Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rosy Surprises

I have been thinking for weeks about writing a post about my Pernetiana roses...

Mme Edouard Herriot

... but some, though full of buds, have still not begun to bloom. I have to be patient. Meanwhile, the rest of my roses are well into their second flush.

'Benny Lopez'

 I try to enjoy them as much as I can even though thrips have descended en masse....

Étoile de Lyon showing dark streaks on petals damaged by thrips 

.... and I have to remember to check for cucumber beetles every time I want to smell a bloom.

A spotted cucumber beetle feeding on Étoile de Feu

 I can never expect perfection in the garden, but if I look closely, there are always surprises, hopefully pleasant, waiting to be discovered.

My white seedling of Purple Pavement, which blooms much more than its parent and, despite complete neglect, does not seem to get chlorotic

 I acquired Dame Edith Helen, an older, "classic" hybrid tea, about 6 years ago. I was told it was a smallish, weak grower with gorgeous fragrant blooms.

 Because of its lack of vigor, I put it in a permanent pot where I was hoping I could admire its lovely blooms. Not for long, as it turned out. It produced a lot of big healthy canes that grew straight up. Most of its blooms are now well above my head, which is quite a feat for a small, weak rose.

 A while ago, I wrote about my Maréchal Niel which I took out because it was slowly declining. The plant seemed to have almost no roots, but I pruned it hard and put it in a pot. I expected a swift demise due to a lack of roots, stress from being dug out in the heat,  exposure to scorching sun of its mostly leafless canes, and, last but not least, the hard pruning which this fussy rose is supposed to resent. To my astonishment, it is bursting into new growth. No dieback, and no sunburned canes either. The more I garden, the less sure I become of my knowledge of plant behavior.

However, this uncertainty is largely why I enjoy roses so much. They are unpredictable. They surprise me every day. They are the reason why I think of gardening as a never ending adventure.

Tropical Fragrance


Ulrich Brunner Fils


Sir Henry Segrave

Mme Bérard

September Morn

Break o'Day

'Tina Marie'

'Secret Garden Musk Climber'

Beauté de l'Europe


Cynthia Brooke

Shön Ingeborg


Hermann Lindecke



  1. 'Beautiful and unpredictable'. I agree and your roses are just beautiful.


  2. Dear Masha, lovely rose post :-) It really astonishes me that some of your Pernetiana roses didn't even have their first flush.
    'Dame Edith Helen' is such a beauty in her container, I am glad, that despite her reputation, she is doing so well for you. Her blooms are without any doubt absolutely gorgeous.
    The biggest surprise for me in your post is though, that you are growing 'Sir Henry Segrave'. Following your recommendation I ordered that rose from Vintage Gardens and it looked quite promising in my climate, but when I went on vacation last year and had a neighbor watering the garden, it was dead when I came back. I really loved that rose and since it is quite rare I am so happy to see it blooming in your garden! Happy beginning of the summer! Warm regards,

  3. Thank you!

    Christina, no, all my pernetianas bloomed in spring, it is the second flush that I am waiting for :). I am sorry about your Sir Henry, I can always share cuttings :)

  4. Masha,I always enjoy seeing the photos of your roses. You have such a variety, and I realize how little I know about roses! It's especially encouraging to hear about the roses that seem to be failing and then make a come back! It's funny that the cucumber beetle is a pest that we don't have in the Central Valley of CA. It must be the heat that keeps them away. The first time I saw them was on the Central Coast, and I thought they were green lady bugs!

    1. Dorothy, I made the same mistake at first, too :). Lucky you not to have them.

  5. You just said it. The charm of roses is among others that they are unpredictable. It always remains exciting to see if they will grow, if they remain healthy, how their blooms will show and not to forget the fragrances. I am amazed by the quantity of varieties you have and you grow them in pots too. I also have some in pots because until now I cannot find a good spot for them in the garden, but they are always in a less condition than the ones in the garden. The picture of the cucumber beetle in Etoile de Feu is stunning, but I don´t think you want many of them.

    1. Janneke, I put my weakest own-root HTs in pots (as an alternative to grafting) and they do better there than in the ground. The soil in my garden is hard alkaline clay with lots of root competition, so only the strongest survive.

      I have lots of cucumber beetles this year, but also many birds, lizards and praying mantis which, hopefuly, all contribute toward a decrease in their population...

  6. Ihre Blumen sehen wunderbar, wie Sie es tun :)

  7. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous ! What a huge variety of beautiful roses you grow !
    I agree about the uncertainty of growing them being part of their charm - they need such a lot of careful nurturing, but even with that, anything can happen - usually overnight!

  8. All your roses are just beautiful! Thanks for sharing such lovely photos too!

  9. So beautiful...<3 If I were you, I would probably sleep in the garden near to the roses. Happy, rosy days for you :)

  10. I love the surprises! And I love Cynthia Brooke! Well, as always, I like them all. But some really melt my heart--I want to stare at your photos for hours!


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