I was excited to see that most of the roses in my new Miniature Garden survived the winter in good shape. (This is a new garden, planted last summer, so this was the first winter in the ground for these roses.) A few were damaged significantly, but they have come back and are growing strongly now. There was one rose in particular that I was surprised to see doing so well, because it looked pretty weak when I planted it ... coming back with vigorous growth and lots of buds. When the buds opened, they were not the pale pink I was expecting, but dark red.
Rootstock. The pale pink rose portion of this plant that I bought and carefully nurtured had died, and it was replaced by sprouts of the below-ground rootstock portion of this grafted rose.
This rose is called 'Dr. Huey', a once-blooming rose introduced in 1920 and named for a good friend of the hybridizer. It was a revolutionary color at the time, and it is now valued less as a garden rose and more as a rootstock onto which other roses are grafted. Because of this use, it is probably the most popular rose in America ... as escaped rootstock suckers have overtaken the grafted variety in millions of roses throughout the country, and 'Dr. Huey' is everywhere in bloom at this time of year.
I briefly thought about leaving 'Dr. Huey' in this spot in the garden, but I changed my mind. This rose is horribly susceptible to blackspot, and it's a climber that would be growing in a space that was chosen for a Hybrid Tea or Shrub rose when I designed the garden. Yesterday morning, I dug up 'Dr. Huey' and replaced him with 'Birdie Blye'. Since 'Dr. Huey' was growing and flowering so well, I didn't have the heart to trash it. Instead, I did this:
Later in the afternoon, I saw a lady in a small grey sedan, with a little dog riding shotgun, stop and load 'Dr. Huey' into the back seat of her car.
I didn't want The Good Doctor to live here, but I'm glad to know that he has a new home ... a home with a dog person, no less. Makes me smile.