It’s Time to Think about Roses!

By Karen Fraizer

I know it’s hard to believe with this mid-March snow and cold upon us, but it is time to think about roses.  Right now, the Kingwood roses are thankfully still covered with mulch for winter protection. We usually have the mulch cleaned out and the spring pruning done before April 1st.

Kingwood's rose beds in Winter

Kingwood’s rose beds in Winter

Rose beds at the beginning of Spring

Rose beds at the beginning of Spring

This is a spring picture from a couple years ago, right after the mulch has been cleaned out and the roses pruned back. Look at how short the roses are, it’s apparent that the winter die back in this picture is a lot worse than what I am expecting this year. Over-all we have had a fairly mild winter season.

New addition of annuals to rose beds

New addition of annuals to rose beds

The last couple years we have been working on integrating annuals into the rose garden, for added seasonal interest. We added eight small annual beds within the roses, as well as adding an array of climbing vines and hanging baskets. This punch of color really catches your attention.

Sunrise Sunset Rose

Sunrise Sunset Rose

This lovely pink shrub rose is called Sunrise Sunset. This is one of two varieties we have from a breeder named Ping. Both are very disease and insect resistant, calling for little maintenance. This spring we are planning on adding a number of new varieties from the Easy Elegance line of roses, hoping for the same hardy nature of our current two.

3 thoughts on “It’s Time to Think about Roses!

  1. Theresa Schlosser

    I was disappointed to learn last fall that Kingwood is no longer an AARS test garden. I remember finding many beautiful roses that would then come out a year later in catalogs. It was exciting to see something come from first idea to practical commercial output.
    Is there a reason for no longer participating in this project?

    Reply
    1. Kingwood Post author

      Hi Theresa,

      I actually need to research this. I will try to get back with you within a few days.

      Reply
  2. Kingwood Post author

    Hi Theresa,

    I am Chuck Gleaves, Director of Kingwood Center Gardens and a former AARS Test Garden Judge. I have been here for 19.5 years and we have not been an AARS test garden during all of that time. I am not sure when we stopped being a test garden, but I can imagine why. In the early days of Kingwood we specialized in just that sort of thing. We had check rows of daylilies, mums, gladiolas, dahlias, iris and so on. We were a garden of test gardens. In the 1980’s we began the process of once again becoming the sort of garden Mr. King had developed, a pleasure garden featuring designed gardens, inviting spaces, and relaxation. We think this sort of garden is more widely enjoyed and generates more interest in gardening and plants than test gardens, and is more consistent with our mission to honor Charles Kelley King’s garden vision. The long and slow process of transformation continues to this day. I would guess that the AARS Test Garden was discontinued in about the early 1980’s.

    Reply

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