1. Jersey Field Trip!

    It was the convergence of rosarians today at the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden in Somerset, NJ. A little group comprised of Rachel Burlington (Barnes Arboretum rosarian), Jenny Lauer (Morris Arboretum rose garden intern), and myself drove up to Jersey to meet with their new rosarian Shauna Moore. It was her day off, and she had coffee and muffins for us - amazing woman.

    She arrived to the garden in June, a transplant from Minnesota where where worked for years at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Since her arrival to the East Coast she’s made a world of difference, and now I understand why - her energy and enthusiasm are infectious. But as I’m well aware, becoming a rosarian is not without its challenges. And some of hers have included poison ivy (it’s everywhere), rose rosette disease (the garden is surrounded by thickets of multiflora rose), black spot (of course), and no irrigation system (which means hand-watering 3,000+ roses every week in the summer). So, she’s busy.

    Like the Morris Arboretum rose garden, the Rudolf van der Goot rose garden is also one acre in size. But unlike our rose garden, they have over 3,000 roses in that acre, and they’re all clearly labeled! 

    The garden’s formal layout includes pieces from the past when it was part of an old estate that was once a working farm. Features like the flagstone walks and a small stone pool date back to the original estate. Beds of polyanthas, hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas radiate out from the center walk. Climbers are trained onto an extensive arbor that Shauna expects to be coverered within two years. And around the perimeter grow species and heritage roses including bourbon, damask, gallica, moss, and cabbage roses. The complete list is available on the Somerset County Park Commission website here

    I look forward to returning in Spring for a volunteer work day pruning all the roses. Maybe you’ll think about helping out, too?

  2. New Favorite at the Barnes Foundation

    Milwaukee’s Calatrava is my new fave white rose. Rachel Burlington, rosarian at the Barnes Foundation Arboretum in Merion turned me onto this rose, and admits it’s her favorite in the collection of over 100 roses. She doesn’t even need to spray it, while the rest of the hybrids get doused every other week to control fungal diseases like black spot.

    It’s an amazingly fragrant rose with pure white double flowers, and the slightly ruffled petals become tinged with pink as cooler weather sets in, which you can see in these photos from mid-October. Created by Bill Radler, famed breeder of the Knock Out® Rose series, it’s yet another robust, disease resistant rose that blooms almost continuously from spring through frost. The name celebrates the stunning postmodern addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum by internationally renowned architect Santiago Calatrava.

    See more pics and read up here on HelpMeFind, a website devoted to roses, clematis, and peonies, oh my!

  3. Blackberries: all day everyday

    Wish I’d known this about blackberries before consuming entire hedgerows full of them these past few days. They’re finally ripe, and when within reach and not surrounded by stinging nettle, they’re the perfect snack for long walks - packed with antioxidants and low in calories. Who knew they were also packed with polyols? Not me.

  4. I love helianthus!

  5. Savill Garden: Rose Garden - part 2

    I didn’t do the rose garden justice in my last post. Here are a few of the roses I think currently look their best in terms of vigor, bloom, and black spot - Sally Holmes, Scarborough Fair, Molineux, Pearl Drift, and Scepter’d Isle.  

    And a few more pics of the space to give you an idea of the design features - the curvilinear beds that spin out from the raised walkway and the wands of grasses that extend beyond the garden. And flaws - namely tight spaces for people and air movement/flow alike.