Plans are in the works for Coppertop to receive its very own large bed of English roses! I’ve been drooling over these lush, romantic roses with their delicate petals and amazing structure for years. Coppertop’s current roses are all unidentified since they were planted before we moved here: four hot pink climbers, our fragrant white Rugosa, one coral hybrid tea, and a couple of shrubs with miniature blooms. The one identifiable exception is a blush/ivory David Austin shrub rose I bought myself years ago of the variety Claire Austin. These full blooms are my favorite, and they were my introduction to the wonderful world of English roses.
Location, location, location! We have just the right spot for the new rose bed, where maple and sweet gum trees were downed in storms in the last few years. This will be a full-sun bed just past the pond on the way to the shed and veggie garden, and it’s currently outlined by long extension cords for planning purposes. The northwest end of the bed features a lovely maple tree and a young bridalwreath spiraea, but those are the only plants; the remaining bed is lawn we’ll lift with a turf cutter. We will indeed stop and smell the roses as we head downhill. Included in our planning is a path through the center of the bed along our established walking route, a drip irrigation setup, and many loads of mulch.
The roses are ordered! Fifteen David Austin shrub rose bushes will be arriving this fall and spring, some potted and others bare root. I focused on selecting 1. the most fragrant blooms with 2. the best form and 3. disease resistance in 4. (mainly) vibrant tones that 5. will thrive in the Pacific Northwest. A giant bed of soft pastels would look washed out in this bright location. For gorgeous impact, I’ll be planting three bushes each of five varieties for grand blocks of color. Oh, the choices! The David Austin varieties (photos from DavidAustinRoses.com) destined for Coppertop:
Lady Emma Hamilton
and Princess Anne
In addition to planning the layout based on eventual height and width of rose bushes, I’ve begun collecting companion plants, mainly hardy geraniums, phlox, and salvia. Alongside these perennials I hope to tuck in some easy annuals like sweet alyssum, and I’ve begun ordering seed for those.
Perhaps you can feel my excitement?!