There is something about roses in the garden that brings a smile. I grew up always knowing that when I went to visit my grandparents, Albert and Rose Behnke, that there were going to be flowers in the house. But once the first rose started to bloom, their house would always be filled with roses.
Last week my daughter, Jaimie, decided it was time to add a few plants to her front yard. She and her husband purchased her grandparents’ home (her grandparents moved next door) 2 years ago but the old shrubs in the front had been removed years before. With Spring break and beautiful weather, she and my grandchildren arrived at the garden center ready to shop.
So what to put in front of this beautiful brick rancher home? We both knew that my mother-in-law had hydrangeas and azaleas there in the past. But maybe it was time for a change. Long-time Behnke employee John Reed (you know, the cowboy) suggested she try boxwood and ‘Little Heath’ dwarf Japanese pieris (Pieris japonica) since they like shade to part shade and are deer resistant. Jaimie loved the ‘Little Heath’ but decided against the boxwood. Then she needed something for the corner which got more sun and after looking at many different plants and how they grew, it came out that what she really wanted was a rose bush. Once again John Reed showed up and suggested one of his favorite roses, ‘Hansa Rose’ (Rosa rugosa hybrid) which gets vibrant reddish-violet blooms with large 20 to 30 petals and a strong sweet clove scent and showy red hips in the fall. It will grow to be 4 to 5 foot tall and best of all, it’s a disease resistance rose! PERFECT!
After looking around a little more at the nursery, picking up some RoseTone and garden soil she had just one more item to purchase: a shovel! “A shovel?” I asked. “Umm you know your dad lives next door and on the other side is your grandfather and I am sure they will let you borrow a shovel.” “Mom, I need my own. I can do this!” Okay then, I just smiled and nodded and she laughed. She and I both knew what was in store for her when she got home.
I think her father was watching for her arrival because as soon as she got home, up he went to help unload the plants. Out came the tape measure and with some help from Aaron, our grandson, they were placed perfectly and thus began the actual planting. That led to bringing up the tractor to pull out old roots and then granddad came home and got to come and help with the project. Yes, Jaimie got her shovel…along with some help, but then that is what family is all about. Team work!
Later that night when I arrived home, Aaron took me up to see the garden where he put his dragon wing wind thingamajig that he picked out at the nursery. He explained all the steps it took to plant these wonderful bushes and how he helped with the ‘guys’ and his mommy!
I only wish my grandparents were still around to see their great granddaughter and great great grandson getting so excited about landscaping their yard. Another generation of Behnkes finding satisfaction in their garden.
by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President