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What’s Blooming in Paradise: Roses offer fragrances that attract pollinators

By Staff | Dec 9, 2015

Plant Subject: Blush Noisette Antique Rose

First impression: Delicate, creamy, fairy tale pink kissed flowers in a cluster to form the appearance of a large blossom. I can’t help but detect oodles of eye closing fragrance drifting in the air, attracting all kinds of pollinators. I notice the lovely, light green stems adorned with prickly thorns everywhere. The yen and yang of beauty with a price, you can see this awe inspiring bloom at the Botanical Gardens of the Sanibel Moorings.

Upon further investigation: Roses? I always had trouble making my roses last from season to season here in my paradise garden. I am not even close to being a rosarian, but I can share with you a few tips I picked up from a local horticulturist, Debbie Hughes.

Start with the antique varieties that are on their own rootstock. Antique roses are garden roses that date back to the 19th and 20th century. Most have lived happily without a lot of care in abandoned homes and cemeteries and seem to flourish even with neglect.

Three varieties I have had success with are Noisette, China, and Tea. Our rose in this article is a Noisette whose classification denotes a low compact shrub, with lots of flowers. The best time to trim up our beauty is in February. I routinely shape and corralled the limbs because I like the air to move between the stems. Wear gloves otherwise you will get snagged by the thorns.

Fertilize lightly in the spring and fall, with a slow release, coated fertilizer. Organic matter will decrease nematodes. I routinely give them my used coffee grounds. Be sure to plant in an area that will get six to eight hours of sunlight. You will appreciate this specific pioneer or antique rose’s easy nature and lack of pests and disease.

Interesting tidbit: Garden cultivation of roses began some 5,000 years ago, somewhere in China; Europe started importing them around the 18th century. Our variety Bush Noisette was hybridized by Louis Noisette, a famous nurseryman in Paris. Days gone by people treated roses as treasured objects and even bartered with them as money. Now a day we are blessed with many roses to choose from and should always take the time to adore them.

Pros:

Multiple blooms

Might take up reading Shakespeare

Pollinator attractor

Is great for cottage look in a garden

Great for potpourris

Noninvasive

Must have for inspirational prose

Cold tolerant

Cons:

Be careful with thorns

Pollinator attractor

May actually start to understand Shakespeare

Nonnative

Conclusion: Cameo blooms bursting, cascading, intoxicatingly fragrance never ending, in a fairy tale like setting. Ahhh – Follow those sprouting of odes to our garden in paradise. Don’t wanna miss this bloomer!