Showing posts with label Hunter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hunter. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Other Front

Well, at least the other side of my front bed.  In contrast to the yellow border that comprises the right side of my front landscaping, the left side (as you view it) is mostly a succession of reds.  The view recently, in late June is certainly red and green as shown below, the red provided by the second blooms of roses 'Champlain' and 'Hunter' in the background, and Monarda 'Jacob Cline' in the mid-picture, self-seeding madly.  If the picture was large enough, you could see a burgundy Knautia macedonica sticking out behind 'Hunter'.  The picture is clear enough, however, to probably discern the light blue native Salvia in front, Salvia azurea, that I also allow to self-seed anywhere it wants.

When the season first began however, in March, it was only the Red Peach tree showing color, with a few minor daffodils sticking their yellow heads out as shown below.  It is always stunning to me how sparse is the March look of this bed, and how bountiful it is in June.

It then moves on to "first bloom" in April, the red of the roses and the burgundy of 'Wine and Roses' Weigela mixing in a monochromatic theme. Okay, maybe there are a few blue and purple irises and yellow rose Morden Sunrise mixing up the foreground.

Then later, in May, the line of peonies in front pops out even while the roses are still blooming (below).  The peonies add pink and light pink and red (the latter from peony 'Kansas') into the mixture.  And oh, how those deep purple irises show up!  'Wine and Roses' has faded to a burgundy blog in the center.

As the peonies fade, by early June, this garden again (below) goes back to just roses as shown in the first picture above.  The view from the opposite side, in late June, looking out from the front door, is still mostly red and green, but here you can see the stepping stones that are hidden by the lush front display.  There is no hint yet of the white 'David' phlox in the foreground, blooming now only a week after this last picture was taken.  I'll show the phlox and the fall look at the sedums in this bed in a later picture.  All have their season to shine, each and every plant.  Another season, passing away into next year's promises.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hunter Hype

There lies a rose within my chest
A rose, crimson red and beating
In summer's heat it knows no rest
Steadfast 'Hunter', never fleeting.

I grow it, yet it stabs my hand
with prickles, fearsome sharp and many
Rugose the leaves, of health and grand
A simple rose, yet good as any


The sparkling rose referred to in this miserable rhyme, of course, is the 1961 introduction by Mattock in the United Kingdom.  'Hunter' (sometimes called 'The Hunter') is a cross of the tetraploid orange-red floribunda 'Independence', and the light pink diploid cross of R. arvensis and R. rugosa known as R. paulii, or simply just as 'Paulii'.  'Hunter' boasts double-petalled bright red flowers of long-lasting color, fading at last to a deeper red-purple before falling from the bush.  He stands in the middle of my front house bed, about 4 foot tall, and in a rare winter has had a little bit of cane dieback, but the gorgeous red flower is worth taking that chance.  I fell in love with the idea of this rose after being introduced to it by Suzy Verrier in her 1999 text Rosa Rugosa.

Published and posted information varies widely on this rose and I'll add in my personal observations.  First and foremost, let me state that I've had this rose almost a decade and it took until this year to convince me that it really was capable of an exceptional display.  Some sources state that it lacks vigor, and for me it indeed struggled for several years, surrounded by Monarda and other perennials, and it seems to have suddenly decided to just grow over them and live in the sunshine.  Since then, the past three or four years, it has added bulk and thick canes, spreading out without growing taller.  Some references say the rose is prone to blackspot, and while I do see some yellowing and loss of the lower foliage regularly, I haven't seen the typical fungal appearance and I don't spray my 'Hunter'.   The fragrance is listed from "mild" to "strong," but I would agree with a "mild" rating.  Bloom repeat is sporadic throughout the summer, with three to four flushes over the season that never reach the bounty of the original flush.  

If you plan to grow this rose, be aware that it retains the thorny genes of the Rugosas and that this is one of the most wicked roses I grow in that regard. My 'Hunter' is well-placed, in the center of the bed, to prevent ruining trousers.  And skin.  And perhaps marriages.

Friday, May 11, 2012


'Carefree Spirit'
The last few roses to bloom for me are streaking into full display right now, so I thought I would take a few moments this morning to look through this year's pictures and identify those roses that I think really made a spectacle of themselves this year.  Not those roses that just bloomed well and often, but roses who literally bloomed so freely that you "couldn't stick a finger into them without hitting a bloom."  There were several of those, and it also struck me that most of the overachievers are also peaking right now, later blooming than most of their cousins.

'Carefree Spirit' is a relative youngster, in its 2nd full summer for me, but already it is living up to its promises. Carefree blooming and with a willing spirit, those are traits we all love in a rose.

The biggest overachiever in my garden may be my miniature climber 'Red Cascade'.  I took this picture this morning and its quality suffers as the eastern sunrise gives it an unnatural orange tint, but take a gander at a rose that is very well-named; a waterfall of bright red flowing over the limestone blocks.

'Red Cascade'

Hybrid musk 'Ballerina' is a timeless rose and provides me a more pastel-colored vision to salve the burns on my cornea, but she is still blooming like a champ right now.

'Jeanne Lavoie'
It is not so unusual for classy blooming miniature  'Jeanne Lavoie' to have a first bloom as flush as this one, but once again, she proves that she is a beautiful lass and a workhorse in the garden.  Five feet tall and growing, she should top that trellis by next year.

