Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Musings ... Memorial Day, and other stuff

(all of the rose photos in this post today were taken yesterday during a wonderful visit to my friend Nick's garden in Maryland.  His garden is what my garden wants to be when it grows up.)

I am an Army Brat.  (My husband will not hesitate to tell you that I most resemble the second part of this term.)  When I was growing up, my father, all of my friends' fathers (and some of the mothers) donned olive drab uniforms and went to work.  Home for us was wherever the Department of Defense told us it would be ... sometimes in the US, sometimes in a foreign country.  I am thirty years removed from this lifestyle now, having lived a civilian life since I married in 1980.

Memorial Day is personal for military families.  We all know someone whose father (or mother, or brother, or son) gathered up their gear, got onto a plane bound for a foreign war zone, and never returned.  Our family was spared this heartbreak ... I mourn for families who were not so blessed.

On days like today, I am reminded of parts of my former-military life.  A bugle playing 'Taps' or a 21-Gun Salute are guaranteed to make me cry.

Friday night, we had dinner at the Greek Festival with friends.  On our way home, I got a call from our next door neighbor, saying that there had been a terrible accident in front of our house and that the road was closed. 

The car was full of young people, leaving a party about a mile from our house.  The driver was speeding and he/she (I don't know which) misjudged the blind curve in front of our house.  We were told that the car flipped several times before it hit the power pole across the street.  Everyone in the car was taken to the hospital alive, but I do not know their current condition.  I will probably never know.

The power company arrived very quickly, to begin the process of replacing the damaged pole and restoring our electrical service.  When I got up at daylight the next morning, they were still here.

The opening of my nursery on Saturday was such a great day.  We had a steady stream of people, but not so many that anyone felt hurried or neglected.  Visitors walked the gardens, making lists of roses that they loved, and shopping from the ones I have available for sale.  Two friends came to help, to write sales and cashier so my only responsibility was to answer questions ... LOTS of questions.  It was a good day.

Happy Memorial Day, Everyone!!  Be sure to hug your family, remind your children to be safe when they drive, and thank a veteran for their service and sacrifice.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday's Final Preparations

I know you're used to coming here on Fridays to get a dose of flowers to see you through the weekend.  Today, I don't have the energy to hunt and format photos, because I have a few final things to take care of before customers start arriving tomorrow morning at 10:00. 

My husband does the signs on the sandwich board for me.  Isn't he great?

Like a hostess managing a party, I have things that I want to be 'just so' for my guests.  All of the nursery roses are groomed and alphabetized on the benches, so they show their best and are easy to locate. 

The gardens aren't exactly what I had hoped they'd be for the first day of operation this season.  (I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist ... I thought I'd tell you in case you hadn't figured it out by now.)  We have had three big storms since my Open Garden event two weeks ago, and some of the roses are a bit bedraggled because of it.  Our thunderstorm last night cleared away the heat and humidity of the past two days, but it flattened a few of the roses.  I don't have time to deal with this, so guests will see flattened roses.  That's just how it is.

I have a couple of friends who are coming tomorrow to write up sales for me, so I can concentrate on helping visitors choose their roses and answering questions. There are always a LOT of questions. This place is overwhelming to first-timers, and I like to help people focus and take it all in.  It's my garden, after all, and I'm used to it.  Sometimes I forget people's reactions to the fact that I have 500+ roses in the ground, and 300 in pots waiting to be planted.  It's not something you see every day.

I got a present in the mail yesterday.

Deb in Bozeman, Montana, and I traded roses.  I sent her a Pink Baltimore Belle to test in her unbelievably harsh climate, and she sent me a real treasure.  It's an unknown rose that has been passed along from neighbor to neighbor, making its way across the country for over a hundred years.  We don't know what this rose is, but I intend to try to find out in the next year or so ... after it settles in here and blooms.  Deb calls it "Hallie's Rose" after her neighbor who gave it to her, and "Hallie's Rose" it will stay.

It's a good thing that Deb packaged her rose nice and securely.  This is how the package was sitting in my mailbox:

The rose is fine, despite its sideways trip across the country.

