Sunday, June 26, 2011

2011's New Roses Update (2-3 months after planting)

My last post on St. Swithun received a few comments about how big it was in just its second season.  That got me thinking that I should update this year's new roses a couple of times over the growing season.  I will start you out with a flower because there aren't very many in this entry.  You may wonder why I use the tomato cages.  It is simple, we have two Siberian Huskies who would unintentionally crush them before they got a good start.  Last year I had to cut a couple of cages up in order to remove them because the rose had grown up so much that I couldn't remove the cage without damaging the rose.
This is Siren's Keep, a shrub rose from Paul Barden.  As you can see, the color is a bit faded by our long 100+ degree days.  Still the flower has held up better than Tradescant, its grandparent's flowers which burn in the extreme heat.  So many of the Austin roses can't stand up to our summer sun and heat, so this is a hopeful sign to me. 

This is Linda Campbell a last minute addition to my Spring orders after reading Professor Roush's blog entry about the Ralph Moore Hybrid Rugosa.  If he was that excited about it I had to give it a try.  She was added to my order of Moore's Striped Rugosa which was still a couple of weeks from being ready to ship.  She looks happy and has sent out two new canes. 

Here is Moore's Striped Rugosa.  I am enjoying the crinkly rugosa leaves which are new to my gardening.  I have enjoyed seeing these leaves on plants but have never grown any rugosas until this Spring.
This young plant is from a cutting of Dublin Bay I took last year from my mother's plant.  I have always had high hopes for Dublin Bay but her plant never really turned into what I thought it would.  Maybe this one will do better.

This sprawling young plant is DayDream.  It has such a spreading habit which is one of the reasons I think of it as a Hybrid Musk.  It has sent out the longest growth of this year's new roses.

Here is another picture of Siren's Keep.  I am looking forward to seeing this one in the Fall when the sunlight is not quite so intense. 

I'm calling this one Lena's Gift.  Lena is a member of the church and she saw this rose while checking out at K Mart and just had to buy one for me and one for her.  Like so many miniature roses set up for impulse buys, it bore no name and had three very young plants in a small pot.  I separated the three plants, planted one at home and the other two at the Prague Rose Garden.  It has small pink/magenta flowers with 10-15 petals.  If you know what this rose might be, please, do tell.

This is Winsome, also a pink/magenta miniature rose but with larger fuller flowers.  I grew Winsome 20 years ago and it was a tall vigorous plant and was always in bloom.  We moved and I didn't replace it until this spring.

Here is Jude the Obscure.  I have always been drawn to pictures of this rose but have not grown it until now.  It is really taking off and I think this time next year will have built up to a good size. 

Last is the English Rose Charles Rennie Mackintosh and maybe the one I am most looking forward to.  It has the reverse breeding of St. Swithun so I am curious to figure out what similarities and differences the two have with each other.

Look for an update on all of these roses in another three months. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

St. Swithun's Day

My favorite rose is St. Swithun, an English Rose introduced in 1993.  Its flowers are of the lightest pink, larger than most English Roses, hold 100+ petals, intricately quartered, and are heavily fragranced with a heady musk scent similar to Myrrh only sweeter.  A cluster of its flowers will fill a room with its fragrance and can be quite heavy.  Its flowers are held up on stems that are perfectly matched to not be too stiff as to lack grace or so limp that the flowers drag.
The bush is vigorous and somewhat spreading.  Below is a plant in its second year.  You can get a sense of its habit but know that in Oklahoma it will grow to be 5-6 feet tall and 6 feet wide.  This is by far one of the most healthy English Roses and is said to be very winter hardy (zone 4). Its one drawback is that Thrips love it and they are a bit hard on its Spring blooms. 
I didn't know anything about the person St. Swithun before growing the roses but he was born in 852 A.D. and is the patron saint of the Winchester Cathedral.  St. Swithun's Day is July 15 and it is said that whatever the weather on St. Swithun's Day it will continue for the next 40 days.  On a side note, anytime you come across the number 40 in the Bible it probably is not meant to be taken literally.  It really mean "a long time."  Think - Its been raining for a month of Sundays or its raining cats and dogs.  If I seem a bit focused on rain its because we really need it. 

The British folksinger Billy Bragg, has written a song full of nostalgic longing for a former love titled St. Swithun Day's.  Billy has often been compared to Woody Guthrie, a comparison I understand but their sounds are so different you have to listen deeper to get it.  Even so, I thoroughly enjoy both. You can hear a sample of the song on emusic at Billy Bragg St. Swithun's Day .  Several years ago Billy Bragg performed at the Woody Guthrie Festival in nearby Okemah, Oklahoma (the birthplace and childhood home of Woody Guthrie).  While at the festival he took several of Woody poems and lyrics that were not set to music and wrote tunes for them.  This has now become a project of many artist who come the the festivial.  This year's WoodyFest is July 13-17, 2011 and always takes place on his birthday.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Braveheart for Sherman

In June of last year we said goodbye to Sherman Pruett.  Sherman grew up in Prague, Oklahoma and was one of the full Czech members of the community.  Though we were separated by many years in age I took an immediate liking to Sherman and I think he to me.  In his last months he would tell me stories about growing up in this community, his service in WWII, and life as a farmer/rancher.  After his funeral Eileen (one of his children who shares a common love of roses) gave me an envelope and told me to be sure to get a rose to plant at the parsonage in memory of her Dad. 
  I thought I was finished putting in new roses that Spring but I had a spot which was already prepared and I had always been interested in John Clements rose Braveheart so I ordered one up from Heirloom Roses.  As you might know John and Louise Clements started Heirloom Roses with a very extensive catalogue of Old Garden Roses (OGR) and was the primary source of own-root English Roses in the United States.  I think John was something of a haphazard  breeder using what he liked, which often included miniature and English roses and not necessarily together.  Having long been drawn to the red English Roses and having ordered roses from Heirloom since the early 1990's I had always been interested in Braveheart but had never ordered it.  Set free from any plans and with this gift I decided to step out and try something new. 

Braveheart is a cross of the floribunda Tamango with the English Rose The Dark Lady.  It produces a very full, true red rose in the English style on a plant that is very floribunda-like.  Stems on Braveheart are stiffer than most English Roses and currently my plant is a little over two feet tall producing many blooms in rather large clusters.  I planted this bush from a small band just one year ago later this month, and it has made a nice home for itself.  It has been very healthy and regularly produces flowers.  So far it has been very much like Sherman - small in stature but with a big, good, kind, and generous heart. 
 Here you see Braveheart planted near Rhapsody in Blue and an unknown daylilly.  You might notice how much lighter the color of Rhapsody in Blue is in our 95+ degrees days.
Here is a picture of me, Sherman, and his bride of 60 years, Lena when I was honored to present a declaration from the Oklahoma State Legislature on their 60th anniversary. 

With a full heart,        Rev. Scott