'American Pillar'
I always look to rambler 'American Pillar' to finish out the show for the first bloom cycle, and again this year, it isn't disappointing me.  This picture, taken this morning, reflects the fact that I didn't properly trim it and tie it up this year, but, regardless, this monster of a rose certainly has its ostentatious side.

Among the more double-flowered and larger-flowered roses, I have to give special recognition here to red 'Hunter' on the right and bright pink 'Morden Centennial' below, both of which are now fading.  'Hunter' stands proudly among the young Monarda seedlings in the picture, and 'Morden Centennial' is now far past bloom, but they bloomed their heads off in their own times just to make me happy.  Both are always dependable roses for me but their early exhibition this year was more spectacular than I remember ever seeing either of them.  Thank you, girls, for adding a special splash to my rose season!  

'Morden Centennial'
As I scroll through my photos, there were many other well-blooming roses this year, the expected visual bounty from roses such as 'Champlaign' and 'Chuckles' and others, but the roses above were the cream of the crop in my rose parade.  What roses outdid their usual beauty for you this year?  What roses were your showoffs this year?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Digital Wind

I've been a mite perturbed lately with the quality of some of my posted pictures, worrying that I was having a hard time picking from pictures who all seemed to be a little blurry.  I was beginning to wonder, in fact,  if my autofocus settings had gone out of whack. 

But, taking about 80 pictures last night, the culprit was not my camera, but was all around me, spitting and thrusting, zigging and zagging my subjects.  No matter how fast I tried to force the shutter speed by opening the aperture, the wind was foiling my efforts. You want motion as part of your garden ambiance?  You want to capture motion in your photographs?  Come move next to me on the Flint Hills and try a few photos of your garden.

Look closely at the picture above, taken of the bright red rugosa-floribunda cross 'Hunter' in my front landscape bed.  Some branches, especially the stiffer variegated euonymus just behind the rose and a few of the flowers in the center, are perfectly still, while others are being thrown from side to side, just a blur on the photo.  And below, starting to bloom is the miniature climber 'Jeanne Lavoie',  the tied-up canes in the center in focus, while one of the new canes in the foreground is whipping side to side.  

There has been so much wind this Spring that I'm developing a persecution complex.  Several days, driving home from a day of work, I notice that the wind seems calm.  The first thing I do on those days, even before supper, is to grab a camera and rush to the garden, only there to find the wind seems to gust every time I aim the camera in anticipation of a shot. Even when there aren't random gusts, there is a constant steadier wind that has been interfering with my closeups day after day.  What evil lies in the hills and grass, that it can detect my presence in the garden and summon up a breeze to frustrate my photography?

Please, God, give me just a few calm days here in the Springtime during the rose bloom.  I know that August will come inevitably with 100F temperatures and a complete lack of breeze for weeks, but the pictures taken then will often still show motion as the flowers open and quickly dehydrate and shrivel.  I'm just asking for a windless day, say Saturday, when the roses are in peak bloom and the sun is perfect and the wind is still.  Please? 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pictures for Ourselves

Do you take pictures of your own garden?  If you don't, I'm going to take this moment to demand that you go find or purchase a camera and get to it.  If you already take pictures of your own gardens, then I'm going to request that you take them more often.  Nowadays, with digital cameras, hundreds of pictures cost pennies, so the downside of have developing and printing costs decrease your budget for plant purchases are no longer an excuse.  I promise, you'll see your garden differently through a camera lens.

I find myself in the garden more and more often with a camera in hand, and I never regret the time spent taking or looking at those pictures.  I catalog plants by their photos, I document my garden's growth and development in pictures, and I mark the change of seasons and the frequent Kansas storms with pictures of their majesty and their damage paths in my garden. But most of all, inside all those pictures, instead of seeing the garden through the eyes of its gardener, I see the garden through the eyes of a visitor.  I can experience the garden, instead of experiencing the process of gardening.

We find it difficult, the "we" of gardeners in general, to separate our vision of our gardens from the little things that irk us  I can't look at my garden and not see the occasional weeds, the faded mulch that I know is there, the drab grass clippings, the phlox I should have deadheaded, or the blackspot on the roses.  But through the camera, I forget about all those things and I'm able to see the garden through different eyes; the eyes that can appreciate the garden instead of the eyes that work in my garden.

For example, I was thinking lately that my garden, here in September at the end of a hot summer, was lacking color, a little drab, or maybe a little beaten up.  But look at the picture of my front garden above, facing away from the front door of the house, taken on September 25th.  Boy, was I wrong about the color!  Look at combinations of the 'Betty Boop' rose on the left, the 'Emerald Gaiety' euonymus of the foreground, the burgundy foliage of 'Wine and Roses' weigela in the background, the two varieties of sedum in bloom, and even the bright red rugosa rose 'Hunter' out of focus in the far right background.  I also know that on the left, just out of the picture, are the still-blooming remnants of the white phlox 'David' and to the right, the red Canadian rose 'Champlain'.  How much more color could I expect?  With my "gardener's eye" I just couldn't see the color separate from the sidewalk, the mulch, and the surrounding fields.  With my camera's eye, I can see the beauty that others see.

If I'd just been bright enough to remove the dead daylily scapes before I took the picture it might look even better to me.


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