My father is the source of my love of roses. He has always been able to grow them and they were a significant part of the garden at each of our homes. I have not fared as well but Canada has been a particular challenge. The first year, our roses were attacked by saw fly larvae and it has taken annual vigilance to eliminate them. That first year, the roses that survived were mostly brown stalks, entirely defoliated. Each year since, at the end of May, I started patrolling our hybrids and wild roses to look for the telltale signs.
This year has seen the least evidence. We’ve certainly turned a corner, and our roses are finally blossoming as they should. The wild rose bushes are massive and coated in white flowers. The reds, pinks, and yellow hybrids and “explorer” roses are also doing well and we’re enjoying the bounty, both in smell and the dash of color they bring to the garden.