Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A rosarian in any other place is still a rosarian

The local gardening community was greatly upset when word got out that rosarian Anna Davis had decided to downsize, giving up her large home with the billowing roses we'd all marveled at for years.   She had been a regular on tours, and her yard literally stopped traffic in her neighborhood.  The rumor was that she was moving into a cluster home.

I had a friend who lived in the same development where Anna had relocated.  I kept hearing that Anna would have another garden, but I couldn't imagine how.   The houses were so close together, and if they had any yard at all, it was the size of a postage stamp.

I needn't have worried.  It wasn't long before Anna was back in the pages of magazines and was, as always, graciously willing to put her garden on tour.  She had turned every inch of her 1/4 acre lot into a garden teeming with flowers.  Not only did she have luxuriant roses climbing here and there, but she had added clematis - some in large masses, some twining up through rose bushes, others growing on variegated English holly - along with foxgloves, rhododendrons, ferns, climbing Schizophragma hydrangeodes 'Moonlight' and scores of charming ground covers.

And what of my concern about the houses being too close together?  You can see from this photograph how Anna took advantage of the long narrow space, creating an entrance to the back garden.  If I remember correctly, her neighbor was very cooperative.  I would have been, too, especially if I could look over into a colorful paradise by day and enjoy the lovely fragrance of roses on balmy May nights.

For more on growing clematis with roses, see Anna's article

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