Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tea Rose 'Mme. Antoine Marie'

I bought this a few years back, I believe from the good folks at Chamblee's Roses, as a drought tolerant Tea Rose, and tested it in a dry bed out front by the street where it clung to life in this  6 year drought and my water stingyness. But as soon as I dug it up and put it in a 5 gallon Water Wise Container  that I then buried, it took off. Time and time again, such as when it makes these massive candelabras, it is SO reminiscent of Florida's iconic Mystery China "Pink Cracker Rose". But the scent of the blooms IS the classic "tea" scent vs. the fruity-rose perfume of the Chinas, which "Pink Cracker Rose" boasts of in abundance. Plus the color is paler. John

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rose Edouard

I have wanted to encounter this rose for years, and the specimen that Mike Shoup gave me a few years when I gave a talk on Probiotic Rose Gardening at his Fall Roses Festival, began to grow and bloom like crazy as soon as I transplanted it into a 15 gallon Water Wise Container Garden. The perfume is heavenly!  I note that my plant looks very different from most of those at HelpMeFind. Hmmmm.....  John

"Fairmount Red"

Year four for this own root plant in a large restricted drainage tree pot....what a thrill to see and smell and breed with the rose that inspired my dozen years of roses studies at Denver's Fairmount Cemetery and that turned my mild interest in Old Roses back then into a life-shaping passion. Once bloomer, cold hardy in Denver and this year my specimen has begun suckering just as it does in Colorado! This suckering, and the saturated purplish-red color (darker in real life than in this photo), has long made me think it has a Gallica in its blood. Enjoy, John

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Walnut Street Yellow" from Boulder, Colorado

Years ago when I still lived in Denver, Mikl and Eve of Harlequins Gardens in Boulder told me of a lovely, once-blooming yellow climber  they'd spotted in an elderly woman's yard on Walnut Street there in Boulder, and one early July day Eve took me to meet it. We agreed that it is clearly a Wichurana due to the glossy foliage, once-blooming trait and eager winter hardy growth. I bought one from them a few years back via mail but it died in the drought. So I bought a new one this winter but THIS time planted it in a 5 gallon Water Wise Container Garden and buried it next to the stump of the now-dead (thankfully!) 'Mermaid' that got SO out of hand I could not get into my own front yard for over a year and a half.....yesterday I spotted buds!!!!

Years ago Eve and I concluded the true ID was very likely 'Primevere' and after I sent pics of it to Bill Grant and his friend Odile who has one in her garden in France, they agreed. Since I have EXCELLENT results with other Wichurianas here, even in the dry soil, I hope that this one benefits from the  buried Water Wise Container Garden and takes off and consumes the rebar beside it.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'Easlea's Golden Rambler'

This was my first candidate many years ago for the true ID of the Denver Mystery Rose "Mr. Nash" discovered there by Toni Tichy. I have long been sure it is not, but nonetheless I fell in love with Easlea's when I met it in Peter Beales' nursery in 1997, and some years later again in Bill Grant's landscape...he got his from Beales. VERY VERY bushy for a "climber".....I REALLY hope I get one from Desert Roses bare root closeout sale to at LAST try here in Tampa (in a Water Wise Container Garden of course) and I was not able to root cuttings I got from Bill's plant years ago. I have very good luck with Wichuraianas here in Tampa, even IN the ground, and the extreme glossiness of the foliage convinces me of the claim that it is a Wichuraiana. See too Cliff's e-mail so you can reach him to place an order. John

'Cynthia Brooke' Hybrid Tea 1943

I fell in love with this rose many years ago when I was first going mental over roses due to having checked out from the Denver Botanic Gardens library a copy of Peter Beales' '20th Century Roses'. I bought from in the mid 90s from a California grower, but it very soon succumbed to the "Black Death" that killed about 40% of the roses I ever bought from him. Desert Roses is having a closeout sale, so I e-mailed Cliff an order including this lovely gem and others to try here in Tampa in my Water Wise Container Gardens. Look at the form and color!!  John

Sunday, March 13, 2011

'Variegata di Bologna'.....a quite controversial hybrid?

I stumbled on this lovely voice over, just the sumptuous roses and ambient sounds...birds, a teen laughing. I loved the specimen of this rose that I grew in a Denver client's landscape but had forgotten about it until I stumbled on this video. I look forward to seeing his other roses tours videos. John

Update on 'Teasing Georgia' pillar rose

'Cramoisi Superieur' in Okeechobee, Florida

I bought this plant for Mom and Dad from The Antique Rose Emporium......Mom now passed but Dad and I both think I gave it to them at least 8 years ago. Dad never sprays it, feeds it mostly chemical fertilizers and prunes it annually each early spring. His low lying property gets quite soggy in summer, with water standing for days after a hurricane, then gets bone dry each winter. Yet it prospers on its own roots year after year, always in bloom to some degree, at times spectacularly. I just visited are two pics he took of it with me beside it for scale.  John

Oral iodine in case of radioactive plume from Japan

Hey folks,

The horror in Japan just might lead to a wind-driven radioactive plume heading east from at least one nuclear reactor, with the U.S. a likely early landfall, then Europe then the Middle East. So I thought I'd share this data I learned of about three years ago.

Poland gave their citizens tabs of 130 mg. iodine RIGHT after the Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown...the Soviet Union did not.....Soviet citizens have since seen HUGE increases in thyroid and other cancers, but not the Polish. I and friends some years back stocked up on Life Extension brand of these 130 mg. iodine tablets in case Bush/Israel attacked Iran....I took my first of 14 daily tabs this morning even though I supplement my diet with iodine due to its many health benefits. My Dad told me he saw on the news yesterday morning that the Japanese gov't has begun distributing iodine to folks within a certain distance of the reactor. Better safe than sorry plus most folks are grossly deficient in iodine anyway. Any excess gets peed out....just pee in your gardens so your crops can absorb it so as to not waste this vital nutrient.

