Once upon a time, when I was young and stupid, I decided to grow roses. Not knowing that they have about 5,379 pest problems. I envisioned a gorgeous rose garden, with healthy plants, fragrant flowers, and lush foliage. What I got was a scraggly-ass plant, with anemic-looking flowers and so many insect infestations that I needed an entomology degree to figure them all out.
I was living in Vermont at the time, so I was totally organic, pesticide-free and proud of it, baby. When the Japanese beetles arrived on my poor little rose plant, I researched the best way to eliminate them using non-toxic methods. The recommendation was to blast them off with a hose. Okay. First day I got a few beetles, and shot them with some water. Second day, maybe fifty? By the third day there was a Roman orgy of beetles on that plant. It was like a Bookstrand book gone bad...M/F/M/F/M/F/M/F/M. There were so many beetles humping each other, I lost sight of the plant. It was like a giant humping orgy of beetles in the shape of a rose vine. Needless to say, shooting the beetles with water wasn't that effective. It would have required using a volume of water equivalent to the Atlantic Ocean. So, I said screw it. I'll plant sunflowers instead.
Anyhow, I just got my White Flower Farm catalogue this week. And lo and behold, there are some totally kick-ass rose plants in there. They look so alluring....lush, healthy, vibrant, with nary a horny, humping beetle in sight. I might just have to revisit this whole rose gardening thing.
Here are my favorite plants from the catalogue....