Tuesday, April 27, 2010

'Teasing Georgia' on Fortuniana rootstock as a Tampa pillar rose.

Buds on my 'Newport Fairy' rambler!!

My rambler 'Newport Fairy' is easily 5-6 years old, was featured in my 'Fine Gardening' article about training pillar roses up rebar back then...super vigorous growth despite years of drought but has RARELY bloomed, and then just a mere handful. But this morning I checked the new laterals coming off of the main canes and there are quite a few buds! I am guessing because of the cold El Nino winter it finally got the dormancy it has needed all along. I figure I will know in 10 days or so if a LOT of buds and blooms will be on it for its first ever decent display......I sure hope so! Pics for sure if it looks lovely. I fell in love with Bill Grant's tree-consuming specimen when I visited him in Aptos, California some years back, and both he and Fred Boutin felt that because of the parentage it might be a reasonable long shot gamble to try here in Tampa despite our usual lack of winter dormancy. So I bought this plant from Joyce Demitts. John

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Seedling of Mine I Find Promising

I did not breed this rose, just selected it from open pollinated seedlings from seeds from an open pollinated seedling of the rambler 'Francis E. Lester'. It is remontant, fast growing, and has a potent sharp/sweet Multiflora scent that reminds me of both 'Seagull' and 'Bobbie James'. It appears to be a Polyantha type shrub rose that reminds me somewhat of 'Gourmet Popcorn' though it has a VERY faint touch of pink to it. I like the idea of crossing it with Teas plus 'Oklahoma', "Fairmount Red" plus some English Roses like 'Abraham Darby' and 'Heritage'. It sure is a cute little bugger! John

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thank You Antique Rose Emporium!

Thanks to Mike Shoup, owner of this fine own root Old Roses grower, today the UPS man brought me these four roses to test in my Water Wise Container Gardens that are some reason not only allowing me to grow "Florida Roses" (Teas, Chinas and Noisettes) despite years of drought and severe water restrictions, but also "Denver Roses" that supposedly require full winter dormancy and hence are never seen in Florida, to my knowledge. I am psyched to trial these roses in 18 gallon Water Wise Container Gardens in my front gardens I am now wresting control of after the rose 'Mermaid' became a MONSTER that consumed my front yard and kept me out of it for over one year. This area faces north and so will be spared Tampa's harsh south winter sun while gaining the benefit of any North Winds I get here. Here are the roses that Mike Shoup and The Antique Rose Emporium donated to my efforts today. This will be fun! John

Baronne Prevost
"Moroccan Rose"
Reine des Violettes

"Magic 8" Allergy Tea

I discovered this remarkably effective herbal tea treatment for allergies in the spring of 2003...fifteen years in Denver had wiped out my immunity to Tampa's infamous spring oak pollen that literally coats cars etc. with a yellow visible film.....my allergy reaction was debilitating. Claritan and all those make me feel creepy, plus I believe in addressing root causes. This tea has no ephedra or other symptoms maskers...it seems to go right to the heart of the problem. One tea bag per WEEK for three weeks "fixed" my oak allergy....now I get just a slight touch of sneezes then that stops. Last spring, Sweety, like many Tampa dogs, reacted both with respiratory issues plus a heart-breaking skin inflammation that led to hot spots. But just one cup of the tea from one tea bag, mixed into her daily high fiber stew, weekly for three weeks, also "fixed" her. I have turned many Tampa friends onto it for them and their dogs and they too are walking commercials for it. I find the listing of herbs on the box intriguing. I get 24 tea bags for $4.99 at the "Oceanic Market" (a huge Chinese market with a loyal following) in downtown Tampa. But I am guessing other Asian stores would carry it, plus maybe one can buy it on-line. So if you are enduring "allergy hell" I enthusiastically suggest you give it a try! John

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Roses from Chamblee's

These 12 new roses arrived from Chamblee's Roses (1-800-256-7673) a few days ago. I will be testing them in 5 and 18 gallon Water Wise Container Gardens (which soon I will show how to make) to be placed mostly in my front yard (which faces north) as I slowly reclaim it from the squalor caused by it being consumed for over a year by a MONSTROUS own-root 'Mermaid' rose. That way they will be spared the hot south sun of winter, and enjoy whatever North Winds we get each winter. The Teas, Chinas and Noisettes once grew in the front gardens, but succumbed to years of drought and my obsessively low water use.....in these restricted drainage Water Wise Container Gardens they should take off BIG time. Since for years I've heard Florida rosarians say that 'Mme. Isaac Pereire' is virtually impossible in Florida and MUST be budded onto the Fortuniana root stock, and since I loved my plant in my Denver yard on Willow Street, I especially hope it thrives. Plus I'd love to use it in my breeding work. Here's my Chamblee's Roses own-root roses order:

