Sunday, March 31, 2013

'Seagull' and 'Leontine Gervais' Rambling Roses now 90% trained to their rebar trellis on the west side of the front yard, soil fed with more goat poop, monocalcium phosphate, feed grade urea, then a few dozen glad bulbs and a coleus and an amarcrinum planted, followed by a slow trickle deep watering. Tomorrow the whole bed gets deeply mulched with shredded palm tree, then between the roses go several fancy, striped mixed color Four O'Clocks, with lemon yellow dwarf cosmos seeds direct sown into openings in the mulch along the border. To build and heal this LONG TIME sandy hot dry bed, next will go in dead Tithonia stalks in between the flowers to add lignin and humus formers, plus soiled clay cat litter. For years I've used chicken path soil in the litter box, but roses LOVE clay and a 25 lb. of white clay cat litter at Publix is just $3, so from now on all my roses now and then get soiled clay cat litter. Once this west bed is deeply mulched and fully planted, atop the mulch and stalks goes several gallons of rain water with Alaska Fish Fertilizer added. Both of these roses will be prime breeders for me in my new effort to breed ONLY xeric roses for the southeast and other mild climates, so since they've persevered since 1999 in often harsh conditions, I want to coddle them a bit to give me more blooms to work with while adding color and grace to my front yard.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Well after a few choice expletives as its massive NUMEROUS wicked prickles hooked my flesh time and again, I today was able to train to its rebars well over half of my monstrous rambling rose 'Seagull'. Tomorrow I finish, plant a few dozen glads, splash a few gallons of dilute fish emulsion plus sprinkle several dry nutrients over its root zone, give it a DEEP watering, apply 6 inches of chopped palm tree mulch, plant some striped mixed color 4 O'Clocks, then deep water again. From now on I'll be giving it a fair amount of my kitchen gray water in part because it will be a prime breeder for me, (mainly seed parent) but also because I simply love this rose as much here as I did my monster specimen in my Denver yard. This toughie was planted in 1999 and has endured years of neglect and drought when I'd lost control of my front yard to Cherokee Rose, 'Mermaid' rose, and the tropical perennial flowering vines Pandorea and Ipomoea acuminate and bidens. Cool to see flower bud clusters that I will begin pollinating in about a week! Be sure to see the pics at the can be simply breathtaking.
I've long suspected that the late era China Rose 'Arethusa' got its apricot yellow tones from a Tea Rose parent.


Friday, March 29, 2013

This is I believe my fourth attempt to grow the Old Rose 'Lamarque' but this time in more hospitable conditions.....California rosarians have told that for them it can almost swallow a home, plus is a good hip setter. I'm not usually a fan of white roses, but I love the pale lemon yellow glow in the center of each newly opened bloom. Hopefully, THIS time this climber will flourish and I'll have to add more rebars so it can shade the west wall of my home.