Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rose Portraits, Companions and a Bush Shot or Two

Sometimes, when I am outside gardening, a passerby will stop by and compliment me on my roses.

William Shakespeare 2000. Only newly open blooms (and not all of them at that) display this irresistible combination of crimson and purple.

I often reply that my roses are my children.

Mme Berkeley is a large spreading rose that rests many of its blooms on this retaining wall.

I have about 130 of them, all different heights, colors, shapes and fragrances.

A corner of my front yard, with all the top of the fence claimed by Buff Beauty with  'Secret Garden Musk Climber' behind it. Heritage is below Buff Beauty with Lady Hillingdon and Sophie's Perpetual in front. Carding Mill is peeking in at far left.

Here is a look at some of the roses that started blooming since last week's post.

Félicité Parmentier, still a young rose, but with a powerful fragrance. It sets blooms well for me, but does not grow very fast at all.

Ebb Tide

'Mrs. E.G. Hill', a found hybrid tea.  I like the contrasting color on petal reverses.
Taischa, a Vintage Gardens introduction. I love its full, swirly blooms. Petals are thick and last a long time in half day sun. It does not always open well but mine is still a young plant.
Crown Princess Margareta looking down from an arbor

Ulrich Brunner fils looking out shyly from behind an arbor. This one is low on prickles, has good rebloom and stays mostly clean. 

Cynthia Brooke displaying one of its consistently gorgeous blooms

Pat Austin as always blooming with abandon. It stays clean for me, but blooms open and are gone in less than a day. There are lots of them though.

'Benny Lopez', another found rose (maybe Ardoisée de Lyon), which I am enjoying very much thanks to the generosity of its discoverer. Lots of fragrant blooms on a healthy plant.
Mrs. Wakefield Christie-Miller, pretty but not overly vigorous.

Wild Blue Yonder, bought for its strong fragrance but admired mostly for its health, vigor and good rebloom

'Secret Garden Musk Climber'. When it is in bloom its corner looks like a white fluffy cloud full of heavy musk fragrance and abuzz with bees. 

Heritage. I love its heavily fragrant delicate blooms. It has smooth canes and has a tendency to climb.

I tried for a bush shot of Penelope (Cécile Brunner, Lyda and 'Benny Lopez' on left, Crèpuscule on right). You can actually see the structure of the bush pretty well: each snaky garland of blooms is one cane with flowering laterals all along it. To me it looks like a sprawling octopus. Despite Penelope's appearance of lushness, it has only a few long canes. 

I pair my roses mostly with summer-blooming perennials, but a few spring ones are blooming now.

Carding Mill with a low-growing salvia

'Old Korbel Gold' with common snowball viburnum (v. opulus), not a perennial, but pretty anyway.

Delphinium elatum "Sweethearts" is new to me this year. It is a plant I got from Annie's because it is supposed to do well in warm climates. We'll see.

Linum Lewisii does really well in my garden. I love its sky-blue flowers and airy and light look. The flowers only last a day but new ones keep coming. Magnificent Perfume grows on one side of it.

Shön Ingeborg grows on the other side of the blue flax (linum). One morning I looked down on a bloom and saw the previous day's flax petals scattered over it. It turned out to be my favorite picture :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Roses Are Blooming...

Spring is finally here, with masses of blooms, vibrant color, wafting fragrance and a high pollen count making allergy medication a staple in my diet.

Zéphirine Drouhin saying hello to climbing Cécile Brunner with Rosette  Delizy watching on at right

The dry, warm and windy weather we've been having made the flush of blooms on roses arrive faster and turn crisp seemingly in a matter of days...

High winds blew some Cécile Brunner's canes into the germander below making for this pretty shot. I do not arrange flowers in my pictures in any way (other than taking off a crispy bloom here and there)

 I have been busy with the camera, but not to much effect: the sun is bright even early in the morning, and I am engaged in an endless frustrating battle against glare and blown highlights.


 I miss the overcast days we used to have last year...

Golden Celebration engulfing an arbor

But enough complaining. In this rather disjointed post, I have included a few single bloom shots of some not so common roses....

'Old Korbel Gold' is blooming next to a doublefile viburnum

Général Barthelot, a turn-of-the-century hybrid tea, starts out very bright....

