From HWS member Kerry Eilleen:
In the midst of the holiday season and on the arrival of the shortest day of the year, I received a rose catalog in the mail. I set aside all of my list making tasks — menus for celebrating the changing of the seasons, chores and preparations to be completed before family and friends arrive to help roll out pasta for our annual Italian dinner. I felt great pleasure in taking a few moments for winter dreaming and contemplating the beauty of old roses.
As I turned the pages of the Antique Rose Emporium catalog, it brought back happy memories of the roses I loved when I was very young. There were many different roses scattered about on the three acres surrounding the old farm house my family lived in. I still continue to search for the climbing rose with the beautiful apricot to peach pink blossoms that grew near our front door. I loved how it had entwined itself into a large ancient tree for support as it searched for sunlight. I did not know the name of the woman who created this garden but at the age of seven I did know that I would always love roses especially, those that choose their own path scrambling willfully over rock walls, along old wooden fences, and exuberantly overtaking all manner of support.
When I moved to New Mexico I was sure that it would be impossible to grow roses but to my surprise roses do very well in the high desert country. Rosa mutabilis, R. foetida bicolor (Austrian Copper), and R. woodsii have thrived in my garden. Rosa woodsii, a New Mexico native rose, forms a beautiful wild hedgerow as it matures. The deeply colored and abundant rose hips bring beauty to the winter garden.
Two hybrid roses that have flourished in New Mexico are Rosa ‘Favbier’ and R. Madame Isaac Pereire. I purchased R. ‘Fabvier’ from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello plant shop and it grows happily in full sun.
I grow R. Madame Isaac Pereire on a tuteur at the center of my vegetable garden. Its rich intoxicating fragrance always summons me to take a moment from the garden chores to enjoy the moment.
The Organic Rose Garden by Liz Druitt. Taylor Pub. Co. Dallas, Texas, 1996. (Chapter 8 provides a list of Roses That Thrive in Organic Gardens).
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Roses. Mary Moody, General Editor and Peter Harkness, Consulting Editor. Timber Press. Portland, Oregon., 1997.