Big Fan of Roses

I have a soft spot for roses because they perfume the air, bloom for years, are faithful each year to perform, and generally add a homey atmosphere.  Many people think they are difficult, but they aren’t.  Give them full sun (even the extra hot Texas sun), some water, good drainage, and a little fertilizer.  Voila: sweet flowers.

springrosesaThe three bushes in front are Knockouts.  Behind them is an Earthkind.  One of the things that makes Knockouts so easy is that deadheading isn’t necessary.  They just keep on blooming.  If and when I have some time, I will trim them but not often.

springroses6These blooms start out pale yellow and fade to white.  Even though the flowers are simple, a bush full of them is stunning.

springroses8The Earthkind flowers are also not impressive, but a tall, healthy bush covered with them is.

springrosesghMy all time favorite in my yard is Double Delight because its scent and beauty are so stunning.

Two weeks ago I discovered a tunnel under its root system and was so afraid that I would lose the bush.  We filled in dirt and covered it with a huge rock.  Armadillos are so destructive in a yard.  Don’t be fooled by the cute pictures you see of them.  Those claws are a source of grief to a gardener.springrosesbOso Easy Paprika are more favorites.

springroseseeTheir color stands out.  The spent buds, unfortunately, do have to be lopped off before it will bloom again.  It can be a chore because it is covered with flowers all at once, so that means slowly sniping each one.

springroses7Last fall this Don Juan climber was planted inside a new sturdy trellis.  It is replacing a Madam Norbert De Velleur climber that literally lifted the dome trellis it was growing in and pulled apart the posts.  The thorns on it were also the most vicious I’ve ever seen.  The flowers were beautiful clusters but not worth the grief.

springrosesbbA look at the roses on the edge of the yard on the east side.

springrosesgMr. Lincoln is the first rose bush on the right in the former picture.  It makes a stunning sight in the garden and the flowers last a long time on the plant.

The stems are long and seem perfect for cut flower arrangements.  If they are cut when still in bud form, they will last a few days.  If not, forget it, the petals fall soon after cutting.

springrosesThere are five rose bushes in this bed.  This one is Katy Road.

springrosescTo the left of Katy Road is Belinda’s Dream.  They are both good performers with lots of blooms.  Eventually, they do need for the spent buds to be snipped off.

springrosesdThere are two yellow rose bushes and one with a gorgeous peachy orange color that I don’t know the name of.  They are all floribunda type bushes, which means they bloom profusely.

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springrosesddAt the end of that raised bed are Ox-eye Daisies.

springroseseLast fall this miniature was planted in a front bed.  I can’t find the paper work right now, so I don’t know the variety.  I used to be leery of miniatures.  But a grocery store buy that has been in a container for years proves that miniatures are hearty.

I do have some other rose bushes but these are a good representation.  Each type of rose has its pluses and minuses, so a variety is good.  The hybrids and old fashions have the aromas while others produce masses of blooms.

My own prejudice says everyone needs a rose to sweeten their life.

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”  Alphonse Karr

Perennials Reign

Spring is a wonderful gift coming between the dreary months of winter and the dry, charring summertime.  This year’s springtime has been amazing.

During some unpleasant dental work, which made staying in the big city for three days necessary, I couldn’t wait to return home.  Just being at home is comforting.  But being able to enjoy the lush green fields makes me understand the promise of lying down in green pastures in the 23th Psalms.  Plus all the wonderful flowers in the fields and my yard makes home even more alluring.

rosesblooming2This Vinca vine came from a friend.  I was warned that it was invasive.  That normally doesn’t concern me, but it is definitely spreading out.  I plan to watch it and see if it can be controlled.

rosesbloomingbThe Wild Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis) makes its short but spectacular show in early spring.

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rosesbloomingfGiant Spiderwort (Tradescantia gigantea) has obviously taken hold after being planted last spring.

rosesbloominggThis is a Texas native that needs more shade than my yard has, so it will quit blooming when it gets too hot and the sun is too harsh.  But, for now, it’s making a splash.

rosesbloomingjGray Blobe Mallow (Sphaeralcea incana) has grown nicely since last spring’s planting.  It surprised me that it kept its foliage all winter.

springbloomsdThe turkeys have been very active this spring and coming up into the yard or just behind the fence.  Their gobble, gobbles  make me look up to search for them. I was finally able to get a picture.  Boy, are they the nervous type.

