Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I decided it was unfair of me to post my picture of one bloom on my tiny plant of DayDream and you to have that as your primary impression of the rose.  I think of DayDream being more like Ballerina but much healthier.  So while in OKC, I took my camera to the Oklahoma City Rose Garden to get a better picture of the plant's growth habit for you.  It looks like I was a week or two too late for the show but it will be putting on its second flush before too long.  Still, I think this will give you an idea just how dense growing this rose is.
In the planting above I simple could not tell for certain but it appears to be a single row of four or five plants but the growth is so dense and spreading that you just can not tell.  

DayDream blooms in large clusters of small 1 1/2 inch blooms with maybe 50-100 blooms in a cluster.  Each bloom is single with 5-10 petals in the magenta range of colors.  Each flower is open for about 5 or 6 days.  In this picture I was able to find a nice cluster still in bloom.

I hope this gives you a better picture of what the mature rose is like.  Can you imagine if I had been able to get a picture a week or two earlier?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

DayDream's First Bloom

I love very double roses such as St. Swithun but I do enjoy the occasional single rose.  When this  enjoyment of a single rose is combined with something in the lavender tone I will be hooked.  Add to these features a vigorous healthy shrub rose and you have something that I find irresistible - the 2004 introduction rose DayDream by Ping Lim.
DayDream is a cross of Lavender Dream x Henry Kelsey and grows as a dense healthy plant spreading wider that tall and a good four fet tall.  I fell in love with this rose at the Oklahoma City Rose Garden at Will Rogers park were it is planted and grown into a dense hedge and has always been in bloom.  A healthy dense hedged rose in a public garden is a rare thing.  I suspect it will be very winter hardy from the presence of Henry Kelsey but I don't know this for sure. 

Now to the hard part of the post after seeing DayDream a couple of times at the OKC Rose Garden last year I tried to obtain this rose for my garden.  I tried all the nurseries I know of to find it, the HelpMeFind list of those who sold it, and put out a plea on the Old Garden Rose Forum on GardenWeb and could not find a nursery who had it available.  Finding it irresistible (and it is), I took a couple of cuttings to start one for my own garden and it was the easiest start I have every made from a rose. It grew roots immediately. It took a long time to bloom this Spring (almost to June) but here is its first flower.  I would gladly send a few dollars in Ping Lim's direction, but I am so glad to have this rose in my garden.  If you would like to obtain one legally I saw that Roses Unlimited is now carrying it.  I feel better now that I have that off my chest.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just Let It Grow!

Last year when weeding my blackberry bed, I decided to let a couple of fast growing seedlings grow.  They turned out to be Sunflowers probably delivered by visiting birds who had been feeding at a neighbor's birdfeeder.  Sometimes it's fun to just let it grow and see what it turns out to be.  I should say that there were a few other plants which got yanked out a couple of weeks later but after a few tries you learn what might turn into something interesting and what will not.  Some think grace is a heavy religious word while others are able to see it every day.

Here is one of this year's seedlings and I decided to Just Let It Grow!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

This morning I was drawn in by the contrast of a Beauty and a Beast not far from each other in the garden.  Let's start with the beast or monster rose showing up on the usually beautiful Tradescant.  I don't know what it is called or what causes it, but sometimes roses will produce what I have often called "Frenzied Growth."  This out of control growth sends out very large rapidly growing canes which are covered with thorns and produce malformed blooms that look like something from Little Shop of Horrors.  Other parts of the bush seem normal but this growth is just bizarre.  If any of you can tell me what this is called or what causes it I would appreciate your help.  I'm not too troubled by it because it seems to settles down after a while but is just weird.  Right now Lavender Lassie and Buff Beauty are affected along with Tradescant.

EDIT: After reading much of http://www.rosegeek.com/  a website suggested by HolleyGarden, I decided that Rose Rosette Disease is the likely culprit and early this morning went out and removed all canes which appeared to affected.  In fact, the site scared me a bit and I'm sure I might have even removed some health growth in over vigilance.  The description as "Witches' Broom" fit for an area of growth not pictured.  RRD appears to be spread through a mite.  The product used for this particular mite is no longer on the market.  More research ahead.  I will keep an eye on these roses and will remove them if I was unable to remove the disease from the rose.

