Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm Seeing Red!

The Knock Out roses have started blooming in the walking garden!  Oh, how I love to see them bloom.  This makes me fall in love with this garden all over again.


I know Knock Out roses have been much criticized.  And a lot of rosarians may wonder why I grow Knock Out roses here, when I grow so many different types of roses.  Well, let me explain.

Remember, this bed was designed to be a plopping garden.  A garden with a lot of bulbs and perennials.  When I put this garden bed in, I knew this bed might take a lot of my gardening time.  But I wanted roses here.  Of course, I also wanted those roses to be easy maintenance, very disease resistant, bloom constantly, and red.  I could have chosen another rose, but I chose Knock Outs.


Maybe I'm too sensitive, but I'm tired of feeling like I need to defend my choice.  Knock Outs are a rose, and if you find them too many places (shopping malls, every neighborhood, along the highway), that is because they give people what they want - a rose that is extremely disease resistant and blooms constantly.  I know they're not disease resistant in every area, but here, they are ideal.  The only thing lacking is fragrance.


I'm glad I made the decision to put Knock Out roses in this bed.  (There are other roses in this bed, by the way.)  From now on, in this blog, I'm treating Knock Outs like any other rose in my garden - without embarrassment or apology, and with love.

Magical may not be the first adjective you think of when you think of Knock Out roses, but especially in spring when they first bloom in my garden, they are magical to me.

86 comments:

  1. Holley, the knockouts deserve the credit which you give them. They look fabulous in your garden and I am fed up with garden snobbery.

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    1. Thanks, Alistair. I think they deserve a lot of credit, too.

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  2. Hi Holley, you certainly don't have to defend the Knock Out roses as your rose of choice for this part of your garden. The photos speak for themselves :-)! Obviously the Knock Out roses add a lot of color and beauty to the flower beds and what more can you ask from a rose? This area of your garden is truly a masterpiece in design. Thanks for sharing it! By the way, I get serious iris-envy when I see your lovely photos!
    Christina

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    1. Thanks, Christina, for weighing in. Your opinion means a lot, since you grow a lot of roses. I think the Knock Out roses can be a great rose for many areas. I understand rosarians wanting people to branch out, and I do, too, but I am happy to have the Knock Out roses here.

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  3. I think the whole area is lovely. I crack up sometimes at people. Something is popular because it's well liked. You have enough sense to like it also. Why would anyone not have that beauty is beyond me. I always say garden for yourself. Smart choices, it really is lovely!
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Garden for yourself. Good words of advice!

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  4. Holley, you go girl! I get so tired of plant snobs, too. I grow very few roses, but the majority I have are Knockouts because they are workhorses and put up with my rather hands-off treatment of them.

    I have so many people go bonkers because I plant annuals every year. I cannot figure out why it bothers them so much; I grow them from seed and I'm not hurting anyone else. So I like to change up my color scheme every year, is that a crime? I think people who complain about your roses are jealous, and they should be, your garden is spectacular!!

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    1. Oh, your annuals are beautiful, and they work well in your garden. I have often thought I need to incorporate more annuals in my garden. It would make a difference in extending its beauty during the harsh summers. And I think changing up a color scheme every year is a wonderful idea!

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  5. I love your knock out roses - I love mine too. Your garden is always beautiful!
    Blessings,
    Ava

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    1. Glad you have some, and that you love them!

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  6. I wish people would stop critiquing everything under the sun! In my garden, if you bloom well, you're a winner! I love the Knock Out Rose for that reason! I swear we have become a society where everyone thinks their opinion is the only one that counts and I'm so tired of it!

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    1. It's amazing to me, if we stop to think about it, how much peer pressure there is in the gardening world. And there shouldn't be!

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  7. Holley,
    I know that blog award require a lot of thought, but I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for The Sunshine Award. Here is the link: http://nittygrittydirtman.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/the-sunshine-award-goes-to/

    Best,
    Kevin

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    1. Thanks, Kevin. I appreciate you thinking of me.

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  8. They are lovely, and about to bloom like mad in my garden too! :)

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    1. They really do bloom like mad, don't they? :)

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  9. Your walking garden is stunning, and I love the knock out roses! I have a number in my garden. Here they bloom about ten months out of the year with few demands on me. If they were called something besides a rose, they would be praised as a horticultural wonder.

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    1. You're right - 10 months of blooms is a wonderful thing, no matter which plant is doing the blooming!

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  10. Your Knock Outs are just glorious. It would be very silly to ban a plant from your garden because it's too popular! If the gardener places it well and takes good care of it, even a common plant can be extraordinary. Those roses look beautiful in your garden!

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    1. Great insight in your comments. I don't know now why I was ever embarrassed to have these great plants in my garden.

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  11. Love your Knock Outs in your walking garden. I too have many knockouts (35 to be exact) that I planted on a hillside on my property. I have many other roses (50+) that are not Knock Outs, and even though I love my older roses, I do have a spot in my garden for the Knock Out Roses. Wish everyone would think like we do. They are blooming machines!

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    1. They really are blooming machines. I love all my roses, and that includes my Knock Outs!

