Roses in Santa Fe

Rose Growing in Santa Fe

While I am very fond of the many xeric perennials available in Santa Fe, having the privilege of managing some of the best rose gardens in Santa Fe has really made me appreciate the glory of roses. While I watch people from other parts of the country post photos of gorgeous roses in the early spring, here in Santa Fe, we have to wait for warm weather and warm nights, which come in mid June, for our roses to show there best, but it is worth the wait.

My first roses, at my house, were some left overs from a job, of which I lined part of a back wire fence. I added one gallon an hour emitters, watered close to three times a week in the growing season and never pruned. They have become the backdrop of the yard. These roses are known as Therese Bugnet, a Rugosa Hybrid.

IMG_9932Another low water, hardy pink rose that I discovered was William Baffin.  You can just let run free and not feed. My mom and I filled in my front courtyard with some stragglers a few years ago when we thought I had to put my house on the market, and they took off front and center.  It is sort of a shrub and sort of a climber, but out here, it’s all the same-big, bushy growth is something to be thankful for.   Around that time, a Sally Holmes, rejected as the runt of a litter of thirty from a job, came my way and landed front and center in my patio. I love the simple petals, the abundance, and again, the lack of distinction between a vine and a bush. To me it doesn’t matter. It looks good, preforms tireless and is my friend in summer magic creations.IMG_9945I really like those wild roses, but as I started to develop my garden as a sanctuary, I really wanted to add the magic of scented roses to our patio. I think it is because I loved my honeysuckle so much. It introduced me to the magic element of landscaping, the scent. While I love it all, scents really are the icing on the cake.

I started last year with two lovely old classic Harlow Carr’s. When those took their time, I knew I needed more. Running out of space, I found the last sunny blank wall and created a new rose bed. Two Harlow Carr’s, two Heritages and one Jude the Obscure went it. The rose bed because a squash bed too, note the little sprouts in front. An update on squash and rose compatibility will come later this summer.

The roses were planted with lots of organic material, lots of Yum-Yum soil amender. We just started to feed again, and foliar feed with seaweed/fish emulsion blend.

I have also been lucky to grow roses for a living. I can fully recommend the Pink and Red Knock Outs, Red Meidiland, Ballerina, and Peace. I struggle with the Climbing Icebergs. Sometimes they just don’t grow and other times they get mold. When they are lovely, they really are. I can say the same with Climbing Blaze or Don Juan if you are after red roses. Carefree Sunshine is nice if you want yellow. Sexy Rexy is a classic pink Floribunda. Sea Foam is just that, like a sea with little white foam. What is the best advice for roses? Be patient…Really you need three years to get the wow factor, so start now and enjoy. And enjoy. And last but not least, don’t waste your banana peels and coffee grounds, dump them on your roses every day. The alkaline soil and water here are hard on plants like roses, and the coffee neutralizes it. The banana peel cuttings offer shots of potassium. How did I learn this? Rose Gardening World is my favorite Facebook page.