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

Angel Face Roses in Flower and in Bud!

It’s been about a month since I rescued four Angel Face rose plants from the clearance bin, and I am so pleased that each of these plants is covered in flowers and/or buds. What a short wait to be graced with these blissfully lovely flowers in my yard! The scent is very sweet and the color is wonderful. Sometimes when I take a chance on clearance bin plants, it may take a year or more to see the potential of the plants realized, mostly because of some rehabilitation that’s needed to restore them to good health. But these roses were clearly in tip-top health, only needing a permanent place to call home. A dream come true!IMG_3364

Rescued: Angel Face Roses and Thornless Raspberry Bushes

My local home improvement store has a gardening center with an outstanding clearance section, with plants of all sorts at amazing discounted prices. Their inventory of clearance plants has recently increased so, in the foreseeable future, I will be visiting at least once a week. Yesterday, I was very fortunate to have made my weekly visit and came away with 4 Angel Face rose plants, a floribunda that I’ve wanted for my home for the past several years, but finally got around to doing something about.IMG_3354IMG_3355
I also am the caregiver of 3 thornless raspberry bushes. I love to make homemade raspberry jam and now I have a wonderful resource to do it! The plants were all in reasonably good condition, although I will have to do some light pruning of a small bit of dead vegetation. Easy. One of the raspberry bushes has some young fruits on it – very encouraging!

I replanted them in larger containers (saved from years of gardening projects) and will be looking forward to many happy years with these wonderful new plants. What is seen as refuse by the store (and most people) represents a great opportunity to bring new (sometimes unexpected) plants into the garden, for a modest price. These plants have already uplifted the energy of my entire garden!

More information on Angel Face roses: http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.238

More information on thornless raspberry bushes: http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/3466/brazelberries-raspberry-shortcake-dwarf-thornless-raspberry/

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

Celebrating the New British Princess with a Lovely Rose

This is the one English rose in my container garden that is currently in bloom. Coincidence? It’s the Mary Rose, lusciousIMG_3303ly pink with an old rose fragrance. In terms of naming the latest sweet addition to the royal family, I am in favor of…Princess Mary Rose. How about that? A name that evokes great tradition, strength, and beauty. A heart-felt congratulations to the royal family!

More information on this sweet rose can be found here:

http://www.davidaustinroses.com/american/showrose.asp?showr=4231

 

Rose Plant: Is It Dead or Alive?

It can happen in any rose garden: A rose plant appears to be dead, with only brown canes. But is it really dead, or is it alive? It’s not always apparent, but it may serve you well (and save you money) if you hold off on digging up and tossing your rose plant that may still be alive. At the minimum, keep this dead-looking plant watered on its usual schedule, just like any other rose plant, and wait for at least a few months. The roses may simply be resting (or recovering), depending on the time of year or its health. At some gardening centers, if you’re lucky, they sometimes sell at great discount rose plants that not only are no longer flowering but are completely brown. These brown plants may not look like much now, but they may be a great opportunity for you to build a garden at a much-reduced cost.IMG_3275

Check out one of my rose plants, growing in a container. All of the canes are brown but if you look at the base of the plant, just above the blue label (right of center), you’ll see a new sprout of leaves. I’ve been monitoring this plant for a few months so I know these sprout of leaves are not the “last gasp” of growth before the plant dies. It’s new growth. If there are no signs of life still, get pruning shears and cut off a small tip of one of the canes. If you see that the perimeter of the cut cane is green, it’s still alive. Especially if the particular variety of rose is hard to find, patience and a snip of the pruning shears can make a big difference!

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