Rose tsunami

This is a scary post about maniacal plants and fire-breathing flowers so you might not plan to read it to your children at bedtime. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Long long ago (in a galaxy right here) I planted a rose by our “car barn,” which is an outbuilding in which we park our little car, along with the 30’s Cadillac “project,” the skis, the Mantis tiller that never worked, the extra shovels, rakes, hoes, an occasional tractor chain and a dead ’68 Volvo. (You get the idea.)

Anyway, the rose I planted at the end of this building was a “climber” with pretty and sweet small bundles of blossoms, just cute and romantic, and called The Garland.

Garland blossom

Then too it was a crochety old variety, born in about 1835, and one would expect that, at its age, it might have slowed down a little, but it must be taking some of those new drugs that would show up in your emails but thank goodness for your spam filter.

The Garland climbing rose

It turns out this is some kind of pioneer-spirited old rose, ready to have it’s baby by the side of the trail then climb back into the wagon and still make the Big River by sundown.

Its roots are in the fruit orchard grass and it gets No Care beyond the occasional mowing of the neighborhood, and there’s that sort of gully there too so even the mowing can’t get too close.

Garland rose growing over buildingYou can see here how it is COMING, like a tidal wave or a glacier or rising bread dough, over the building, toward the car.

It’s a case of not having read the fine print before planting.

But since the enormous-ation occurred I have read that this particular sweet delicate petite rose can reach forty feet. (So maybe this is actually a short one.)

When you drive in and stop to open the last gate the deep perfume from this rose rolls off the building in a thick wave and you kind of float on it, smiling, puzzled, happy, thinking “What IS that?” Then you see the blooms and realize the risk of just being there.

barn rose fragranceNow HERE is a rare photo that actually shows the heavy rose fragrance rolling off the flowers onto the roof of the car barn and spilling down toward the ground. (I bet you never thought I could get the camera to work this well did you!)

The Garland rose bloomsIt really is a lovely rose, with little blooms that start the softest pink and become white. I don’t regret it for a minute, but I thought I should warn you, because if it grew by your house, and if your house were sort of small, well it could be dangerous, especially if you hadn’t paid your Rose Engulfation insurance.

In other news, the gas plant (Dictamnus) bloomed but wouldn’t burn.

gas plant bloomsI tried on several occasions, day and night, to light it on fire but nothing happened. Yes really it is supposed to poof into flame just like a Christmas pudding does when you pour the 150 proof rum and light it. And no you don’t pour rum on the plant, the plant makes its own flammable gas, but my gas plant is defective or something because all I had burning was the match. (Does this have something to do with rising oil prices?)

Got a post card from Tillie. She was passing through the Panama Canal in the gondola. There probably isn’t time to sell the house and move away before she gets back…


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in actual plants, Tillie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Rose tsunami

  1. What an interesting rose! I wish I could get my climbing roses to be as prolific.

  2. b-a-g says:

    Thanks Linnie for providing the nasal aid. It really helped me appreciate your post. I notice that pruners were not included in your car barn inventory. Have you ever thought of pruning this rose ?

    • linniew says:

      How tall do you think I AM, Bag??
      But of course I do own pruners and they are in the drawer in the greenhouse except when they are buried in the compost bin or otherwise temporarily misplaced–happens very rarely really, and not once since yesterday.

  3. Greggo says:

    I guess you could use some reverse psychology;fertilize, water, talk to it, spray it, and prune. then it would shrink or die.

    • linniew says:

      Interesting tactic Greggo. I have certainly killed my share of plants by over-attention. Actually I am thinking of this one now as our Watch Rose, guarding the entrance, scaring away strangers…

  4. kininvie says:

    Hi Linnie; I love dangerous roses, but I only grow one of them …r.felipes ‘Kiftsgate’. Like yours, it has no hesitation about attacking everything in sight, but, alas, it has no scent. I’ll put up a post about it once it starts flowering in a week or so. I’m sure yours must be a relative, but I can’t find it. All I get from the professor when I ask him to look for ‘rose the Garland” is lots of products from Dolce & Gabbana…. do you have a more complicated name for it?

    • linniew says:

      “Dangerous roses” sounds terrific! I’ve looked around and found some words for you about The Garland. It is listed under “MUSK RAMBLERS (R. moschata and R. multiflora x R. moschata)” on this blog site called Roses For English Gardens The Garland is recommended for the “wild garden” which is pretty much where I have it located– whew. And your rose Kiftsgate is on that blog too, called a large species climber, plenty dangerous sounding I would say, can’t wait to see your post about it!

      • kininvie says:

        Linnie, thank you for tracking ‘The Garland’ down for me. I’ll have to decide whether I dare risk bringing it into the garden…..
        Do you intend to breed from it? – or is that too much like breeding venomous snakes? My Kiftsgate roots from any section of half-ripe growth just stuck into the ground.

        • linniew says:

          I’ve had reasonable success with rose cuttings kininvie– I’ll try some from my monster rose and we shall see. I’ll be sending the Oceanspray starts to Italy by gondola and perhaps there can be a stop in Scotland with roses along the way…

  5. Much like my (ex) Rambling Rector. Huge display of big clusters of small, white, deliciously scented flowers. Never ending growth. Took the roof off the garden shed. Very expensive thorn attack there! Very cruel, hooked, thorns. Have cut it down. Miss it terribly.


  6. linniew says:

    Oh Esther, it is like hearing of a long lost love affair. My baby huey rose doesn’t seem awfully thorny. I will watch for it stealing the roof though, there’s no getting by without a roof in the Oregon rain.

  7. Dear Linnie, You are SO funny! I have two wishes: 1) that I could own a rose like yours (mine are rather stunted), and 2) that I could write as humorously as you do. P. x

  8. I too have tried and failed to light a burning bush (Dictamnus) Must have another go….

    • linniew says:

      Your comment is such a relief to me Chris. So these bushes don’t just flambe’ any old time after all…I plan next to wait for a very hot day (not today, it’s raining again) and try another match but maybe have a blow-torch handy just as a visual aid to let the plant know what is expected, based upon the idea that plants want to please. (Or based possibly upon the idea that I might need to just torch the entire plant so that I can say “Dictamnus? It flamed for ME.”)

  9. Masha says:

    Those ramblers can sure be scary! But beautiful too, like no other rose…

  10. linniew says:

    Yes they have a huge lovely presence. And they make me feel short.
    Welcome Masha!

  11. Grace says:

    Looks like a “killer” rose. Gorgeous! I love Dictamnus but haven’t ever grown it, or lit it on fire.

    • linniew says:

      My friend the Plant Goddess grew the Dictamnus from seed we bought. It took a couple of years to have much of a plant and longer to get blooms. (Maybe longer still to get flame.) But they come back dependably now and are quite pretty even when not burning.

  12. Alberto says:

    Here I am! I’ve been away and almost missed this post. I just love big roses, I love them more if they’re parfumed. At the end of the day that is a perfect location to place such a monstrous rose and if it takes over your time-machine ehm your vintage volvo it’s not a big deal, is it? 🙂

    I searched dictamnus on ‘Junior Woodchucks Guidebook’, it’s not mentioned on the ‘how-to-light-a-fire’ chapter.

    • linniew says:

      Whoa, the Volvo as a Time Machine…I hadn’t thought of that. May have to give it a spin. If my rose cuttings go I will save you one so you might get a bulldozer into your garden now to make room. And you’re right the Dictamnus isn’t in the Junior Woodchuck’s Guidebook it’s in that other book: Pyromania Can Be Fun.

  13. Angie Case says:

    Oh! Oh! Linnie! What can I trade you for a rose cutting? I have 29 acres it could eat!

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