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!

04/9/15
To See Beauty - Rose Hip

To See Beauty

To See Beauty – Take Time

“Take time to smell the roses” is an expression most of us have heard all of our lives. Rose blooms with their various scents are wonderful, no doubt about it. But roses, and other living things, and perhaps the whole world, have other wonderful parts and phases, if one takes the time to see them.

Here in Albuquerque, we had a warm winter with very little wind. Being outside was so enjoyable on many days. Pruning the roses early was a great temptation, but I refused to give in to that because I have seen in prior years the results of late freezes (May in one year). So, I took my camera out rather than pruning shears, and spent some time looking at things I had never studied in great detail before. It was a perfect opportunity to see beauty in frequently overlooked things.

Although I have always thought rose hips were fascinating, I had never seen them in the detail I noted this year. I had the opportunity to see beauty in rose hips.

This rose hip, from the climbing rose ‘Fourth of July’ was my favorite from this year.

This image is from my “Living Jewels” series.

To See Beauty - Rose Hip

To See Beauty – Rose Hip

04/2/15
rose sprays

Rose Sprays Developing

Rose Sprays Developing

Rose sprays, collections of roses in almost bouquet-like form, can present a magnificent appearance. Some roses present sprays more often than others, and some present them more often than single blooms. ‘Flower Girl’ is a shrub rose known as a spray producer, although every now and then a single bloom can be seen. ‘Dream Weaver,’ a climbing floribunda, produces single blooms, but the sprays it can produce on new growth can be breath-taking.

‘Dream Weaver’ is the mother of one of my registered sports, ‘Misty Moonlight.’

This week has seen remarkable growth on the roses, as well as other plants in the yard. Buds are forming, and so far, everything is looking healthy. It will be a bit before actual blooms are seen, but I enjoy the fresh foliage in spring. These are two of my favorite roses, and they bloom well throughout the entire season. They will have beautiful sprays when they do bloom this spring.

rose sprays

Developing spray of shrub rose, ‘Flower Girl’

rose sprays

Developing spray of climbing floribunda, ‘Dream Weaver’

03/31/15
developing pears

Developing Pears

Developing Pears for 2015

Pears – two varieties – appear to be developing well for 2015. A lot can happen between now and harvest time, but this year seems to be off to a good start!

For the fruit to develop, two trees are required for pollination. I do not know what varieties these are; they were at the house when I bought it. But one produces fruit that tastes delicious to people; the other produces fruit that is preferred by a variety of birds. Everyone is happy! The birds leave mine alone, and I leave theirs alone. :-) )))))))))

developing pears

This developing fruit will become quite tasty to people in August

developing pears

Fruit of the pollinator tree. These pears will be small and hard. The birds like them, though.