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February 5, 2016 — Northland Rosarium owner found inspiration abroad for her gardens

The Northland Rosarium uses gazebos, flower-lined paths and statues to create the feel of a traditional English garden. (Colin Mulvany)

Article link here: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/aug/11/english-emulation/

When you hear the words “English garden,” many pictures come to mind. After all, we Americans have been fascinated with them for centuries.

Carol Newcomb has been to England twice and her mind is filled with many beautiful images of the gardens she has toured. As owner of Northland Rosarium in southwest Spokane County, she was particularly interested in seeing roses but was instantly taken with everything she saw in those gardens.

“For me, the term ‘English garden’ brings to mind a glorious lushness, edged by borders of boxwood, wonderful vistas edged in blue flowers, and roses on arches, arbors and trellises,” she said.

In “America’s Romance with the English Garden” (Ohio University Press, 271 pages, $26.95), author Thomas J. Mickey describes the English garden this way:

“Its landscape includes a lawn, carefully sited trees and shrubs, individual garden beds with native and exotic plants, and perhaps, out back, a vegetable or kitchen garden. The lawn and the use of exotic plants are relics of the English garden style we have loved for the past two hundred years.”

On her second trip to England, Newcomb joined a group of rose enthusiasts and visited 16 iconic rose gardens in 10 days. That trip had a major influence on the display gardens at Northland Rosarium.

“Mottisfont Abbey was one of my favorite English gardens. It houses a collection of old garden roses and David Austin English roses,” she said recently. “Each garden was very different, but the use of borders, walls and fences to contain the garden is very much a part of English gardening, along with dramatic entrances and vistas.”

Enclosed areas within each garden create “rooms” that can be very different in character from one another and add excitement to the garden.

“They offer a surprise each time you round a corner,” Newcomb said. “You wouldn’t think a garden could be any more beautiful, but then you enter a new room and discover that is indeed the case.”

At Northland Rosarium, a massive brick wall wasn’t in her budget, so she has used conifers, deciduous trees, hedges and shrubs instead to define different areas of the garden.

Back in England, flower borders are frequently edged with neatly clipped boxwood hedges.

“The English tend to anchor their gardens with some type of formal structure – whether it is with shrubs, hedges or topiary – and then plant riotously all around it with all sorts of flowering perennials,” Newcomb explained. “It’s the border that makes everything look organized.”

Wide flower beds are planted profusely with a variety of plants. Roses, lavender, hardy geraniums, bellflowers (Campanula) and catmint (Nepeta) are frequently used.

“When we visited Mottisfont Abbey, I looked through the brick archway into the garden, and all I could see was a blue path inviting me to enter,” Newcomb said. “That blue came from wide plantings of Pritchard’s Variety campanulas. It has been a vivid memory and we have tried to copy that in our garden.”

Other staples of the English garden are structures covered with clematis vines, climbing roses or rambling roses.

In old English gardens, coleus, Joseph’s Coat (Alternanthera) and other annuals with unusually colored foliage were common sights in flower borders. Other popular annuals were lobelia and ageratum, and exotic plants like orchids and ferns were highly sought after. Today, many different types of annuals are available to gardeners for inclusion in flower beds.

“In addition to the perennial plantings, annuals are wonderful plants for filling in with color while the roses are resting up for their fall bloom,” Newcomb said. “Anything with beautiful foliage and wonderful flowers is perfect.”

And last but not least, water features play a key role in an English garden. Glass houses containing water lily gardens were common features of 19th century English gardens and can be seen at places like London’s Kew Gardens today.

“Water is definitely an important element,” Newcomb said. “Every garden we visited had some sort of water feature. We saw fountains, ponds and statuary with splashing water so we’ve added some to our display gardens as well.”

Susan Mulvihill can be reached via email at inthegarden@live.com.

February 5, 2016 — Regal climber

Carol Newcomb's Northland Rosarium offers close to 50 varieties of clematis, including Burning Love, left, Shimmer, top, and Arabella Blue. (Dan Pelle)

It has been called “the queen of vines.” With its lush foliage and wide variation in flower colors and sizes, the clematis has easily earned that title and a spot in the garden.

Carol Newcomb enjoys sharing her love of clematis. As owner of Northland Rosarium, 9405 S. Williams Lane in southwest Spokane County, she carries about 50 varieties of these amazing vines and knows firsthand how rewarding it is to grow them.

“Clematis is a large, diverse group of plants that will grow from 12 inches up to 20 feet and comes in all sorts of different colors,” she said. “No matter what your space, there’s one that will fit it.”

While some might think they’d be challenging to grow, Newcomb says that’s not the case at all.

“They’re very easy vines to grow,” she explained. “It’s said they like their head in the sun and feet in the shade, which is very true. They like some sun – although will tolerate a lot of shade – and like their root system to stay cool.”

