Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween.

Who would think that you can make such a cute Jack-o-lantern out of a gourd?  My creative husband, of course. 

Happy Halloween!

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Flowers on Friday.

As I make my rounds through the gardens, taking cuttings, pulling weeds, and enjoying the fall weather, I am completely amazed by the number of roses that are still blooming. My camera is getting quite a work out.

(Mutabilis, China rose, bef. 1894)

It is very exciting to see many of the roses that I added to the collection this year, my Ralph Moore minis especially, are blooming for the first time.

(Fairy Moss, Miniature, 1969)

(Fair Molly, Miniature, 1999)

(Hope and Joy, Miniature, 2006)

My goal is to get a photo of every single rose I grow. I know I can’t do this till spring for the once-bloomers, but I’ll see how far I can get with the rest of the garden. I hope to have an album of all the photos available for visitors to see next year. Wish me luck.

(Pink Perpetue, Climber, 1965)

("Belmont Yellow", Noisette, found rose)

I think I'm going to try to make “Flowers on Friday” a weekly-or-so feature here through the winter. With all the photos I’ve taken so far, and ones I know I can expect to take in the garden and the greenhouse, I should have lots to work with.

(Sydonie, Hybrid Perpetual/Portland, 1846)

Here is some more of what was blooming earlier this week.

(Arthur de Sansal, Portland, 1855)

("Bellamy Plot", Noisette, found rose)

(Feu Joseph Looymans, Hybrid Tea, 1921)

("Peggy Martin", Hybrid Multiflora Rambler, found rose)
Also known as the rose that survived Hurricane Katrina.

(Mockin' Bird, Shrub, 2001)

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meet Maggie.

This is Maggie.  If I'm sitting here working at the computer, you can almost guarantee that she's sitting in my lap.

We adopted her in the fall of 2001 when she was between four and five months old ... she was found as a stray in Madison County, Virginia, and was brought to the Madison County Humane Society.  I knew from the moment I saw her that there was something special about this kitty. 

Maggie is now 8 years old, and we believe she holds the title as the World's Most Expensive PetsMart Cat.  We had her for about a year when she got really sick ... it required lots of tests, 2 days in kitty-intensive-care, and numerous other vet visits to figure out that she has Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (say that 3 times fast).  It's an auto-immune disease that's fairly rare in cats, where her immune system attacks her own blood cells.  The cause is unknown, and the prognosis was grim.  She has lived for the last 6+ years on varying doses of steroids and Cyclosporine, a human anti-rejection drug, to suppress her immune system, and her IMHA is under control. 

In April of this year, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphona, something else that's really rare in cats.  (We say that Maggie's middle name should be "that's-really-rare-in-cats")  She had surgery to remove a cancerous lymph node in her throat, and she's been taking CCNU chemo treatments since we found another enlarged lymph node in June.  Her Oncologist cautioned us to not expect complete remission ... but remission is exactly what we have.  No sign of cancer right now, perfect values in her blood work, good weight and appetite ... life for Maggie is very, very good.

Why do we go to all of this effort and expense for a cat?  This is a very special cat, that's why ... I've known it since I first saw her in that cage at PetsMart.  Look at those eyes.

She came into our house and was immediately at home with us, the dogs, and our other cats. 

She greets all house guests, and makes the rounds sitting on everyone's lap in turn, purring quietly.  Her favorite place to sleep at night is on my feet ... and her favorite human is me.  I trust her to tell me when she's had enough and it's time for her to go.  Until then, I will do whatever I can to keep her here.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beauty After the Storm

Here's what the sunset looked like this evening.  I thought you'd enjoy seeing this.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)

The Rose Field Arches

This week, we finally installed the rest of the arches down the center aisle of the Rose Field, and all of their respective roses are off the ground and firmly attached!  This is a huge load off my mind.  The climbers have grown a whole lot more than I expected them to, and visitors have had to carefully tip-toe over some of them sprawling in the aisles.

I didn't take as many photos as I normally would.  I guess I was concentrating on the job at hand, instead of concentrating on documenting the process. 

