National Garden Bureau has named (with help from the American Rose Society) 2017 the Year of the Rose. It is also the year of the Pansy, the Daffodil, and the Brassica.
My yard would be short of one whole category of plant in the big celebrations, but the good people at Weeks Roses have provided a great rose for me to grow this year.
They might not have let me have the little plant if they had known how many rose bushes have died in my yard in the past.
However, I currently am the proud caretaker of an actual, living, Edith’s Darling Rose, one of a series of roses named for characters from the TV series Downton Abbey.
I acquired the little plant last fall, and it lived through the winter. The leaves look green and healthy, and the plant is making a few, sweetly-scented, amazing flowers.
Of course, the real measure of success in keeping this little plant alive comes toward the end of August. Summers in Georgia can be hard on roses. The humidity is worse than the heat. Dampness in the air means that leaves stay wet for a long time after a rain. Long-term dampness makes it easy for plant diseases to take hold.
If all goes well, though, the rose bush will thrive. It is a hybrid shrub rose that should reach a mature size of about 2-to-3 feet in all dimensions, be somewhat disease resistant, and not get the “leggy” look that some roses do. In other words, it could be perfect for a small garden.
Wish me, and my sweet little rose, luck?