Sunday, March 22, 2009

1 Less Mystery Rose

(For Happy Reasons)
It's been a good spring for this mystery rose, which I thought sorta kinda looked like 'Monsieur Tillier.' It was this year's first bloomer, and it's currently boasting a healthy crop of buds and blossoms.

Best of all, I think I finally know what it is! Yesterday, Matt & I went to the "Passion for Plants" East Austin Garden Fair, an annual event whose main goal is to promote fruit/vegetable gardening for better health, but which also supports general gardening skills and sustainability ideas. It was a slightly weird event for Matt & me, given that he hates vegetables and that it's more or less pitched at a novice level. We learned a lot of things we already knew, but in the vast and varied world of horticulture, it's always wise to be humble. We had never seen a demonstration of double-digging, for example, and I immediately add a garden fork to my mental horticultural shopping list.

But best of all, at the exhibit on so-called "Earthkind" roses (a label that's applied to roses of all classes and origins that happen to be particularly environmentally friendly), I saw a picture of a fat pink tea-looking rose that looked immediately familiar. I know it as the ersatz 'M. Tillier,' but I think it's known to most rosarians as "Georgetown Tea." (Like the "Maggies" we belatedly identified, this one is a found rose. In our case, they're twice-found roses.)

Here's its latest big bloom in our garden:

Our "Georgetown Tea" rose

...and here are some images of "Georgetown Tea" from the Earthkind website, from Buchanan's Native Plants, and from the Antique Rose Emporium.

Note the variable shades of pink, the profusion of petals, the classic tea-rose shape, and the tendency toward pointiness on the older petals. All characteristics of GT and of our mystery rose. We'll see what Matt says, but I think we've got it.

Farkleberry Flourishes
In other news, I thought you would be pleased to learn that our little farkleberry is thick with new foliage--it looks perfectly healthy and happy. They said it couldn't be done, ladies and gentlemen... Of course, it's easy to flourish in April. The true test is August. I'll let you know how it goes.

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