Celine Forestier
Climbing Fairy
Francis Dubreuil
Mme. Isaac Pereire
Mrs. B. R. Cant
Paul Neyron
Pat Austin
Don Juan

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Hybrid Perpetuals can't grow in Tampa......

La Reine

Marchioness of Londonderry

General Jacqueminot

Baronne Prevost

......especially own root and all organic....everybody knows that!". Thankfully, my growing collection of Hybrid Perpetuals in 18 gallon Water Wise Container Gardens doesn't know that!! Since the early 90s I've been "informed" by some Florida rosarians that, except for a handful of varieties budded onto the Fortuniana rootstock, the Victorian era Hybrid Perpetual roses "can't" grow here and require toxic expensive spray programs I could never embrace as an environmentalist. But using Probiotic methods and organic soil feedings in these 18 gallon Water Wise Container Gardens, I am being blessed with fragrances I said goodbye to when I left Denver in 2002. Plus I am getting to do pollinations I'd never imagined! To aid my studies, Mike Shoup at The Antique Rose Emporium (1-800-441-0002) is donating NINE more roses to see just how far I can push the envelope, and Heather at High Country Roses (1-800-552-2082) gave me a 20% discount on my newest order. And yesterday my wholesale order of 12 roses from Chamblee's Roses (1-800-256-7673) arrived. Woo hoo! Years of drought and severe watering restrictions had GREATLY diminished my roses collection and my enthusiasm FOR roses...but inventing these restricted-drainage Water Wise Container Gardens has been a total game changer, and I am reinventing the entire yard, front and back, both roses and food crops, based on making and burying (to protect the plastic from UV) hundreds of these. TONS of digging but well worth the effort. In a couple of years my front yard should again be a showcase for own root, all-organic rose growing in Tampa. Enjoy these photos of Hybrid Perpetuals that "can't grow in Tampa". I just wish I could attach their heady perfumes! John

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

One of My Hybrid Roses

I am starting to really like this rose, if nothing else as a possible breeder since it has large ovaries. I almost "shovel-pruned" it a few years ago as at three years this monster climber had not bloomed once. I am glad I did not as the shiny healthy foliage, very vigorous growth, disease resistance, and cream-colored, tea-and-myrrh scented long lasting blooms leave me feeling it might be a good rootstock as it has ignored the multi-year drought and actually has to be restrained and contained. I suspect that like "Barfield White Climber" it feeds on nematodes vs. being damaged by them. I am having a blast most mornings pollinating it with a pollens from my "Denver Roses" , plus some Teas, thriving in their Water Wise Container Gardens.....I should know by July if/which crosses took. John

Sunday, April 4, 2010

'Marechal Niel' on March 30, 2010, Tampa

My plant is on the Fortuniana rootstock, and has not been watered or fed for over a year due to the now-gone 'Mermaid' keeping me out of my own front yard for a year. But maybe because of the wonderful El Nino rains this winter it has suddenly gone bonkers. Here are a few views from March 30. It is now blooming much more heavily. Oddly, the three blooms I've torn open had quite a few anthers vs. few-to-none in past years, so I am getting to do dream pollinations using that pollen on 'Duchesse de Brabant' and my own Wichurana/R. gigantea hybrid. I have long wanted to breed with 'Marechal Niel' since learning years ago it was a parent of the stunning old WWII era Hybrid Tea 'Diamond Jubilee'. John

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Posting by rosarian Alice Flores

Meeting her was a delight when I co-hosted the 1997 Heritage Rose Foundation Conference in Denver. I just stumbled on her posting of the experience....reading it evoked so many wonderful memories. Plus two weeks later I took my long dreamed of trip to England to attend the 1997 Historic Roses Conference in Cambridge where I met legends like Peter Beales, David Austin and so many more. That summer was likely THE headiest of my life! John


Look What I stumbled on while Googling David Austin roses!

I forgot all about this interview! John