Monday, April 30, 2012

The Fence Line

This is the last post on our tour of the roses and they follow the fence line along the north end of the property.  The planting is not at all creative but together these roses make a very nice display and add some privacy to the backyard.  The fence makes a good support for the climbers and lax growers in the bunch.  I am beginning with my unabashed advocacy for Twister.  I think Twister is overlooked and under grown. As it begins its third year Twister has grown as tall as or taller than the four foot tall chain link fence.  This Ralph Moore creation is classified as a climbing miniature and it certainly fits this category, but it also grows well as a stand alone shrub where its growth spreads nicely.  Its flowers are also very full old fashion formed, very fragrant, and open flat to 2 1/2" wide.   Once they start blooming in the spring, there will not be a day until November that I cannot go out and take a couple of flowers for a vase.
Planted on either side of Twister are two larger striped roses, Scentimental and Moore's Striped Rugosa.  I really like to plant Twister in groupings of three as seen here.  This is the second time I've done this the first was in 1999 when it was first introduced. 
This row of roses is held down in the middle by the older roses and has expanded each direction with new additions each year.  From the top is the newest and just off camera is William Shakespeare 2000, Carlin's Rhythm, Abraham Darby, Climbing Rainbow's End, Ballerina, Linda Campbell, St. Swithun, Scentimental, Twister, Moore's Striped Rugosa, Heritage, Dublin Bay, Dragon's Blood, Belinda's Dream, and Flower Carpet Red.  This was not my most thought out arrangement but I like it.
This is the start of Cl. Rainbow's End's second season which began as a cutting from my mother's plant. 
Below we have two of Moore's rugosa hybrids flowing off the edge of the picture (Linda Campbell left and Moore's Striped Rugosa right).  Linda Campbell is quickly joining my list of favorite roses.  Two of my other favorites, St. Swithun and Twister, are also pictured here.
While still a tiny plant, Carlin's Rhythm is beginning its first full season by producing huge (4-5") single and very fragrant blossoms.  Kim Rupert says that the blooms never get this big in California where he created it, but it has never been smaller than 4" here in Oklahoma.  I may be looking forward to what this rose does this year more than any other rose.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Welcoming Roses

I think miniature roses serve as a warm welcome to any home.  I might think this because my mother had and still has a nice row of miniature roses that greet you as you come in the front door.  Most of her roses were planted in the early 70's and were always there in my memories.  Ours do well despite being on the west side of the house and exposed to the greatest heat of the summer sun, but hey, that's where the front door is.  The minis are Autumn Splendor, Tattooed Lady, Sorcerer, and Vi's Violet.  The bed also includes three English Roses: Heritage, Mary Rose, and St. Swithun.
The entry was so sad when we moved here.  We moved in June of 2009 and I put the bed in and had it planted by July 4th that summer.  It didn't look too much better on that day of celebration but it was full of potential.  I over planted it and have since moved two roses out, Gertrude Jekyll moved to the back and Seattle Scentsation moved to the park.  Both are much happier in their new locations. 
This year's new bed pulls together what had been a grouping of day lillies, peonies, and what my Dad called Naked Ladies with a couple of Easter Lillies left over at the church with four new roses.  The two roses on the back side of the fence are Pam's Choice on the left and Cinderella on the right.  Cinderella is a start from one of my mother's miniature roses at her house.  It was planted there when my brother was born in 1970. 
From the front side are Queen Bee and Penelope.  This bed gets several hours of afternoon shade, ideal for our hot summer afternoons.  In the back yard you can see in the left corner of the picture what I think is Blaze Improved, one of three roses that were here when we moved. 
Jack joins me in looking across the backyard to see Blaze Improved, Gertrude Jekyll, and a group of blackberries growing on the back fence line.  The retaining wall around the back porch was added last year to keep water out of the storm cellar and what started as small fire pit has led to a growing expansion of the back porch.
Some of the men in the church built this new shed for the parsonage and Gertrude Jekyll, Unconditional Love, and Snow White decorate this side while The Fairy (not seen) is on the other side.
Since these are not the most beautiful pictures, let me share one close up bloom of Pam's Choice.  I'm really looking forward to watching this rose mature.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Surrounded by Roses

