Thursday, May 28, 2015

Seeing Red

Last year I admit to neglecting several of my roses.  I didn't deadhead or prune them as needed, and I didn't pull the weeds very vigorously so they didn't get enough air space, and by fall I noticed blackspot and other issues.  Bad gardener!

One was a Cecile Brunner climber, a very pale pink, that I didn't really care for, so I whacked it down to about six inches, intending to dig it up.  And then I forgot to dig it up, and other plants grew in and around it.  A week ago I noticed these blooms sticking five feet or so above a hydrangea near the scene of the crime:

Hm.  I knew perfectly well that I had never planted a reddish rose there, and felt deep confusion.

I also had chopped back a Julia Child rose that was being consumed by an overgrown Hebe, and also forgotten about it until I noticed rose buds struggling to emerge from the shrub.  So I cut back the Hebe around it in hopes Julia, a stunning deep yellow-orange beauty, would return.  Instead, I got this:

Very much perplexed, and wondering about the state of my mental health, I took to the Internet to solve my puzzlement.  The Internet informed me that if you have grafted roses (not grown on their own root stock) and prune them too far down, the original root stock will grow out, and these are usually red.

Aha!  Yes, these were some of my earliest rose purchases, when I was a more thrifty gardener, and grafted roses are less expensive than "own-root" roses, so I knew this was what had happened.  I am quite pleased, actually, with the transformation of the climber from a boring pale pink (really, it was practically white) into a deep reddish-purple rose.  But I bemoan the loss of Julia Child, which was a truly stunning color.  Sniff.

Luckily, I did not prune the David Austin too far, and it remains in all its glorious pink tones:

And I am super happy that I splurged this spring on my five new roses, which are all grown on their OWN root stock.  Whew!

Meanwhile, the poppies continue to go wild:

There's a smaller one blooming now, too, in a color I particularly enjoy:

And Sandy's Peony is opening:

Meanwhile, in the non-flower section, the four ornamental grasses I planted in the "beach" area are holding up well, despite Truman's propensity for both digging and peeing there:

I do love going out every day to see what's blooming in the garden.  Even when it's not quite what I expected to find!


  1. I once had a White Rose of Lancaster, and now I have a Dr. Huey. I don't think your rootstock is that -- at least, mine are a profound, intense red with no orange or pink in it. If they had a scent I'd be perfectly satisfied with them


  2. Such beautiful colors really made my day. Guess you will need to get a new Julia Child.