Bloom Day Supplement: Roses In Shade And Other July Blooms

So on Tuesday night my Bloom Day post was getting long, and I was getting tired, so I decided to cover the back garden in a second post. Which is what I’m doing now.

Prairie Rose
Prairie Rose

I refer to the back garden as my shady garden, but it is a light, dappled shade mostly from tall Silver Maples (Acer saccharinum) and Siberian Elms (Ulmus pumila – yes, I know Siberian Elms are a terrible tree, but they were planted long before we moved here).

More flowers than you might expect are fairly happy with this level of light. No blackspot or other diseases – though I did have one rose I had to remove because of rose rosette.

Currently I have three different roses growing in the back garden, all in bloom.

DSC_0853 darlows enigma rose

The rambler ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ grows on the arbor. This rose has clusters of small, single white flowers that bloom throughout the summer.

8b Darlow rose
‘Darlow’s Enigma’

They are not powerfully fragrant, but when you walk under the arbor you do catch a whiff of their sweet scent.

Prairie Rose
Prairie Rose

Growing against the white brick garage wall there is the wild Prairie Rose (Rosa setigera), with single pink blooms that fade to cream.

DSC_0599 sally holmes rose

Finally, ‘Sally Holmes’ blooms near the east fence, positioned where it can get the most late afternoon sun. While the roses mentioned above started to bloom only this month, Sally has been flowering since early June. The flowers come in trusses that at that this point are showing some age.

'Sallie Holmes'
‘Sallie Holmes’

Every winter for the past three years, the rabbits keep eating Sally’s canes almost down to the ground. She rebounds, though, and still blooms. This fall, however, I will not forget to surround her with chicken wire.

Indian Pink
Indian Pink

You may have noticed that in the back garden I favor white flowers specifically and softer colors generally. Indian Pink (Spigelia marylandica) is an exception to this. Judy thinks this flower has an extra-terrestrial look to it, but it is in fact a North American native, as the name suggests.

Smooth Hydrangea
Smooth Hydrangea

Going back to the theme of white flowers, there are some big old Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) that bloom enthusiastically through the heat of summer.

DSC_0944 Elderberry
Black Elderberry

Also, the Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) is flowering now, with huge clusters of tiny cream-colored blooms.  There is one Elderberry growing in my Thicket Corner, which also surrounds the Siberian Elm with Wild Currant (Ribes americanum), Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa) and Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum opulus var. americanum).

DSC_0591
Black Elderberry in the corner of the Corner Thicket.

This Elderberry is the straight species, with tiny berries are edible but don’t taste like much. When ripe, they are quickly eaten by the birds.

Let’s leave the flowering containers for another day, shall we?

Have you ever tried growing roses in shade?

50 Comments on “Bloom Day Supplement: Roses In Shade And Other July Blooms

  1. Loved seeing all of the whites and soft tones in your back garden Jason! You have given me ideas for some shady areas in my back garden! Happy gardening to you! Nicole

  2. The pale colours certainly are lovely and restful, I love the Hydrangea/variegated bishops weed combo. Very cool and refreshing.
    Many of the David Austin/English roses do well in part-shade…they don’t flower as prolifically but when they do, they sure light up the dull coners

    • I haven’t tried the David Austin roses. I imagine the roses in my back garden would bloom more effusively with more sun, but they do well enough.

  3. Your white flowering back garden must look especially lovely in the evenings.
    I have David Austin roses too, some growing in partial shade. Have also had roses succumb to the dreaded rose rosette virus. Have you been told to not replant a rose in those places for at least three years?

    • I don’t think I’ve heard that, but I was leery of putting another rose there, so I planted a clematis. On the other hand, ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ is growing just a few feet away and it seems perfectly healthy.

  4. Jason, I have only one rose bush (one of the Explore series that is hardy in zone four) and it doesn’t get full sun, but I wouldn’t call it shade either. Yours are doing wonderfully. The prairie rose looks like the bud is a different colour than the flower and it’s very pretty.

    Have you tried blood meal around the young shoots? Just for while they are still small? I’m pretty sure that doing that saves my crocuses and delphiniums.

      • Oh yes, or the hardware store, where they sell bone meal or fertilizer. I sprinkle it in a circle around the base of certain young plants that I know critters will eat. In my case crocuses and delphiniums. Vegetarian animals don’t like the smell. Some people worry that it will attract other animals, but that hasn’t been my experience and we live in the country. I just do it until the crocuses have bloomed and the delphiniums get past the tender stage.