I have to go outside and get some things done now.  Wish me luck tomorrow.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Rambler Fence

The star of the garden, at the moment, are the ramblers on the fence on the southern border of our property.  Most of these were hybridized by Barbier and Company, who did some really imaginative work breeding Rosa wichurana (a Asian species) with tea roses.  The result was a race of roses with long, lax canes, glossy, disease-resistant foliage, and beautiful, fragrant flowers.

The driveway in this photo is my neighbor's.  The roses quietly grow through the fence, to take advantage of the southern light on their side. 

This is Ghislaine de Feligonde, the first rose in line (on the right in the first photo) and the only one on the fence that isn't bred from R. wichurana.

Paul Transon

Alexandre Girault.  I planted this rose last year, so it's still a little bit small.  It was a twig when I put it in the ground last summer.

Auguste Roussel.  Same story ... planted last summer.

Jean Guichard.  Also planted last summer, when I moved Evangeline to the Rose Field.  I didn't take a shot of the whole rose, because most of it has evaded the fence and is crawling through the weeds at its feet.  (Have I told you how much I detest weeds?)

Leontine Gervais ... probably my favorite rose on this Fence.  I measured her yesterday, and she spans 38 feet from tip to tip ... she could go a lot farther in time, if I let her. It's easy to keep her (and these others) under control with winter pruning.


Aviateur Bleriot, planted with a dark purple viticella clematis.

Francois Juranville

Alberic Barbier, with a lavender clematis.

As the fence turns the corner, I switched from Barbier ramblers to ones hybridized by Dr. Walter Van Fleet, an American who bred roses and did wonderful plant research for the USDA in the early 20th Century.

Silver Moon

American Pillar.  I am training this rose to grow up into the cedar tree beside it.  You can see a few clusters of flowers in the tree in the second photo.  I can't wait till it reaches the top!

Just to 'keep it real', I'll show you my side of the fence.  It's the worst bed in the whole place, in terms of weeds and disarray.  I usually get a handle on this during the winter when I prune the ramblers, but winter pruning did not happen this year.  We had an unusually snowy winter, and there just wasn't a time when I could work without snow or mud up to my knees.


Francois Juranville

I was going to take care of the weeds when the weather warmed as spring approached, but the roses had already started to send shoots along the ground, and it would have been incredibly labor intensive to pick those canes from the weeds and put them up onto the fence.  Instead, I decided that having roses blooming through drifts of clover was a good thing, and I left things as they were.  I have promised myself to get more control of the situation later in the year.  Until then, please don't judge me by my weeds.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

White Roses (at Tufton) on Wednesday.

I'm sorry to have been away from here for a few days longer than usual.  I have spent the time frantically preparing the gardens and the nursery for the opening this weekend.  With visitors arriving on Saturday morning, it feels like there is so much left to do.  I want everything to look its best, and I'm working very hard (harder than usual) to put things in order. 

Let's take a break, you and me, and enjoy some of the roses from the beautiful garden at Tufton Farm last weekend.  It's Wednesday, so let's do the white ones.

This rose, in the Leonie Bell Noisette Garden, is labeled "Hollywood Pink Cluster".  I loved the little pink buds that open into clusters of soft white flowers.

Here is another rose from the Bell Garden ... Nastarana.

Rosa moschata was once thought to be extinct.  It was rediscovered by chance, and it is prominently placed in the garden at Tufton.  

Finally, let's follow up on the mystery roses I introduced you to last Wednesday.  I took pieces of my roses to compare to Tufton's Baltimore Belle.  Immediately, I knew that my rose is not THE Baltimore Belle. 

This is my rose:

and here is the beautiful, white Baltimore Belle:

Since I now know that I have two identical giant roses on my Rose Field fence, I think I have to remove one of them after the flowers are finished.  This will free up space for a rose that's coming to me from a rose friend in Montana ... it should get here tomorrow or Thursday.  I'm so excited!

The rose formerly known thought to be Baltimore Belle will now be listed on my web site as "Pink Baltimore Belle".  It's okay if we never know its true identity ... this rose will take its place among all of the other found roses that live here.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flowers on Friday ... My Favorite Things

Earlier this week, Jeannie B. passed me the I Love Your Blog award.  I am now supposed to show all of you ten things I love.  Let's make this fit my Friday Flowers theme by telling you ten rosy things that I love.  It may be a challenge to narrow it down to ten.

1.  I love roses that climb.  With climbers, I can get the maximum number of flowers into a smaller amount of floor space.  Plus, there's just something magical to me about having flowers over my head.