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  12. I think Knock Outs are great just as you are using them. And you should not feel any regret about planting them. I know a lot of people look down on planting of impatiens because they are so common, but I love them. They do well in my garden and are pretty and I plan to keep on planting them!

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    1. Smart decision about your impatiens, dorothy. If something does well in our gardens, we should love them more, not avoid them!

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  13. Holley - I missed the memo on critical issues with Knock Outs but I love seeing them everywhere and I have 3 reds and 1 pink in my own garden. The bearded iris look great, too! Can't seem to grow iris here.

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    1. I like seeing them everywhere, too! I am so happy to see roses growing in medians along the highway. I think it helps to promote roses, instead of belittle them!

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  14. Yippeee...I love it since I have many knockouts...those were fightin' words and good for you! Too bad for those who cannot accept the loveliness of these roses for those of us who do not have the time, patience and climate for other roses...I am trying a few other roses by the way since I have the knockouts now...and my knockouts are getting foliage as are my Fairy roses and all of my climbers...they love this cool wet weather we are having right now...

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    1. I started growing roses with Knock Outs, too, and now have many others. But I know how wonderful the Knock Outs can be in my climate, and sometimes fall back on their reliability. I hope all your roses do well.

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  15. Hear, hear!! Knock Outs are workhorses! I like KOs and I'm not even big a rose fan. But I am a gardener who likes easy, carefree perennials, and KOs fit right in with that scheme. I use what works; Knock Outs work! 'nough said :-) Thank you for coming to their defense :-)

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    1. People have always wanted a highly disease resistant rose that blooms continuously. Knock Outs can sometimes fill that slot. They're not great in every climate, but the climates that they work in - they really do work!

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  16. It's your garden... I think you should have anything in there that you want...Those roses do add alot of RED to your spring colors...

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. I didn't realize until I took photos that this garden right now is mostly red and purple! A combination some people would cringe at! (Not, I, and as you say - it's my garden!) :)

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  17. There's often a reason plants become common - they grow well! Knock-out roses are such fabulous bloomers - I just wish they were less thorny (those and most roses)! Your garden is beautiful!

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    1. Oh, you're right! Those thorns are vicious! What a perfect rose they would be if they were thornless!

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  18. Your garden must be amazing. Would you tell me just what Knock Out Roses are? And where would I buy them, do you think? I love the idea of a walking garden.

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    1. The tall red roses in my pictures are Knock Outs. Knock Out roses are very popular - you should be able to find them at most garden centers. They should be hardy in your zone 5 garden. If you can't find them locally, you can find them for sale through mail order, but of course, they will be smaller.

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  19. Blimey Holley. Absolutely no reason for apology or embarrassment. They look fabulous - as does your garden. Dave

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    1. Thanks, Dave. Funny how we perceive peer pressure.

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  20. Your garden is stunning! I was looking at roses today and hopefully will be buying climbing ones, my birthday is coming up and I asked for nursery $ so that would be a great present. I enjoy looking at your roses and it makes me want to be there to smell them. Your garden looks very relaxing.

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    1. How exciting to have some gift money to buy roses!!! I am wanting to buy some more climbing roses, too, but my area is not quite ready for them. But I'm anxious!

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  21. They certainly are a stunning bloom. The colour is just fabulous. No need to make apologies for growing something that gives you such a delightful display in your garden.

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    1. I think you're right about not making apologies. Knock Outs are a great rose!

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  22. It just continues to grow more beautiful

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    1. It will peak in another month or so, then the heat will hit! :O

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  23. As a beginner gardener, the Knock Out and some fiesty Climbing Pinkies roses are making these tentative steps into the gardening world fun and successful. That, along with encouragement from more experienced gardeners, gives me the confidence to try other trickier things. We are in the process of creating some new beds and hope to grow some non-Knock Out roses there.

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    1. I'm so glad you said that! The one thing I think Knock Outs have done is make new gardeners realize that roses don't have to be so complicated! I'm so glad you'll be growing all kinds of roses in your garden!

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  24. I love these photos of your garden. Just beautiful! Your beds have that full billowing look that I adore.

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    1. Thanks, Lucy. I really appreciate your sweet compliment.

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  25. I haven't seen "knock-out" roses in the UK. If I do see one, I'll think of you and buy it straight away! Cheap, disease resistant and lengthy blooming - fanatastic!
    Your red rose display is priceless.

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    1. I don't know if many roses are being exported out of the US, due to the emergence here of RRD. But maybe the Knock Outs will cross the pond eventually - it would be interesting to see if they are as disease resistant there, and if they become as popular! For some reason, I don't think the English would like this rose in their gardens as much as Americans.

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  26. Love your blog and the photos of your garden. Hail to the Knock Out roses! I think they're wonderful! Knock Outs are great performers in Southeast Alabama where conditions can get pretty brutal during the scorching summers. I don't think you should ever feel the need to defend any plant you choose to add to your beautiful garden. After all, it's your garden to do with as you like. :-)

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    1. Last year I thought my Knock Outs might not survive the heat and drought we had here. They looked really bad - I was surprised. Not sure if it was the extra high heat, or the drought (or both) that affected them so much!