Now for the beauty.  I really like Treasure Trail, the Moss Rose released in 2009 by Paul Barden.  It is a compact grower with very healthy, glossy, dark green foliage.  Flowers on Treasure Trail are 2 1/2-3" in size, quartered, cupped, and usually has a button eye in the center.  The color of the salmon pink flowers is quite unique having a yellow center and often a hint of lavender.  Treasure Trail's flowers last a long time on the bush or when cut and brought into the house.  The mossy growth on the the buds, sepals, and stems always draws the attention of garden visitors.  Someday I will have to do a blog on Treasure Trail by itself.  Those unfamiliar with Moss Roses might confuse its mossing with the previously mentioned "frenzied growth" but it is totally different and entirely desirable.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Vineyard Song

It's been a busy couple of weeks in the garden, church and life.  In life, both of our kids graduating, Anna from Oxford College of Emory University and Thomas from Prague High School.  In church, we had four services on Easter beginning with a Sunrise service and finishing by hosting the Prague Ministerial Alliance Community Easter Service with nine congregations participating together and rushing to complete the re-carpeting project just in time to welcome our guests.  And in the garden, everything has moved through its first flush of flowers, creating the opportunity for many pictures and now the follow up care of deadheading and taking new cuttings. 

Here are a few pictures of Vineyard Song, one of Ralph Moore's shrub roses with miniature sized flowers.  Kim Rupert told me Ralph Moore nicknamed it "Bunch O' Grapes."  When he said that I kind of remembered that name from a Sequoia Nursery Newsletter or maybe even a catalogue. We can all be thankful that the name Vinyard Song was selected because it beautifully fits this rose. The rose has much to offer but its growth habit tops the list for me. So far it is a spreading plant about 2' x 3' in my garden (I think it will probably get 3' x 4'), with many clusters of small purple old fashion cupped flowers.  I don't care for the class "Shrub Roses" because it covers far too wide a range of roses, but we will live with it until (with time) we are better able to sort this group out.  Vineyard Song's habit reminds me of the better Polyantha roses.  Now to the pictures.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Suckers can be a Good Thing

Sometimes a rose will send out growth which goes out laterally underground to emerge out from the main portion of the plant.  This type of growth is often called "suckering."  Since most roses are grafted onto the rootstock of a different form of rose (the top half of the rose you see is the desired rose and the bottom half has vigorous growing roots whose flowers you never want to see) suckering is often thought of as a negative thing.
On a grafted rose this growth (sucker) will not produce the desired flowers and worse it will pull the energy of the roots away from the desired rose on top, thus the name sucker.  When roses are grown on their own roots they can still send out a sucker but it is all the desired rose so it simple adds to the size of the desired plant.  Such is the case with the roses I grow and of Precious Dream to the left.  When I planted Precious Dream I gave it some room so this expansion will simply help fill in the area it has been given.

Some roses that sucker will expand over large areas, invading the space of companion plants.  As own root roses sucker the new growth also produces new roots.  Once this new growth has matured it can be severed from the main plant and grown on its own or allowed to grow in its larger capacity.  For now Precious Dream is still growing into its space so I will enjoy the added fullness this new growth provides.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Few Days Later

It didn't take too long to begin to see the some difference in my roses after spraying them with Malethion.  Between the sunny skies and spraying, St. Swithun (I think my favorite rose) is starting to look better. 
St. Swithun has some of the largest, fleshy pink roses on a vigorous spreading bush.  Its flowers easily have 100 to 120+ petals and have a heady mush fragrance similar to Myrrh only sweeter.  I don't know how else to say it, but when I breath its fragrance it makes my heart ache.  Here is a picture of it from last Summer.  If only I could let you smell it through the screen.  With Conrad Ferdinand Meyer as a grandparent, St. Swithun inherits its Rugosa cold hardiness.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Hate Thrips!

There are very few things in life that I hate.  Thrips are one.  Grammatically that can't be correct but I hate them so much I don't care.
Thrips are tiny insects that are attracted to roses.  They set up house in the buds and flowers causing them to brown and not open.  I find that they tend to affect my pink and lightly colored roses most.  Above you see the promising flowers of St. Swithun ruined by them.  They are about the only thing I am willing to bring the sprayer out for.  They snuck in on me sometime over Easter, while I had my back turned.  The worst thing is that everythings looks great, plants are healthy, buds are growing, then brown.