Last week I took a few steps back to show you the development of our rose garden.  From that southeast corner of the house in the backyard we're going to work our way around to the front this week and then work our way around the rest of the house finishing full circle in a couple of weeks.  This section south of our house is an area about twenty four feet by forty feet and as you walk through you have roses all around you.  Here Graham Thomas is in full bloom, reaching up at the beginning of its third year.
Reine des Viollette resides of the other side of this area between Ebb Tide and Lavender Lassie.  You can see Ebb Tide's dark blossoms on the left.  Reine des Viollette is always good for a great spring showing with just a few flowers coming off and on through the summer.  I had decided several years ago that while there are many wonderful once blooming roses, I was going to focus on growing repeat flowering roses.  RDV fit least into this plan until this spring.  With my order from Rogue Valley Roses there was a rose sent that I had not ordered, Ralph Moore's Red Moss Rambler.  The good people at Rogue Valley Roses refunded the cost of the rose and asked if I would planted it if I kept it.  I said, "It's a rose - sure I will."  While not pictured and in a different area I needed to introduce him sometime.
Taken before the roses were blooming much and after a nice rain you see this area from the front yard.  On the right just in front of Jeri Jennings is my cuttings bed and on the left behind the Iris are Vineyard Song and Precious Dream.
You met our Italian Greyhound, Jack last week.  With him today is our Siberian Husky, Dusty.  She is twelve and beginning to slow down some.  In her younger days she might trample a rose or dig one up but these days she likes to lay underneath them if she can find a spot to get comfortable. 
Here is Vineyard Song and Precious Dream on the south side of the house moving to the front.  They are shaded from the worst heat of the day by the Oak tree to the west.  Remember none of these beds or plants were here when we moved in June of 2009. This section was all put in and planted in the spring of 2010.
I really like Vineyard Song's graceful shape and beautiful flowers.  Vineyard Song is classified as a Shrub but to me it fits in very nicely with the Polyantha Roses.  Its canes arch out from its center making a plant that is five or six feet wide and two to three feet tall. 
I passed over Abraham Darby which shares the fence with Graham Thomas, Pat Austin, Jeri Jennings and others but I took this really nice picture of Abe and just had to stick it in here.  After putting the Iris in last year they will need to be thinned out and spread around this year.
Just a week later this section in the backyard is really beginning to show its colors.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Big Picture

I have grown roses for over twenty years but for most of those years, I have simply grown roses.  I would acquire one here and one there and plant them in the next available spot.  When we moved to Prague three years ago I decided I would grow a rose garden.  That may sound like a subtle difference but it is one that is noticeable when comparing my current garden to places I have lived before.  
All of these roses were planted in the past two years (either last spring or the spring before that) with the oldest just starting their third year.  That reminds me of a conversation I had with a Korean friend about how old we are.  We were born just days apart but he always said we were a year older than I counted.  The difference came from my thinking that you are a year old a year after you are born and he said you enter year one when you are born.  To him you are one when you are born and two once your first year is over.  This year will be the year that we begin to see the garden mature I think.  For the most part the roses are just about to start blooming.  Some of course, have been going at it for a little while.  In the picture below you will see the red-fuchsia blooms of Siren's Keep on the right and the very lavender color or Lavender Crystal just left of the gate.
The tall bush at the corner of the house is the Hybrid Musk Lavender Lassie.  This bush was significantly affected by Rose Rosette Disease/Virus at the beginning of last Spring.  I cut each of the effected canes all the way off at the very base of the plant.  I thought that I had managed to save the plant because I had no other symptoms on the bush last year.  However, this spring I had a new basal breaking cane that showed all the typical signs of infection.  It is hard to believe because the rest of the plant seems totally uneffected.  I'm going to let it go through its spring blossoming and then I expect to take it out.  I do have a year old replacement plant growing from a cutting of this bush.  I hate to take it out but I don't think it is possible to save it at this point.
The roses in this area of the garden cover the range from red (Braveheart) to purple (Rhapsody in Blue) to white and cream (Popcorn and Jude the Obscure).  Popcorn is in the foreground of the photo below I have also moved some purple Iris into this area that used to live in the back of our yard. 
Just beyond the fence are Treasure Trail, Abraham Darby, Pat Austin, Graham Thomas (the tall one in the middle), Golden Buddha, and Jeri Jennings.  Beyond Jeri Jennings is my cuttings bed.  The section of the garden obviously moves between the yellow and orange themes with some pink and salmon mixed in.  This area wouldn't even grow weeds before we moved here.  It was just bare ground.  It has come so far when we moved here. 
Siren's Keep is just starting its second year.  It is proving to be a prolific and early bloomer.  Its flowers have about 40 large petals loosely filling 4-5" blossoms.  The color is somewhere between red-fuchsia-pink and its blooms are a real eye catcher.  Behind Siren's Keep is DayDream. Planted at the same time one has grown more upward while the other is more spreading while Lavender Lassie overlooks them both.
I wanted to get a picture of Rhapsody in Blue with the purple Iris blooming just beside it.  I think the colors go pretty well together.  Just to the left is Jude the Obscure and it is still a long way from blooming.  It felt like Jude's color would provide a nice complementary color.  And just in front of both is Jack, our Italian Greyhound.  Jack just can't resist getting in on the action.  Unless it's cold or wet, he is my constant companion when working in the garden.   
The longer I work in the garden, the more I find myself taking a step back and seeing the big picture.  This takes you through a good section of half of my roses.  I will take you through the other sections in the next two posts.