's time to give them a home somewhere else.
This garden is beautiful and the write-up inspirational. How wonderful that you are propagating roses that might disappear from the trade because new varieties are constantly being introduced. When I lived in a warmer climate (now in zone 4) I grew many old garden roses. They only bloomed once a season, typically, but so prolifically on long canes. Thank you for sharing your garden.
What a beautiful garden. You have such energy to keep a lovely garden going.
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