The Garden Diva (But Worth the Trouble)

IMG_3181One of the things we added to our garden this summer was a rose tree or rose standard. Our big box hardware store puts plants on deep, deep discount when their prime moment has passed and my husband couldn’t resist this tree for $5.99.

If I had read about the care and feeding of rose standards before he bought it, I probably would’ve said, “Don’t bother.” As I’ve told you before, I like a hardy, tenacious flower that thrives where it’s planted, with not too much input from me.

The rose standards are not hardy or tenacious and they need a lot of attention from humans–they are such divas! They’re actually created by humans and grown by grafting a hybrid rose to the top of a long rose cane, and that means they can be top heavy. Without real care in pruning, the cane will snap from the weight at the top. So they need to be supported with a stake, kept out of strong winds, and monitored for the cane bowing.

IMG_1751And, as if that weren’t all enough to worry about, they need special care in the winter. We will need to create a tall cylinder of chicken wire to go around the cane and then fill the cylinder with mulch, to protect the cane from freezing. We’ll try this but I don’t know if the poor thing will make it . . .

But in spite of all this, I have come to love the plant! It has given so much in the few months we’ve had it. It has gotten beautiful new foliage and produced dozens of the most gorgeous yellow roses, and they even smell fabulous! To top it off, it’s still blooming, better than ever, in October.

I do hope it makes it through the winter—I’ll keep you posted. If you’ve ever had a rose standard and have advice, please pass it along!


As a postscript, I just finished dipping these coffee caramels and think they’re too pretty not to share!

IMG_3209dipped coffee caramels-1

27 thoughts on “The Garden Diva (But Worth the Trouble)

  1. I love yellow roses. So cheerful! Good luck caring for it through the winter. We don’t have very cold winters here — the coldest it ever gets is in the low 20’s, and that doesn’t happen much! What we do have here is out-of-control black spot because it’s so humid. It drives me crazy!

    • Oh, great, black spot–one more thing to worry about. 😉 I don’t know if we have that–this is the first rose I’ve ever grown. We’ll have temps in the minus-teens and 20s but if we can protect the cane, I hope it’ll be okay. Brrr.

  2. I’m a sucker for discount plants too. I still get sad when they die but remind myself they had one foot out the door already. It’s a real luxury to buy a beautiful healthy plant at full price. I’m with you on the hardy / take-care-of-yourself type of plants. Most of my garden is perennials. Those roses are beautiful and I’ll cross my fingers for you over the winter!

    BTW – Those caramels look delicious. Do you hand dip them or use a fork?

  3. The roses are beautiful. I have vague memories of my mother digging up and then burying a rose tree when I was very small. I don’t remember it when I was older. It must have too much of a diva for her. 🙂

    • I had never even really heard of a rose tree until this one came here to live. It’s weird–with most plants, you want them to grow big but you can’t let these things get big or the stem snaps. I’m forever having to prune it. Your mother probably didn’t want to have to put the enregy in–I’m not sure I do either!

    • I think people are either really into roses or they’re not. I never had been but this rose tree is bringing me around. I doubt if I have the patience your dad must possess to really have a lot of roses, though.

  4. Looking at your posted photos I stand torn between the rose and the coffee caramels. One is a diva for the senses, the other one for the emotions.As you switched to writing the post script, did your emotion get the better of you?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s