Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lots of Roses...

...Not a Lot of Narrative

We've taken a few cuttings of interesting roses, and tomorrow we'll be working on building the eastside pond levee, but beyond that we haven't been doing much in the garden beyond wandering around in bewildered pleasure, saying, "Ooooo! Look at that!"

Here on the blog, too, I'm going to let the plants do all the work, while I nurse a Cuba libre and ponder the ineffable niceness of April.

Look at '4th of July'! I don't care if it is a modern--I love that rose, with its exuberant explosions of red.

A particularly pretty '4th of July' blossom

Here it is on the trellis. Yeah, it clashes with 'Cramoisi.' Let's just pretend that it's a deliberate, stylish, cutting-edge color dissonance, and not a failed piece of wishful thinking, shall we?

'4th of July' on the left; 'Cramoisi Superieur' on the right, standing in a thick puddle of its own petals

And speaking of reds, check out this gorgeous maroon climber in our neighbor's yard. He said it used to be 'Blue Girl' (possibly the world's most violently photoshopped rose--gadzooks), but the plant died back and was reborn as this loveliness (middle rose), which I presume is 'Dr. Huey,' commonly used as a rootstock here in N. America for roses too evolutionarily challenged to stand on their own one foot. Mr. M kindly let us have cuttings, so hopefully we'll have one of our own soon.

'Dr Huey' (presumptive) in the middle. I love that color.

And speaking of colors I love, 'Buff Beauty' is beginning to hit its stride.

One of the fragrant, delicately shaded blooms on 'Buff Beauty'

Meanwhile, 'Graham Thomas' is reminding us, with great, lovely cupfuls of golden yellow, why we put up with his rangy, black-spot-riddled ass.

This is why.

In shape, GT always reminds me of 'Madame Joseph Schwartz' and her sister rose, 'Duchesse de Brabant,' though they don't seem to be related at all. (GT has a lot of pretty recent ancestry, though he is a few generations away from a very pretty China Gallica* called 'Duchesse de Montebello')

'Duchesse de Brabant'

This is the first spring here at Chez M for 'Kaiserin Friedrich' (whose name I tend to misspell. In any German word, I'm never sure if it's going to be "i before e" or "e before i"). This is a very nuanced, very dainty-looking cultivar that is a cross between 'Gloire de Dijon' and 'Perle des Jardins.' It's young yet, but it's already had a few blooms

Pretty 'Kaiserin Friedrich.' Like its namesake, it's tougher than you might expect.

There are other things happening in the garden besides roses, of course. I bought 2 different kinds of blue-eyed grass this year (first time I've seen them in the nursery trade, though have often coveted them in the wild). The big one in the back came from the Antique Rose Emporium, while the small, pale, and rather weedy one up front came from the LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center plant sale.

Two Sisyrinchium.

Gah! The oak-leaf hydrangea still isn't in bloom!

Its slow-developing flower heads have teasing me for the past month. Bloom already! I've waited two years for hydrangeas blossoms in the shade garden. Are we there yet?

Arrrrgh! Not yet!

And finally, can you spot the flower?

It's the funkstastic mutant, 'Green Rose.' It's currently named Rosa chinensis var. viridiflora, but it used to be called Rosa monstrosa and 'The Green Monster,' which seems a little harsh. It has no petals, but grows a flower's worth of sepals in rosette form. A rose for people with a taste for subtlety. Or a perverse sense of humor.

The 'Green Rose.' It does what it says, it says what it does.

* Duchesse de Montebello is listed on as a China, but elsewhere--much more plausibly--as a Gallica. Not only are its color & form unChinalike, but it's apparently not remontant, which is incredibly weird for a China.

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