Crown Princess Margareta Rose Debut

About 3-1/2 years ago, I bought several English roses, in containers, to replace several that were planted in-ground but were decimated by gophers who devoured their roots. I’ve kept them in their original containers all this time because of this.  Having a “buy now, investigate later” mindset, I found that these plants were not suited to grow in my area, but were still selling here (a rather dodgy business practice).

Taking a chance, I’ve seen some meet an untimely end (e.g., Munstead wood), but I am so very pleased to report that this past week, the two climbing Crown Princess Margareta rose plants have flowered! Mind you, these were not extraordinary displays (1 flower for one plant, 3 for another), it was heartening that they fought on against all odds and provides a very positive message of hope and patience. I don’t mind that it flowers every few years, as long as it does, which is probably an unusual perspective, but I love these plants.

More information on this fragrant beauty can be found here: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/us/crown-princess-margareta-english-climbing-rose

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Dr. Huey Rose Pushing Out Grace English Rose?

Dr. Huey has struck again, this time for one of my Grace English roses. That particular plant had not produced Grace roses in the past season, and it may be because it was quietly being overtaken by the dreaded Dr. Huey rose. Dr. Huey was, apparently, the rootstock onto which this particular rose plant was grafted. My hope is that, if anything, Grace will return and co-exist with Dr. Huey (if I don’t start attempting to remove Dr. Huey first!). If Dr. Huey has pushed out Grace, I will accept it, but time will tell if that is the case. I will also keep an eye on my other English roses, all of which I’ve kept in their original containers, including this Grace. Sigh.IMG_1481

Simple Arrangement of Short-Stemmed Roses

Some of my roses are blooming, but none of them are long-stemmed. But that does not preclude the creation of simple flower arrangements! These short-stemmed beauties required that I use a long and shallow container, which I happened to have: the almighty cover of a butter dish that I turned upside down, filled with a little granulated sugar, white vinegar, and water. The yellow ones are the Sunblest rose; the pink ones on the ends are Mary Rose; the peachy one in the center is the Grace rose; and the dIMG_3346ark red-pink one toward the right is the (hard-to-keep-down) Dr. Huey rose. This very simple flower arrangement has already made quite a difference in my bathroom (house!) and I am looking forward to days and nights of admiring their loveliness!

English Rose: Mary Rose as a Cut Flower

Not all cut flowers require a long stem for them to be appreciated in a jar or vase! I grow several English rose plants outdoors, in their containers. One of my pink Mary Rose plants has been flowering a bit and I noticed that one flower is now near the point when the flower petals are close to falling. It’s at that point that I cut such flowers and preserve as much of their short stem that I can and set them in very small jars, filled with a 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar, and warm water, to be enjoyed indoors for as long as they can still last. Usually, I enjoy my roses growing and staying on the plant through their life cycle, but this fragrant rose – in my  mind, it’s a shame to have it literally fall apart without as much as a word of a proper good-bye. I have several such rose plants whose flowers grow on short stems and I often give them this elegant treatment.

So, in tribute to all of the beautiful energy that this flower brings to my garden, I bring it indoors, so that it may still receive great appreciation until the end. This will grace my bathroom for at least a week and will class up the overall feeling of my home for at least that long. Having just one cut flower can make such a tremendous difference!IMG_3333IMG_3336

Uninhibited English Rose!

Last year, I was very fortunate to have bought a few dozen David Austin English roses. I grow them in the containers that they came in. One of the climbers, Crown Princess Margareta, has let it be known that it will not be following the conventions of gardening, container or no! Right next to a very warm wall, this rose plant is loving its location and is letting its canes go wild. For safety reasons (walking into a cane of spikes is no fun), I will have to find at least a minimal staking scheme using one or more tallIMG_3325 metal rods since it soundly defeated an attempt with wood stakes. It will not win prizes for form, but certainly receives acknowledgment for its vigor and desire to express itself!

