I'm definately not a rich gardener. Well, not in terms of money anyway. My husband and I live on one income, his military salary, which is modest but adequate. We have two kids, and a mortgage. We get by, and have room to give ourselves special treats like flowers, toys, and tatoos or hunting stuff for him.
My garden has been spoiled this spring. I've been able to find some incredible deals. The age of my garden, now 5 years, has also allowed me to divide some established perennials now 2-3 times. I've grown a lot from seed, including perennials like bee balm, black-eyed susan, lavendar, and generous annuals like cosmos, zinnia, and marigold. There's nothing like 50 cosmo plants for $1.50! The past 3 years I've been patient enough to get great deals late in the season, too. I've brought home $2-3 shrubs, a $3 apple tree, and $1-3 perennials galore. I certainly can't run out in the spring a drop a grand in a garden center. But $10-20 here and there is managable. Sometimes more. The result, this year, is an abundance I've not experienced before.
In the winter I plan a wishlist. I guess it's not limited to winter, I sort of add to it all the time. Whenever conditions are not favorable to be outside I'm in my garden books and magazines, or online. I then shop around to find the best price for these wishlist plants. I find it curbs my impulse buying. I also tend to only bring home plants that can endure my climate. Plus, I can visualize where I want something to go in the garden before I bring it home. This spring, roses have dominated the wishing landscape.
This spring I ordered my very first David Austin roses. I poured over the catalog for 2 years before I ordered anything. Additionally, I brought home more than a dozen $2-3 bare roots in great condition. I had a few more roses on my wishlist, and I found they were all available at my local nursery. As luck would have it, they had a buy 4 get one free sale. All the stars aligned, and the roses I longed for were all there at once (it took a few phone calls and inventory checks). I felt like a fancy big spender coming home with my great big roses. They're hardy varieties, coveted by me, and they're in my garden. I know blessing don't come in the form of "things," but these roses fill me with an indescribable joy. I tingle I'm so happy. I'm done buying plants for the spring/summer season. Fall mums and bulbs are all I'm allowing myself from this point on.
With the fear of appearing spoiled, I decided to present my new roses on the blog to share my joy. I hope you enjoy them.
The first is a new variety, I think created in 2006. It's "Windermere," an pale pink/white English rose with tiny full flowers and the most rich scent I've smelled on a rose yet. It's fruity, almost like an apple. Delicious scent on a delicate flower. I could bury my nose in here for hours!
The second is Sombreuil, a antique climbing rose that dates back to 1880. It's very fragrant, and the flowers speak for themselves:
The third rose is Hot Cocoa, a floribunda with the most incredible russet color. I don't find this rose to have any scent, but it's beauty makes up for that. This year, this rose was so popular locally that I never saw one make it to the shelves. I could only find them in the "sold" area. I requested it, and their books and computer said they had 3 left at their holding location where the roses are shipped from. They brought one in for me.
The fourth is Fragrant Cloud. One whiff of this rose, and you know why it's a must have. I also love the deep orange-red color.
The last rose was ramblin red, a cane hardy climber that repeats. It fit my bill perfectly! I did not get a picture of this one yet, but it's a great size and full of buds.
3 of the roses were near finished blooming, so I decided to prune them to prepare them for planting. I made some bouquets of the remaining flowers. I also threw in a bouquet of Distant Drums here; it needed pruning.
Very happy, happy gardening to you all today!