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  27. Holly, after all I have read, I wish I could get knock out roses here! And yuours are beautiful. I'm eyeing your combinations and (hope this is ok?) am going to try to emulate some of your layout and ideas into my new bed. I love your gardening style.

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    1. A new bed - how exciting! AndI'm flattered! I think inspiration hits us through so many ways. And yet every garden is different and individual. I look forward to seeing how your new bed turns out!

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  28. Holley, I can't imagine anything else making such a strong, beautiful impact in your walking garden! The Knock Outs seem to be another "come hither" plant, at least that's the way they're working on me.

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  29. And I see you have the best ones too, the doubles. The singles don't hold their bloom as long... a rose is a rose is a rose...... I'm not uppity when it comes to great performers in the gardens!

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    1. I like the fluffy double ones. I don't have any single Knock Outs, so I didn't realize the difference. Thanks for the information!

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  30. personally, I like them! They are great for those tough spots where color is needed. Sadly my pink tree knockout rose gave its life up last summer in our heat and drought. I watered but those extreme high temps of 120 just did that poor baby in. I think the bushes fared much better though.
    Debbie

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    1. I'm so sorry you lost your standard. Those temperatures were brutal and extreme last year. My bushes looked bad for a while last summer, and I thought at one time I might lose one, but I didn't. I was actually amazed how much they were affected - they've always been so bullet proof!

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  31. No need to defend them to me I love em~@! They look great in your walking garden. Give them a pedestal for sure as you just can't beat em.

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    1. They are hard to beat. One wet, cool fall I noticed that almost every bush in my garden had blackspot. Some worse than others, but the Knock Outs looked great. That's when I became impressed!

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  32. I want to go for a walk in your walking garden! It's a beautiful Spring picture. Knockout roses don't seem to be available here. The snobbery is mainly aimed at Iceberg roses. It's true they are often used unimaginatively, but that's not their fault. In fact, in an act of protest against garden snobbery, I've just bought one!

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    1. Icebergs don't do as well here, and I have never figured out why. Last year I started watering mine more and it helped. But if Icebergs did as well here as most places, I would have lots of them, too!

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  33. I have a new appreciation for roses and love all varieties

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    1. I love all varieties, too, and have all kinds in my garden.

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  34. Such a lovely spring garden! I never succeed in growing healthy roses....;(

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    1. Maybe you weren't growing the right ones. I hope you can find an easy care rose for your garden. I think they add a touch of romance.

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  35. Holley, you post a lot and I'm always playing catch up with you! :)
    I think you don't need to justify any of you choices as far the garden is yours! I'm not a fan of knock outs either, I see them like a kind of whore but you see the 'pretty woman' in them and this made me see the beauty in them too. They look so good where they are, really. I just love the part with the acid green berberis and the electric blue spikes BTW and some red is needed to balance!

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    1. I do post a lot - don't feel obligated to go back and read all of the posts if you don't care to. Love your description of Knock Outs being a whore! Maybe they are a little too easy! :)

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  36. Where else can you express 'You' but in your own home & garden. Who cares what anyone else thinks...it's your piece of the planet...enjoy in YOUR way xx

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    1. So true - we need to express ourselves in our own gardens, no matter what plant we choose for doing that!

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  37. Your rose choice is perfect. Plus I like how you combined the red with the purple blooms. Lovely garden.

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    1. I didn't know if people would cringe at the red and purple combination or not! Glad you like it, too!

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  38. It's a lovely looking display! At the end of the day it's your choice as the garden owner that matters, you go for what you like rather than what others say :)

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    1. I guess if we were too concerned with other's opinions, we might not be obsessed with roses - or tropicals!

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  39. Beautiful choice for this space. Iris and roses are a favorite combo in my garden. Many do not see some of these landscape roses are "true roses". After growing them in a garden setting, I have also changed my mind about them......

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    1. I'm actually surprised to hear that you have changed your mind. They may not have the romance, fragrance, and history of "true roses", but I've grown to love them, too!

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  40. They are beautiful there in your garden. I'm a defender of Knock-out roses too. They sell Knock-out roses in the rose section at The Antique Rose Emporium, definitely means they are roses. I think they are also a great asset to the landscape as a flowering shrub as you show here. Then there is the "no red in my garden" crowd. That cuts out a lot of pretty plants too.

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  41. There's also the "no orange in my garden" crowd, which makes me sad because that's my favorite color. But I agree that some of those rules can make for a beautiful garden. Just not my garden.

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  42. I have a couple of red Knockouts (one getting big, one still small) and a Rainbow Knockout and love them. Your Knockouts look gorgeous.

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    1. Mine are trying to get very large. I cut them down to size every year, or they would be huge! I bet the Rainbow Knock Out is so pretty and interesting.

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  43. I am not a rose grower, and am not knowledgeable about the varieties of them. Your garden looks very inviting and lovely to me!

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  44. I have knockout roses too as well as others. I absolutely love your "plopping, walking" garden. Keept it up.

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    1. I will - I can't seem to stop plopping! :)

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