Saturday, May 2, 2009

39 ~ Roses Are Red

roses in the back(click to enlarge photos)

I have to smile when I am driving behind a car full of plants, with branches and blooms visible and waving through the back window ahead of me.

There goes someone who is going to spend some time in the garden. I imagine them looking for the best placement of each bush or flower, hoping that conditions in that part of the garden are the best, preparing the hole, adding compost, tamping in the roots, watering them in and finally looking with satisfaction at the new arrivals, throwing a kiss and a welcoming blessing for them to prosper and grow strong.

So the other day I was the lady driving with a trunk full of red roses waving to the car behind me. The sun was shining on them and they looked positively exuberant as they bobbed to and fro. I had been to a nursery to pick up some sulphur powder to sprinkle on the leaves of the roses that are already growing in my garden. It is still the method here used on rose leaves to discourage black spot in humid weather.

La SevillanaBut when I saw the brilliant red of La Sevillana in the garden shop, and the bright pink of Rose Dot, with its pale pink on the reverse of each petal, and yet another darker and unnamed rose, I couldn't resist buying them.

Rose DotAnd then I spotted the Dama de Noche (Cestrum Nocturnum), a favourite bush the merits of which I've praised in my previous post. There were several small bushes filled with buds which were about to open and spill their exotic night perfume. Since I had to cut one of our bushes down a year ago to build a small patio, I decided buy another to replace it, especially as they are often difficult to find on sale here. It would go somewhere under a window, where the evening scent would enter the house.

dama de noche And after thinking that a couple of my hanging baskets could do with some new colour, I picked up a portulaca, that little spreading succulent with vivid magenta flowers and a lampranthus, another spreader which blooms brilliantly in hot sun, for which its German name is Mittagsblume, or midday flower.


lampranthus And to go with those, what could be prettier than alyssum, a lovely border plant for edging a lawn or for planting in pots and baskets where it will grow into a white cushion of tiny flowers, spilling over the edges and smelling of honey.

alyssum And for herbs, I can always use more thyme, one of my favourite additions in the kitchen, where I spread it by handfuls over roasting potatoes, poultry dishes and meatloaf mixtures. This one will go in a planter outside the kitchen window, where I can easily reach out and snip off a few stems. It was also time to replenish my stock of mint but that will go into its own planter box where its agressively spreading roots will not be able to invade the territory of other plants.

thyme & mintWell I'll have to take out the shovel and find some help to prepare the large holes for the roses, but in the meantime I'll work on the smaller ones first.
Time to put on the gloves and reach for the trowel!


La Sevillana - a modern cluster-flowered floribunda, orange-red in colour and lightly scented. Created by Meilland, France in 1978. Catalogue name: MEIgekanu
This rose is a brilliant note of colour in a garden; it blooms profusely.

Rose Dot - a modern hybrid tea created by the Spanish breeder Pedro Dot in Barcelona, 1962. It is best suited for warm climates where there is no frost. Strongly fragrant, it is a bright pink colour with lighter pink on the reverse of the petals. This rose is often difficult to find.

If you are interested in looking at rose photos, I have four albums of photos taken in my garden a few years ago and posted to Webshots where my ID is Sharose:
Album 1 - Roses
Album 2 - Roses
Album 3 - Roses
Album 4 - Roses

and on the USA rose data base Help Me Find

At present I don't have all these roses growing in the garden any more as the climate is too warm for many. Winters are very mild and there is no frost in our area. But now that I know which are the warm weather survivors, I hope to fill out the spaces with those sun lovers.

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