The Ordinary and the Extraordinary

It’s been about six weeks since our extraordinary cold weather event and nature is recovering.  We did not lose as many plants as I feared, and those in pots in the shed mostly look great.

Everything is leafing out and blooming later than usual, but that’s to be expected.  Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is looking good and loaded with flowers.  All of our efforts to kill the native Bermuda grass in this raised bed has failed.  So I guess it’s there to stay.

Before the flowers open completely, they look almost artificial.

Their thin red petals are perfect for hummingbirds.

Purple Bearded Iris are my favorite color of iris.  These are rebloomers and actually do rebloom often.

Behind these beautiful Irises is a native ‘found’ rose bush.  Martha Gonzales rose was found in San Antonio.  It is considered to be very hardy.  But, alas, it certainly looks dead.

At the bottom of what looks like a dead Martha Gonzales are these leaves and a rose.  I’ve trimmed the bush but am uncertain what to do now.  It’s one of those wait and see times.

Four Nerve Daisies (Tetraneuris scaposa) are all aglow.  This native needs full sun and well-drained soil.  Since we have clay, it’s in a raised bed with amended soil.

Now:  get ready for the Extraordinary-

Last week I saw this stunning plant in a town south of here.  It’s called Parrot Beak Plant (Lotus Berthelotii).  With such bright flower color, of course it’s tropical.

It is so striking and gorgeous that I’m patting myself on the back for not buying one.  I’m trying to stay away from tropical plants that my poor, sweet husband has to carry into the shed.

Also, I read that it needs lots of water and cool weather to bloom.  With summer on the horizon, that’s not going to happen.  So I’ll just enjoy the pictures.

The plants that do well in our area, while some may be considered ordinary, are a blessing and certainly make gardening easier.

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy plants.  And that’s pretty much the same thing.”  unknown

Alluring Roses

Some people are hesitant to grow roses.  If I can grow roses, then anyone can.  Just like growing anything, there are a few things to consider:  selection, soil, and site.

The selection of which rose to grow is the first step.  Hardiness of the rose is determined by several factors.  Old  garden roses have proved the test of time.  If they’re still around, that’s proof that they did not die off from diseases or require high maintenance.

Old roses tend to have lots of green leaves, grow on their own roots, and are easy to propagate.  The bush in the above picture is an old rose that I cannot identify.  I propagated it from a small stem that was given to me.

A good source for old roses is Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, TX.  Their catalog is available, and they ship.

Earthkind Roses list is a great reliable source for hardy roses.

Found roses fall into the hardy category because they’re likely old roses.  This is Martha Gonzalez, which was discovered in Navasota, TX in 1984 growing in Martha’s yard.

Martha Gonzalez is a small bush that blooms over and over from spring until late fall.

This David Austin rose bush Alnwick shows why a rose growing on it’s own root is important.

Three years ago we planted the Martha Gonzalez bush and 100 feet away in another bed we planted this Alnwick Rose by David Austin.  Imagine my confusion recently when I discovered what looked Martha Gonzalez growing as part of the David Austin.

The green shoots are the red flowered branches and on the other side are brown branches with the David Austin.   I sent an email with pictures asking about this situation to Antique Rose Emporium.

Looking down into the bush, it’s easy to see that both types of roses are growing from the same root stock.

Antique Rose Emporium generously answered my questions.  These red roses are not Martha Gonzalez, but Dr. Huey roses, which is often used as a root stock for grafting.

So, bottom line, roses grown on own root stock are best.

Double Delight is one of my favorites.  It is a multiple award winner and is a cross of two hybrid tea roses.  The aroma is what gets me.

It’s easy to achieve the right soil needed, if a raised bed is used.  Roses don’t require perfect soil, but also can’t tolerate extremes, like heavy clay.  Amending with compost helps loosen the soil.  David Austin’s Princess Alexandra of Kent rose was named after a cousin of Queen Elizabeth.  It’s a shrub rose that spreads out rather than upward.  It was planted last year, so time will tell how it performs.  Has a nice aroma.

All roses need full sun, which means at least six hours a day.  Living Easy Apricot-Orange rose grows on own root.  Its color is stunning.

Another site concern is cold hardiness zones.  It’s important to know your zone where you live.  Like any plant, check the zone before you buy.

Rainbow’s End Rose is a miniature bush that is about 18 inches tall.  The flowers first bloom yellow with red edges and then turn red as they age.  So, both red and yellow flowers on the bush make it a show stopper.

Although I truly believe that hardy old rosebushes and earthkind roses are the best choices, sometimes I get intrigued by the unusual.  Sentimental is a floribunda with striped red and white blooms and a strong scent.  It was bred in the US and came on the market in 1997.

This blog is way longer than usual, but I’m passionate about roses.  At least, I didn’t show all my bushes and didn’t attempt to talk about different categories of roses.

I appreciate anyone who reads my blog.  Thank you for your time.

“Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life.”  unknown