  5. The white blooms must look great in such abundance and in shade Jason. We often are advised to use white to brighten up shady areas and I can see from this post exactly why. Personally I have not intentionally grown roses in shade, although I did try it out once and the result was a rose bush that leaned so far forwards to reach the sun, it grew horizontally. It may well have been a success had I thought to put in some support to tie the stems in but in the end I moved it, as was my plan when I had a more suited spot prepared.

    • I admit I didn’t set out to grow roses in shade, it’s just that I had an urge to grow roses and those were the best available spots.

  6. Wonderful flowers, but what’s wrong with Siberian elms? Is dislike of them a carryover from the old cold war? Or a sign of a new cold war?

  7. I much admire your Spigelia. I have not had any luck growing it. Such a lovely thing! Any Sally Holmes is one of my favorites, too.

    • It took a while to get the Spigelia established. Also it wakes up quite late in the spring, so I have incorrectly thought it hasn’t made it through the winter some years.

  8. Wow! So many beautiful blooms, Jason! I’m glad to see the Indian Pink doing so well for you–I planted some last year after seeing so much of it growing in North Carolina. I was happy that mine survived the winter after all, but then the rabbits or deer devoured one plant:( Love the Culver’s Root on your first Bloom Day post–I didn’t realize there were cultivars with blooms other than white.

  9. So lovely, Jason. And I had never heard of Indian pink before reading this post. I’ve never seen them in Maine.

    • In the east its native range does not extend north of Maryland, though it is native in southern Illinois and Indiana. It is hardy to zone 5 and is a good shade plant.

  10. Never seen Indian Pinks before. They are a great colour and I love the contrasting little star shapes they have at their tips. They’ve got a look of trilliums about them too. Very nice.

  11. Yes, I have grown roses in shade. I just pulled one out a couple of days ago. It lasted many years, but eventually canes stopped producing and the remaining two canes grew leggy. It still had roses this year, but I thought it was time to pull it. It is potted now and will get all the sun it wants sun – and will be off to a new home next plant sale. Your roses don’t appear to be in shade too long in the day.

  12. All looking really lovely and mature. The only rose I have grown in shade is Madame Alfred carriere. It flowered beautifully but was rather leggy. Yours look great

  13. The only rose that I’ve ever been successful with in shade has been Rosa glauca, but I have to say that half its’ charm for me is the color of the foliage. 🙂

      • It would like a lot of sun but so would many shade tolerant plants. This hedge was heavily shaded by a box elder that I planted when I was a boy and it continued to bloom beautifully. Try it in a spot that is shaded for much of the day but gets strong late afternoon sun and it should bloom.

  14. You have so many natives I would love to get going in my garden. I do have roses in a lot of shade. I should have picked some different roses. They don’t bloom too good.

    • Well, I’m jealous of your coneflowers. With the roses I think a lot depends on the quality of the shade and other garden conditions.

  15. I love how the back garden is so completely different from the front: all those saturated, bright, saucy colors in the front and now all these demur, modest, yet playful ones in the back. I adore those Prarie Roses! And the Darlow’s Enigma are a close second.

    • I’m grateful for the fact that we have both a sunny and a shady garden. Going into the back garden I can feel the temperature drop and the sense of calm. Then I can go back out front for a little excitement.

  16. I have never come across Indian Pink before, I love it. Your roses look beautiful growing in the shade and so does that gorgeous Hydrangea. I have many roses in the shade planted before my time and probably before the garden grew so shady. They don’ t do brilliantly but they have enough blooms to lighten up their corners. Sally Holmes is in full sun, what a wonderful long lasting rose she is.
    If you haven’ t tried David Austin roses do check them out, they are all absolutely fantastic.

    • Indian Pink likes a warm climate but needs moisture. I’ve seen lots of David Austin roses in catalogs and garden centers but for some reason have never pulled the trigger.

  17. How lovely all your roses are, especially Prairie Rose, the shade is certainly suiting them! My new bower in the front is in the shade of the beech trees and I was worrying, but looking at yours I may not trim back the branches! The hydrangea is gorgeous!xxx

  18. Isn’t high summer a wonderful time in the garden? Imagine having so many blooms that you need to posts!

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