When I started my container garden 10 years ago, I swore off roses. I thought they were just way too much trouble--picky, demanding, elusive. Of course, I had no first-hand knowledge. All I knew was what I heard from other gardeners who were forever feeding, pruning, coaxing, and babying their roses. No thanks--not for me! Well, a fellow gardener told me about the roses she bought from a company that specializes in "antique" roses--the kind that seem to thrive on neglect. Sign me up! I have accumulated several of them over the past few years. And after tiptoeing into those rose-y waters, I've gotten more brave and have bought others. Here is "Rosa Carding Mill". It's a David Austin English Rose. All I can say is , "Wow!" Now, time will tell if I maintain my enthusiasm. So far Carding Mill hasn't been a bit of trouble but I only bought it in March. It's definitely going to have to prove itself.
Rose arrives bareroot
Closeup of Carding Mill bloom
I bought Carding Mill online from White Flower Farm (WFF). This rose is now out of stock but WFF still has a lot more roses to choose from. Almost all of their roses arrive bareroot. So basically when you get it, it looks dead. Don't worry. Just plant it according to the directions and within about 3-4 weeks, you'll see signs of life. Carding Mill is hardy to zone 5, likes full sun, grows to 6 feet high, and is very fragrant. It's also supposed to be a repeat bloomer (another big plus) between the months of June and September. I planted it by itself in a pretty large terra cotta pot. I don't know how many years it will be before I have to transplant it.