Ok, so all of our actual roses are bare now as winter closes in. It's snowing and sleeting tonight, but spring will be back. And when it comes, I'll be adding roses to the cutting beds. After some tea and cookie-fueled research, I decided on these three from Heirloom Roses:
The cutting garden is shaping up to be full of sunset colors: gold, apricot, salmony pinks, and a few blues for contrast. These are always my favorites, and the reds and whites already have a home in the perennial border, so they won't be missed here. I'm not a huge fan of icy pinks and magenta-purples, so they are not invited.
All of the roses I ended up choosing are David Austin roses. He is a breeder who works to create old-fashioned looking English roses. I looked at lots of actual old garden roses, but ended up choosing these newer varieties for the cutting garden because of their reblooming quality – it makes sense to have them produce throughout the season to make the most of them for bouquets. I also chose ones that are highly fragrant to offer some flexibility with harvesting for cosmetic purposes. And what's the point of a rose if it doesn't smell good?
Planning for the (eventually) coming spring is one of my favorite parts of gardening. It helps pass the gray winter hours, and I do love research and planning and organizing. It's just so satisfying to be working solely in the world of Platonic ideals for a bit. In the December catalogues, every flower is perfect, every vegetable huge, every fruit unblemished. There are no squirrels, no droughts, no frigid northerly winds. My mental garden is reasonable consolation for the cold and darkness of the next several weeks, so I'll continue to nurture the imaginary while I wait for spring.