Saturday, July 20, 2013

July Roses

I can't seem to keep up with regular blog posts anymore: the latest in an endless stream of things to attend to has been an ever spottier Internet connection, which turned out to be due to some rodents developing a peculiar taste for eating copper :). A technician has come and gone, and the connection is back, hopefully for more than a few minutes at a time this time.


My roses are finishing their summer flush.


 The best time to enjoy them is late in the morning when they seem to be the most fragrant and not yet tired and crisp from the heat.


Many of my warm colored Pernetiana roses have given me some really nice flowers this summer.

Duquesa de Peñaranda

'Lundy's Lane Yellow' has finally begun to show the variations of color that one expects from this group of roses.

 It is not so bright as some roses in this class, but in typical pernetiana fashion it leaves me guessing till the last moment as to what particular colors each bloom will display.

Unlike some roses whose colors fade in the intense sunlight, most of my Pernetianas seem to enjoy summer.

Étoile de Feu

The blooms do not seem any smaller, and the flame colors remain as vibrant as they are in the spring.

Condesa de Sástago

Cynthia Brooke

Below are some of the more delicately colored roses that have been blooming well too.


Basye's Purple

September Morn

All my oreganos are in bloom, and, together with lavenders, they are a favorite with bees.

Hopley's Purple

It often seems that all bees from my neigbors' beehives are in my garden working hard.

Showy Pink

I can't wait to get some oregano-flavored honey! :)

Kent's Beauty

Culinary oregano

Monday, July 1, 2013

Survivors of the Heat

We are going through a heat wave now with recent highs of  95F (35C). The heat is set to continue through the middle of this week, but its effects are already obvious. I decided to take my camera for a walk in the garden one late afternoon to record how my roses are handling this weather.

William Shakespeare 2000

 The first observation was that most of my hybrid teas and Austins are toast, some of them before they even get a chance to fully open :(.

Dame Edith Helen

The prize for the most thoroughly burnt rose indisputably goes to one of my rarest early hybrid teas, Hermann Lindecke. Collecting rare roses is all good and well, but this sight just might be enough to persuade me to finally get rid of it :).

Second place probably goes to Crépuscule which is having a very generous flush but whose blooms crisp in a matter of minutes and persist in displaying themselves immodestly on this rather large climber.  My two plants are at the back of a planting bed and the only way I can deadhead them now is with a spray from a hose (not at all an efficient way to deadhead as you can see).

Fortunately, there are still a number of roses that have come through the trial relatively unscathed. One of my very favorite ones is Shön Ingeborg. It is situated in all day sun but shrugs it off with apparent ease. Lots of buds, well formed blooms of a good size, lovely color and clean foliage. After days of relentless heat, it looks just as fresh and cool as on a nice spring morning.

Penelope is equally undeterred by the hot sun. Facing full west, the blooms are still lovely in the evening, only the color fades a little.

Julia Child, in full flush, looks and smells wonderful despite a fully western exposure, sporadic watering and reflected heat from a retaining wall. There is honestly not much more one can demand from a plant.

I often overlook Trumpeter because my camera does not like red (neither do I), and its lack of fragrance makes it unexciting. Unloved and forgotten, it persists in pumping out an amazing bounty of cheerful blooms all year undeterred either by heat or by cold. The foliage is completely clean and plentiful. I appreciate its exuberance and it has earned a permanent place in my garden (if not in my heart).

I am amazed at how tough and resilient Secret Garden Musk Climber is despite the deceptive fragility of its blooms. The blooms last a day and drop off cleanly in the evening, with many more to look forward to next morning.

Below are the runners-up. Many of my other roses have sensibly shut down and are hopefully saving their energy until the heat goes down.

Général Barthelot does not look bad at all for a young rose facing full west. I would have expected those red petals to crisp much more.

Prinzessin Marie von Arenberg has very lovely delicate blooms. It gets only morning sun. Thrips love it.

Imagine. Southern exposure, lots of blooms and really beautifully clean foliage. Not much fragrance.

Tina Marie. The blooms are tiny in the heat, but hold up pretty well. Great fragrance. The spotty leaves are those of Golden Celebration :).

Edina looks so cool and fresh. Not much damage to its delicate blooms at all. Clean foliage and good vigor.

September Morn. Those strawberry ice cream swirls only begin to brown a little after a few days. It handles the heat very well. 

An honorable mention goes to my rugosa roses which are not blooming but whose colorful hips add a welcome (and as yet unshriveled) touch to the garden.

Purple Pavement

Among companion plants, my small collection of lavenders, ornamental oreganos, penstemons, hardy geraniums, salvias and agastache all handle the heat very well. Tomatoes seem to ripen in a matter of minutes, and peaches and plums are getting sweeter and sweeter. There are good sides to a heat wave too :).

Hopley's Purple ornamental oregano