Sunday, May 30, 2021

Not La Ville de Bruxelle?

Well, it's a pretty rose, but it isn't likely 'La Ville de Bruxelles', now, is it?  In my search for Old Garden Roses and Hybrid Rugosa roses that might have a chance to resist the Rose Rosette virus, I had ordered this Damask from Heirloom Roses in 2019.  Last year, it bloomed just a couple of blooms, a small wisp of a plant, and I was primarily only concerned for its survival.  This year, it's blooming profusely, and whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be what it's supposed to be, at least not yet.

The color is not far off 'La Ville de Bruxelles', a clear deep pink, and the rose only bloomed once last year (and will, I presume only once this year), but everything else about it is wrong.  These blooms are not the tightly packed, fully double blooms of the Damask, nor are they the expected 3-4" size.   The blooms on my specimen are easily 5-6" in diameter, loosely organized and semi-double to double, appearing more modern than any Damask rose I've seen in the past.   They open, as you can see below, to a more flat form with golden center stamens and an often white strip   The foliage of the bush is matte green, and healthy as anything, but the canes are long and sprawling, with small thorns.   Fragrance is strong, with sweet OGR tones, certainly no hint of the spice of a rugosa. 

For someone who likes to know the denizens of his garden, it's a bit frustrating to receive a rose that isn't it's namesake, and it is unusual for Heirloom Roses to mislabel a rose in my experience.  I suppose it's possible that this bush will gain more double blooms as it grows and matures, but that sumptuous color is just far too perfectly pink for an Old Garden Rose, no mauve at all, just pink.  And the size!  These blooms are enormous, bigger than any other rose in my garden.   I considered Hybrid Perpetual 'Paul Neyron' due to the blooms size, but, again, the color is just too perfect and even 'Paul Neyron' is more double than this seems to be; not to mention that my rose doesn't rebloom as a Hybrid Perpetual does.   A cross between something modern and Rosa gallica is, I think, a far more likely provenance for this unknown creature of my garden. 

I shouldn't care, I know, since it shows no signs of Rose Rosette Disease, is cane hardy without protection from a very cold winter, and it has great color and fragrance.  What more can I really ask of a rose?  It will stay in my garden, just another mystery among mislabeled plants and my sometimes inaccurate plant maps.  In fact, I should just close my trap and accept it, because the bees certainly seem to like it.  Nature knows best.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Just Bloomin'

ProfessorRoush has nothing clever to say tonight; no biting wit, no humor, not even a long love poem to a favorite rose.  I took advantage of a few hours without rain this afternoon and I'm just in from weeding the back patio garden bed and I thought you'd like to see what's blooming in my garden, because essentially everything is blooming in my garden.  This vista, in particular, caught my eye as I walked through picking up trimmings:   Bright red 'Survivor' and magenta 'Hanza' are blooming in the foreground, and in the background, from left to right, 'Pink Grootendorst', 'Madame Hardy', 'Polareis' and 'Purple Pavement' are the prominent roses.

This particular 'Polareis', a sucker of my first, is in it's third or fourth year after transplanting and she's finally reached a height and width to stand out in the garden, particularly when she's blooming like there will be no tomorrow.  You've probably already noticed that I haven't trimmed out the winter dead twigs from among the roses yet in these beds, but 'Polareis' didn't die back at all despite the previous especially-brutal winter.  

She's also blushing a lot this year.  Normally a pure white in the heat of summer, her first blooms in the spring (and all of them this year) often retain a little pink blush from the cooler, wetter weather.  In that regard, 'Polareis' is a little bit of a changeling, affected by temperature and the Kansas sun, but beautiful in both versions. 

My original 'Polareis', shown here in front of pink and taller 'Lillian Gibson', is a little more beat up this year, but she's trying to maintain her 5 foot mature height.  Dwarfed and outclassed a little by the hardier and healthier 'Lillian Gibson', I still think she'll come back with a vengeance with a little loving care this summer.   She's been blooming just a few more days than her younger offspring, and you can see the fallen petals littering the ground at her feet.