...and fades to a reddish magenta

Intermezzo, grown in a pot, leans wearily against a house wall

...although some well known ones somehow sneaked in too:)

Carding Mill

Lady Hillingdon

I have also made a special effort to show at least a few bush shots, much as I dislike them and however  unglamorous they generally are.

Believe it or not, here is a bush shot of my Eugène de Beauharnais. By the size of the blue nierembergia that's trying to overwhelm it you can probably judge just how tiny this rose is:)

I grow a few mostly classic own root hybrid teas in permanent pots where they seem to do much better than in the ground.

Cynthia Brooke with its sumptuous cabbagey blooms. Heinrick Wendland and Dame Edith Helen are behind it.

 There is no root competition and I can fertilize them easily and frequently.

Etoile de Feu, one of my all time favorite roses for its unusual terracota color, elegant growth, clean foliage and strong fragrance. It is at least 4 years old and grows very slowly on its own roots.

Watering in summer is a pain though :).

A lovely curly bloom of Etoile de Feu

My front yard is landscaped mostly with Austins and other modern roses.

Pat Austin contemplating an azalea

 The back is where I keep most of my antiques and other treasures.

'Secret Garden Musk Climber', very prickly and very fragrant. Rather unusually, it blackspots a little almost every spring.

 Here is the raised bed that runs the width of almost the entire back yard.

There are a lot of summer blooming perennials, mostly penstemons, in that bed providing color when many roses are resting

 Left to right, the big roses are Zéphirine Drouhin (in the lawn behind the little pluot tree), climbing Cécile Brunner, Penelope, Rosette Delizy in front of a lemon tree, Crépuscule snaking all along the fence and Angel Face (not, perhaps, a treasure, but great fragrance).

Penelope between Cécile and Crépuscule. 'Benny Lopez' is just starting to bloom at lower left

There are also quite a few little roses tucked in between the big ones.

A cluster of Break o'Day blooms all the way from bud to fully open

 I actually think that good air circulation around every rose (i.e. spacing them out) is not necessary in my arid climate (I can't really say for those who garden with high blackspot pressure).  Also, grouping plants tightly seems to save on water as the ground is almost completely shaded (and mulched).

A bud of my young Sir Henry Segrave. I have recently been asked to share my pictures of this rose with the author of a biography of  Sir Henry who was a pilot in the First World War and held multiple speed racing records afterwards. The rose was introduced a few years after his death.

In a corner of the yard there is a wrought iron arbor with Mme Berard over it. For some reason, this rose does not seem to gain much girth preferring to grow a very few canes ever longer. It blackspots a little and mildews a little, never enough to disfigure it.  It smells delicious and changes in color from flesh, to peach, to shell pink. It sets hips very willingly and provides me with a season's long exercise in climbing the ladder to keep it deadheaded :).

Imagine, Colette and Ulrich Brunner fils are behind it.

Much of the fence behind the arbor is occupied by Colette, one of my prettiest climbers. It has not been very vigorous for me, and not very fragrant either. However, the plant is always clean and the shape and color of the blooms are lovely. It repeats pretty well too.

I hope you enjoyed this rather disorganized tour of a part of my garden. The roses are looking splendid and there is no time like spring to enjoy them. But now I have to go and water the pots again :(

A cane of Penelope covered in blooms, with Crépuscule looking on

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ode to Elie

Every spring I am possessed of an irresistible urge to sing praises to Elie Beauvilain, a French-bred tea-noisette dating back to 1887.

  It is my largest climbing rose, and when it blooms it is, for me, a wonderful sight.

I love the dainty flowers which vary in color from peachy to cool blush pink.

In my garden, it mildews a bit some years (not this year because the spring has been mostly dry and warm).

Rebloom is nothing spectacular (I get a few scattered flowers in the fall), but this rose really makes up for it  with a generous spring show.

My only real complaint is that the blooms do not have much fragrance, but their elegance and beauty are enough for me to admire.

It grows on both sides of the fence and some canes face south and some full north. It blooms just as willingly in the shade as it does in full sun.

In winter, I cut off any canes that do not grow parallel with the fence, and tie in the rest as horizontally as I can to maximize bloom production.

My own-root plant is very vigorous and now extends about 30 feet.

Elie could easily become larger but I really cannot allow it to hog any more space. But hard as I try to keep the old girl at home, I can't prevent her from jumping the fence to see the world. :)