Gotta Garden

Sunday, April 22, 2007

National Rose Garden

The U.S. Botanical Garden has a new National Garden of which the Margaret Hagedorn Rose Garden is part. Last Wednesday, I toured this new garden (as part of a group) with the USBG's Rosarian. The most striking thing was that there were no roses in bloom! The Rosarian was embarrassingly aware of this and said next year the tour would be in May (more appropriate).

I was interested in the layout of the garden and what had been chosen to plant with the roses, so the fact that the garden was not yet in bloom wasn't that big of a deal to me. Also, I'll be back next month for a tour of the National Garden itself and will get a chance to see the rose garden again.

Here are a couple of photos that show you the layout:

(It'll be even nicer when the pots get filled.)

The garden is named after the wife of the founder of Miracle-Gro, one of the major sponsors of the garden. Jackson & Perkins has named a rose for her and there are several in the garden. Most of the roses are own root (yea!) and the area is mulched with cocoa hulls from Hershey. They will not be spraying for Japanese Beetles as they try to be as organic as possible. I definitely will want to come back in summer to see how the garden manages. Part of their organic routine has been a spring feeding of sea kelp, cottonseed meal, alfalpha meal, milorganite, cockadoodledoo and epsom salt.

You can get a nice handout on the garden at the mailbox (just like at Longwood!). Among the things we learned was that President Reagan designated the National Flower in 1986 after the US Congress recommended it. The roses in the garden may change over time as any that don't make the grade will be replaced by something else. We were told it was their intent to have all classes of roses represented.

Planted with the roses were a number of herbs (thymes, sages, catmint, calamint, etc.), hardy geraniums, various groundcovers like Lithodora difusa 'Grace Ward' and Mazus reptans 'alba'. I was particularly interested in those as I have acquired both recently; however, I purchased a lavender Mazus (part of the Steppables line). The blue of the Lithodora difusa is so striking that I just had to try it. I learned at the Rose Garden that it needs sharp drainage.

Here are a couple things I wasn't familiar with that were planted in the garden:

This is Cudweed, Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis'.

And, this is Cancer Weed, Salvia lyrata 'Purple Knockout'.

Lithodora difusa 'Grace Ward'

Something else new were the dwarf peonies that Klehm's Song Sparrow Nursery has introduced:

On the far wall, the flowers of each state are displayed in portraits made by children. Scotts Miracle-Gro sponsored a contest and these were the winning entries.

A most interesting one:

This is an area that has roses planted that it is hoped will cover the area. I saw Carolina Jessamine planted here also. (More empty pots...)

You can see how lovely it will all be when it is more established.

Here's an idea that we could all copy. Clematis have been planted behind the shrub roses.

Various types of thyme are planted between the pavers:

However the real stars right now in DC are the tulips:

Who can resist violas?

Across the street at Bartholdi Park (part of the USBG):

It's too bad signs like this are necessary:

Around the fountain, a gorgeous (and very patriotic) display:


Tulips by the Capitol:

A last image, the Capitol in spring:

All pictures are clickable.


gardenmomma (Chris) said...

What wonderful photos. I can see why you'd want to go's a lot to take in in one visit. I've never been there; maybe I should go if only to visit the gardens!

Laura said...

Those are beautiful photos. I love the tulips and the one of the fountain.

Gotta Garden said...

Hi Chris: Thanks! I do like the USBG...I just wish it weren't in!

Hi Laura: If only the fountain work could be done and completed...we were told, I think, that Congress has approved funding (finally)...but it takes time as does so much in government...thanks!

A wildlife gardener said...

Great photos! Love the tulips and the violas.

Mary said...

Thanks for a great tour. The children's artwork is so nice. You know, I could spend hours in an arboretum or garden such as this one even though I don't much about flowers, trees, and plants. I just love them! LOL!

The tulips and violas really struck me. When you go back, I sure hope you can bring us photos just as beautiful with roses in them...

Yolanda Elizabet said...

GG, thanks for a lovely tour round this new garden. Can't wait to see how it will develop.

No roses as yet, but perhaps next month ? If you want to see roses in bloom, you'll have to visit Bliss and then you can have some champagne as well. :-)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Great pictures! I have that salvia lyrata 'Purple Knockout' (from Bluestone) and I love the foliage. (The flowers are not really anything to write home about--they look like a 'Mainacht' type of salvia after it's done blooming.) I have never heard it referred to as "cancer weed," before, though. I'll have to look that one up.

So you're "stealing" the clematis and the thyme ideas? Anything else? :)

lisa said...

Great pics! Thanks for the tour!

A wildlife gardener said...

Hello, Gotta Garden. I have just nominated you for a "Thinking bloggers Award". Please check my website for details.

Gotta Garden said...

Greetings! Hi A Wildlife Gardener! Thanks! Me, too! Lol!

Hi Mary: Thanks so much...I will try...btw, I think it's that love that makes a gardener!

Hi YE: Sounds great! I could use a nice spot to sit down and relax! Bring on the bubbly! I'll be over to see what's new your way! And, yes, I hope, I would think, we'll have roses in May...please!

Hi BS_G: I thought that was wild and wished the sign had more of an explanation about it, Cancer Weed. If I had seen it during the tour, I would have asked.

Well, unfortunately, most of my shrub roses are already pretty good size and I'm not comfortable digging around them...but, it occurs to me that I could experiment with a couple of those very small inexpensive clematis you usually can find out and about pretty soon here...hmmmm. I am trying a couple up is cooperating, one is not...most of mine are on my fence.

I've tried the thyme before and wasn't successful because the weeds took over...I'm going to try it again (already have some thyme sitting and waiting) and lay a newspaper base down, then soil and then the stepping stones...we'll see how that goes. I kinda prefer the more creeping thymes for that...I'm not sure all of those were...

Hi Lisa! Thanks!

Gotta Garden said...

Oh, A Wildlife Gardener, that IS wild!! Thank you! (Now I have to think up something to! I'm speechless...a very rare occurrence!)

Kate said...

The Lithodora diffusa is so pretty as are all the tulips in bloom.

You are an excellent tour guide, knowing just what pictures to take that will delight and educate other gardeners.

It would be wonderful to see the roses in bloom.

The Redneck Rosarian said...

The roses shown here are wonderful. I live near Birmingham AL, and we are blessed to have such a beautiful Botanical Garden. We attended the Birmingham Rose Show held at the gardens, it was a sight to behold.

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