I am wondering what it will look like when it flowers. The unexpected growth pattern of this plant certainly is adding a very lively and happy energy to my garden. Out with the same old, same old and in with wild and free  artistic form!

Wedgwood Roses: The Report of My Death Was an Exaggeration

It’s such a happy moment to see plants, which seemed to struggle, come fighting back, as the case with my Wedgwood roses. These climbers were purchased along with many other David Austin roses within days of each other. Some of those roses have thrived while others, like these, seemed to be stressed with the change of environment (although I was about 5 miles away from the nursery). Still, these roses soldiered on. Check out the new growth emerging from what look like dead canes and also the new grow emerging from the base of the other plant. I have been hesitant to prune any “dead” canes for fear that they, too, have the potential to push out new growth. So, in the meantime, my English rose container garden is an unusual mix of thriving, flowering plants and others that seem to be in a (hopefully) temporary state of elegant decay. I am patient and will let these plants guide next steps. So very encouraging!IMG_3322IMG_3323

Roses Can Grow Tall When Left Unpruned!

When I first started growing roses, I followed a twice-yearly pruning schedule, in January and then a hard pruning in August. I now only have 3 rose plants growing in the ground; the other in-ground rose plants fell victim to gophers. The slower-growing James Galway English rose is not as prominent (yet) but has lovely flower buds that already reveal their eventual pink splendor. The one in the background against the wall in the shaded area is my white iceberg rose. The one in the foreground looking very tall is the Sunblest rose (hybrid tea).

IMG_3214These rose plants are also covered in flower buds, all the way to their tallest point. It’s been not too many years when I bought them in 5-gallon containers. Now, these rose plants are taller than I am, and I love it! Also against type (and probably advice), I don’t do anything special with these roses other than to water them a couple of times a week and deadhead when needed. I don’t feed them plant food. The rest is sunshine, suitable climate, and strong specimens.

Sometimes, people shy away from gardening because of the anticipated effort involved. Certainly, some projects are quite involved and require a significant time and resource commitment. But if you’re starting modestly, sometimes with a few plants that you care for on a semi-regular basis, you may find that these plants survive and thrive. Unless you are dealing with plants that have highly specific needs that must be tended to lest they perish, you’ll probably have a reasonable chance of getting your plant to live for many years.

Given the results of my in-ground roses, I will continue to leave them to grow unpruned. They seem to be happy with that decision!

More information on the James Galway English rose can be found here: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/american/showrose.asp?showr=3654

English Rose: Munstead Wood

The fragrance of this luscious English rose just knocks me off my feet, so very strong and what, in my mind, is a classic smell of rose flowers. I also love the dark crimson color of its velvety petals – such a stunning beauty. I am currently the proud caretaker of just one of these plants, since my local nursery only had just this one remaining in this stock at the end of the year when I bought it. I will have to visit the store in a couple of weeks to see if they might have more of this gorgeous rose in stock. Long live Munstead Wood!IMG_3189

More information on the Munstead Wood rose can be found here: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/american/showrose.asp?showr=4922

English Rose: Graham Thomas

A few weeks ago, this fragrant and beautiful English rose lost a few flowers because of dry winds in our area. The dry winds dried up some of the young buds. The winds gone, this fighter (!) was able to hang on in defiance and has produced this lovely gem. This is a perfect shade of yellow! This rose is available as a climber or non-climber. The one that I have is a non-climber.IMG_3188

More information on the Graham Thomas rose can be found here: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/american/showrose.asp?showr=426

English Rose: L. D. Braithwaite

A great way to start the day! My L. D. Braithwaite is now in flower and has a few more flower buds waiting in the wings. The color is so intense and, of course, so very lovely. Most of my other English roses are lighter in color, so this adds a very welcome vibrancy to my entire English rose container garden!

More information about this beauty can be found here: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/american/showrose.asp?showr=967IMG_3179

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