Do you love roses?  I do.


I used to have 40 roses in my Phoenix garden – I must admit that I went a little overboard.  

Showing my sister a few of my roses back in the 90’s
Now my rose garden consists of three well-loved roses…

Abraham Darby

Although my passion has steered toward using drought tolerant trees and plants to add beauty to the landscape, I still have a special place in my heart for roses.

So, whenever I am on the road and a rose garden is nearby, I always take some time to “walk through the roses”.


Back in 2001, we took a trip to Ireland.  This was when we had two kids and not five (we adopted three children from China a few years later).

Of course when traveling in Europe, castles are always on the ‘must-see’ list.  While visiting the city of Kilkenny, we decided to make a stop at Kilkenny Castle.

The problem was, was that all of Ireland and Great Britain was under quarantine conditions at many of the tourist attractions due to ‘foot and mouth’ disease, which was highly contagious and speading to livestock.

So, much of our trip was spent looking from the outside in.


Fast forward 2 years later and we found ourselves in Kilkenny again and we were thrilled that there were no restrictions.  

My husband was anxious to go on the tour of the inside of the castle, but the problem was, was that I couldn’t tear myself away from the rose gardens surrounding the castle.


It was June and the roses smelled heavenly and were so beautiful.

Whenever I find myself on a large estate or castle (which isn’t all that often), I like to dream of what I would do with the gardens.

In this case, I would probably tear up more grass and add more roses!

I look cranky in this photo, but I blame it on the jet lag from arriving in Ireland the day before.
After spending an hour touring the grounds, we did make it indoors for the tour, which was very interesting – I like history too!


The next day was spent touring the surrounding countryside, but in the afternoon, we found ourselves drawn to the rose garden again and sat on the benches reading.

I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon, do you?

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For more information on roses and how to grow them in the desert, I have listed several blog posts that will help that you can access, here.
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, 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."

1 reply
  1. Jean Campbell
    Jean Campbell says:

    Even a handful of rose bushes are a joy. An accident in the spring almost destroyed 'White Dawn' in my garden. It made a great comeback but today I'm enjoying a small cutting with a tiny bud about to open that I brought inside.

    Reply

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