As the new year approaches, we’re looking ahead with eager anticipation to 2013, to continuing to build our rose programs as well as experiencing another European adventure – this time to Italy. Since I’m a great list maker, I’ve long since started my Great List for 2013. And as I list away, I enjoy reminiscing about what we’ve done and where we’ve been in 2012.
#1 – Visit More Rose Gardens
When you travel, you never know where you’ll find roses. When we were in Paris last May, they were everywhere. We found small intimate rose gardens tucked away in small parks, in old churchyards, behind Notre Dame Cathedral, (not to mention the Rose Window in Notre Dame) at Giverney in Monet’s garden, and a real beauty at Rodin’s Museum.
Not everything goes according to plan. When we visited La Roseraie de l’Hay outside of Paris, we were pleased to find what we’ll remember as one of the best rose gardens we have ever visited. But when we went to Kew Gardens outside of London two years ago, we found that the rose garden had recently been renovated. There was nothing to see except newly planted roses that had a terrible infestation of aphids. Luckily that train trip wasn’t a loss because we were able to enjoy the rest of Kew Gardens as well as a quiet lunch in a quaint café near the train station.
#2 – Plant New Roses
We’re always on the look out for new, disease-resistant varieties which means the more places we visit and the more we read, the more varieties we add to our “wish” list. We saw ‘Leonardo de Vinci’ in Montreal and a huge mass planting of ‘Rodin’ (the rose) at the Rodin Museum. We read about the disease resistant Fairy Tale roses from Kordes and may try a few. We’re thinking about ‘Cinderella’, a floribunda that’s light pink and looks like an Austin rose with cupped blooms and ‘Brothers Grimm’ that has an orange yellow bloom with lots of petals. From our David Austin Program we saw photographs of ‘Lichfield Angel’ and ‘Fighting Temeraire’ and know we’ll have to plant them in 2013. And then there’s the new Meilland hybrid tea ‘Francis Meilland’ which is reported to be very disease resistant. We plan to find out when we test it here in New England next summer.
#3 – Spend More Time Enjoying Our Rose Gardens
Sometimes we’re so busy working in the garden that we don’t take the time to enjoy it. Kind of like “don’t see the roses for the trees” syndrome. When we plan a special “Open Garden” event or invite friends over for a mid-summer glass of wine, then we have the chance to really “see” the beauty of the garden. Occasionally, on a warm pleasant summer evening, we walk through the garden before dinner and that’s when we’ll see the amazing little things we missed during the day. We’ll catch a spray of swollen buds cracking color about ready to burst into bloom or a rose that hit perfection 10 minutes before and is ready to be photographed. Or we just sit on the bench in front of the rose garden and enjoy the moment.
#4 – Travel to New Places
New places provide fresh opportunities and new adventures. We’re on the lookout for gardens, garden centers, restaurants, museums, and historical places just waiting to be explored. This year we’re going to Italy. Besides the museums and piazzas and the food, we’ll be looking for rose gardens, especially the little gems that we know are hiding in small parks, church yards, cemeteries and who-knows-where.
Mike and I wish you a happy and healthy New Year and encourage you to create a year full of memories that will last a lifetime.