Saturday, June 7, 2008

Graham Thomas' Debut

The first bloom of my shrub rose 'Graham Thomas' appeared today and it is marvelous. This is one of the shrub roses I bought from Antique Rose Emporium about six weeks ago. I mentioned the company's website in an earlier post saying that it specializes in vigorous, old garden roses. Antique Rose Emporium is taking orders throughout the summer but they stopped shipping in mid-May and will not start new shipments until September so it's not too early to start thinking about fall planting.

I was told when I bought Graham Thomas that it was a fast grower and that it could be trained as a climber. With that knowledge, I put it in a very large pot with just a few annuals to keep it company and positioned the pot in front of a tall trellis. It is early in the season and I am thrilled to see how much progress it has made in such a short time. I certainly hope it blooms as abundantly as advertised. This is only its first year so I have not set my expectations too high but I will make a special effort to keep it protected over the winter so it can have an opportunity to really show off next year. This rose is hardy to zone 5 and I have it in a large, deep pot (about 22 inches in diameter) made of composite material. I think it should have a good chance of surviving our zone 7 winter.

I've seen a few aphids here and there so when I water, I just give the shrub a strong blast to hose them off. This first bloom is about three inches across, has a slightly spicy fragrance and is a true yellow. Love it.

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