05/26/15
the dr huey tour

Dr Huey Tour

The Second Annual Corrales Rose Society Dr Huey Tour, May 25, 2015

The Second Annual Corrales Rose Society Dr Huey Tour was, once again, a memorable event. The abundance of the rose, the Hybrid wichurana, Dr. Huey, used as rootstock for many grafted roses here in Desert Southwest, is a cautionary tale about microclimates, winter protection, and maybe just letting grow what survives well in a given spot.

Tim Price has explained this in detail with his photos of Dr. Huey from this year’s tour. Please visit Tim’s blog to read in depth about this year’s tour and see his images of Dr. Huey. (My discussion and images from the 2014 tour are here.) Tim has done such a thorough job of showing and explaining the significance of the abundance of Dr. Huey bushes in Corrales, in this post I am going to show a few highlights from the tour itself.

The rose highlight of the 2014 Dr. Huey Tour for me was seeing a Dr. Huey specimen 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide. The rose highlight of the 2015 tour for me was seeing this specimen of Rosa multiflora, a species rose. I had never seen one before, and had never really thought about seeing one. In fact, I was so taken aback that I did not have the presence of mind to ask if I could take a cutting. I’ll ask the next time I visit. Isn’t it a beautiful rose, even though a bit past its prime in this image (as it was in all the images from yesterday):

dr huey tour

Rosa multiflora, a species rose

This is a close-up of a Dr. Huey bloom from the tour:

dr huey tour

Dr. Huey, a Hybrid wichurana

Tim and Laurie have a large, beautiful bush of Dr. Huey on their land:

dr huey tour

Laurie with Dr. Huey

Seeing all the Dr. Huey examples in the Village of Corrales is the goal of the Dr. Huey Tour. But there is so much fun in the process of doing that, I’m already looking forward to the Third Annual Corrales Rose Society Dr. Huey Tour a year from now!

Tim, the photographer, and Laurie, the artist, stopped along Corrales Road, the main street of Corrales. documenting a Dr. Huey or two.

dr huey tour

Tim and Laurie documenting Dr. Huey

05/26/15
bees and dragonfly

Bees and Dragonfly

Bees and Dragonfly in an Insect-Friendly Garden

Bees and a beautiful dragonfly delight this gardener, who several years ago changed my approach to gardening to attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and others.

For many years, I sprayed my roses, and used systemic fertilizers with pesticides as well. I did not have much variety in my garden in terms of types of flowers. Several years ago I decided to stop spraying, and to add a few different flowers known to attract pollinators. In a very short time, I began to see more bees and butterflies here. I should note that I have several neighbors who are organic gardeners, so we have a more neighborhood sized area friendly to pollinators.

Two days ago I was out just enjoying the flowers that were blooming. I was aware of the variety of bees buzzing around, along with a few butterflies and some black chinned hummingbirds. But, I almost stuck my nose on this gigantic dragonfly before I even saw it! It stayed for some time, which allowed me to grab my camera and photograph it. Its beauty was quite complex, and I am glad it stayed long enough for a photograph.

Beautiful, but well camouflaged, dragonfly

bees and dragonfly

Beautiful Dragonfly

Busy bee laden with pollen

bees and dragonfly

Pollen laden bee

A different bee laden with pollen

bees and dragonfly

A different bee laden with pollen

05/22/15
Garlic

Garlic

Garlic: Add a Little Spice to the Garden

Garlic

Garlic

Hardneck Garlic

Although in this blog I have focused on flowers since the beginning, every now and then I venture into something different, like solar cooking, or birds, or chile peppers, and other such things.

This year in the vegetable garden I am growing tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, okra, and oregano.

On a recent trip to Tucson I visited the Tucson Botanical Gardens, a wonderful place I can recommend to anyone planning a visit to Tucson. There are a variety of different “gardens” on the grounds, and I enjoyed each one. I took a lot of photographs of many different things.

But, the one thing that really captured my eye was the garlic growing in the Herb Garden. Garlic grows well in the Albuquerque area, and at one time I grew it. That was some time ago, though, and before I began photographing on a daily basis. This was a fun photographic subject. I want to grow it again.

But, this leads to something of a conundrum. What is shown in this image is a hardneck variety, that is, one that produces a flower stalk at the top of the plant. It is a fun one to photograph! The problem is that if these “scapes” are allowed to develop, the bulb below will become somewhat stunted. Softneck varieties usually do not form these, and are considered easier to grow. But, photographically, they are not as interesting.

I plan to plant some type in the fall. It appears that the only solution to the conundrum is to plant both types!

05/4/15
morning in the roses

Morning in the Roses

Morning in the Roses

Morning in the roses, especially when they are at the peak of spring bloom, is such a refreshing start to the day. I thought I would share a bit of my morning walk with you.

roses

A Variety of Roses

Blooms in this image are the floribundas ‘Chihuly,’ ‘Marmalade Skies,’ ‘Dream Weaver,’ and the shrub, ‘Flower Girl.’

