Friday, May 6, 2011

The Alexandra Rose

'The Alexandra Rose,' survived for several years in my garden growing in dry shade.  You know roses aren't supposed to do that.  It still bloomed and remained disease-free.  Deer eat the buds off occasionally, but don't seem to bother it as much as other roses.  You could say it's a tough plant, but then that's pretty much the only kind I have!  

Over time some trees have been pruned, others removed and there is a healthier amount of sun in Alexandra's part of the garden.  That, combined with rain falling again after a long drought, has made her bushier, more floriferous and an all-around fluffy shade of lovely.

Alexandra's single flowers with prominent stamens give her a slightly wilder, more natural look which is pleasing -- like she's wearing less make up than, say, a hybrid tea (the Barbie of roses) or a bourbon (the floozy of roses).  For me she blooms most heavily in the spring and fall but there will be a few blooms in the summer, too.  The color is best when it's cooler.

Alexandra's subtle colors and fragrance are best appreciated up close, so bouquets are nice.  Mix a few herbs in, like lavender, lemon balm, feverfew and bronze fennel and you have fresh and fragrant tussie-mussie to enjoy or give away.

My plant came from Wayside Gardens, which has a nice selection of roses for the south, but no longer carries this one.  David Austin Roses will ship one to you if you decide you need one for yourself.