Once the rose enchants you you become a life time devotee. In all fairness who can deny this blossom anything, I mean anything, really? For what other flower would you suffer through the scratches and the winter protection and the constant fending off of beetles and blackspot and the capricious blooming schedule, if any? I would like to take this opportunity to remind fellow gardeners that tree roses have to be buried and dug up every fall and spring.

There are two types of roses: the easy ones and the difficult ones.

The easy ones are not hard to spot because they are usually in bloom at the time: they are the landscaping types, the species, the floribundas. The ones covered in flowers all summer long regardless of the circumstances, the ones who grow by the side of the freeway with not a soul to tend to their care. They are the wild varieties from which the noble blooms evolved. These troopers usually have a downside: the ever blooming ones are not fragrant, the species only bloom in spring and the wild roses are so prickly you can't get within five feet of them without bleeding.

And then there are the difficult ones - the old garden varieties, the bourbons, the gallicas, the musks. The flowers from which they make essence of romance. Those are exacting and discriminating. No, don't you give me the speech about that one time, I mean in general.

If you want them you will have to work around the clock.

They don't tolerate harsh winters, hot and humid summers, any pests, crowding, a less than ideal balance of nutrients, overcast skies or heavy alkaline soil. This basically rules out your average mid-western garden.

I'm a sucker for punishment though and I will try them anyway, again and again. I will grow you, you demanding Reine des Violettes, you will not lick me!

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.