Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mature Bushes

While I am as much a fan of new roses as the next person, I love to see big, mature, old rose bushes.  Mature roses offer so much that their younger siblings can not.  A young bush can not overwhelm you with thousands of blooms.  A young rose is more susceptible to draught lacking the developed root system of a mature bush.  And while we all love to see new basel breaks sending out strong new shoots of growth, it is the strong woody growth that can support the explosive displays of spring.
This old growth wood often looks very different from the green wood of new growth.  As this older wood continues to build rings of growth just like a tree, its outer skin breaks with the expansion and develops bark while looses its thorns and looks like what we often think of as a tree.  You can see this on my mother's mature plant of Buff Beauty.  Without support Buff Beauty becomes a broad spreading plant but with support it easily grows as a climber.  Pictured here is Buff Beauty after the arch it had grown on for over a decade had fallen and after it had lost almost half its growth from the collapse.
The canopy created by this mature bush of the Hybrid Musk, Buff Beauty is breathtaking to sit under when in full bloom.  If it were not for the strong, older, mature growth underneath it could never reach these heights.  New breaks of growth will develop at the top of such mature wood while the lower portions will seem rather bare even loosing its thorns.  Sitting here, under the filtered light and overwhelmed by its heavy fragrance one can become lost to the world.
This final shot serves as the backdrop for my blog.  I love its heavy wood and light flowers.  I thing we have done a disservice to would be rose growers when they have been told for years to trim their roses back in the spring.  Too often they trim them back and miss the real beauty these bushes can give.  One of the first pieces of advice I often give an aspiring rose grower is to stop trimming their roses and let them grow out to their nature size.  Too often we have tried to work against the nature of these beautiful roses to their detriment and our own. 

7 comments:

  1. It is magnificent. I had some rose plants given to me where the wood looked like that of a tree...I believe you gave me the link to Mermaid?? You alluded to the plants age but it is more likely than not that the plant is over 10 years old???

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  2. These are Beautiful Scott! I do love the dark wood and light blooms on those sturdy branches. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and your mother's gorgeous garden.

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  3. Hear! Hear! Nice post Rev, and spot on about letting the bushes grow where there is ample room. One rosarian's unorganized rose bed is another's fabulous display.

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  4. Great advice to folks who can allow their roses to roam....we look forward to seeing many more rosey adventures in your new locatiom....it will be stunning with all of your new additions!

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  5. Pruning is not a good skill for me, and I tend to let things grow naturally but it's not always good for them. I'm happy if roses are better off without it, I hate the look of thick knees from repeatedly cutting plants back. You should see my Apricot Nectar, over my head, when in bloom. But my unpruned Rugosa roses got bent to the ground by a heavy snowfall a few years back, and they are so heavily thorned I never had the nerve to tackle them, so then they had to grow up through the dead fallen stuff. I was amused when I saw someone plant some and cut them back to 2-3' tall every winter. It gave them a totally different look than my monster plants, at the top of a bank, and loaded with flowers then rose hips every spring. Once some people were walking by and starting speculating on what they were, they thought they were cherries! Because of the hips. I said, "No, they are Rugosa roses," and they said,
    "A talking rose bush!" Too funny.

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  6. I can't wait to see mine finally to a stage of maturity. Thanks for reminding me of what my Buff Beauty may one day look like.

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  7. One of my top 5 roses. I grow it as a shrub and you are right, it is a monster. I rarely see it growing as a climber. Yours is spectacular!

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