Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memories of Spring

The roses have bloomed and crisped, and the spring flush is already a memory. But its beauty endures, in my mind's eye as well as in these pictures, imperfect though they are.

Zéphirine Drouhin has been one of my most impressive roses this spring.

A couple of years ago, I had to cut it down to the ground because a tree fell on top of it, breaking all the canes. It was an experiment in extreme pruning that fortunately turned out really well.

The rose came back very vigorously....

It took only a year to climb through a tall juniper a few feet away

.... but didn't bloom much last year, preferring to grow its long canes. This past winter, I tied all the canes in rows parallel to the fence and hoped for the best.  I wasn't disappointed.

My only alba, Félicité Parmentier, has been growing very slowly but blooming handsomely. Each year there are more and more blooms on its few canes. They smell wonderful and last for quite a few weeks in half day shade.

William Shakespeare 2000 is another big favorite of mine. My two grafted plants come from David Austin Roses.

They are planted on both sides of my driveway and get regularly whacked by passers-by, neighbors, delivery men and kids on bikes. For all that, they look impressive, bloom generously and stay healthy.

Shön Ingeborg, having finally been put in the ground after two years in a pot, has rewarded me with a very generous flush. Quite a few buds crisp and fall off  (my William Shakespeare 2000 roses do that too), but what does open looks wonderful. The bush is very healthy too.

I have tried a few of John Clements' roses over the years, and find them as variable and unpredictable in growth habit, disease resistance and bloom quality as David Austins. Magnificent Perfume is so far one of only two (Imagine being the other) that I feel are here to stay. Magnificent Perfume mildews a little most of the time, but it is vigorous, and the blooms are gorgeous.

'Benny Lopez' has been very lovely this spring. On its own roots, it suckers readily though never straying far. It is healthy for me and the blooms are always well formed and fragrant. Benny's only drawback, which it shares with a few cluster-flowering hybrid perpetuals and such, is that often the first bud, surrounded by a cluster of secondary buds, has no room to open properly. But as you see, there are still plenty that do open well.

After four years of being a restrained 4'x4' shrub, my Jude the Obscure (grafted from David Austin) started throwing longer and longer canes.  It seems to be on a determined mission to reach the moon.

I cut these canes back quite severely and my bush started branching and spreading sideways enthusiastically. The blooms have a heavenly fragrance for which I will always keep the rose, but they last a few hours, and the rebloom so far is not generous at all. It does stay healthy for me.

I aways find it so hard to set the exposure to capture the tender embrace between the fair Sharifa Asma and the dark Ebb Tide. Both of them are healthy, fragrant, and generous with bloom, besides being some of my most mannerly roses in terms of growth habit. True soulmates.

I acquired 'Lundy's Lane Yellow' because it is a found rose (I love the mystery) and because of a glowing description in Vintage Gardens catalog (always a big inducement to buy). In its second year, the color of the blooms has become richer and more nuanced, but the foliage has started to mildew :(. I am still trying to decide whether to keep it or not.

I confess that I grow Hermann Lindecke chiefly because it is a rare rose. There are good reasons why this particular rose is rare. It is easily the sickliest in my garden (mostly rust), not very vigorous, and the blooms are not really distinctive in any way (for me at least). They are pretty, fragrant and open well, and that's about it. Thankfully its diseased foliage is not very prominent because  the beautiful chartreuse leaves of a large feverfew clump are all around it.

Pat Austin is exuberant, as ever. It is true that its blooms fade in seconds and afterwards linger rather longer than they should,  but it is a keeper in my garden for its bright good cheer, fragrance and clean foliage.

The spring flush is now over, and most roses are resting. The task of deadheading has been daunting, and a few of my large climbers (Mme. Berard in particular) set hips long before I found time to bring in the ladder and pruning shears. Perhaps I will do better next spring :)


  1. Now these photos can cause some serious 'wishing to own'.

    These are beautiful. It must be absolutely wonderful to walk around in all of this beauty.

    Enjoy and have a nice long weekend ~ FlowerLady

  2. What healthy looking roses. My Ebb Tide is just now starting to's worth the wait looking at your pictures.

  3. Amazing photos of your giant roses! Your William Shakespeare roses are wonderful. I am so relieved that the two I transplanted this spring - after they had already leafed out - are finally putting out some new leaves. I had to cut them back almost to the ground after transplanting, and they sat without leaves for several weeks. Hopefully they'll recover just as your smashed ZD did. Impressive how roses can recover from these traumas!

  4. I would say that's about as perfect as it gets! Incredible photos, and through the lens of your camera...even better! Sharifa Asma and Ebb Tide are indeed soulmates, but I think your camera settings are perfect! Zephirine!