rosebloom3Columbine’s (Aquilegia chrysantha)yellow shooting stars flying in the wind.  They are thinner than usual.  I discovered that some creature had dug a deep hole under one of the bushes.  In doing so, the dirt covered up and killed some of the plants.  So I transplanted some from a flowerbed where I didn’t want them to fill in the vacancy.

rosebloom4The yellow of these Kolanche blossoms pop against the blue pot.

rosesblooming5The same three Dianthus clumps bloom every year.  Last year I planted three others hoping to fill in the space.  They did not make it.  I recently read that there is only one variety that will live in our clay soil.  Don’t know how easy those are to find.

specific flowers4Wouldn’t you know, when I did my post on roses recently, there was not a single bud on this Madam Norbert De Velleur climber.  It burst into bloom earlier this week while we were gone.

specific flowers6Buzzing filled the air while I was photographing the lush blooms.

specific flowers7Don’t know the type of bees these are, but they were abundant and active.

At this time of the year, spring flowers make my day.

“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.”
Confucius

Cut Flowers

One of the joys of a flower garden is having cut flowers in the house.  This has been an especially good year for that.

gladsThe Gladiolus bulbs that came in a packet several years ago are still producing profusely.  Sometimes they’re called Sword Lilies.

glads2It’s always a surprise to see which color will open up next.

glads3Some are daintily colored, while others are bright and bold.

glads4There are many new bulbs that need to be taken out.  Thinning is supposed to be mandatory for bulbs.  Somehow, I never seem to get around to that task.

glads5A couple of years ago I bought a different variety of glads.  They have a smaller red flower with white edges.

glads6Sometime I put all different colors together for a bouquet.  Other times I try to achieve a color scheme.

Now to my other favorite flowers for vases – roses.

roses14This is actually a spring blooming climber.  I’m late in showing it this year.  It is Madam Norbert De Velleur climber that was bought at Antique Rose Emporium years ago.

roses142One of the attractions of this particular rose is the clusters of blossoms.  When in bloom, it’s covered with flowers.

roses143Each flower is not particularly impressive.  It’s the mass of them together that I like.  As I’ve said on a previous post, this bush has the largest thorns I’ve seen on rose bushes.  I yell “ouch” often when working around it.

Therefore, I don’t use them in vases.

roses147This was the first rose bloom this year.  It’s a Knock-Out Rose.  It was unusual to be right at the ground level.  Notice the native grass I’m still fighting.

rosesaDuring the spring and summer this Oso Easy Paprika Rose bush is either covered with flowers or has no flowers.  That’s because it has to be deadheaded in order to rebloom.

rosesbI often wait until all the flowers die so they can all be cut off at once.

rosescThis is a hybrid rose that blooms fairly often, but the blooms don’t last long.

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rosesjThe flowers on the Mr. Lincoln Rose will stay pretty for several days if left on the bush.  Once they are cut, they’re gone in about a day.  These I usually just enjoy from my kitchen window.

rosesdThe flowers on Tropicana can be brought inside and will last about a week in water.

roseseSo pretty with Russian Sage behind them.

rosesfAnother hybrid I don’t know the name of.

rosemBelinda’s Dream has not bloomed as much this year as most years.

roses148This is what the blooms on my all time favorite bush Double Delight looked like early this spring.  A diluted mixture of Rose Systemic Drench by Bonide at the base of the plant took care of the problem.

roseslThese are the roses from that bush after it recovered.

roseslDouble Delight is the strongest smelling rose I have.  It is truly heavenly.

rosesmBoth the scent and the blooms last about a week.  Flowers are one of life’s joys that can occur over and over each year.

Another blessing that we tend to recognize more in July than the rest of the year is our country and our freedoms.

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”  Patrick Henry

Ahhh, Roses

Just before the freeze last week, the roses had been rejuvenated by the cooler weather and were blooming like crazy.  Now they won’t be back in their element until spring.

rosesIn the above picture are Knock outs in the front and an Earth- Kind in the back left.  To the right of that is a Mutabulis and then a climbing one on a tower.