This is my Before photo.  We had about half of the arches in place for months now, but the roses attached to them have grown pretty out of control.  You can see in the distance, the rows without arches and their roses on the ground.

Here's one rose after I gathered it up and tied it in place.  Every day I have to tie climbers, I thank my husband for buying me my handy taping tool.  (If you haven't seen the post where I show this wonderous invention, click HERE.)  The leaves look a bit awkward and cock-eyed right now, but they'll settle into place and turn toward the light and look right after a few days.

This is a view of the back of the arches, looking down the rows.  It's great to see the roses heading up their arches, instead of sprawling all over their neighbors.

After working all afternoon, here is the result. Doesn't this look fabulous?

Here's something slightly off topic, and puzzling.  Some sort of animal has been using one part of the Rose Field as a potty ... and I don't enough about poop identification to tell whether it's rabbit, or deer, or whatever.  None of the roses in this spot have been nibbled, either high or low, so there are no obvious clues available other than the poop itself.  Anyone know what did this?

(Mystery solved ... a kind reader has told me that this is rabbit poop.  Thanks, Darlene.)

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday is Shipping Day

Monday is the day I package and ship the rose orders from the previous week.  Doing this on Monday guarantees that the packages spend as little time as possible in the postal system on the way to their new homes.  (If I were to ship later in the week, there's a chance that the packages would stay in the system over the weekend ... not good.)

Packaging fragile, live items is a challenge.  The goal is to make sure that the roses arrive at their destination with as little damage as possible.  To do this, I have to do whatever I can to guarantee that they absolutely cannot move around in the box. 

I place each pot into a plastic grocery bag ... this is a great way to reuse all those bags that I have squirrelled away.  It helps keep the rose from drying out, and contains any loose soil that may fall out of the pot.

Here is an order of roses, ready to go into the box.  (If you see this, James, these are your roses.)

The largest roses go into the box first. 

I tape across the small flaps of the box to keep the pots in place.  This holds so well that the roses can even be turned upside down, which will probably occur at least once during their journey ... it is the post office, don't ya know.  I learned a long time ago, "This Side Up" is meaningless to them.

The smaller two roses get the same treatment on the other side of the box.

I lay the box down and I arrange all the little branches into the center of the box as carefully as I can.  This is a much easier part of the job earlier in the season when the roses are smaller.

After I drop in the receipt and a brochure, I tape up the box and take it to the post office.  With USPS Priority Mail, these little guys should be in their new homes on Wednesday.

In my years of rose gardening, I have ordered roses from just about every mail-order vendor in the country.  There's always a certain amount of anxiety when I order from a new place ... will the roses arrive in good shape?  My favorite vendors package their roses with great care, and opening their packages feels like Christmas morning.  My wish is that you get the same feeling when you open your roses.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Roses in Full Fall Bloom, Part 2

As I promised earlier, here is a look at some of the blooming roses in the Rose Field.  The Polyanthas and the Chinas are really putting on a show.

Camellia Rose (China, 1830)

Cels Multiflore (Tea, 1836)

Fabvier (China, 1832)

Golden Buddha (Shrub, 2005)

Hume's Blush (China, 1810)

La Marne (Polyantha, 1915)

Echo (Polyantha, 1914) and Marie Daly (Polyantha, 1999)

Old Gray Cemetery (Noisette, found rose)

Close-up of Old Gray Cemetery

Mrs. R. M. Finch (Polyantha, 1923) and Gartendirektor Otto Linne (Polyantha, 1934)

Close-up of Gartendirektor Otto Linne

Romaggi Plot Bourbon (Bourbon, found rose)

Santa Rosa/Burbank (Tea, 1900)

Parade (Climber, 1953)

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)

Friday, October 16, 2009

A New Look for the Blog.

Ever since I started this blog last year, I hated the fact that I was forced to use little pictures. I think in pictures, and I tell stories with pictures, and it just wasn’t right that all of you had to squint to see the pictures. This week, it bugged me enough to spend some time researching a solution. I installed a new template, played with the html a bit … and, voila! The blog has a whole new look, and I can use great big photos. I wish you could see the smile on my face.