  5. Nie mogłam sie napatrzeć na Twoje piekne róże. Ogrodzenie oplecione obficie kwitnacymi różami wygląda jak z bajki. Szkoda, że nie mogę poczuć ich zapachu. Pozdrawiam cieplutko.
    I could not have a good look at your beautiful roses. Fence entwined with roses blooming profusely looks like a fairy tale. It's a pity that I can not feel their smell. I greet warmly.

  6. Wow how I wish I had a rosegarden like yours Masha. Thanks for sharing all the beauty.

  7. Masha, awesome photos! I love the rose 'William Shakespeare', has very deep color and yellow one 'Lundy's Lane', they both are exciting!

  8. Speechless !!! Thank you, Masha !!!

  9. It's always so exciting to see what happens in your garden!! Your roses are gorgeous, and your photos are totally delicious. That is without a doubt the best photo I have EVER seen of Pat Austin (one of my favorites, too).

  10. Gorgeous gorgeous ! Spoiled for choice here ! Love them all. William Shakespeare is lovely (I have a baby and am waiting for its first blooms ) and Ebb Tide (new oe on me !). I am an English rose fan and collector and love them all. Thanks for photos.

  11. Fabulous photos Masha! I'm not suprised at the response of Zephirine. I'm starting to suspect here that occasionally the best way to rejuvenate a 10 year old shrub rose is to cut it to the lose a year of bloom but it comes back more shapely and healthy. So far, it's worked on on R. eglanteria, Carefree Beauty, and Sally Holmes.

    Hartwood is dead on about the Pat Austin picture. Wow!

  12. Merci masha pour toutes ces merveilleuses roses, chacune méritent des commentaires en particuliers mais wouha.......... quelles beautés !!!!
    Vous seule en payez le prix par les soins que vous leurs apportez et par le courage d'affronter leurs épines et pour nous spectateurs c'est tout bénéfice ! Croyez bien que j'en consciente et j'en mesure votre amour pour ces fleurs ! viviane

  13. Wow! How beautiful they all are. I love seeing your roses.
    New blog address:

  14. Gorgeous images of ZD! I love seeing your roses. Some of them (like ZD and the Austins) would not do well at all here due to blackspot but they look so beautiful in your garden.

  15. Absolutely beautiful! Fair Sharifa Asma and Ebb Tide make a lovely couple!

  16. Gosh, Masha! I'm absolutely stunned again seeing your wonderful roses. It's like our of a rose Magazine. I never believed David Austin, that his roses can look like in its advertisment but seeing them now on your photos, I have to admit, that it must be my fault and the one of my garden soil, that they don't look like this. In my garden none of the roses has started to bloom yet, but Munstead Wood will be the first one I guess to open its flowers. Can't wait seeing it.
    Have a lovely day

  17. Oh my goodness - so many beautiful and healthy roses! I can imagine deadheading your garden would be a huge task. I have a new 'Felicite Parmentier' with buds on it this year - hope it is as beautiful as yours. Wish I had room to plant all of the other roses you mention, especially William Shakespeare 2000, Zepherine Drouhin and Pat Austin... I may have to get another yard somehow :-)

  18. Masha enhorabuena,tu jardín si deve de ser un paraíso!!!!!

    Seguro que tendrás ló que en España se dice: dedo verde........:
    te deseo lomejor
    Un fuerte abrazo

  19. Your pictures are gorgeous!!! ... and of course your roses. I love this flowers. They are so romantic. The William Shakespeare 2000 is my favorite too.
    Greetings from Germany

  20. Hi Masha! Your roses are very pretty as usual, and the pictures let me wordless. My Zephirine Drouhin has been pruned very severely (at less than 1 mt) when I dug it up and moved from the previous garden. It took one year to recover (I was working at the house and couldn't stay behind with watering in the summer) but it is now nearly 3 mt tall and wide. I like the way you trained yours, mine is swirled around a power pole. It has a colour very difficult to photograph to me...
    As for that rare rose of yours... I can understand keeping something just because it's precious but after all I can't see any preciousness in that rose, except maybe in the name... I'd make room for some really striking rose and let that little fussy princess apart.

  21. Wow, that is such an impressive display of roses in bloom! I wouldn't know how to pick a favourite out of all of those, but that William Shakespeare is divine. I really can not imagine having to deadhead that many blooms, it must take you an age!

  22. Wow, truly spectacular. I am taking a lead from yourself and have started tying in my Rose branches horizontally.

  23. Gorgeous photos and roses Masha! :-)

  24. These roses are amazing! I've been battling black spot already this summer. :( I had to replace my Wm Shakespeare with a new plant this year so it's still small. I'm looking forward to the day when it's as big as yours. :o)

  25. These roses are so beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing.

  26. Impressive collection and impressive bloom! Jeannine


I am so glad you have stopped by!