Friday, June 27, 2008

Another survivor

Here’s a favorite potted plant that, like Charlotte, was bought from a vendor I haven’t had dealings with in ages. Back in 2000 or so, I ordered a few roses from Hortico, a Canadian mail order rose company. If I remember, I ordered St Joseph’s Coat, Blush Noisette, and Gloire de Dijon. There may have been two others. They were bareroot, and even in those pre-9/11 days, took some time to make their way to me.

Too long. The St. Joseph’s Coat didn’t make it over the border. The Gloire de Dijon failed. I am certain there were a couple other roses from this vendor that quietly faded away before producing blooms. Those were the days when I eagerly ordered everything in sight, especially roses, dreaming of a big rose garden where old garden types and modern types mingled riotously—an explosion of blooms. I read the rose forums at Gardenweb, religiously buying whatever chemicals they said worked.

Well, those days are long over. I no longer use fungicides or pesticides. I’ve accepted that midge will often destroy second bloom periods. I now know how long it takes a bareroot rose to mature and produce a decent amount of blooms. And thank goodness I read up about Blush Noisette before I planted it.

Blush Noisette is not winter-hardy in my zone. So I planted it in a large container, and every November, I drag it into the root cellar, where it contentedly goes dormant. In April I bring it back out. I use a water-soluble fertilizer and it blooms all summer long. A lovely rose that was bred in the Southern U.S. in 1817.

I find the scent to be best early in the bloom cycle—it’s a classic, winy rose scent.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Gotta love those survivors.

Cathy McGuire said...

ohmygawd - what's midge?? I'm a hopeless rose lover (the fact that I have huge bouquets in the house that make me sneeze uncontrollably will tell you all) and I'm struggling with the usual (for Oregon) blackspot and mildew, but I'd never heard of midge? (or are we talking midges as in those tiny flies - do they hurt roses??)I really like your site and appreciate the hints and ideas as well as your obvious love of the garden. My site addresses more of my failures/struggles, but I have a photo of my labyrinth garden you might like. Keep up the great blogging!

EAL said...

Cathy, rose midge is a tiny bug that takes up residence in the emerging shoots, eating them before they can produce buds. The destroyed shoots look crispy and burned, so gardeners often mistakenly think the plant lacks water.

There is no way to kill them, except maybe by using the deadliest of poisons, which I won't do. Anyway, I'm not even sure that works.

Layanee said...

She is a very pretty rose and I applaud your dedication to moving her about so she will survive. My roses are plagued by rose slugs. The wren does like to feed them to her babies though so I guess I just need more wrens. It's always something!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Your story sounded just like mine when I first started. I read all the magazines and ordered what they suggested. It took a visit to the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas to show me which roses would perform better in my climate.

Just last week, I dug up two Madame Isaac Periere rose bushes which had too much blackspot. I don't want to spray anymore either.~~Dee

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