This is the Arcade, that serves as a backdrop when we have gatherings here, and leads visitors to the Rose Field.  It's a very simple structure (6 x 6 posts with 2 x 10 beams across the top), and it has a HUGE impact on the landscape.

2.  I love 'Dr. W. Van Fleet'.  This is the first rose I ever rustled, years ago.  It was growing in the yard of a small house in Spotsylvania County.  I passed this house every day on my way to go places.  It sat empty and sad, as if it knew that one day the bulldozers would come.  When the survey stakes were laid, and the dozer dropped off one afternoon, I swooped in the next day and took cuttings of this rose and one other that I have since identified as Shailer's Provence.

Dr. W. Van Fleet, trained onto four strands of wire on the fence beside the driveway.

3.  I love being surrounded by roses.  I took three photos of the Rose Field the other afternoon, and I used PhotoShop to stitch them together into a panorama to try to depict the scale of the garden and the riot of roses there.  This is only half of it, if you can imagine.

(click on the photo to view it larger)

4.  I love morning light.  It's wonderful to wander the garden and photograph roses in morning light, especially when everything is covered with sparkling dew.  After the school bus leaves, I take my last cup of coffee with me on my morning stroll to see what the roses have done overnight.  The light this morning was particularly lovely.

Mrs. John Laing

La France

I don't love this little guy, or the damage he does to my smaller roses.

5.  I love "Banshee".  Banshee is a rose that is frequently found in cemeteries and old house sites, particularly in the north.  My "Banshee" came to me as a sucker from a plant in my friend Robert's garden ... he gave it to me the first time I visited his garden years ago, and I treasure it as a memento of our friendship.

"Banshee" has very unique buds.

6.  I love Barbier ramblers.  Beginning in the late 19th century, the Barbier family in France was experimenting with Rosa wichurana as a means to produce rambling roses with healthy foliage.  By crossing this species rose with Tea roses, they created some real treasures.  One of my favorites is Leontine Gervais.  She grows on my ramber fence, spanning 25+ feet from tip to tip, and she must have 500 flowers on her right now.

7.  I love the new Pretzel M&Ms ... off topic for a minute.  Have you tried these?  They're amazing!

8.  I love this seedling.  A couple of years ago, I kept myself busy in winter by growing rose seeds in the basement under lights.  Most of what I grew wasn't worth my time, so most of them hit the compost pile pretty quickly.  This little yellow beauty is a seedling that is showing great promise in the garden.  It came from seeds in a hip from an unidentified yellow rose on the Armstrong Plot in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.  The leaves are dark green and pretty resistant to blackspot, and the flowers are a lovely shade of creamy yellow.  If it continues to do well, I expect that it will be my very first rose registration ... now, what to name it?

9.  I love simple flower forms and interesting stamens.  The simple beauty of a single or semi-double rose is an acquired taste ... you either love them or you don't.  I find ones like these to be some of my favorites. 

Glenn Dale


St. Nicholas


10.  Finally, I love my house!!  I loved it from the first time I saw it, driving down this road in the early 1990's.  I dreamed of owning it for 10 years, and I spent 5 years after we bought it (full-time) renovating it.  We are not anywhere near finished, and I don't mind one bit.  The inside is a work in progress, the outside has more projects left that I care to think about, but it's ours and it's home, and I am thankful every day to wake up here.

That's Shailer's Provence in the foreground, in a photo I took this morning.  It sure is a pretty day.

Thank you, Jeannie, for reading this little blog of mine and for thinking enough of it to recommend it to your friends.  It's now my turn to recognize some folks who have blogs that I love.

Three blogs that I have recently discovered and that I am now following:

... and one blog that I really love, that is now discontinued and will be going away in 4 weeks ... or so he says.  Let's hope that he has a change of heart.

(Just for good measure, I'm linking this post to Tootsie Time's Fertilizer Friday.  I'll head over there in a little while to see what everyone else has in bloom.)

Have a nice weekend, Everybody.  I will spend tomorrow among the roses and rosarians at Tufton Farm's Open House.  Sunday, I'll be back here playing hostess to the Arlington Rose Foundation.  The garden is beautiful, and I hope the rain they're predicting holds off till my guests go home.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog.)
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