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story.lead_photo.caption 'Sunny Sunday' and 'Pristine,' two of many roses from the garden of Blann Britton of Crawfordsville. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/CARY JENKINS)

CRAWFORDSVILLE — With more than 650 roses in all shapes, sizes and colors, it would be difficult to choose a favorite. Walking with Blann Britton, who grows all those roses — a mix of hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, Knock Out and shrub roses — it is easy to see he actually has a lot of favorites.

During a June tour of his spacious Crittenden County home garden, Britton makes frequent stops, touches a rose and says, "This is one of my favorites," and "Here's another of my favorites," or "This is one of my absolute favorites."

Gallery: Crawfordsville Roses

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He knows the name of each variety, which ones have the best scents — there's one he says smells like the perfume White Shoulders — and how the color of the blossom changes as they age.

Britton, a financial adviser and a vice president with B. Riley Wealth Management in Memphis, is a member of the Memphis & Dixie Rose Society and often speaks to garden clubs.

He explains that June really wasn't the best time to be looking at his rose garden. The roses had already finished their second bloom cycle and the last cycle — the third in a season — has the least roses and ends around the Fourth of July. "It gets so hot they just don't do anything," he says.

"See this rose?" he asks, pointing to a large traditionally shaped red bloom. "This is one of the best there is in red.

That's a 'Veterans' Honor.' It looks like velvet and it's just probably the best red rose, bar none." He explains individual blooms on this rose can be twice this big in cooler weather. "Roses get smaller when it gets hot," he says.

He planned to prune back all the rose bushes to 30 inches this first week of August, take out dead growth and fertilize. This prepares them for their fall flush of flowering, which he hopes will also have three cycles. "Two years ago, we had them at Christmas. I was picking roses on the 22nd. We had roses all over the house."

While roses might be the main flower he grows, his yard is a showcase with a variety of flower beds, featuring lilies, marigolds, zinnias, coleus and a variety of colorful plants that circle trees, surround the house and line the backyard fence. He also tends herbs, a vegetable garden, blueberry bushes, fruit trees and a truck patch with peas and beans.

As for the roses, by September, they will be glorious again in a new bloom cycle.

Style on 08/05/2019

Print Headline: PHOTOS: Myriad roses shine in Arkansan’s garden

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