It’s the most wonderful time of year in the garden: Game of Thorns! Every since I started a garden at twenty-two years old, I’ve celebrated spring by tracking which roses open first each year, a game I call Game of Thorns. (I’m a HUGE Game of Thrones fan if that isn’t abundantly clear.) It’s only April and the garden is already full of roses, thanks in part to the Rose Feed Program I started last year. (Read about it here.) I cut the roses by 2/3 in early February and they are coming back bigger and better than ever!
Winner of Game of Thorns 2019: Scentimental
This year’s Game of Thorns winner is Scentiment! Scentimental actually opened weeks ago and has given me a constant supply of roses but I waited for more roses to bloom before writing this article. Crazy enough, Scentimental also won Game of Thorns 2018! This Jackson and Perkins rose is a winner and every rose enthusiast should have it in their garden.
Scentimental is aptly named: the antique rose scent is so incredible that Intern Gabe literally gasped when he stopped to smell the roses last week. Because of its location in my garden, the smell hits you in the face the minute I open my back door. It’s right next to my courtyard table, perfuming the dining area for six months out of the year. I did have to keep a close vigil on it last year, as it did have touches of black spot, but I’m hoping another year of my Rose Feed Program will keep it green and healthy all season long. The foliage already could not look better!
Oh, hey there, Don Juan! You’re looking might fine in the garden today. This climbing rose did absolutely nothing last year and I kept hoping that that meant it was focusing its energy on its roots. Boy was I right. Don Juan exploded by four feet this year (and it’s only April!) and has already showered me with show-stopping crimson blooms. This stunner can get up to ten feet tall and as soon as I get a better trellis (more on that later), he’ll turn a rather boring part of my yard into a living rose wall. Talk about garden goals!
This is such a special rose. Seven Sisters is an antique rose from the 1800s that my dear friend Mama Caruso gave to me as a house warming present when I bought my house almost three years ago. She cut her own Seven Sisters rose and grew a new one for me. Her Seven Sisters rose came from her brother’s nursery in New Orleans, which was propagated from a 300-year-old rose bush. Aren’t plants awesome? This climber can get up to 20 feet tall and has loads of tiny pink blooms. It’s so charming and already a focal point in my garden.
This red Kordes rose has an old english rose shape and a light fragrance. Bordeaux is disease resistant and heat tolerant, something that’s important in sunny Texas! This compact Jackson and Perkins rose is a repeat bloomer and the cuttings do well in vases.
I’m a sucker for a great hybrid tea rose. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Elegant Lady has one of the best rose shapes out there. This is what most people think of when they think of a rose. The blooms have up to forty petals and last for a long time on the branch. This is another one of my Jackson and Perkins beauties.
Lion’s Fairy Tale
Ah, Lion’s Fairy Tale. I love this creamy white rose! This fairly new Kordes floribunda is disease resistant, making it an easy keeper. It was one of my favorite roses in my first yard and I hope this is the year that it really takes off.
Stay tuned because there are more roses to bloom and four brand new roses going into the garden soon!