I’ve Made My Decision…

Graham Thomas

Okay, I realize that most of you have not been waiting with baited breath to see what three English Roses I have chosen.  But for those of you who have, here is what I have decided on….

Abraham Darby (Pink/Peach)
Graham Thomas (Yellow)
William Shakespeare (Red)

English Roses

Graham Thomas

I owe a debt of gratitude to those of you who gave me excellent advice on the English roses that you have had success with.  I also did some research by checking with my local rose society to see the rose varieties that do well in our area.  Which leads me to an excellent tip – the ARS (American Rose Society) ratings are based on how each variety of rose grows all over the country.  So, a rose that rated poorly in the northern areas may excel in the south.  I highly recommend checking your local rose society’s information page online which should lead you to excellent rose choices for your area.

You can find links to your local rose society by clicking here.  Here is a link to the list of the best roses for the desert areas of Arizona.

English Roses

The location for my new roses are kindly indicated by my three youngest helpers.  My new roses will receive bright morning sun, but will be protected from the intense afternoon sun in the summertime.  

*Notice my son’s right torn knee in his jeans.  Why is it that all of his pants are that way?  Only the right knee is torn on all of them… I have four daughters and my son is my youngest child, so boys are somewhat of a mystery to me.

Mexican Bird of Paradise

Mexican Bird of Paradise Flower (Caesalpinia mexicana)

The small tree in the photo with my children, is of one of my favorite plants.  It is blooming right now and even though I was taking pictures of where I was putting my new roses, I couldn’t resist taking this picture.  I love that there are still plants flowering this time of year.

In the meantime, I cannot wait to receive my new roses.  I was not able to find English roses in any of our local nurseries, but I was able to find many suppliers online.  I ordered mine through Heirloom Roses.  They should arrive between January 6 – 10th.  For those of you who would like to see how to plant roses, it is rather simple, but you need to follow certain rules.  I will show you how once my roses arrive in a few weeks.

Is It Possible To Avoid The Winter Ugly Stage?

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
21 replies
  1. Teresa O
    Teresa O says:

    Beautiful selections, Noelle. I'm familiar with the "William Shakespeare' variety. Pink roses are my absolute favorites! I look forward to seeing your rose selections planted and thriving.

  2. Rebecca @ In The Garden
    Rebecca @ In The Garden says:

    Hi Noelle, Great post! Of course we've been waiting with baited breath! Lovely choices, they will look beautiful in the locations you have selected. I was thinking about your 3 little ones today, and wondering how their swimming pool flower bed has turned out? I'd love to see a progress picture. As for the hole in the knee, I have all boys, so all pants wear out in the knees, and sometimes, consistently in one. Does he run & slide on the ground, always landing on the same knee?

  3. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    Noelle, your roses will be beautiful! I actually planted Abraham Darby and Graham Thomas in my own garden, but unfortunately they did not thrive in my climate. I think they should do much better in yours. I have to comment on the hole in the jeans: My oldest son, age 29, recently bought some new jeans that have a similar hole in the same spot. I couldn't believe he paid money for them, but apparently that is the style. So your son is just following the trend.

  4. leavesnbloom
    leavesnbloom says:

    Noelle I am not surprised that Graham Thomas was on your list – its such a winner. Very original way of marking out your plant positions for us! I've 3 boys – well teenagers and older now and they always had holes in the knees – and one knee was always more thread bare than the other – they seemed to pivit on this one knee when they were playing on the ground.

  5. Autumn Belle
    Autumn Belle says:

    I think planting roses will be a great start for 2010. Roses are my all time favourite too, just that I haven't found one which I am able to plant and bloom many cycles in my hot, equatorial climate. Your kids are really cute and happy. Once again, Happy New Year 2010!

  6. VW
    VW says:

    I planted William Shakespeare 200 last spring and really enjoyed the fragrant blooms. One friend said 'that smells just like a rose should smell!' I have Abraham Darby in a pot waiting for when I make a spot for him in the spring, but I grew that rose in California and already know that I LOVE his lemon fragrance.

  7. Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ
    Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ says:

    Your kids look like they are having fun helping to show the spots for your rose picks. I am so inspired by you! I had my husband remove a couple of old worn out plants (not roses) on the east side of my house and I'm going to order roses too!

  8. Grace Peterson
    Grace Peterson says:

    Hi Noelle, I'm glad to hear you chose to buy from Heirloom. I can vouch for them, having both ordered their roses and walked their amazing grounds. A bit of [unsolicited] advice, if I may. When your shipment arrives, the plants will be really small. I was really disappointed. Rather than plant them in-ground, I planted mine in fairly good sized pots with good potting soil and compost until they've achieved some girth. I know this isn't protocal but because the plants come so small I was concerned about their vulnerability "out in the field."
    But, they may start out small but they grow amazingly fast.

    Your children look very sweet. My oldest was my only boy and he's 26 now and the memories are fading.

  9. Christine B.
    Christine B. says:

    I love that I am not the only one to use my kids as substitute plants. I've also used them to place garden art…you too? I've always wanted to try Abraham Darby here in Alaska. For some reason I get the David Austin catalogs and I love to dream about growing English roses. As if. You'll have to tell me how good it smells, I'm envious!


  10. Shady Gardener
    Shady Gardener says:

    Hi Noelle, I'm going to have to admit that I really don't know anything about roses. Isn't that sad? I used to have a few hybrid roses at our "other house," but they wouldn't stand a chance here.

    Your children are your most beautiful "roses!" …and the torn knee of the right pant leg? Does your son love playing with cars and trucks? (In other words, whatever he does on the ground, it looks as though he's standing on one knee!) 🙂

  11. LeSan
    LeSan says:

    Your rose markers are adorable! They look like really fun people to have around. As for the handsome one's hole issues…you might want to take a look around at the cute girls in the neighborhood. He may just be practicing a lot. He's a heartbreaker and your daughters are beautiful.
    Those are some very helpful tips on rose rating. I have to look into this now that I find myself becoming a big fan of roses. Thank you.

  12. Joanne
    Joanne says:

    Excellent choices of roses and the children are so good to do as you ask.
    I have William Shakespeare and it is a lovely deep red rose with an amazing dark perfume. My Dad has the other two and are also lovely.

    I love the tree with it's delicate pea like blooms.

    Have a lovely New Year.

  13. Rose
    Rose says:

    Noelle, sounds like you did your research to find the best roses for you–thanks for the tip on checking the local rose society. If I do plant some roses this year, William Shakespeare will be at the top of my list–I'm a former English teacher:) He would fit right in with my new daylily, "Canterbury Tales":)

    When my two sons were little, they used to make jeans with an extra denim patch inside the knees–those were the only ones that didn't have holes!

    Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

  14. Janet
    Janet says:

    I look forward to seeing/hearing about your roses as they grow and thrive in your AZ garden.
    I can't help you with the hole in only one knee of all his pants…I have girls. Cute kids, hug them often…..they grow up so fast.

  15. Amy
    Amy says:

    Beautiful choices, Noelle. I have not ventured outside of Knockout Roses. 🙂
    My boys want to buy jeans with the holes in them already…i refuse to buy them that way. However, they usually end up with that knee out. 🙂 Have a happy new year! Cute rose substitutes!

  16. Liisa
    Liisa says:

    I think your selections are going to be beautiful! I can't wait to see them in bloom. Roses are never first on my wishlist until June, when they come into bloom. Then, I always find myself wanting more. 🙂

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