Indeed, I think you should approach them as though they were textiles rather than flowers. The velvet vermilion of petals, the stamens of quivering gold…
In Your Garden
May 28, 1950
I have been waiting all year for this. Waiting for the perfect opportunity to purchase my roses. They will be the staple of my garden forever more. I knew the perfect place to go, and if you live around you should check them out. Vita always gave suggestions to nurserymen, as she called them, and as I have become quite a connoisseur of the big names around these parts I will do the same. The place for roses, without a doubt, is Wiegand’s Nursery in Macomb, MI.
I say this because they have a most well organized selection. Organized by hybrid teas, old English, Floribunda and the climbers. Each bush stands against a white picket fence. What perfect staging! Someone was clever enough to know the color of the blooms will stand out better. Their position along the white picket fence also brings to mind the beautifully overgrown gardens of yesterday’s American dream. Somewhere the Dining Sisters begin to sing in their usual perfect harmony, and all is right with the world. Sigh…
Anyway, I ventured to this particular nursery because I knew I would find perfect specimens. Each rose is clearly labeled. You needn’t bend down to look at tags, but instead the information for each variety is displayed at eye level.
I walked along the pathways of old world romance and waited to be spoken to. I didn’t have to wait long before I came face to waist with this, the most gorgeous rose I had ever seen. This floribunda Moon dance (above). Its head did not waver or fall but stood erect, staring at me. It’s petals did not fall at the touch of my hand. Its color, a creamy white like churned butter, and its fragrance sweet. All the leaves were intact and healthy, not one of them disturbed in the slightest. Then, like a tidal wave, others spoke up.
Floribunda, Sheila’s Perfume (above) was recommended to me by one of the staff. I was a bit overwhelmed and told her I was going to plant similar colors that would eventually melt into each other as their colors fade to white, as most do. I liked the two toned petals of yellow and pink so I added this to my collection.
Floribunda, Tuscan Sun (above) joined soon after. I liked it’s big full blooms, and I thought planted within range of Sheila’s Perfume it would make a nice blending effect. It starts out with the same pink as Sheila’s Perfume then ends with a peach. With the Moondance behind them I think they will make a striking show.
On the opposite side of my garden a white climbing rose will work its way up the fence. Having a pink climber at home, I had to remember they bob their heads downward when they bloom so I told myself to not be discouraged by this sight at the nursery. They are not wilting for lack of care or water, they are merely wanting you to see them better. They have formed this habit of pointing their heads downward, because they know someday they will be a mighty towering thing and will have to look down at you.
I then was intrigued by a rose that is grotesquely named, but fortunately, its flower is not. It’s called Ketchup and Mustard…
Beside the Moondance, this bicolored beauty spoke to me in a very strong way. I was disgusted with the name, but I put that aside. Its coloring was quite beautiful, and attracted my eye. Let’s instead refer to it as Sunshine’s Kiss. Sounds much better than Ketchup and Mustard. Gag me! The name reduces a garden to a flimsy hotdog. Not exactly what I meant before by achieving the American dream. Anyway, last but not least I picked up a yellow to blend with the unfortunately named.
Floribunda, Julia Child. See the white climber in the background. Like the moon aglow on a starry night.
I emerged from this adventure an hour later covered in blood (the thorns) and sweat. I choose all Floribunda’s because they are hardier for Michigan. I felt I had gone about my task carefully. When I was done I drove away completely satisfied with all of my choices. Not a drop of regret. These roses will be in my garden for a very long time, hopefully forever if I can do my job well. Wish me luck!!
Tell me, what is your favorite rose?
…And as always, thank you for reading…