by Gardening Coach Susan Harris
You all know what to find out that company is coming, right? But what about when the media’s coming? A photographer for a home and garden magazine, perhaps? Well, I recently found out a famous garden photographer from California is arriving chez moi to photograph the garden for a new book (not official yet, so I can’t name the publisher, the photographer, or even the book subject).
My response was, of course, to fret that it’s not ready for its close-up. And the photographer’s response to my disclaimer was, I imagine, to roll his eyes as he wrote back to tell me that ALL gardeners whose gardens he photographs say that. Every single one. And that I should just chill.
Okay, but not without filling up the blank spots in the garden, preferably with plants that will look good right away and then go on to fill out and be long-lived and super-sustainable. That’s where the new easy-care shrub roses come in.
So to fill up a large part of a newly enlarged border I picked up brought home five Flower Carpet roses because I have no doubt that they do well. Though these are my first, I’ve admired my neighbors’ Flower Carpets for their spring-to-frost blooms and their utter lack of disease. No spraying needed at all. I chose the color ‘Amber’, with double apricot-colored flowers and an ultimate height of about three feet. According to the press press releases about ‘Amber‘ at its 2009 release, it’s also drought tolerant (once established), and requires no “fancy fuss or pruning”. Lord knows I try to avoid that fancy fuss!
You’ll also notice in that press release the astonishing fact that “A Flower Carpet ‘Amber’ planted in full sun produces more than 2,000 lightly fragrant double flowers per season in clusters of up to 45 flowers each.” Wowzer!
In the top photo you’ll agree (I hope) that even the day after planting, these shrub roses have presence in the garden…and just wait til they start blooming in earnest. Then next year? They’ll look more like the ones below on display at Tesselaar, the grower of the Flower Carpets for Homestead.