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).
Wow, the onset of Fall surely changes our gardens, doesn't it? It also sometimes makes me reassess my evaluation criteria and reevaluate my favorites. Then again, perhaps my favorites don't change, but it is now, in the cooler temperatures, that I realize that all roses, just like humans, have their good and bad moments. Sometimes they are a balled-up, crinkly mess, and sometimes, they just shine. You just have to find the best conditions to develop each one, human or rose.
Take, for example 'El Catala'. I haven't been crazy about the performance I've gotten out of this rose all summer, but right now, in the cool days and cold nights, it is the star of its bed. I was wrong about him, wasn't I? Take a look at this bicolored floral hunk to the left and above. Completely scrumptious right now, isn't he?
And look at how the colder temperatures bring out the blush in the cheeks of 'Charlotte Brownell'. Amazing, isn't it, how a girl can be blushing and brazen at the same time?
Just as the sun brings out the freckles in a young girls face, the claret markings of 'Freckles' are always enhanced by a little cold weather as well. I'm learning that Griffith Buck had a number of these subtly streaked roses and I'm trying to grow a few more right now.
If I wasn't expecting a garden party after the heat of summer, 'Garden Party' is set on proving me wrong. My 'Garden Party' struggles and struggles, a common affliction for many modern hybrid teas in this area, but coming out of summer, she's putting out these creamy white, perfect blossoms by the handful every day.
When I talk about favorites, though, there's always one rose whose beauty is never outdone; the everlasting 'Queen Elizabeth'. When I want a picture of a perfect bud form, I can always count on the Queen to come through for me.
But then, as I pointed out, there is always 'Hope for Humanity', isn't there? I can't imagine a more perfect cluster of dark red blooms, each vibrating deeply with life and hope.
'Hope for Humanity'
I've got quite a colorful landscape right now, this perfect time of early Fall, but sadly it all ends tonight. I've watched the forecast all week, starting at a prediction of 32F tonight when I first looked, and then dropping steadily each time I checked it. This morning, the prediction is for 25F tonight, so I know that I'm going to see a hard freeze and my garden is over. I'm ready for it, though, the baby roses are all tucked into cloches and the grass has been mowed for the final time. But I'm also not ready for it. There are hundreds of beautiful roses like these right now and I'm trying to get half of Manhattan to come by and cut some today. Somebody might as well benefit from a few more moments of beauty.