Last Saturday I left the kiddos with my husband and went on an outing to the Northland Rosarium, located just southwest of Spokane. It was fun to take a break from being Mommy and just be another rose-loving gardener.
The rosarium sells own-root, virus-free hybrid teas, floribundas, climbers, ground covers, rugosa, english and old garden roses. There is a lovely display garden surrounding the nursery.
It was the perfect time of year to visit, as most of the plants were in the midst of their first and finest flush of blooms. Can you tell that the climbers really caught my eye?
I was sad to miss meeting the owner, Carol Newcomb, as she was away for the day. But other knowledgeable employees patiently listened to me whine and rant about my thrips and rose curculios (both insects - much worse than aphids - who destroy rose flowers by sucking their juices). Unfortunately they couldn't recommend any easy or organic solutions. Nasty sprays might be in my garden's future. Yuck.
Other than the climbers, my favorite parts of the garden featured roses mixed with perennials. Personally, I think roses planted together without other plants tend to look blobby. But salvia and sedum are the perfect foil for this peachy-pink Chicago Peace rose.
Rozanne geranium (cranesbill) was obviously a favorite plant, as it grew happily all over in sun and shade. Of course the name makes it a perfect fit for a rosarium.
Would a rose garden be complete without a gazebo? This white one added nicely to the ambiance.
The formal lavender circle hummed merrily as bees went about their work.
It was a treat to see some of the old-fashioned roses in person, instead of in a catalog picture. No wonder so many people swoon over Reine des Violettes, pictured above.
Shaded benches were strategically placed around the garden, perfect for affectionate but bored husbands to rest upon while their wives exclaimed over this rose and that. I smiled sympathetically at one such man and was glad I'd left my hubby at home.
Of course fragrant Abraham Darby was there, and the employees informed me that he doesn't have a rust problem here in Spokane. Hmmm. I spent the entire ride home dreaming about where I could place a shrub or three of good ole Abe.
Or maybe I'll go with the low-care OSO Easy Paprika rose, pictured above. It would certainly leave fewer petals to clean up. But if I'm going to battle thrips and curculios, I might as well get some fabulously fragrant flowers in the end. I'll probably be back to pick up a few Abe Darby plants.
My eyes seem to appreciate the single-flowered roses more lately than in the past. Does that mean my taste is becoming more refined than the stereotypical 'bigger is better' American? Probably not, as I still love the full roses, too.
And finally, here is a parting shot of another spectacular pink climber. More information about Northland Rosarium, including their catalog, can be found at www.northlandrosarium.com. Best wishes to Carol and the employees of this charming local nursery.