Sunday, November 17, 2013

Garden News and Thoughts of Pruning

It is a fairly quiet time of year in the garden.

But pruning is looming large

Some roses are blooming here and there....

Mme Edouard Herriot

Isabella Sprunt

Souvenir de Victor Hugo resting against a tomato cage

Condesa de Sastago

...and a few perennials are still looking good.

I have been raking leaves, potting up my ornamental oreganos...

 ...and Vintage French import babies which have finally made it to 5-gallon pots.

Not much top growth, but the roots are big (Isabella Ducrot)

The weather has been mild and sunny, so whenever I can I weed. This year I have started with pots where weeds seem to flourish year round. Even my newly potted oregano, Marshall's Memory, had lots of little sprouts coming up.

I attacked them with unremitting enthusiasm, and about half way through it dawned on me that I was weeding out lavender seedlings. Oops.

Fortunately, there were about a thousand more in the nearby lavender pot :)

Next I moved to my big rose pots. They have a large surface area and some weed or other always seems to take hold in them. This time, again (one would think I might have learned), it took me awhile to realize that these particular weeds had fuzzy stems and serrated leaves.

Rose seedlings!

There were over ten of them in the pot and more are coming up. A few started to succumb to damping off...

...but the ones that looked good went into little pots next to the lavender seedlings I rescued earlier.

What will I do with them if they all live??
 I wish I knew who the parents of those baby roses are because of such a high germination rate compared to anything I have been able to achieve (although this is not saying much). Perhaps I will if they live and bloom. I can't wait.

The largest task in the weeks ahead is rose pruning. The growing season here is long, and by now the whole garden has become a tangle.

It seems impossible to make sense of a mass of rose canes, tree branches and perennials: Isabella Sprunt has grown through a lime tree....

...while my gorgeous Rosette Delizy is vying for space with lots of juicy lemons...

....some of which are obviously crossing with cucumbers :).

Pruning is looking more and more daunting each year...

Elie Beauvilain is not making it easy for me

 whether because I am growing older or my roses are growing bigger, I am not sure :)

Duquesa de Peñaranda

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October Rose Portraits

Autumn has come before I knew it.

Most roses grow large by the end of the season. Long canes are waving in the wind waiting to be pruned or tied down. All photos from the Heritage

The light has become softer and taking pictures is now easier.


I managed to spend a whole two hours photographing at the Heritage today, and here are some last roses of the season.

Rosa eglanteria
September Morn

Frances Ashton

Mme Caroline Testout, climbing


'Emmie Gray'

Poulsen's Pearl


Lilac Dawn

Little Mermaid

'Martha Gonzales'

Irish Elegance

And finally, some colorful displays of rugosa and eglantine hips.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Last Vintage Roses

I have been really busy of late, rushing from one thing to the next. Unfortunately, both my garden and my blog have fallen victim to this chronic lack of time.

Devoniensis. All these are roses from Vintage Gardens
 I feel lucky if I get around to watering in time to prevent the plants from wilting (it still hasn't really rained here). Days when I could spend hours taking pictures and writing up a blog post seem nothing but a memory. I miss my blogging friends a lot too...

Basye's Purple Rose

Interestingly enough, even though I often struggle to do even the most basic chores, I have somehow managed to acquire new roses.

Elie Beauvilain finally showing some fall bloom

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the fall event at the Heritage Rose Garden. This is something I look forward to every year and try not to miss. This time I only stopped by for about an hour, but one (only one!) rose still managed to sneak into my car. It is 'Forest Ranch Pom-pom', a rose found in Northern California, which hopefully means it will do well for me. I am looking forward to seeing it bloom next year.


Last week, I received my last boxful of roses from Vintage Gardens, a nursery going out of business. I got four roses they imported from France two years ago.

 Only one of my four choices didn't make it through the quarantine period. I requested instead Renaissance de Fléchère, a Fabien Ducher modern hybrid tea.

 Two of the old garden roses I received, Isabella Ducrot and Beauté de l'Europe, are some of the tiniest cuttings I ever saw (probably because these roses were much in demand), but appear to be well rooted. I have not had a chance to see these roses anywhere and am waiting impatiently for the first blooms on mine.

Left to right, Isabella Ducrot, Beauté de l'Europe (disbudded right after I took the picture), Renaissance de Fléchère, Dr. O'Donel Browne

I was very sad to learn of Vintage closing.

Etoile de Feu

I feel lucky to be able to grow and enjoy some of the unique roses they have collected throughout the years.

'Lykke Dazla'

I hope at least some of them will stay with me for a long long time.

Heinrich Wendland