October 12

Hello friends, how fares your October garden? It’s been incredibly warm here in the North Carolina mountains which makes it feel decidedly un-autumn like, but I will say it’s been marvelous getting that extra dose of sunshine.

We’ve also had a butterfly boom these past few weeks. Travelers, I imagine, passing through to their winter homes and stopping by our garden for a nosh.

As grateful as I am for these summer-like days, I desperately want to get to that point where everything is clipped back, raked, composted, mulched. It’s just been an exhausting year and I am actually excited to sit in front of the fire and not work in the yard for a few months. But we are so far from that point yet. There are a ton of leaves on the trees that will be dropping soon and making a right mess out of everything. The soil is still too warm to plant bulbs–it feels a long way off from our first frost.

The name of the game this month has been getting brush cleaned up and to the curb to make room for, yes, more fencing, while also planting roses that have been in containers these past 2 years. The rose seen above is Lady of Shalott who finally went into her permanent home! We must have planted about a dozen or so like this around the garden in the past couple weeks. It’s going to feel so good next spring to see them in flower.

Some, like Souvenir de la Malmaison, I still need to find a permanent spot for but we aren’t sure where to put her yet. It’s kind of silly that I keep adding more and more roses to our garden when I still have no clue where to put half of them…

…and yet, I recently brought home some that I loved so much in the old garden such as Henri Martin, Fantin Latour plus a few new-to-me ones like Sydonie and Sarah van Fleet.

With this issue of where to put our roses on the forefront of my mind, we took an afternoon to broaden this bed (which was once the new cutting garden) and planted out a row of OGR’s. This is becoming my MO: put a quick bed together with cardboard and compost for cutting garden flowers and rotate it into a shrub border the following fall. Works like a charm.

The hoops are to use a cover over the winter to protect them if needed and perhaps start some early annuals. The chickens were stoked to get in there before it was fenced off to them again.

As the days of October unspool, our young roses throw out a random bloom. The deep reds and pinks look particularly lovely this time of year. Seen above: Ivor’s Rose, Rhode Island Red, Dark Desire.

Yet, I think the pastels will always have my heart like Distant Drums seen at the top of this post, Blush Noisette, La France, Mme Abel Chatenay….

Until next time,


About Hedgerow Rose

Laurie Lewis is a gardener, consulting rosarian, writer and photographer currently creating a new garden with her husband, 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 beehives and 5 chickens.

15 thoughts on “October 12

  1. The new roses you ordered look incredibly healthy and a nice size! I haven’t grown Distant Drums because I ran out of space, but what a neat rose. I was wondering if you have some favorite dahlias that you’ve tried this year? There is one red/white striped one that I’ve seen a few times on your IG stories that looks really amazing. I would love to know some of your favorites. Thanks and have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Cole! Sorry to get back to you so late! Regarding Distant Drums–don’t bother. Although the coloring is remarkable, it’s not the best rose. 😉 As for the dahlias, I’ve been really into the collarette types and order all of them through Swan Island. The dahlia I always seemed to be posting on IG is aptly called ‘Bumble Rumble’. It’s definitely my new favorite!

      1. No worries – thanks for the great info! I have not grown the collarette types yet, I really like the way they look, especially for bouquets. Thanks for letting me know about Distant Drums!!!

    1. Erica, that is a very good reminder, thank you! I try to leave lots of undisturbed areas (not difficult in this mess, haha!) but this is an important nudge to go easy when tidying up those borders. ps: I love Darcey Bussell! It’s a beauty!

  2. Hello Laurie. Beautiful blog however sadly the photos are not loading for me. That is, the odd one is, but not the majority. Any ideas?

    1. Thank you Roseanne! It could be a slow connection on your end? Something else you could try is emptying the cache in your browser…

  3. I ordered a very lovely rose earlier this year, said to be released and shipped by September 15th which for my zone 5a/b area would have been optimum for fall planting. Well, that lovely rose, came 2 days ago October 30th. It is flurrying right now. I have a garden shelf with grow lights, should I attempt to keep it there or should I wait for Sunday when it will be 57 and plant it and take my chances of it surviving winter. It is the lovely new Vogue Anniversary Rose.

    1. Hi Gabrielle, I’m sorry to hear about your rose! It’s so annoying when that happens. I’m sure you’ve already tried contacting the seller to see about getting refunded for shipping your rose too late. As far as what you can do now to try and salvage it, my advice would be to remove all the foliage, pot it up in a large container and store it in an unheated garage (if you have one–if not a very sheltered location) for the winter. Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you so much! I do have a garage and will let you know how it turns out. If it doesn’t I’ll be sure to submit for a refund. It’s quite a shame really because I wrote them several times and explained that I’d be willing to wait until Spring since it was so late and I also cautioned them on their timing to no avail. They said they were sending it regardless. This is not a newer nursery either, it’s a very renowned one. They will probably lose money on this release.

        1. Darn that really stinks. I’ve had some unfortunate experiences with vendors from time to time so I feel your pain. Hope it all works out!

  4. Hi Laurie,
    I am so pleased to have discovered your blog – I have been reading on and off all day, in between planting bare root roses and dodging rain showers.
    I live in Kent, UK, and it is really interesting to hear about the varieties you grow. You mention many of my favourites (Madame Hardy, Tuscany Superb, Munstead Wood, William Shakespeare 2000, Princess Alexandra of Kent). I am an old rose and English rose fanatic, and it seems I am in good company. All roses are hardy to me, so it surprised me to hear that some varieties succumb to your cold winters. Thank you for sharing your experiences and expertise. Your website will help be get through the Winter fantasising about the 23 new roses I have planted!

    1. Hello Alison! Thank you for your very kind comment! It is so wonderful to meet you. 🙂 It sounds as though you and I have similar tastes in roses and I’m thrilled that you are enjoying the posts I’ve written over the years. Yes, isn’t it crazy that our winters in PA were so cold that it killed off some of our roses? The blame lay with me in many instances for not giving them enough winter protection. Thankfully, we’ve since moved to a slightly warmer climate. Hope you are having a wonderful week!

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