Rose Garden

I have always planted roses at our houses.  In the past I have had them running throughout our borders, nearly a hundred at our Ojai home.  Many years ago I developed a love of the David Austin English roses.  They have the most gloriously fragrant blooms on big bushy plants.  I am essentially a lazy gardener and thus don’t spray or fertilize much.  I have found that these roses respond well to my neglect.  I enjoy creating arrangements from the garden and nothing beats the addition of garden roses.

When we bought our new home, Kirk thought a tropical garden would be more appropriate than the wildly crowded cottage style plantings we had before.  I have made an effort to include palms and phormiums around the house, but decided to plant a dedicated rose garden in a semi-circular bed in full sun at the front of our property.

First on the agenda was having the too narrow driveway widened into the area that would become the rose garden.  The addition of just four feet made it possible for two cars to squeeze through the drive and prevented the perpetual traffic jams we had been experiencing.  There were deteriorating railroad-tie borders along the gravel drive which we planned to replace with rock.   In Ojai we had rock-work done using the numberous boulders found right on our property.  Unfortunately, we had no such windfall in Santa Barbara and had to purchase a truckload of boulders to create the rock curbing.  PVC piping was used to lay out the gentle curve that would become the curb.

From enormous boulders, rock curbing was created to hold the gravel drive in place.  The rose garden was cleared and leveled to prepare for the layout.


 Gravel was brought in to top-dress the existing gravel.  PVC piping was again used to begin laying out the pathways and rose beds following the line of the curbing with a central walkway bisecting the semi-circle.

Pathways within the garden were created by installing a heavy, man-made bender board, then leveling with road base and finally top-dressed  with decomposed granite.

I planted over one hundred, one gallon boxwood as edging around all of the pathways.  Irrigation was added to make life simpler.  You can see that the dog has already run over a few of the young plants.  Hopefully, as they grow into a solid hedge he will politely go around them as he chases those passing by.

For my birthday last summer I got this beautiful water fountain.  It was placed at the intersection of the pathways.  Once it is up and running the buried water basin will be covered and hidden with smooth pebbles.  The area surrounding the fountain was made slightly larger by rounding out the pathway corners.

A rose arbor and bench were added to the end of the bisecting walkway.   I chose a wide arbor to be covered by a rose I brought from Ojai.  Sadly, it suffered a bit waiting to be planted.  Hopefully, it will recover in the spring.  The mosaic bench was an auction purchase created by the students at Monica Ros School where I taught for many years.  It serves as a gentle reminder of the wonderful place that provided my children with an incredible education and me with colleagues that have become dear friends.

After many months, here is the rose garden nearly finished.   Now the fun part can begin…planting roses.  I think another post is in order to chronicle the rose selections.  We see the garden as we drive in and out every day as well as from the living room, dining room and kitchen in the house.  I am so pleased with how it has turned out that I keep walking the short paths.  Silly, I know, but I can’t help myself.





3 Responses to “Rose Garden”

  1. Isabel Says:

    Boy, have you been busy, I can hardly wait until I can retire to have more time to spend in the garden.

  2. Sharon Says:

    Yay, you got to plant a rose garden! I can hardly wait to see how it all comes together. Love the blog and the pics going along with the story. Can’t wait to hear more!

  3. donna Says:

    Thanks Sharon. Past time for a visit!