Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Roses Anyone?

Stellwag's AARS Rose Garden

This weekend a friend invited me to visit a local nursery to check out rose plants. Elena had heard that there was a major rose display and figured that we could see possibilities for her yard or just to snoop. As you can imagine I don’t need anymore roses. Better yet, if I wanted more roses I would have to move into my neighbor’s yard to plant them. As is, I took a count that came to roughly 50 plants. I say roughly because not all are big and who know if I missed one or counted something twice. My yard is at capacity. Yet, somehow, I manage to always add something each year.

We went to Moorestown, New Jersey or better yet Delran, where the nursery is actually located to see Stellwag’s Hidden Acres Farm. The nursery/farm dates from 1939 and is also the home of an AARS public rose garden in honor of Mr. Stellwag who was a rosarian of note. There, more than 800 plants of assorted varieties and color were in magnificent bloom. It is a site where people come to explore varieties of roses, have their pictures taken or just snoop around at the creatures in an assortment of pens or cages. They have sheep, goats and all manner of wild plumed birds that range from Rhode Island Red hens to, pheasants, peacocks and turkeys. Truly, a lot of fun and a unique way to shop for plants. The nursery is well laid out and has great assortment of plants by color or color combinations that will certainly help anyone make up their mind in what to plant.

AARS Winner

Another AARS Rose

AARS is not a senior organization; it stands for All American Rose Selection. This group is a non-profit that has been around since 1938 and has as one of its goals to create great roses. They have test gardens around the country to test how plants grow and be able to recommend specific plants for different climates locations. Those that grow well according to their criteria and are exemplary of their class are awarded AARS Winner Status for the year they were introduced. There are hundreds of AARS roses. There is no doubt that the displays that we saw are of extreme beauty, flower shape and color variety and color variety. Although the organization has a goal to create great roses, somewhere down the line the hybridizers of roses have sacrificed fragrance trying to promote good plants, flower shape, color and disease resistance.

A bird of a different feather with a Knockout Rose Hedge Behind

Main Nursery

Nursery Hoop House Displays

Another Great Display

The massing of 800 plants was beautiful and no color was spared. Many with multi-color combinations and flower shapes of every kind were there for us to feast our eyes. However, there were just a few with lovely fragrance. If I had 800 plants in my garden, which I might be able to fit if I pulled everything else out, I don’t think I could take being in it because the fragrance would be overpowering. So, I guess, maybe it is just as well that some hybridizers have traded this attribute for others. I will stick to my old fashioned classic roses and my modern French and English Shrub Roses. I think, roughly 50 fragrant plants are enough?

The last of my peonies

1 comment:

  1. This nursery looks spectacular! What a great place to spend a day or maybe even two. I've been planting a rose garden and have greatly enjoyed the diverse varity and colors of the plant. Now all I need is a beautiful peacock!

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful place!