This next image shows the hybrid tea, ‘Veterans’ Honor,’ one of my favorite reds.

morning in the roses

‘Veterans’ Honor’

My neighbors and I share a wall of climbers. In this image, on my side, you see ‘Royal Sunset’ and ‘Fourth of July.’ They have ‘Eden,’ ‘Climbing Peace,’ ‘Don Juan,’ and ‘Royal Sunset.’ It is very nice to have neighbors with such a wall of blooms!

morning in the roses

On my side, ‘Royal Sunset’ and ‘Fourth of July’

Our winter here in the high desert was so warm this year, that spring bloom has reached it peak quite early. I have enjoyed it immensely, of course.

The Albuquerque rose show is the last weekend of May this year. The early bloom may affect the number of blooms entered, although perhaps people in cooler areas (here in Albuquerque, as well as in Santa Fe) may have more blooms than usual to enter.

The blooms are certainly enjoyable now!

05/3/15
Floribunda marmalade skies

Floribunda Marmalade Skies

Floribunda Marmalade Skies

The floribunda ‘Marmalade Skies’ is a real eye-catcher in the garden. Its bright orange color screams for recognition, even from a distance.

This rose is capable of making large sprays, but at the moments, it is producing solitary blooms. The blooms of this floribunda can have close to exhibition, for a brief period of time. This is when the color is most intense.

Floribunda Marmalade Skies

‘Marmalade Skies’ with close to exhibition form

The blooms can open fully within a day. This image was taken during Golden Hour, and the orange of the fully open bloom seem almost fluorescent.

Floribunda marmalade skies

Fully Open ‘Marmalade Skies’

Rose people generally focus a lot on the stamens of a fully open rose to assess its freshness (in a rose show). The stamens of this very fresh fully open ‘Marmalade Skies are not spectacular. But I was struck by the beauty of the stigmas and red styles of this rose. I have had this rose for some time, but had never really paid much attention to this. I am glad I noticed it this year!

Floribunda marmalade skies

Stamens, stigmas, and styles of fully open ‘Marmalade Skies’

This rose lives happily in the high desert and Albuquerque area, and, once established, requires very little water. It can be a show stopper in the garden, and is a useful rose for arrangements.

04/28/15
clematis and mermaid

Clematis and Mermaid: Great Companion Plants

Clematis and Mermaid: Great Companion Plants

Clematis and Mermaid make great companion plants. I have already shown this year’s ‘Nelly Moser’ bloom with ‘Mermaid.’ ‘Nelly Moser’ is the first to bloom. As that bloom comes to an end, a white clematis, whose name I do not know, begins its bloom. About the time that bloom comes to an end, ‘Mermaid’ will begin what can be a spectacular spring bloom. The white clematis is reaching the peak of its 2015 bloom.

Clematis needs “cool feet” to thrive, along with sunshine on the leaves. ‘Mermaid’ provides shade for the clematis roots, and a strong structure on which the clematis vine can climb.

clematis and mermaid

‘Mermaid’ with ‘Nelly Moser’ and a white clematis

clematis and mermaid

Closer view of white clematis and ‘Mermaid’

This third view gives you some idea of the size of ‘Mermaid.’ I have mentioned before that I prune it back in the fall (the only rose I treat that way!), and it has already grown a lot this year. After the spring bloom, I will cut it back again to keep it from filling up the entire yard! But, I really enjoy growing this rose.

clematis and mermaid

‘Mermaid’ with ‘Nelly Moser’ and a white clematis

04/21/15
first bloom of roses

First Bloom of Roses

First Bloom of Roses: Such an Exciting Time in the Spring!

First bloom of roses is something every gardener who grows roses anticipates. The first flush of blooms is usually, although not always, the most spectacular of the year. The roses in my yard have not yet reached the peak of first bloom, but I am so delighted to see blooms burst forth, I am going to share some of the early ones here.

first bloom of roses

‘Incognito,’ a wonderful miniature rose

first bloom of roses

‘Misty Moonlight,’ my sport of ‘Dream Weaver’

first bloom of roses

Shrub rose, ‘Be-Bop’

 bloom of roses

Another view of the shrub rose, ‘Be-Bop’

Over the next couple of weeks, many more roses should be blooming, more in terms of both variety and quantity. Expect more pictures to be posted here.

04/20/15
yoyo rose buds

Rose Buds

Rose Buds: So Close to the Grand Opening!

Rose buds. Over the winter I showed you some rose hips and some spent blooms, but now first bloom is very close! Most of the rose buds in my yard are now showing some color, a promise of a riot of color in a few days. Last week, with the one night of freezing temperatures at my house and close to freezing the night before slowed the process just a bit. But, the nights are warmer now, and many of these should be open this week. These images are just a sampling of my roses getting ready to bloom in a very small Albuquerque yard.

