Happy New Year! Today we are digging out from last night’s dumping. Those of you who are lucky enough to be down south, count your blessings! I should have been smart like you and headed south as well. Yet, it’s much easier to stay focused on work when you are snowed in. I have a large stack of designs and estimates to work on for the next few weeks. I usually take a couple of much needed weeks off in December. This year evolved into 3 weeks. I tend to follow the schedule of my college student kids (this is a great schedule, btw!).

To give myself a little motivation, I pulled up some of the garden photos I took last summer. Besides annuals, Roses are the most reliable source of color. Not so long ago, roses were not gown on their own roots. They were grafted or budded and you had to worry about the hardiness of the graft union or about root suckers. They had to be winter protected with mounds of dirt or mulch, and often they would become infected with black-spot and their leaves would fall off. I never used Roses in my professional designs, or in my own garden, for that matter. It wasn’t until about 2008 that I started using Roses for both residential and commercial designs. They require little to no effort. Here are a few roses that represent the very best breeding I’ve come across.

Rosa Oso Easy Paprika- Love,love, love it! Works great as front border plant and mixed with Knock Out Rose.

Rosa Knock Out- This is a classic, no fuss, shrub rose that has become increasingly popular. If left alone, they will grow up to 5’ tall. Holly roses!

Knock Out Roses have multi-season interest. The foliage in the spring and summer is a dark, glossy green, and fall brings on a deep maroon-purple show. One of the best things about the Knock Out Rose is that they can survive on 4-5 hours of sun a day. This photo shows them getting morning sun only.

Rosa Knock Out Sunny- This is the only fragrant Knock Out rose. It smells delicious!! The boasted yellow color is more like a cream. It’s very pale, but still a beauty.

Rosa-Oso-Easy-Cherry-Pie- This deep cherry red color gives reliable color all summer long. Not to mention it’s disease resistant! What more could you ask for?!