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…
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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~