This can be accomplished by placing mulch over the root area and planting a perennial or rose at the base of the plant to shade it a bit.

Clematis can be planted throughout the garden season, although spring is considered best because it gives them the opportunity to become established well before fall. Most clematis are in USDA hardiness zones 3 and 4, so they thrive in the Inland Northwest’s climate.

“Since the plants can live up to 50 years, it’s important to get them off to a good start,” Newcomb advised. “They like a rich growing environment, plenty of water and they like to be fertilized.”

When selecting a location for a clematis vine, remember they will need to grow up on some type of support. Since they climb by wrapping their petioles, or leaf stalks, around a support, ones that are the diameter of a pencil work best. Newcomb suggests using cattle panels, fishing line or wire. Some gardeners grow clematis on a fencepost, arbor, or through a tree or rose. All of these methods add a vertical element to the landscape.

Plants should be fertilized twice during the growing season: in the spring when tidying up the garden and again in midseason. Newcomb suggests doing the second fertilization before the end of July, which gives plants a chance to use up the rest of the fertilizer before the fall. She advises against feeding them while the plants are flowering, however, as this can encourage green growth at the expense of blooms.

Newcomb recommends organic fertilizers, alfalfa meal and compost, or balanced fertilizers such as 20-20-20 or 10-10-10.

Knowing when to prune a clematis vine can be confusing. Most clematis have been divided into three main groups that identify bloom time and when to prune them. There are also herbaceous clematis, which die back to the ground every year.

Refer to the accompanying box for an explanation of each group and how to prune them.

Even so, Newcomb doesn’t want gardeners to be fearful of pruning their vines.

“You will never kill a clematis by pruning it wrong,” she said. “You’ll just change when they bloom.”

Susan Mulvihill is co-author, with Pat Munts, of “Northwest Gardener’s Handbook.” Contact her at inthegarden@live.com, or follow her blog at susansinthegarden.blogspot.com.

April 13, 2013 — Northland Rosarium in Prime Magazine

Carol Newcomb in the Northland Rosarium greenhouses

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

April 5th, 2013

Get to planting the garden you’ve always dreamed up with help from Northland Rosarium

It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” The rose is one of those flowers that has been revered and misunderstood through time. They are a symbol of love, friendship and beauty. But roses aren’t the difficult children in the garden that many think them to be. Carol Newcomb, 62, owner of Northland Rosarium, invites everyone to explore the many possibilities of the rose and how it may suit you and your landscaping.

Carol is proof positive that it’s never too late to do what you want to do in life.

I went back to school as an older student,” explains Carol, “and got a degree in the horticulture program at Spokane Community College.”

During the course of getting her degree, Carol met the original owner of Northland Rosarium and decided to purchase the business and property with her husband. That was nine seasons ago. The original nursery has grown to include a vast display garden that includes many flowers that can be found at the nursery. Northland grows many varieties of plants including hydrangeas, peonies and clematis, but it’s the roses that they are so well known for. Roses are one of those plants that many people have misconceptions about. Unfair or not, it’s simply a perception that many hold to.

A lot of people think that roses are tweaky and hard to grow,” says Carol. “Maybe they haven’t had much success with them before, but our whole point here is to show people that roses are easy to grow and don’t take all the time and trouble that they think.”

The roses available at Northland Rosarium are vastly different than what you might find at many of the other retailers selling plants. What is it that makes their plants so different? The roses are grown on their own roots. They are not grafted to the roots of another variety as is so commonly found. What growing the plant on its own roots does is make for a plant that is much more hardy to the elements, virus free and you’ll end up with a bush that is better shaped with more bloom.

Grafted roses can be tender in our cold Spokane climate,” Carol warns, “and many will die over the winter.”

If you’re thinking about a new landscape, or simply freshing up what you already have, Northland Rosarium is the perfect place to get help with your plan. You can walk around the gardens and look at the more than 400 varieties of roses available and find out what companion plants work best for you. Pairing the proper plants will give you the spectacular garden of which you’ve always dreamed.

Even if you don’t have a large space at home to work with, roses are still a wonderful option.

Roses grow beautifully in containers, and are perfect for decks and other small areas,” explains Carol. “You do need to protect those small container plants during the winter, but they are a wonderful option.”

Growing roses isn’t difficult. Northland Rosarium offers workshops on proper planting, caring for your plants and how to prune happen throughout the season. You won’t simply buy and plant and be sent on your way. Knowledgeable and helpful staff will assist you in making your project as successful as possible.

Despite what you may have thought before, roses are a plant that even the casual gardener can incorporate into their landscape and have great success with. What will help to ensure that positive outcome is getting the right plant for your area that is hardy, healthy and capable of providing you with those picture perfect blooms. With a little education and know-how, you can have a garden that will be talk of the neighborhood!

Link to the full article: http://primespokane.com/featured/everythings-coming-up-roses/