All of these types are easy, breezy.  They pretty much perform without any help from me.  I do deadhead a little, but it doesn’t seem to be necessary for re-blooming.  The Earth-Kind is about 7 feet tall.  Last year I trimmed it down so I could reach it easier and thinned it out some.  But it’s back growing faster than I can keep up with it.

rosecluster2This climber on the tower is a Madam Norbert De Velleur.   The clusters of small roses are distinct for roses.

roseclusterIn spite of their beauty, this climber has the biggest thorns I’ve ever seen with sharp curved points on the end.  They grab clothes and skin.  I have the scratches and scars to prove it.

roses5There are two of these lower growing Oso Easy rose bushes.  The color is what drew me to them.  They require deadheading in order to bloom.

roseBelinda’s Dream is another easy care bush.  The flowers are rather large and full.

rose2When they are cut as a bud that isn’t fully opened, I use them inside.  But even those don’t last long in a vase.

roseaThe tight buds only last one morning.

rosemSo there are two problems for me with Belinda’s Dream:  first, they aren’t a viable cut flower and they tend to droop over.  I had to get down on the ground for this shot.

But they are a lovely bush rose and are covered with flowers in the spring and bloom off and on all summer.

roses6There are two bushes with yellow roses side by side.  I don’t know their names.  They are florabundas based on the fact that their blooms are clustered on a branch.

rosebThis year the blossoms were the largest they have ever been.   I forgot to get a picture on the bush, so here are some in a vase.  You can see that there is one main stem with four smaller branches bearing the flowers.

rosedI think this is an Old Blush rose.  The large rose hips look like cherry tomatoes.

rosekThis rose grew on the above bush that has the rose hips.

rosejNow, to the best part.  I love, love this Tropicana rose.  The flowers last about a week in a vase and have a wonderful aroma.

roseiI saved the best for last.   Double Delight hybrid not only is beautiful, but has a strong wonderful smell.  When I bring them inside,  I just walk by them and my nose is delighted.  And I don’t have a particularly strong sense of smell.  Just wish I could waft you a little scent.

As I write this, I keep pondering why I like roses so much.  As a child my mother would always pin a red rose on our dresses before we went to church on Mother’s Day.  She told us a red rose meant your mother was still living and a white one meant she had died.  Since we didn’t have any rose bushes, I’m not sure where she got those fresh roses.  Maybe a neighbor provided them.  That was long before people shopped at a florist, except for funerals.

Anyway, that isn’t the reason for my fondness for them.  I can’t pinpoint one particular reason.  I just plain like them.  Throughout history, roses have been used to commemorate special events.

“Life is like a rose garden.  Watch for the thorns and keep the pest dust handy.”  Unknown

Before the Hail

Four inches of rain week before last and six inches last week.  Wow.  What a miracle.  There was also lots of hail that knocked out two windows and damaged trees and plants.

In the garden, some things were shredded by the hail or knocked down.  Usually, there’s a mass of day lilies blooming at this time in two different beds.   Those were beaten down just as their buds were ready to open.

So most of the pictures in this post were taken before the hail.

purplesageHenry Duelberg Salvia (Salvia farinacea “Henry Duelberg’) is one of the hardiest salvias I know about.  It is also called Mealy Sage.  Seven years ago three small plants were put in this raised flowerbed.

This salvia blooms well into the fall.  Swarms of bees buzz around it.  I used to be afraid to pull weeds in the area, but the bees just circle around me, only interested in the plants.

yellowpoppyThis Texas Yellow Primrose (I think) was planted a year ago and continues to bloom and spread out.

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steerA friend watched intently as each photo was snapped.

yellowrosesAll the roses seem to bloom at the same time, no matter what their variety.  It’s like a fairy has sprinkled the flowers on the bushes overnight.  They all die about the same time. Then there is a period of rest before they all are filled with flowers again.

These two bushes with yellow roses are floribundas.

climbingroseThis Madam Norbert De Velleur climbing rose bush has gorgeous clusters of small roses.  Even though I can’t find this particular rose on the internet, I’m reasonably certain its name was copied correctly when it was bought three years ago.

larkspurLarkspur seeds from a friend yielded a great crop.  In fact, they popped up in several flowerbeds around the yard.  That’s okay because they are so cheery.

larkspur2In fact, this is the plant that received the most comments when our Garden Club met here in May.

gladiolasFirst gladiolas of the season just started blooming.  Continuing beauty from such a small investment for bulbs four years ago.

gladiolas2One of the great things about gladiolas is the tall stalk with lots of buds.   The buds start opening from the bottom up.  So as a cut flower, as the bottom flowers wilt, they can be pulled off.  Usually, I cut the stems shorter at that point.  This allows them to last about a week or longer with fresh looking flowers.

The hail is a good reminder to enjoy each day as it happens.  Back to the old adage of taking time to smell the roses.

“When told the reason for Daylight Saving time the old Indian said, ‘Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.'”  Author Unknown