Imagine: Talk about a love/hate relationship! Yes, I have one with this rose.
Name: Rosa rugosa aka rugosa rose or beach rose
Type of Plant: A thorny, spreading rose that has the ability to grow just about everywhere.
Why I love this plant: In a genus populated with prima donnas and varieties known to be persnickety, this shrub is remarkably hardy, disease free and willing to grow in the poorest soil. The flowers are fragrant (in some cultivars especially so) and the rose hips are both beautiful and tasty.
In fact, ask my friend and pod-cast host, Ellen Zachos and she’ll tell you that the hips are wonderful in in jelly and cocktails. See her recipe for a cocktaithat honors National Podcast Day here.
Why I hate this plant: This plant is a land grabber. It’s not content to stay in the area where you want it to grow…you can be sure it will make a play for the lawn, the neighbors yard and your driveway. I also hate the fact that because this plant suckers off to the sides with space in between clumps, it allows weeds to grow in and around the roses. But the plants are so thorny that it’s hard to get in and pull the weeds out.
A Word to the Wise: In order to keep these plants full and bushy, plus tend to the weeds regularly, cut them down to six inches every other year. This will prompt new growth and allow you to weed between the plants. If you don’t think that you’ll get to this regularly, be prepared for your rose patch to become filled with random vines and weeds.
***FORAGER ALERT!*** My friend Ellen Zachos gives the recipe for rose hip liqueur on our Plantrama blog! Use this to create wild-crafted cocktails such as the Podcasters Punch that Ellen made.
Normally I would put my Saturday plant post in the “Love This!” category, but I can’t honestly do that with this plant. So it’s going under “Gardens” since I don’t have a category called “Ambivalence.”