07/3/15

Gemini, A Great Hybrid Tea Rose for the High Desert

Gemini, A Great Hybrid Tea Rose for the High Desert

Gemini is probably my favorite hybrid tea rose to grow here in the high desert of the Southwest, Albuquerque. As beautiful as it is, it is equally tough. It tolerates the summer heat. Mine was not damaged by the extreme cold of February of 2011. The colors are wonderful. The form is close to perfect in almost every bloom.

Gemini rose

Hybrid Tea Rose, Gemini

Gemini rose

Gemini, a Hybrid Tea Rose

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06/17/15
mermaid rose

Mermaid, A Beautiful Old Garden Rose

Mermaid, A Beautiful Old Garden Rose

Mermaid is a beautiful old garden rose (Hybrid bracteata 1918) that long time readers here know well. In May of 2006 it was reaching its peak after having been planted several years before. It took Best of Show at the Spring 2006 Albuquerque Rose Show, along with the ARS Victorian Award for Old Garden Roses with unknown date of introduction or introduced in or after 1867. Who could have imagined what December of 2006 would bring?

Mid December of 2006 brought an 8 inch snowfall to my house. It was heavy and wet, and pulled Mermaid and its trellis a little away from the wall. But I was sick at the time, thought there wouldn’t be more snow at least for a while, and I could repair things when I felt better. Big mistake!

A week later or so I got an unheard-of-for-here 22 inch snowfall at my house! The melting and refreezing, melting and refreezing added more weight, and in the middle of one night with a noise loud enough to awaken me at the other end of the house, Mermaid and trellis came crashing down across the patio. It took me weeks to get that mess cleaned up to the point I could walk out into the rest of the yard. To do it, I had to cut everything, including the clematis that had been growing with Mermaid, off at ground level. I thought everything was gone.

Imagine my joy at finding tiny basal breaks later in the spring of 2007! Mermaid did not grow a lot in 2007, but the companion clematis came back more rapidly. 2008 was even better. By 2009, things were looking very good. At the Spring 2010 Albuquerque Rose Show, Mermaid once again won the ARS Victorian Award along with Best of Show.

The 2014-2015 winter in Albuquerque was quite mild. Mermaid’s spring bloom this year was probably the best I have seen since the 2006 damage. Once again, at the Spring 2015 Albuquerque Rose Show, Mermaid took Best of Show (5 matched sprays in the entry in “Exhibitor’s Dream”) along with the ARS Victorian Award. This is a rose you will not see often in rose shows, because it is an “eight-hour wonder!” It opens in the morning, and drops its petals by evening. But, it is gorgeous during that time!

mermaid rose

Mermaid, Best of Show 2015, at placement during entry before judging

These are images from this year’s spring bloom:

mermaid rose

Old Garden Rose, Mermaid

mermaid rose

Old Garden Rose, Mermaid

mermaid rose

Old Garden Rose, Mermaid

Mermaid – one of my favorite roses, and back to being a focal point in the garden of my small Albuquerque yard.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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’

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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!

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