As we take our regularly scheduled "siteseeing" trip to drop in on gardeners and gardens around the Web, it seems appropriate that this week, with Valentine's Day almost upon us, we visit rose enthusiasts.
One thing I've learned over the years of talking with people about gardening is that roses are the flowers most cherished and admired -- but, for many, also the most problematic plant to grow.
I can't count the sad stories I've heard of rose failures. That's a shame, because it doesn't have to happen. So let's start with some sites that aim to make growing roses easy.
Annelie Piccino of Rose Gardening Made Easy (and her blog of the same name) grew up in Sweden and loved roses from childhood, when she would visit the gardens of royal palaces with her mom and dream of someday having a rose garden of her own.
Before she planted a single bush, Annelie read every book about roses she could get her hands on -- and now she's gained years of personal experience to go with that.
Her site offers an extensive overview and discussion of various types of roses -- 10 best climbers, favorite reds, purple roses (why do people like these so much?), fragrant roses, -- as well as advice on how to plant, prune, and propagate roses. (And given that some of this advice can vary from region to region, she does a nice job in making sure it's accurate for all areas.)
Annelie obviously follows her own advice Just see the photos of her own rose garden.
Roses are a favorite the world over. Jana in Morava, Czech Republic, grows many of the same roses that you and I do, and her experiences, detailed at A Rose Garden, will resonate with other gardeners.
How difficult it is to grow mini roses indoors, for instance. And she recommends a nice gallery of potted plants that would grow well with container roses.
Continuing our international theme, the site for the World Rose Convention and Festival, which will take place June 18 to 24 in Vancouver, British Columbia, turns out to be much more than details of an upcoming gathering.
It features a number of different bloggers, all of whom I find interesting, writing on a wide variety of rose topics. I enjoy stopping by to see what they're talking about now. And I always learn something when I do.
In the Great Rosarians blog, Clair Martin, curator of rose and perennial Gardens at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., introduces us to numerous rose gardens around the world. This is definitely the stuff of winter daydreams!
If you've never been to the Huntington, do plan a day there the next time you're in southern California. It's great! Last year was the 100th birthday of its rose garden, so it's seen a lot of floral history through the years!
It's a spare site that doesn't dazzle with numerous photos of gorgeous roses or extensive knowledge databases, but does offer some helpful tips, such as how to choose roses for Valentine's Day.
(NOTE: We invite you to visit the main page of the Monitor’s gardening site , where you can find many articles, essays, and blog posts on various garden topics.)