Garden Photo of the Day

The Rose Garden That Grew

A Napa home gets another new garden

We’re going back to Nanci Kerby’s home in Napa, California, to see another garden she created.

In our backyard is a border of pine/conifer trees. The winds last year blew a huge tree down, leaving us with 3-foot chunks of trunk in the far right corner of the yard that could not easily be moved. We figured we would disguise them with a mound of dirt until nature decomposed them. Adjacent to this space we wanted something better than ivy and pine needles at the edge of the walkway around the pool, so we looked into English roses by David Austin. These steps allowed both areas to be redefined.

We selected our varieties and set upon making a habitat for them. Mike cleared about 3 feet into the ivy and back-bordered it with wood boards. By digging down the new rose area, he was able to toss many shovelfuls of dirt onto the hill to cover the huge chunks of tree trunk.


Landscape pavers have been a mainstay on our property. They look neat, and they define areas. We chose them for the two layers of roses we planned to terrace up the hill. When we received our roses and discovered there were more than we thought for the area, we added a third terrace.


Our borzoi dog was very interested in the new area we had created for her to sit in—until we planted the roses. I actually had to put a small green wire fence in the bed because she was trying to sit between the roses. With the rose terraces complete, we waited for them to sprout out. It was very exciting when we got our first rose!


The rose garden in its first year.


Close up of the rose ‘William Shakespeare’. It is a good bloomer but very thorny, so it’s great for the back of a garden. It sends long shoots out that need to be cut back several times a season.


Featuring roses in their second year, this planting alternates ‘Tranquility’ (white) and ‘Charlotte’ (yellow) with yellow ‘Molineux’ around the corner.


The soft yellow of ‘Charlotte’ is beautiful, but this cultivar is not as enthusiastic a bloomer as ‘Molineux’.


‘Molineux’ is a bright yellow with an orange tint at times. It is a very dependable bloomer—the first rose to start blooming and the last one to quit.


‘Tranquility’, with its white to cream cupped flowers, is stunning and elegant.

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View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 11/22/2018

    David Austin roses have never shown so well. Just absolutely gorgeous. Mike rocks. We should all have a “Mike” to take the garden to the next level! Well done is all I can say. I truly loved the photos.

    1. DragonflyLadyFriend 11/27/2018

      Yes it is a necessity.

  2. paiya 11/22/2018

    Nanci and Mike, again you have created a paradise- of roses. Each rose is exquisite. We also created a bed around a stump in the middle of our front lawn; even though the stump disintegrated after about 15 years, we still call it “the stump bed”. In our previous home, we were “given” a full-grown Newfoundland dog; she insisted on sleeping in our back garden the first night. Next morning, every flowerbed had been flattened by this huge dog, trying to find the ideal “bed”. After that, we had to put up a fence , like you have, between the flower beds and the lawn. Thanjs fir showing us your garden.

    1. DragonflyLadyFriend 11/27/2018

      Yes, I love to have the dogs around to enjoy, but they have a habit of finding the best flowers to lay on. We do have a fence now that separates the lawn (theirs) from my garden areas farther down. I occasionally let one come with me, but find things tromped, or zinnia leaves nibbled, and broccoli chomped. So rarely do I invite four legged visitors. The daylily bed has been left alone, and the roses -I put a wire cheap fence around so they couldn't cut through and it is now fine.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/22/2018

    I admire all the work you and Mike have done. Those roses are so very pretty.

    1. DragonflyLadyFriend 11/27/2018

      Thank you!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/22/2018

    How wonderful to have such beautiful results from your physical efforts. The photo that showcases the first row with the mellow yellow and white color scheme is so serene.

    1. DragonflyLadyFriend 11/27/2018

      Thank you, we had discussions as the color theme. I wanted thornless roses and it turns out that yellow and white ones were the best candidates. My choices were that, and pink and white as an option. I am pleased with the result too.

  5. cheryl_c 11/22/2018

    Nanci and MIke, you have created a thing of beauty out of devastation! What ingenuity to be able to turn a loss into such a beautiful asset! Very beautiful - thank you for sharing.

    1. DragonflyLadyFriend 11/27/2018

      Appreciate it.

  6. mjensen 11/22/2018

    beautiful,David Austin Roses is the only rose i buy, beautiful fragrant and repeat bloomers

    1. DragonflyLadyFriend 11/27/2018

      David Austin roses are plenty on our property but I must say these have been the best performers. That said, we put lots of manure in the beds to start, and others have been slighted, hence lesser performance. Some are slower starters too. But those that are happy, whew, look out!

  7. btucker9675 11/23/2018

    Love David Austin roses and your gardens continue to delight!

    1. DragonflyLadyFriend 11/27/2018

      And there is more. We have a few shots of our pond starting out- and the bunny garden will be out next week I believe. I will document my new little area starting in December in the "pre" state. We will see what happens.

  8. User avater
    CynthiaDow 02/21/2019

    I like rose

  9. User avater
    ParksWesley 04/24/2019


  10. User avater
    RonaldTague 04/26/2019


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    SamBaker 07/20/2019


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