A far-ranging collection of essays on gardening and life, meant solely to relieve this gardener’s daily frustrations and lamentations over gardening in general and particularly gardening in Kansas. Though I am an old gardener, I am but a young blogger (apologies to Thomas Jefferson).
Last fall I finally broke down and planted a classic rose on a new pergola leading from my garden down to the cow pond; a 'New Dawn' climber that I hope will grow next year to grace the south side of the pergola and cover the 8 foot span.
'New Dawn', KSU Rose Garden, 2010
I don't know exactly what took so long for me to finally add 'New Dawn' to my garden. Perhaps the poor quality of the plants I'd seen, limited availability, or always having a different or better choice to make when sending in a mail order let me keep putting it aside. But a local nursery had them on hand, and potted, late last season I was filling a new spot. Of course, I don't have a picture of the rose in bloom yet in my garden, but the picture at the left of the 'New Dawn' in the KSU Gardens should suffice so that all can appreciate the spectacular display of this beauty. At least I already know the rose is a survivor in my climate because I've watched the KSU rose through ten seasons now, trellised against the north wall of the old dairy barn where it gets little sun. It has been an incredibly healthy rose at the KSU rose garden, and never has blackspot despite its site in long shade. Here in Kansas, the moderately full blooms occur in small clusters at a frequency of 3 flushes over the summer. The rose has a moderate sweet fragrance, but the beauty is in the blush pink coloration of the blooms, as pictured at the right, below. The canes grow about ten feet long and 'New Dawn' puts up many strong canes every year.
There are probably very few gardeners who aren't familiar with this rose, but, if you have missed out, this beautiful light pink Large-Flowered climber has a bit of a mystery of a history. It is believed to be a sport of the single-blooming Dr. W. Van Fleet (hybrid Wichuraiana), and was, according to most sources, "discovered" by the Somerset Rose Nursery and introduced into the US by Henry Dreer in 1930. I was fascinated to find out that The Plant Patent Act was signed into law in 1930 by Herbert Hoover and 'New Dawn' has the distinction of being the first patented plant in the United States; PP1. 'New Dawn' was also named one of the first of Texas A&M's Earth-Kind Roses, adding still more evidence for its vigor and health in the Great Plains climate.
Unknown white climber, single blooming
I do have an unknown identity short white-flowered climber, a rose I obtained from rustling a cutting near an elementary school in town, that I initally thought was 'White Dawn', but due to its lack of repeat bloom and decreased number of petals, I now think this one is an entirely different animal. I don't, however, now have any clue as to what it might be. Pictured as a young rose in my garden at left, it seems to be healthy and grows canes about eight feet long. It blooms every year in a nice display over several weeks, but then its done, finished, for the year. It's beautiful, but it'll likely remain a mystery as long as it grows in my garden.