Thursday, May 9, 2013
I love roses, especially antique or old garden roses. They are tough, vigorous, rewarding shrubs that require very little attention. A few years ago, in my search for a peach or apricot-colored, antique rose that would make a good hedge, I discovered Perle d'Or, an Earth-Kind rose. It has grown spectacularly in less than three years and that is why I would like to offer a brief post about the Earth-Kind rose designation.
According to the Earth-Kind website of Texas A&M, it is a "special designation given to select cultivars by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service". For approximately eight years, the roses are exposed to various soil types and tested for heat and drought tolerance in US Zones 7 through 9. They are treated with no pesticides, whether chemical or organic, and with no commercial fertilizer. They are not deadheaded. If they not only survive but thrive under what is almost neglect and in harsh conditions, they are considered for the designation. It seems that other universities have jumped on the bandwagon as well, so that there shall be Earth-Kind roses tested for colder climates and different challenges.
Earth-Kind landscaping is what it suggests, environmentally-conscious landscape practices that limit chemicals and promote water conservation.
I realize that not everyone gardens in subtropical conditions, but these roses did not originate in Texas. More to the point, there's lots to be appreciated about roses that thrive in one's locale with very little attention. We are loving our Perle d'Or hedge.