Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Inland Northwest, High Desert
January, 2004
Regional Report

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Wish we could say we planned it this way: As though in competition, our adopted Blaze climber, mock orange (left) and privet hedge (right) bloom profusely in midsummer.

A Serendipitous Grouping

"You've got to take this rose," she said. "It's gotten much bigger than they said it would at the nursery. Surely you have room for it out where you live."

I wasn't sure what it was, but I was happy to give this suddenly orphaned rose a home at the Double Dober Rose Ranch. If it was going to be huge, it would have plenty of room on the inside of the fence -- way out there. So that's where we planted it, and forgot about it.

Roses Bustin' Out All Over
The "too big" rose grew and grew. It grew taller than the 4-foot fence. It grew up to 9 feet tall -- almost as tall as the mock orange beside it and the privet hedge on the other side. Then it bloomed. All over. The fragrant, long-lasting, red blossoms told us it was a Blaze, one of the oldest, large-flowering, climbing roses around.

A Triple Treat
As though to compete with Blaze, both the privet and the mock orange covered themselves with so many fragrant white flowers we couldn't see the leaves. The effect -- white backed by the deep red -- is stunning every summer.

Just Add Water
Even in our thin, rocky, alkaline soil, these three garden partners grow and bloom faithfully every year with no help from us. They are watered weekly, but never fertilized, pruned, or sprayed. No need. All species are highly disease resistant, winter hardy, get along with minimal water, and are not bothered by insects.

An added benefit is that our adopted Blaze teams up with the privet and mock orange to form a dense windbreak and wildlife habitat.
Small birds hide in the thick branches summer and winter. Rabbits occasionally bed down below, protected from blowing snow in winter.

Wish we could say we planned it that way.

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