Roses are red.


Not always, but the ones I planted this year are. The house I grew up in had lots of rose bushes. We could have cut flowers for most of the year because they didn’t really go dormant or need to be cut down for winter. They would just keep getting bigger and bigger — I remember six-foot hybrid teas with fragrant blooms that put florist roses to shame. My attempts at growing container roses in Finland, on the other hand, have not gone very well so far. I am giving it another try, though. This time, I’ve allocated a sunny, sheltered spot close to the house. That, along with attentive mulching and some winter covers, will hopefully keep this thing alive come spring. It’s trial and error, therefore my wanting to keep notes here for future reference. This year’s rose is Rosen Tantau’s ‘Piano’, an old-fashioned looking hybrid tea which is supposed to be fairly hardy in our region.


It has been planted behind the bench swing in an area that I hope to eventually transform into a rose and peony walk-through cutting garden. It is currently infested with bergenias and horsetails, but I only remove as much as needed for each new planting to avoid leaving too much exposed soil. The ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony I planted out in the June is to the right and ‘Piano’ is to the left. I am still debating what to underplant — either catmint or poppies, probably. My aim is to have a new rose or peony every year that we live here, so I still have a few more to go before we’re up to count on that.

Shortly after planting, this cluster of roses opened. I brought them inside, figuring it was better for the plant to focus its energy on growing roots, not flowers. Added bonus being that I get to enjoy pretty roses on the shelf above my computer 🙂 With any luck, this will be the first of many such bouquets to come!

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