Coming in from the east area of the garden, I'm well pleased by bright pink 'Foxi Pavement' and gray-white 'Snow Pavement', both just beginning to bloom here in the foreground, although I haven't got around to pruning the winter-damaged cane of 'Applejack' that spoils the picture hanging out over 'Snow Pavement'.  'Foxi Pavement'  and 'Snow Pavement' are both unkept and loosely petaled, but they both attract bees like...well,  like flies to honey.

Just behind them as I walk further towards the gazebo, the same roses from the opposite view of the first photo above, 'Survivor' and 'Hanza' fill the middle depth, with light pink  'Fru Dagmar Hastrup' just peeking in on the right.   My gazebo, in the far background, lends a little structure to the photo and view.  It's a little weather worn, but has stood through the worst of our storms, although I made a mental note today to replace the weakened wooden swing inside before it collapses under an unsuspecting Mrs. ProfessorRoush.  

I've seldom seen 'Pink Grootendorst' look better than she does this year.   She's a gangly, rough, farm-raised kind of gal, rarely dressed up for the ball, but she's a pretty lass even so.  I wouldn't ever bring her into the house in a vase, but in my garden, as a solid survivor of Rose Rosette disease,  'Pink Grootendorst' has earned her place. 

Last today within this photo-heavy blog entry, I'll leave you with a perfect bloom of 'Bric A Brac', one of the stripped peony creations of the Klehm's and Song Sparrow Farm.  I know, I know, this bloom looks far from perfect, ragged and misshapen as it is, but that's actually what 'Bric A Brac' is supposed to look like, a picture to do her creator proud.   An offering to my ongoing striped flower fetish, 'Bric A Brac' is a little stronger than her sister, 'Pink Spritzer', and she's always a welcome visitor here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Amusing Daily Moments

ProfessorRoush should not make fun of gardeners unknown and unknowing, but still, with all the many trials of life, one has to find humor where one can.   Just a few evenings ago, the humor gods presented me with a surprise gift at, of all places, the Arby's drive- thru.   Friends, I give you, pictured at right, the meticulously maintained landscape efforts present at my local establishment.   Their new motto will soon be "Arby's, we have the weeds."

I chuckled as I realized what the plant was, and I'm sure the drive-thru window server and the car behind me thought I was severely mentally deranged as I suddenly paused the car, whipped out my phone, and snapped this picture.  I simply was unable to stop myself.  It's not every day that a Goat's Beard (Tragopogon dubius) is so carefully tended and prominently displayed.

I sincerely hope that this planting is a soon-to-be-classic representation of Dunning and Kruger's "Unskilled and Unaware" hypothesis, inadvertently illustrated by a well-meaning teenager employed at minimum wage for the summer, rather than an intentional effort by a local landscaping firm hired by the restaurant.   One never knows, however.  It is only obvious that leaving this weed in place was purposeful, the perfectly-sited weed growing in an otherwise cleaned and weed-free area.  

Oh, how disappointed management is going to be when this blooms in a week or so, those small pale yellow blooms that will turn quickly into downy tufts of seed.  There are some definite downsides to using Goat's Beard in the landscaping as they spread everywhere and the sticky sap doesn't lend itself to weeding by an ungloved hand.  There are some upsides that I can see, however, as well.  First off, this particular weed is an obvious genius, placed here next to an unending parade of cars to hitch a ride on and enhance its procreation.  Second, I have an enormous crop of Goat's Beard seedlings in my iris bed that I can pull up and transplant for Arby's at a bargain price whenever they want.  I've always wanted to start a nursery and here I am, with a vast quantity of product ready to sell.  And a chain of thousands of restaurants to sell them to.    

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Photo Thiwivery

Effective immediately, ProfessorRoush is instituting a new policy to combat the theft and illicit use of his photos by extremely unscrupulous life partners (alias; Mrs. ProfessorRoush) for the sole purpose of falsely enhancing the perpetrator's Facebook feed. It's not thievery by strangers, it's thievery by wife, hence my coined title "Thiwivery."   From this point on, I will add a watermark to my better photos BEFORE I give in to the puppy eyes of Mrs. ProfessorRoush and send her copies of them.  Spousal privileges are one thing, but posting your husband's garden photos is just a step too far! 