The scale of the devastation in Japan is numbing, and my heart goes out to them. Please pass this iodine data on. John

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

'Safrano' Tea Rose

This early Tea is one of my favorites due to its soft apricot color and role as a potent parent of lovely roses to come after it. I lost my in-ground one years ago once the drought and severe watering restrictions became the norm here, but after a few months in a buried 5 gallon Water Wise Container Garden this little baby has leapt into growth with very few water bill last month was $9.10 due in part to my growing much of my food and nearly all my roses in Water Wise Container Gardens even though I showered many times indoors due to cold weather, and despite my doing a few deep watering of large scale planting of Rapes to feed to my poultry. John

"Dade City Red China" rose

A few years ago my gardening and farming non-rosarian friend Pat Lawhead showed me a Mystery Rose he had propagated from one he'd seen thriving in an opening in a sidewalk by the Dade City, Florida library. As I recall he took 100 cuttings and 60 took...good thing as he says the original is gone. From the second I saw it I knew it was a red China Rose but felt immediately it is not 'Cramoisi Superieur' which I have encountered many times in Florida, mainly because the color is a dark garnet red plus the petals edges roll back (reflex?) much as one might see in a Hybrid Tea. As you'd expect the center petals have white striations, and the scent is classically fruity-rose though different from 'Cramoisi Superieur'. The foliage looks very China-ey as does the twiggy growth. Once again my camera added a magenta wash to the dark red garnet color, though in the pics I've attached this is less pronounced. I was just on the phone with Lee Sherman about it and told her the color reminds me of that of 'Chrysler Imperial'. I did some Googling and checked as my first thought was the 'Ma Tulipe' as seen in 'The Roses at The Cape of Good Hope' but found little data and no images. BUT...I stumbled on a red China I'd never heard of...'Cruenta'. I'd love to hear from folks their notions as to a possible ID, knowing it might just be a chance seedling. It is thriving in a restricted drainage tree pot on the north side of my home, but I intend to root several and grow one in a 7 gallon Water Wise Container Garden and bury it as I recreate my drought-ravaged collection with these buried Water Wise Container Gardens now that perennial drought is the new norm for Florida. Pat said the original was very husky vs. petite as in the semi-double "Martha Gonzalez".

Mystery Roses are VERY uncommon in Florida so as Bill Grant would say, I am levitating! Thanks in advance for any ideas you might have to offer.

p.s. remember to mentally subtract the magenta tones as it is virtually a true deep garnet red. Also, the bloom size has increased quite a bit since that pic of a bloom in my hand.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Half Opened Blossom of "Jo An's Pink Perpetual" from Denver's Fairmount Cemetery

Over the weekend both students and friends smelled this highly remontant (even in Denver!) gem and were astonished by the sultry, sweet, POTENT Old Roses perfume. I love the heavily quartered form. Enjoy, John

Saturday, March 5, 2011

'Pat Austin' in Tampa

I bought this own root plant from the good folks at Chamblee's Roses in Texas (1-800-256-7673) last year and about 6 months ago I planted it in a 15 gallon Water Wise Container Garden placed on my north-facing driveway outside my office window to spare it Tampa's harsh south winter sun and to afford it the most chill from what passes for a "North Wind" here. It seems quite happy, gets mostly kitchen graywater and water from my front porch rain barrel, is never sprayed, and gets fed a few things now and then when I think of it. Sometimes I give it home made horse manure/fish emulsion tea,  and some weeks back I gave it a weak solution of a high nitrogen lawn fertilizer dissolved in rain water. I had the joy of meeting this rose AND David Austin at his nursery in England in 1997 when I attended the Historic Roses Group Conference in Cambridge shortly after I co-hosted in the Denver the Heritage Rose Foundation about a heady summer!! Since in Denver I collected for a clients a few of the Pernetiana hybrids I love the vivid WARM tangerine color....surprising as orange has long been my least favorite color. So far I don't detect much aroma, but I forgive it that due in part to the lovely, cupped, peony-like bloom form. Here are pics of a bud, opening then fully blown bloom this last week....enjoy!  John

Thursday, March 3, 2011

'Jo An's Pink Perpetual"

A few years before I began working with the folks running Denver's historic Fairmount Cemetery in the mid 90s, their then Director of Public Affairs, the very colorful and piquant Jo An Cullen, had located a few plants of this EXTREMELY fragrant, highly remontant Old Rose that laughed at Denver's climate extremes. It rarely set hips there. My best guess to date as to its true identity is 'Champion of the World', which some years ago Fred Boutin felt too was likely. I bought this plant from the folks at High Country Roses to whom I gave the cuttings of it plus those of "Fairmount Red" and "York Street Yellow" and 'Hiawatha' plus quite a few  OGRs I discovered and/or catalogued over 15 years in Denver. They also sell my own hybrid, 'Four Inch Heels' that I bred in Denver from (Great Western X Othello).

This plant is thriving in a 15 gallon Water Wise Container Garden on my driveway, facing north, to spare it Tampa's intense south sun in winter, plus to afford it whatever North winds we get in winter. I plan on using its pollen on 'Duchesse de Brabant' and 'Reve d'Or' just to play with the possibilities.

I so wish I could attach the FRAGRANCE to this post!   Enjoy, John