Just for some comparison, here’s what I used to have to display:

Rose Field 9/17/09

And here’s what I can do now:

Central Aisle

Much better, don’t you think?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some Roses in our Final Fall Clearance.

It is time for all of this season’s remaining roses to go to their new homes. To accomplish this, I have reduced the price to $5 each. These are healthy one-year-old own-root plants, growing in half-gallon or one-gallon pots, well rooted and ready to be planted in their new garden … many of them (especially the Chinas and Polyanthas) are still in bloom.

Enabling Alert: Here is a sample of what we still have available …

Mlle. Augustine Guinoisseau (Hybrid Tea, 1899)
Also known as White La France, though it’s a pale powder pink. Flowers are round, well-petaled, and are produced freely throughout the season on a nicely-shaped bush.

Mlle. Augustine Guinoisseau

Caldwell Pink (China/Polyantha, 1928)
A smallish, rounded shrub that produces sprays of pink flowers all season. A good choice for the front of a bed.

Caldwell Pink

Dorsey Cosby China (unknown China rose)
This rose may be Louis Philippe. It was found happily growing without care in a cemetery, about 6 feet high. Every one of these on the nursery benches is blooming right now.

Dorsey Cosby China

Duchesse de Brabant (Tea rose, 1857)
Some tea roses get huge … Duchesse de Brabant is not one of them. In a few years, the Duchesse will build to a lacy shrub about 4 feet tall. She blooms her best when it’s hot outside.

Duchesse de Brabant

Innocence (Hybrid Tea, 1921)
Single-flowered hybrid tea roses rarely make it into commerce … the few that do are exceptional. Innocence is one of these, along with Dainty Bess, Mrs. Oakley Fisher, Ellen Wilmott, and a few others. I love the contrast of the snow white petals with the orange stamens that look like eyelashes.


La Reine (Hybrid Perpetual, 1842)
If you want a rose with fragrance, La Reine is one to consider. It blooms profusely in the spring, with scattered bloom throughout the rest of the year, and has a fragrance to die for.

La Reine

Lady Mary Fitzwilliam (Hybrid Tea, 1882)
This rose has medium pink petals, with a darker pink reverse. The bush is compact and dense, with large dark green leaves that contrast beautifully with the flowers. I love the rounded, informal shape of these early hybrid teas … quite a contrast to the more stiff, upright form we associate with them today.

Lady Mary Fitzwilliam

Mrs. Dudley Cross (Tea rose, 1907)
Another tea rose that doesn’t get too huge. This one has the added bonus of being almost thornless. It may require a more protected spot in places with really cold winters, but Mrs. Dudley Cross is good enough to be worth the effort.

Mrs. Dudley Cross

Mrs. Woods Lavender Noisette (Noisette, found rose)
A large, lacy shrub that produces sprays of lavender pink flowers through the year. This was the first found rose that I added to my collection years ago … a collection that has grown to over 60 varieties.

Mrs. Woods' Lavender Noisette

Route 17 Pink Poly (Polyantha, found rose)
The mother plant of this rose is about 5 feet high, and it lives without care at a derelict house that will probably be leveled to make way for a shopping center. Like most Polyanthas, it starts blooming in the early summer and doesn’t stop until frost. All of these out in the nursery have flowers on them right now.

Route 17 Pink Poly

Verdi (Hybrid Musk, 1984)
I love the parents of this rose (Mr. Bluebird is a China rose bred by Ralph Moore, and Violet Hood is a Hybrid Musk by Louis Lens) so I figured I’d also like Verdi … I figured correctly. Verdi is a spreading, arching shrub with sprays of violet flowers throughout the season. The color of the flowers, contrasting with the blue-green leaves is very nice.


Peggy Martin (Rambler, found rose)
This rose was a pass-along plant in the garden of Peggy Martin outside New Orleans. Her garden was submerged by flood waters from Hurricane Katrina, and this rose was the only plant that survived. It blooms profusely in early summer (later than most other ramblers), and will bloom again in the fall once it’s established. Mine is blooming right now. The canes are almost completely thornless, so Peggy Martin is a pleasure to work with.

Peggy Martin

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)
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