Under normal circumstances, I don't mind at all if others download and use photos from this blog for their own purposes.   I've given explicit permission to some readers for their use of photos in the past, and, frankly, if I find one of my pictures being used elsewhere on the vast internet, I find it flattering rather than infuriating.  I just draw the line at seeing my own photos pop up on my own feed from HER Facebook page before I get a chance to post them myself.  I suppose I could unfriend her so I don't have to see her posts, but that seems a step in the wrong direction for good marital relations. 

Case in point, the gorgeous captures of orangey Morden Sunrise pictured above, the rose in full bloom in the evening sun as at the top, and just opening up in the morning dampness as above left.  I took them.  They are fabulous captures, if merely iPhone quality, are they not?   How maddening to see them first displayed on Facebook above comments from her followers over how wonderful HER garden must be.

In her defense, my larcenous spouse is always quick to respond to these comments and shift all credit to me, although at that point her diversions sound a bit disingenuous.  Since the photos are brazenly displayed on her page and the evidence is clear, those weak excuses are not admissible in court and hardly sway the jury. Verdict delivered, the court finds the defendant guilty of rapacious photo pilfering in the first degree.  The sentence is final and the punishment of being provided watermarked photos will be carried out immediately.

Mrs. ProfessorRoush also begged shamelessly for the luscious photos here of a purple columbine that self-seeded itself years ago into the garden and they have since also found their way onto Facebook.   Hey, lady, I know these photos are second only to your own beauty and grace, but take your own photos!  Mine are for my blog readers.  You can steal them later, just like everyone else!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

So, It's Not Just Me?

 I've spoken before about the surprise to me that peonies seem to volunteer everywhere in my garden and of the volunteer peonies that have thrived here.  Until this week, I've felt like either a deep, dark gardening secret has been hidden from me despite all the reading I've done, or alternatively that I'm just blessed with a peony-fertile climate.  Just recently, however I've seen that the volunteer peony issue can plague others in the area.  I was taking my first walk of the new spring in the K-State Gardens at lunchtime the other day and came across this obvious aberrant peony growing out of the first tree peony to bloom there.

It is likely, I suppose, that since a tree peony is grafted to the roots of another herbaceous peony, the above break of a graft understock is not so really so surprising.  I'm used to rootstocks growing up and being a nuisance in grafter roses.  During the same lunchtime constitutional, however, I also observed another herbaceous peony rising from this Itoh hybrid, which I highly doubt is grafted.  Itoh hybrids are usually propagated by division according to my reading.  I predict that if I watch while the dozens of peonies at K-State bloom, I'll see other wild children, exposed by their flowers after hiding inside more similar foliage clumps.

Regardless of the wanton explosion of unplanned peonies at the K-State garden, however, my own volunteer peonies continue to crop up.  Just this week, I noticed this small seeding trying to grow next to the Knautia macedonia and Monarda of this bed.  

And I've lost count of all the volunteers that grow for me.  In this vertical line of three distinct peonies, I think that only the center one was planted and the other two are volunteers.   And then there is the volunteer peony with the burgundy foliage growing nearby (and pictured below);  it bloomed last year with a deep red, single flower.   It is worth keeping for the foliage alone.

Should I now run across the city, screaming warning about the unplanned peony population explosion?   Should I be interrogating this advance guard about their alien invasion plans or likely non-terrestrial planet of origin?   Both seem like a slight overreaction given the innocuous and welcome presence of a plant that doesn't smother nearby neighbors and will survive the worst things Kansas throws at it.  No, I think I'll just keep nurturing these babies along.  At worst, they don't have good disease resistance and don't make it.  At best, they'll survive for generations and be my legacy, my lasting joke on those who garden here long after I've become part of the landscape rather than a gardener of it, as they try, and fail, to identify what peony varieties I planted here.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...