I've been a little under the weather lately, but it felt good to get outside and create this Drift Roses bed in our yard.
Are you familiar with them? Drift Roses are from the same people who developed Knock-Out Roses, and they are as maintenance-free and disease resistant as the Knock-Outs. They are a cross between full-size ground cover roses and miniature ones. Their low, spreading growth habit makes them perfect for small beds.
Creating this bed for Drift Roses came a little by accident. You see, I had purchased 3 small ones about 2 years ago and had placed them along the front of our house. I really had not allowed enough space for them, so we moved them to this bed in our side yard. And here they thrived and spread out and bloomed their little hearts out all last summer.
So adding more Drift Roses to this bed was on my to-do list for this spring. Now you may not be able to tell much from this photograph, but this bed was in a state of mess! It has been a work-in-progress. Last year, Leo dug out an old quince bush that was so large that he had to pull up the root ball with a chain and his pick-up truck! Since this is an old bed, there have been many bulbs planted in it over the years by my mother-in-law. The irises bloomed pretty in the early spring, but many of the other bulbs would send up shoots and no blooms. So it was time for them to come out.
We purchased 3 more Drift Roses about a week ago and out came my shovel! First, I removed all the irises.
I ended up with 2 buckets of irises that I gave to my sister-in-law. Next I dug out many tiny bulbs, some of which were even coming up through the border grass in the bed.
I weeded and pulled vines and cleaned up the bed before planting my 3 new roses. I didn't amend the soil in this bed before planting them since the other roses did so well in this soil. I did fertilize the other roses in early spring, and I know that Amerson's Nursery where I purchased these had already fertilized the new ones. If you purchase Drift Roses, I would suggest asking the folks at your local nursery for advice on planting since they are familiar with the soils in your area.
The ones that I planted are called Red Drift, and I love the fact that when they first open they are red with yellow centers. Then they fade to a beautiful rose-pink color. They bloom continuously from spring to fall, and sometimes I cut a few to place in small bud vases in the house. During the winter, they even retain their foliage .
Ta-Da! Here's the bed all cleaned up and much better looking. The new roses are noticeably smaller but they'll catch up in size over the summer. And did you notice? I left room in the middle of the bed for an ornamental tree. I'm thinking about a weeping cherry or a fringe-leafed Japanese maple. Which would you plant?
Your roses are lovely! I’ve just learned of these pretty roses today...my husband surprised me with a trip to the nursery to pick out a plant to commemorate the birth of our stillborn son on this day 10 years ago. I chose a drift rose.
I’ve read that these roses need direct sunlight, and it looks like yours may get a little shade, yet they look like they’re very content. Can you tell me how many hours of sunlight your bed gets each day? We have a lot of shade in our yard from huge oak trees and it’s difficult to find a place that gets sun all day long. I’m in AL, btw, so not terribly different from your growing zone.
I’m new to planting. I bought several of the drift roses. I’m curious to know if they keep their foliage during the winter months? In your article I read that they did. What part of the country do you live? I’m from MS
Yes, my experience has been that they retain their foliage during winter but I live in South Carolina. Usually we have mild winters but this past year, we had several nights where the temperature was down to 12 degrees for several nights. The roses fared well.
I have a bed of driftwoods. They are beautiful and constantly bloom.
I bought a red drift rose a few months ago. I planted it in a container on my deck. It's filled with buds. I am anxiously awaiting them to bloom.
Wish me well.
We incorporated 6 Drift Roses in our front flower bed along with Knockouts and other pretties. So far the Drifts are my favorite. They are growing and blooming like crazy. I go out every few days and cut some to put in my blue Ball jar. 🙂
Sharon @ The Blue Willow House
I love your drift roses. Thanks for the introduction to this species of rose. Pinned on Pinterest too!
Very pretty! I just bought my first rose and I'm not sure it's going to make it...should have gotten these or knockouts I suppose!
Jane, that looks so pretty. I've never heard of Driftwood Roses. There are so many blooms on each bush. I'm going to look for some of those. laurie
The roses are beautiful and will add so much beauty to your yard. I certainly do understand the feeling and reward of working in ones yard. All of your neighbors will also enjoy the beauty of the roses as they continue to grow. Jean
These are beautiful Jane. I will show this to J. I think they would be wonderful on one of our berms.
Gorgeous, Jane! Nice lesson 🙂
Drift Roses are delightful and wonderful for the deep south where we can't have hybrid teas because of the humidity.
I first planted them about four years ago when I first began to seeing them around and inquired as to what these beauties were. They are now my favorites over Knock Outs because they don't grow out of bounds by August and require pruning in the heat of the summer. They come in many beautiful shades including yellow and white. The red and coral look great against a dark brick or background. I bought the hot pink color and enjoy them against the green of the grass.
You can't go wrong with Drifts!
Have never heard of these, but think that I need some now! They are pretty. Last year was rough on my flowers, not everything survived the heat and drought, even though I watered daily. It was a grustrating year for gardeners in this area! Think that I will look for drift roses and give them a try this year! Thanks for sharing!!
Hi Jane, sorry to hear you've been feeling under the weather. I think it must be the crazy weather. I never heard of these roses, and I think I am going to try and find them here and plant them in my yard out back. I think either of those ornamental trees would look lovely, I'm leaning towards the maple. xo
I've never heard of the drift roses. I wonder if they are low enough to go up a hill. My backyard has about 10 flat feet and another 30 feet of hill. I think I'll go google them. I love your "outside posts. They inspire me!
SheilaG @ Plum Doodles
The roses are beautiful, Jane! I think that is what I bought by accident a couple of years ago, thought I was getting knock-out roses. They have done great, and if something survives my neglect, they get a big thumbs up! We had a weeping cherry at a previous home, loooved the smell- I would sometimes pull off a leaf and crush it just to get a whiff of it. 🙂
SheilaG @ Plum Doodles
Oh, and I'm sorry to hear you've been under the weather, hope you are feeling better. ♥
I didn't know anything about drift roses. I have knock outs that I love but the bugs chew the leaves terribly. I hate that all the leaves have holes in them! I've tried sprays but they don't really work. Hope you are feeling better! Enjoy Memorial Day...Ann
Those are lovely roses...and fast growers! I would plant a Japanese maple...so colorful and would look wonderful in any landscaping. Enjoy your day! 😉
I have never heard of drift. I wonder if they are like the ones that are common here at beach cottages, they look similar. My knockouts are getting ready to bloom. We are still in azalea and rhody season. I planted New Dawn roses this year by the arbor. They say within 3 years they will cover it. They say that about clematis too, and it hasn't always been the case. But it is fun watching to see if they live up to expectations!
I hope you are feeling better!
[email protected] Designs
P.S...I meant to say "drift roses"...my mind has been on driftwood lately!!!! 🙂
[email protected] Designs
I have never seen the driftwood roses...love them and your "island of flowers" are so beautiful...and I love that the driftwood roses keep their foliage during the winter...I will definitely have to get some of those roses!!...and hope you are feeling better Jane!! Happy Memorial Day!
Your roses and bed are beautiful Jane! The knockout roses have been beautiful this spring, I'm not familiar with drift roses! Love their mounding shape, they'd be beautiful next to a lime green Japanese Maple! Glad you're feeling better, wishing you a Happy Memorial Day 🙂
[email protected] Charm
Thank you for the intro to these roses. I have some knock-out roses, but the driftwood ones are new to me. Your bed looks GREAT!!!