By Upendra Mishra
BOSTON–In January, no matter how much snow is on the ground, my hands start itching for gardening. As days start becoming longer and we begin to see more sun light, the gardening fever becomes even more intense.
The one way I deal with this crazy craving is that I start thinking about new things I want to do in my garden and some new flowers I want to try this year. In short, I start planning my garden in January. I find the planning process and imagining the garden and flowers as exciting as planting and growing them.
January is also a good time to think about roses, especially if you want to try some new varieties because almost every type of rose you can imagine are available right now. You can order them in January, and they will be delivered to your door steps when the planting time has arrived in your zone. If you delay, the plants you like and desperately want may be sold out because some varieties are grown in limited editions.
Some of my friends often tell me that roses we get here in the United States don’t have same nostalgic fragrance with which we grew up with in India. That is true to some extent, but well, I have grown some in New England that come very close to the Indian fragrance. You can growth them, too.
The most proven fragrant rose varieties that I have successfully grown here in New England are four. My most favorite is Fragrant Cloud. It has an amazing shape and color and you cannot miss its fragrance when you pass by this plant when it is in full bloom. Even one single flower on the plant will make you smell the roses. Once you plant it properly and take care of it, it will keep coming back every year.
Jackson & Pekins, where I do my shopping for roses, says that the scent of Fragrant Cloud has notes of citrus, spice, fruit, and rosy damask all mix together, and the flower offers up unique coral-washed blooms with intensely plush petals. The blooms can measure up to five inches wide on average with up to 40 petals. (Cost: 25.95).
My second favorite is Double Delight. Again, its shape and color are amazing and striking. I also grow this breed and it keeps coming every year. (Cost: 59.95)
My third favorite is Mr. Lincoln. You literally have to take your nose closer to Mr. Lincoln to smell it, but this plant is the perfect and almost fool proof for New England weather. In addition, the shape, size and dark red color of Mr. Lincoln are admirable. (Cost: 25:95)
I should also mention a fourth variety of fragrant roses I grow. It is Perfume Delight. Nice, one bold color and incredible fragrance.
I order these rose plants online from Jackson & Perkins. They are reliable and bare roots they ship are healthy.
Once these bare root rose are delivered, you must follow the instructions on how to plant them. Last year, I wrote a column on how to plan roses. Please see below the link on planting roses.
Very soon, we will be blessed with Spring. Meanwhile, enjoy the beautiful New England winter.
(Mr. Mishra is managing partner of the Waltham, MA-based integrated inbound marketing and PR firm The Mishra Group. He writes about his three passions: marketing, scriptures and gardening.)