Miniature rose, ‘Yoyo.’

yoyo rose buds

Miniature rose, ‘Yoyo,’ covered with buds

Bud of miniature rose, ‘Yoyo,’ about to open.

yoyo rose buds

Close up of bud of ‘Yoyo’

Bud on small spray of shrub rose ‘Flower Girl,’ about to open. ‘Flower Girl’ can make huge sprays, and some seem to be developing for a little later.

flower girl rose buds

Bud of shrub rose, ‘Flower Girl’

Tis large flowered climber, ‘Royal Sunset,’ makes long and elegant buds.

royal sunset rose buds

The elegant bud of the large flowered climber, ‘Royal Sunset’

I hope later in the week to show a lot of colorful blooms!

04/13/15
clematis and roses

Clematis and Roses

Clematis and Roses: Companion Plants

Clematis and roses can be excellent companion plants, particularly for climbing roses. When someone asks me to recommend a companion plant for roses, I first ask the type of rose. If the rose climbs, I almost always include clematis among the recommendations.

Clematis need “cool feet.” That is, the plant does not thrive if the roots at ground level are exposed to direct sun. But, in order to bloom well, the vines themselves need sun. Pairing clematis with a climbing rose provides that. The rose provides the shade for the base of the clematis.

The clematis vine needs a support structure. A climbing rose provides a marvelous support structure, and the vine does not choke the rose (as some vines might).

Regular readers here know my love of the Old Garden Rose, ‘Mermaid,’ a hybrid bracteata (1918). If left to its own devices, it would be at the top of the house and covering my patio at the end of a season (actually, during a season!). I learned the hard way I need to keep it trained and controlled throughout the season. Surprisingly, it seems to thrive that way. It usually starts to bloom sometime in May, although this year it appears it could be a bit earlier than that.

I have two different clematis plants growing with ‘Mermaid,’ and both usually bloom before ‘Mermaid.’ ‘Nelly Moser’ is the first to bloom, and as its bloom ends, a large white clematis whose name I do not know begins its bloom. About the time it finishes, the rose begins its bloom.

‘Nelly Moser’ has begun its bloom, and the images with this post are of ‘Nelly Moser’ growing as a companion plant with ‘Mermaid.’

clematis and roses

‘Nelly Moser’ as companion to ‘Mermaid’

Closer view of ‘Nelly Moser:’

clematis and roses

Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ with rose ‘Mermaid’

04/10/15
Dr Huey

Dr Huey and Microenvironments

Dr Huey and Microenvironments

Dr Huey, a hybrid wichurana, is a rose known in some form to most rose growers. A very few people grow it as the rose itself, but that is the exception rather than the rule. It is a mildew magnet, at least in my yard, and a once bloomer. During the spring bloom, however, it can be spectacular.

For many years Dr Huey has been used a root-stock onto which to graft roses known for their blooms. It has been very useful for that purpose.

Many of us encounter Dr Huey when we have “shovel pruned” a rose and not completely gotten out the roots of this root-stock. We may also encounter it after various adverse conditions – drought, cold, and so forth – have stressed the grafted rose, and only the strong root-stock remains. That is one way of saying I have it in my yard every now and then. If it appears in the spring, I usually leave it until after the local rose show in case I want to use the foliage as line material in arrangements. Then, I will work to remove it so the planned rose in that spot can grow without competition from the strong root-stock.

Here in the high desert in the Rio Grande Valley, we have a variety of growing conditions that challenge the most dedicated gardeners. Once the soil has been amended, roses do pretty well where I live in Albuquerque if they get adequate water. In February 2011 we had an extreme cold snap from which I did lose some roses, but that is rare. We do not winterize our roses here, because it generally is not necessary. I live up toward the mountains and away from the river.

I have good friends who live right along the Rio Grande. We all learned in school that “warm air rises and cold air sinks.” When I go to visit them, even on the hottest summer days, I always take a jacket along if I am going to be there after sunset. It gets cold. In the winter, although the daytime temperatures may be similar to mine, the night temperatures can be up to 20°F colder. Their last average frost-free date can be a month later than mine. “We’re hard on roses here.”

My friends are not the only ones who are “hard on roses” in the Rio Grande Valley. The entire community in which they live is “hard on roses,” if, that is, they are grafted roses. For a week or two in the spring, Dr Huey can be seen in bloom everywhere, and it is quite beautiful. This rose can get huge, and covered with blooms can be very spectacular.

These images of Dr Huey are from the First Annual Dr Huey Rose Tour of the Corrales Rose Society, last year (2014).

Dr Huey

Dr Huey at entrance to vineyard in the Rio Grande Valley. It was a stormy day.

Dr Huey

Laurie with Dr Huey at her home

Dr Huey

Dr Huey at Tim and Laurie’s home

Dr Huey

Dr Huey

Dr Huey

Dr Huey

Dr Huey

Dr Huey on the road

Dr Huey

Close up of very large Dr Huey

Dr Huey

HUGE Dr Huey. Follow it out to the sides of the image!