I wanted to sync this up with the premiere of Game of Thrones, I really did, but springtime hit Texas early and it’s driving me nuts not to share rose photos with you! So here we go: Game of Thorns 2016.
Dream Come True
Dream Come True: the Jaime Lannister of the garden. It’s one of the most handsome roses you’ll ever find but year after year, it’s the first to succumb to black spot and infects all the other roses. It’s a real troublemaker that way, but couldn’t you just lose yourself staring into those perfect blooms?
Below is the same bloom as above but in the morning light. You can see how vibrant the colors are. Every morning I pour coffee and stroll through the garden to inspect everything and Dream Come True always seems to be the “morning rose” of the group, practically shouting, “GOOD MORNING!” when it sees me. It’s just such a cheerful rose!
This little guy just opened yesterday and is a great example of how yellow the blooms start out before giving in to the pink tinged edges:
I think this just might be Sungold’s year. It’s had a bit of a slow start. It’s not particularly tall, not particularly full, but I imagine it could have been spending it’s time establishing its roots. Ooh, perhaps this is my Jon Snow! I hope this is the season that Sungold surprises everyone and takes off. It rarely has more than one bloom at a time but that bloom is so richly colored, it’s not even fair to call it a yellow rose. It truly is gold.
This elegant grandiflora is directly behind my butterfly bench and it’s large blooms can be seen from inside my living room.
This has got to be one of the coolest roses ever. Lady Banks is a thornless, evergreen rose that I found at Archie’s Gardenland in Fort Worth, TX. I’d never even heard of a thornless, evergreen rose before. It’s a climbing rose and can grow twenty feet tall. It stays green all winter and then has an abundance of tiny, thumb-sized blooms from spring until fall. I planted this show stopper right behind my butterfly bench so that it can cascade down my back fence and create a rose wall behind the bench.
If you search “Lady Banks Rose” on a search engine, prepare to be stunned. This rose is a winner. Mine of course is just a baby right now. It’s hardly even bloomed before but that tells me it was busy establishing its roots so that it can really flourish. I can’t wait to see how substantial it will be in a year or two!
Lion’s Fairy Tale
You know how I feel about this incredible rose. I shouldn’t play favorites but this rose has been low maintenance for years. It stands nearly five feet tall with sturdy stems and clusters of rosebuds.
This bloom just started to unfurl today and looks pure as snow:
Cherry Parfait is just one of those WOW roses. This has got to be the Tyrion of my garden: compact and bursting with new tricks around every corner. It’s a grandiflora, which means it sends out waves of blooms all at once. Bleeding roses are my absolute favorite and I love how this is mostly white with red tips at first and then the longer it’s open, the more red is becomes.
Here’s Cherry Parfait with Dream Come True, Queen Elizabeth, and Mister Lincoln seen in the background.
Moondance could stand to get it’s act together. All of the branches grow from a single base branch. Not great. It’s also one of the first to succumb to black spot every season. The blooms are stunningly beautiful but it isn’t a very strong rose. If I had to pick a character to liken it to, I would pick Cersei Lannister: beautiful but barely keeping it together.
This rose gets zero attention from me, zero help, zero pruning. I all but forget it’s there. I planted this on the side of my house to add some color when people drive by. (This might come as a shock but I’ve done very little to my front yard. I put all of my energy into my backyard.) This rose just keeps swimming year after year with no fuss. This is the Arya of my yard: it’s been minding it’s own business for several seasons now and it’s flourished because of it.
Nothing in the world smells as good as this rose. Mister Lincoln is a bit of a tease, taking its sweet time to bloom, but when it does there’s no perfume that rivals it’s sweet scent. It smells purely of antique rose. No other notes, in my opinion. Just unadulterated rose.
Those who don’t grow roses might be surprised to hear that many roses don’t actually smell like roses. Some smell sweet or fruity or spicy or don’t smell like anything at all. I’ma sucker for that antique rose smell and Mister Lincoln has it in spades.
And the winner of Game of Thorns 2016 is…
Over the Moon
The very first rose to open this year was a total dark horse. Over the Moon is one of the first roses I ever planted in my yard when it was still just grass and a covered patio but it hasn’t ever taken off the way others have so I was surprised to see how anxious it was to brighten up the garden this year. It’s first bloom was so fluffy and over the top, it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.
The curls in the center almost look like chocolate shavings. A storm blew in shortly after it bloomed so I cut it and put it in a vase in my house. Those center curls stayed perfect for nearly a week!
Game of Thrones returns April 24, 2016.
P.S. Here’s the view from my bedroom window: