Every rose and its dog

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Okay some more roses bloomed. I don’t know how they decide who goes first– maybe they flip a coin or something. Anyway I find that I want to preserve them all somehow, since usually there aren’t many.  Fortunately for you I delete most of the endless photographs but still it requires a lot of time and I just hope these roses appreciate it.

I’m pretty excited about this first one, a climber call ‘Alchymist’ (well that’s how it was spelled on the tag) which is finally looking like something in this its third year.

Notice the cunning tripod made of really skinny bamboo which is completely holding up this rose and could fail at any moment so it’s well I got some photos. If I bought the climbing version (20 feet) instead of the bush (7 feet) –I can’t remember which one I bought– then I may need to rent a scaffold for it later…

rose 'Alchymist'

I read that ‘Alchymist’ is a 1956 rose from Germany which means like all German roses it is a girl rose so now you don’t have to always imagine alchemy being the realm of men in dark robes with hoods because probably some of the hooded robes were peachy pink and some of the alchemists were women at least in Germany.

rose 'Alchymist'‘Alchymist’

As you might expect, because as you know I am a well-balanced person, I planted another rose on the opposite side by the other porch column, a moderate (to 10 feet) climber called ‘Eden.’

climbing rose 'Eden'‘Eden’

The big over-dressed blooms of ‘Eden’ make me think of a many-layered skirt on a ball gown or possibly a bowl of whipped cream mixed with raspberries. This rose was developed in France in 1997; the one in the image is about three years old but she (la rose) was moved to this location last winter while asleep– and I think she may be drifting back into some sort of flower nap.

The rose below is named ‘Easy Livin’ (see how rose namers need help?) and I have two of these bushes, side by side. They have dark healthy foliage and bloom like maniacs so I can’t complain but I will say they are not terribly fragrant or romantic but are bright and cheerful and good to include in bouquets for old people who can’t get out much.

rose 'Livin' Easy'‘Easy Livin’

Now I have to discuss the ancient rose ‘Tuscany’ (from around 1596 they say but really I doubt there are any 416-year-old gardeners around to testify first-hand) because I promised and so someone might get fussy if I skip this.

rose Tuscany‘Tuscany’

I thought I had a clearer photo but its one and only bloom has faded so I will use this image anyway. You can see it is indeed an extraordinarily deep velvety red/black rose and what you can’t see is the deep heavy fragrance which matches the color somehow.

I planted two of these bushes once. They colonized (a surprise to me at the time) but I managed them into a kind of Tuscany hedge. It worked well until parts of it came to be shaded by trees, and other parts rampaged out of control and spread far and wide and incessantly.

Today my ‘Tuscany’ is reduced to simply one bush at the base of a volunteer maple tree, very nice if a bit eccentric (a visitor once told me I had undisciplined gardens, so true) and the only problem is that I cut this bush back last year so that there is no old wood for flowers save that one little escapee cane, whose bud opened to the flower image shown above.

rose bush 'Tuscany'‘Tuscany’ bush with one blooming stem.

Next year I will do better by it. It’s the only rose I have who is so particular about pruning–even the other Old Roses bloom fine in spite of my Edward Scissorhands approach.

But that is quite enough about roses today, because the Oceanspray is also in bloom.

Oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor)

This Pacific Northwest native shrub (Oceanspray or Holodiscus discolor) has gotten quite cozy with the bird bath so now its branches provide a handy place to hang the tiny Egyptian cotton bath towels that I leave out for the birds…


DOG PART: Please see Max’s new page about his recent house-guest,
Argyle Braveheart, Cairn terrier extraordinare~

About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in Pacific Northwest native plants, roses and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Every rose and its dog

  1. b-a-g says:

    Linnie – what’s are the purpley flowers surrounding the rose in the first photo ? – they are lovely. Yes – the pink roses look like the skirts in “The King and I”.
    Maybe “easy livin” should be translated into french “la douceur de vivre” – does that sound better ?

    • linniew says:

      Hi b-a-g
      That blue flower is a hardy geranium, gotten tall and huge but it’s blue so that is allowed.

      I like very much your suggestion of a new name for ‘Easy Livin’ but I do worry that another difficult discussion of French pronunciation might follow it…

  2. Scott Weber says:

    Lovely post…and I feel your pain…I have my fair share of “scaffolding” in the garden right now, as well 😉

    • linniew says:

      Yes Scott, Gravity is just another of those small inconveniences that we as gardeners must sometimes overcome. But really who’s to say an occasional horizontal plant isn’t a nice design element anyway?

  3. Holleygarden says:

    I love Eden. I wish I had her. Good to see your roses. I have been wondering how your roses fared after you cut them back so hard. They look like they’re doing just fine. And although I know it’s traditional to speak of a rose in the feminine, for some odd reason I always think of German roses as men! I don’t have many, but now I’ll wonder – it is a boy or a girl? 😉

    • linniew says:

      As queen of your garden you get to think of the plants any way you like Holley!

      Yes except for ‘Tuscany’ I don’t see much damage from my pruning last winter. I haven’t shown the pillar roses yet, which I pruned to almost nothing–stay tuned.

  4. Andrea says:

    hahaha, you have a very catchy title, and I’ve been looking for the dog! But your roses are really exceptional not to mention the ‘alchymist”s spelling. But truly they are very beautiful and very healthy. I wish they can grow in the tropics too, but no they wont!

  5. Grace says:

    I need more roses that “bloom like maniacs.” ‘Easy Livin’ is easy on the eyes, that’s for sure. In fact all of your roses are. I think if I had room for more roses, ‘Eden’ would be the next rose I purchased. For one thing, it’s PINK, hello? Second, I just love that raspberry swirl-many-layered skirt look it boasts so proudly in your photos. What a stunner. Your birdbath tableau is garden magazine worthy. I hope you’re still writing because you’re sure fun to read! Cheers.

    • linniew says:

      Hiya Gracie!
      I think ‘Eden’ comes in a bush as well as a climber sort–maybe you can find a spot for one of them. Yes I am still writing and I love your encouraging words! xo L

  6. kininvie says:

    That Eden is more of a crinoline than a ball gown… I love the fact your roses do so well. Do you grow clematis up some of them by any chance?

    • linniew says:

      Hi Kininvie
      Actually all my ball gowns look just like the ‘Eden’ blooms. Check with your valet, he might know more.

      Wouldn’t clematis flowers on a rose be a bit chaotic and redundant? You know how careful I am.

  7. Amazing blooms! Eden really caught my eye!

  8. Susan says:

    While I’m in packing mode for the big move my garden has become rather overgrown. I am going to use the term “undisciplined” from now on. It sounds so much friendlier. Eden is now on my list for the new garden.

    • linniew says:

      Oh Susan, a new garden! You must be excited. I wonder if you are potting up bits of things and taking cuttings or waiting to see what you need. I’m afraid my moving van would be too full of plant starts to actually accommodate any furniture.

  9. Alistair says:

    Well Linnie, you may well think Easy Livin was my cup of tea. To tell the truth its Tuscany that has my vote, we knew how to spell back in those days.

    • linniew says:

      Oh Alistair, how you think! But I will be certain to bring you blooms of ‘Tuscany’ when you are 94 years old like the person I was writing about.

  10. Lyn says:

    But why are all German roses girls? I’m confused. At least I’m not as rude as your visitor who called your garden undisciplined. Anyway, it’s obviously disciplined – you haven’t ‘spared the rod’, it’s right there, propping up “Alchymist”. That birdbath with the Oceanspray is gorgeous, even though I couldn’t see the tiny towels. Maybe they were in the wash. Off to check out Max’s page.

    • linniew says:

      Oh you know those languages that give gender to every noun? So the Germans call all the roses feminine. That was a great remark about the rod holding up the rose! Still laughing Lyn, thanks.

      The towels are very tiny.

  11. Alberto says:

    You have some very pretty roses there! I am a little curious about the spiky white flowers amongst the geranium (superb) in the first picture. Is it a lysimachia?
    I wonder who could get so fussy if you are not showing your Tuscany rose… Maybe someone who was missing this post?

    • linniew says:

      The pink spires are a perennial called Linaria purpurea “Canon Went”– It is tall with soft pink blooms like little snapdragon flowers along the stems above blue-gray feathery foliage. It self sows moderately and I welcome the volunteer plants.

      The fussy person who almost missed the Tuscany rose is forgiven since he was painting his house… 🙂

  12. Rachelle says:

    Linnie, do you think your Eden is the same rose I have in my blog masthead? I always thought it might be, but now I’m not sure. All I know is it is not what it was labeled, Morden Blush (as my “Eden” is a climber and the color is obviously wrong).

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