Diversion From the Holidays: My New Rose Garden

serendipity roses

Serendipity roses

Although it was hard to leave my rose garden behind when we moved, I am enjoying the opportunity to create a new one from scratch. At our old house, I added to the original collection of bushes over the years; it was a jumbled mix of lots of different types and colors.

For my new garden, I thought of all my favorite rose gardens I’ve seen over the years. For me, the prettiest ones have the same types/colors lumped together. It’s kind of like color-blocking, from runway to roses! In the past I’ve always gravitated towards the light pink, light peach and orange blooms, so I built the garden around those hues, using different shapes and bud styles.

I decided to get moving on the garden rather than wait for the bare root varieties that become available later in the season. My reasoning is two-fold: I’m not a patient person (and thankfully living in a warm climate makes it even possible) and I wanted to physically see the colors– bloom colors represented in photos can vary wildly from the real thing.

These are what made the final cut:

David Austin rose

Gentle Hermione

Gentle Hermione: A nod to our life surrounded by J.K. Rowling’s novels—with my passionate Harry Potter girls, how could I not? The best part is that it is a beautiful and hardy David Austin rose with a large head full of petals and a great repeater of blooms.

Serendipity: These were on my must-have list because of their beautiful apricot color. Serendipity is a Griffith Buck rose. Mr. Buck was a passionate plant breeder from Iowa (I love those corn huskers!) that specialized in breeding roses. A strong Midwestern sensibility shows in their strong petals.

David Austin


Shepherdess: This pale peachy beauty is another David Austin rose. It’s elegant, wonderful and carries a lovely lemon fragrance. It’s also hardy and a good repeater.

Floribunda rose

Gruss an Aachen

Gruss an Aachen: This floribunda rose has an abundance of clustered buds. The German mouthful (no comment, Luke) is believed to be the first rose in the floribunda class.  Even though I usually favor single-caned garden roses, I like to have some floribunda in the garden because they make it easy to put together large rose arrangements.



Gingersnap: This is another floribunda that is a bold, peachy orange. It’s easy to grow and brings a fun pop of (snappy) color to mix with the other blooms.