Roses are hot again.
The fragrance, the lush factor, the elegance. Only this is not your grandmother’s rose water. It’s rose reinvented, incorporated into new products and cut with new spicy scents like saffron.
We’ve been spotting roses around town this winter in various forms. The old fashioned, opulent, petalled wonder at Magpie, the essential oils inside the rose truffles from Chocosutra. The new perfume by Salvatore Ferragamo, called Emozione, which features Bulgarian rose, a rich, heady scent. Sight, taste and smell aside, you can even breathe it or apply it in your skin care routine through an essential oil and experience the intoxicating and uplifting vapor as it spreads through your body.
But even this sensation is short lived.
A longer lasting way to access this ancient delight is to go to the source. Purchase a live rose bush.
Just as all things come around in cycles, this timeless poesy is surging in popularity again in 2015. For many Austin gardeners, roses have never been out of fashion. Antique roses, heirloom roses, and hybrid tea roses all possess prime varieties that thrive in Texas landscapes.
Barton Springs Nursery boasts an entire bank of rose bushes to plant right now, while the weather is still not 106 degrees and sunny. It’s worth a stop if you want in on the rose trend this year.
On a cold rainy and day in late winter, Dora pointed to Duan Juan, a fruity, fragrant, dark red tea rose, one of her favorites. They can be grown in large pots or in well-amended soil right in the ground. Her tips for growing roses in Austin:
- Roses can be planted any time of year, as long as you give the plant plenty of water and excellent drainage.
- Roses love a special garden area or bed away from other plants because they require acidic soil. Dora recommends the locally sourced Ladybug brand of soil for made specifically for roses.
- Most roses prefer full sun. Don’t worry; these plants can handle hot summers and cold winters.
- Roses love the outdoors! Never try to bring a rose inside; they crave the air and the elements.
- Roses are best in the ground, but a very large pot will do in a pinch.
Rose lovers are passionate people, and are forthcoming in their opinions about what and where to plant. Some suggestions include Joseph’s Coat, Cadenza, Cameron Bohls, Lady Banksia, and Cecile Brunner. Austin rosarians provide never seem to runout of suggestions — proof that the diversity is nearly endless with roses. There’s a perfect rose for just about any situation.
Besides Barton Springs Nursery, the two rose sources just a short drive away are Chamblee Roses in Tyler and the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham. These growers specialize in roses and ship nationwide, so you’re sure to find exactly the right rose for your location.
If you’re looking for other Austin folks who are freaky for their roses, need some questions answered or just want to brag, there’s a place you can go. The Austin Rose Society meets at the Zilker Botanical Garden at 7:00 pm on the third Tuesday of every month except July and December. The website has many pages with local insider tips devoted to helping you grow healthy roses in Austin.