Thursday, October 31, 2013

An article from my old St. Pete Times gardening column that ran eight years until the paper hit hard times:

Susan Johnson all those panty hose you gave me to train my rambling roses are coming in very handy.....I use half an entire leg to attach main canes to the rebar, thin strips for thinner canes plus my tomatoes. Thank you! My 'Francois Juranville' is now retrained to its rebar arch using them and scavenged telephone wire.....I'm re-doing it from a young runner that survived after my monster rose 'Mermaid', which was magnificent for ten years, choked out the original and consumed my front yard to the point that I could not get in for two years! In the 90s a Florida rosarian announced that 'Mermaid' does poorly here but his plant was on Fortuniana and given vast amounts of water and chemical input. So in 1999 I planted an own root one here and it took off and for about 6 years it was manageable, a real show stopper that made people hit their brakes when they'd see the vast number of lovely yellow 5-petaled flowers. Then I simply lost control no matter how much/often I pruned due it suckering maniacally. It was useless as a breeder for me whereas 'Francois Juranville' gives me great seedlings so a friend and I used power tools to cut dowm 'Mermaid' and take a few truck loads to a local brush dump. I am still re-creating the front rose gardens ravaged by 'Mermaid, so it does my soul good to see that surviving cane of 'Francois Juranville' back up on that rebar.....attached is a pic of a portion of it before 'Mermaid' began to encroach on it....the salmony pink blooms smell of Granny Smith apple skin and Old Rose. Thank you!

Monday, October 14, 2013