Bloom Thyme: THE LIST

In the fall I start getting a bit frantic … trying to enjoy my roses ENOUGH. ENOUGH to make it last. ENOUGH to make it last until next May. That is a lot of enjoying.

And, this is the time of year, I sit in my potting shed and begin working on THE LIST of roses and rose companions to add next year. I pour through catalogs, look at pictures from my garden and listen to the advice of others who love and grow roses.

My happy place.

Participating in Twitter #RoseChat and #GardenChat, I have real-time opportunities to see first hand what others from around the world are growing and hear all the good stuff and the challenges … making it even easier to put together THE LIST.

Paul Zimmerman highly recommends Mme Bovary from Delbard from Roses Unlimited. A lovely mauve rose with a great scent. And, Dublin Bay … a climbing rose. Very hardy, and it’s a true red rose; lightly perfumed with a repeat flowering later in the season.

Brooke Kroeger says Our Lady of Guadalupe is the best, most disease resistant rose she has ever grown. My neighbor has a couple of these beauties …  spectacular even in the drought!

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Chris the Redneck Rosarian has tempted me all summer with pictures of Julia Child and Golden Celebrations. Two luscious yellow roses…

Julia Child
Golden Celebrations

My Bourbon Queen was so beautiful this year that I feel I need another one.

Bourbon Queen

And, my Roseraie De L Hay was so beautiful that I want more. Can you blame me?

Roseraie de l'Hay

Thanks to @Lara Lewis, I’m also taking a serious look at David Austin‘s, Munstead Wood. Munstead Wood was Gertrude Jekyll’s garden in Surrey where she worked on her many gardening books. I love Gertrude. Surely I should have the rose named for her garden.

It would be fabulous to add a few more minis roses from John’s Miniature Roses — like Cupcake and  Seattle Sensation.

Just wait until the new catalogs start coming … THE LIST is sure to grow.

Sounds like this might be a good time to reread, The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies!

What plants are on your 2012 list?

Bloom Thyme: Rose Hips

Hips Header

Although nothing compares to the excitement I experience when my old roses first bloom, seeing the fruit of the rose … the roses hips that come after the blooming season make me happy too.

……Makes me feel closer to the generations that came before us and grew these amazing roses. Rose hips are not only beautiful but contain more vitamin C than citrus fruit. So, you can imagine the value pioneers placed on this fruit.

……Makes me relive stories I’ve heard my dad tell of how thankful he was as a little boy during the depression to have a mother with a green thumb who knew how to use everything she grew or found in the meadows for food or medicine.

……Makes me remember stories I read of pioneer women who counted as prize possessions the old roses that grew long, hooky thorns–used as living fences to protect their gardens against the animals who liked nothing better than fresh veggies from a well-tended garden! These roses also provided wonderfully fragrant flowers for vases and potpourri and after the flowers came the fruit they used in jams, jellies, teas and herbal remedies. Win. Win. Win.

I make teas from the herbs I grow (mints, lemon verbena, etc.), but have never used my rose hips in a recipe. Do you ever make herbal teas from the herbs and flowers you grow? Favorites?

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Standing the Test of Time

Bourbon Queen up close and personal!

Many years ago I fell completely in love with the charm, fragrance and rich history of old roses. Even though I grow many modern roses, my heart strings are attached to the ones that have been around for a very long time and that give us an explosion of bloom in the late spring, filling our gardens with the wonderful fragrance by which all other roses are compared.

Four of my favorites… (pictures are below)

Madam Isaac Pereire is a lovely Bourbon rose. Bourbons were the roses of Victoria England. The blooms are exquisite with a wonderful old rose fragrance. And, on occasion, you are rewarded with a few repeat blooms.

Madam Hardy is a Damask rose dating back to 1832 and has a beautiful white bloom with a green dot in the center. Damask roses are known for their rich perfume. Madam Hardy is named for the wife of the head gardener in Empress Josephine’s (first wife of Napoleon) Malmaison garden. Empress Josephine was a zealous rose collector. (She had to keep busy while the hubs was out fighting the wars.)

Rosa Mundi is a Gallica rose–the oldest of the garden roses having been grown by the Greeks and Romans. Not only is Rosa Mundi unique in that she is the first striped rose, she has a past. Legends tell us that she was named for Henry II’s mistress, Fair Rosamund, and was placed on her grave after his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, had her poisoned. Tsk Tsk. Regardless, she is a very unusual rose and very charming.

Bourbon Queen is a Bourbon rose from France that dates back to 1834 and has been charming me since I bought her in 1990 at the Newburgh General Store in Newburgh, Indiana. She is highly scented and stunning to see.

On a practical note, these historical beauties are hardy even in poor conditions and they require very little care. If you would like to try an old rose in your garden, they are easy to find online…

http://www.heirloomroses.com/
http://rosepetalsnursery.com/
http://www.rosesofyesterday.com/
http://davidaustin.com/
http://antiqueroseemporium.com/

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Rosa Mundi
Rosa Mundi

Bloom Thyme: Roses in the Rain

This morning my garden has standing water everywhere. Even though the rain keeps coming, so do the beautiful blooms. The daily hard rains aren’t giving my beautiful blooms a chance to last very long, making my camera very important! A garden friend in Alabama suggested in jest that I put tents over the roses. Believe me, I am not ruling it out … especially for my old roses that only get once chance each year to charm us!

Regardless of the rains and storms, we find beauty and are blessed…

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Roses, Roses and More Roses

The day after Christmas starts my official countdown to spring. It all begins with garden catalogs. I love them. I even save them. I have garden catalogs that are 15 years old. I dream, plot, measure and make my plan.

My favorite catalogs?
David Austin Roses and Wayside Gardens

My oldest catalog?
Roses of Yesterday and Today (This amazing catalog brought me much desired information back in the day before Google.)

Today I am pouring over the David Austin Handbook of Roses 2011. Since I am on the fast-track, I am placing an order for roses today! Last year I waited and one of the roses I wanted was SOLD OUT! Ugh. But that is not going to happen this year.

Roses 2011
The new roses I am welcoming to my garden are: Rose de Rescht; Reine des Violettes; Roseraie de L’Hay; New Dawn; Comte de Chambord ( don’t they sound beautiful) and the most special of all …  Lady Emma Hamilton and The Crocus Rose — special Christmas gifts from some very thoughtful people!

The Crocus Rose
Catalog says: This is a very robust and free flowering rose, bearing large, rosette-shaped flowers that are cupped at first; the petals later reflexing. The colour is soft apricot, paling to cream on the outer petals. The flowers are produced very freely, in large clusters elegantly poised on the end of slightly arching stems. They have a delightful Tea Rose fragrance.

The Crocus Rose
Lady Emma Hamilton
Catalog says: A variety of rather unusual coloring for an English Rose, but nonetheless very pleasing and useful for creating a little excitement. Before the flowers even begin to open, the outside of the buds are a most wonderful dark red with dashes of orange. When fully open the flowers are a lovely mixture of rich, almost tangerine orange on the inside of the petals and a more yellow orange on the outside; the whole set off against the very dark, bronzy green leaves that only slowly become dark green with age. Will flower freely and remain healthy. The flowers have a strong, delicious, fruity fragrance which – it has been suggested – has hints of pear, grape and citrus fruits. Lady Emma Hamilton was Horatio Nelson’s lover and we have named this rose to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
Lady Emma Hamilton