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Beautiful American Rose Gardens

A rose is a rose is a rose, but every rose garden — and every rose gardener — is unique. In Beautiful American Rose Gardens, Mary Tonetti Dorra, author of Beautiful American Vegetable Gardens, captures the special beauty of twenty-four rose gardens devoted exclusively, or nearly exclusively, to America’s most beloved flower. Traveling from Maine to the Pacific Northwest, from Florida to California, Dorra not only discovered a variety of rose garden designs, but also a myriad of approaches to cultivation, depending on climate, garden size, location, and, of course, the gardener’s favorite roses.

Roses, long considered to be impossible to incorporate into the landscape, here prove themselves to be durable rather than delicate, versatile rather than difficult, and in every case absolutely dazzling in their splendor. Working out the logistics of successive bloom and meeting the challenges of too much heat, too much cold, too much moisture, or too poor soil, each gardener has developed his or her own cultivation plan — and a selection of their secrets is presented in Growing Tips from the Gardeners.

What is most striking about this celebration of the rose is the shrub‘s potential variety — endless combinations of colors, from the purest whites to the brightest reds and oranges; of forms, from tiny Miniatures to towering, tree-engulfing Ramblers; and of uses, from military rows to sinuous free-form borders to startling accents in the middle of the woods. Every featured garden is a gem that will inspire: New England old garden roses, some descended from those the Puritans carried across the Atlantic; a Colefax and Fowler-designed Palm Beach garden; the butterfly-shaped garden at Boone Hall plantation in South Carolina; the French-inspired garden of¬†¬†Maison Chenal in Louisiana; the astounding 350 varieties of roses grown in a garden in Spokane, Washington; and Dolores and Bob Hope’s high-profile Hollywood garden.

With more than 250 color illustrations, Beautiful American Rose Gardens offers both intimate views of individual roses as well as bird’s-eye views of overall garden designs. Tips from the owners, caretakers, and designers bring to life the fun, challenge, and joy that these gardens inspire. The garden plans and a thorough source list are a great starting point for new garden planners and an excellent reference for veterans. In all, Beautiful American Rose Gardens is an invaluable resource as well as a stunning tribute to America’s favorite flower.

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1 comment to Beautiful American Rose Gardens

  • Anonymous

    INFORMATIVE, COMPREHENSIVE–A GREAT GIFT! I was drawn to this book by the stunning pictures of roses and rose gardens. However, it is the wealth of valuable information on EVERY aspect of roses that make this one of my all-time favorite gardening books.

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