Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Superb Yellow Seedling

Three or four years ago, I pocketed a couple of ripe rose hips from a rose in the vineyard at Hartwood Winery next door ... I think the rose was Peace, but I'm not positive.  Most of the seeds in those hips sprouted and grew into puny, spindly reject roses.  One of them grew well, and continues to do VERY well in the garden.

This rose never fails to attract attention from garden visitors.  Its flowers are medium butter-yellow, and they don't fade much as they age.

The brown petals on these two buds are the only damage this rose shows in response to a whole week of damp, rainy weather that we have had.

The best characteristic of this rose is its foliage ... large, dark green leaves that are incredibly disease resistant.  I took this photo of the bush yesterday afternoon (and all the rest of the ones in this post, too), and you see leaves clear to the bottom of the plant, with almost no blackspot in sight.

This rose provides a perfect example of why it's important to evaluate promising roses for a number of years before making a decision on them.  Its first year in the garden, this one was out-performed by another seedling planted beside it and I almost dug it out in favor of the other seedling.  Now, three years later, this rose has become a star ... and the other one is gone.

Next week, I will be taking cuttings from this rose, to propagate plants to give to other gardeners ... so they can grow this rose and see if it does as well in their gardens as it does for me.  If it continues to do so well, expect to find it named and registered and available for sale in two years or so.

A shrubby rose with yellow flowers and disease-resistant foliage?  There was a time in rose breeding when this was seen as the impossible dream.  It's hard to believe that I may have achieved it by growing open-pollinated seeds from a hip that I snapped from one of my neighbor's roses.

I see that a few of you are planning to follow along and grow rose seeds with me this winter.  If you missed the first installment of this soon-to-be series on how to grow roses from seed, scroll down to the post right before this one to get started.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Growing Roses from Seed

Some of the roses in the garden have ripe hips ... a hip is the fruit of the rose, that contains seeds which will become new varieties of roses if planted.  It's been a few years since I planted rose seeds, and I have decided to do it again this year. 

This is a spray of hips on 'Kathleen', a Hybrid Musk rose that produces a beautiful show of hips in the fall.

If you would like to try growing rose seeds, here is a lesson to get you started.

1.  Cut open the ripe hip and remove the seeds.  I usually pry them out of the hip with my thumbnail.  The seeds vary in size and are very hard.

2.  Make sure to remove any pith from the soft part of the hip that may be clinging to the seeds, because the pith contains an enzyme that inhibits germination.  Again, I just do this with my thumbnail.

3.  I lay the seeds out on a folded, damp paper towel.

4.  Place the paper towel into a zipper sandwich bag.  I use a Sharpie to mark the baggie with the name of the rose that the hips came from.

5.  Put the baggie into the crisper of your refrigerator and leave it there for at least 60 days.

Also in this crisper drawer, you can see a gallon-sized bag of cuttings in newspaper burritos, a package of corn tortillas, and a cantalope.

Stay tuned for the next part of this lesson, in two months when I take the baggies out of the fridge.

These hips are called 'open pollinated' because the bees and the wind fertilize the flowers, instead of a human placing pollen to combine two specific roses in the cross.  It is rare to get a rose worth keeping from open-pollinated hips, but I still like to grow them just to see what happens.  I have one keeper in my garden, that I grew from a hip I took from 'Peace'.  In my next post, I will show it to you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm Walking for Jesse Marie

One thing about adopting retired racing greyhounds is that their pedigrees are very well documented.  Each dog is tattooed with unique identifying numbers, and racing and breeding records are very thorough.  Because of this, it is possible to trace my dogs' lineage back to the 18th Century, when records were first kept.  Considering what a history junkie I am, I think it's incredibly cool to have access to such detailed info on my dogs' family trees.

Emma was one of eight puppies born on January 21, 1997.  Her father was 'Aussie Iago' (an Australian import who may have made his appearance as imported frozen sperm, since I cannot find any trace of him actually being in the US) and her mother was 'Just Empty' (the worst dog name I have EVER heard).  Through various Internet searches, over the years I have found five of Emma's littermates.  One morning, out of the blue, I found her mom listed on a greyhound adoption site in Kansas City!

This is the photo that I saw on the adoption site, with her lounging on the sofa in her foster home.

'Just Empty' was now called Jesse, she was 12 years old, and she was being sent to her new family in Nashville, Tennessee.  I quickly got in touch with the adoption group, asking them to pass my contact information to her new owner, so Jesse's new mom could get to know some of Jesse's puppies.

Here are three of Jesse's puppies, getting reacquainted in Gettysburg, Pa, in 2003.
They are (1) Dude, (2) Aggie, and (3) Emma.

In September of 2004, I received an email from Jesse's new mom!  The adoption group hadn't passed along the info like I asked them to ... she found me on her own through an online search.  (Take this lesson ... if you're on a quest, leave a trail so others can find you.)  Jesse's new mom sent photos and we corresponded back and forth so she could get to know her 'grand-puppy' and I could learn about Emma's mom.

Jesse Marie.  She loved car rides.

I found out that most of Emma's special personality traits probably came from her mother.  Emma is happiest when she's greeting a group of people, and she's very quietly pushy and bossy.  Jesse was like that, too.

This photo of Jesse was taken the first week she was in her forever home.

Jesse's mom and I became quite close, bonded by our love of these amazing dogs.  Jesse was frail, like most dogs her age, but I was stunned to get a message in May 2004, just nine short months after her adoption, that Jesse had bone cancer and that she had to be put to sleep.  This is what it said: 

"I loved Jesse beyond belief. This winter as her personality emerged, it was so much fun to be with her. She would push to the front of the pack to get her share of petting, steal food from the others, do a little happy dance when I would talk to her, bark, carry on...she was a jewel. I had a growth removed from one of my small dogs a couple of months ago, Jesse licked it and kept it clean for her.

I am sorry that I had such a short time to spend with her. In Jesse I saw all of the qualities that make a grey such a wonderful animal. She would have made a wonderful therapy dog as your Emma Grace did.

In her old age, she got special treatment, especially in the form of food.  She always got part of what I was eating if she wanted it, tons of doggie treats and marshmallows! I tend not to do that with my dogs too much as it makes them "fat", but Jesse deserved it.

I saw her lameness was getting worse, the rimadyl was keeping her comfortable until this week. I did not know it was bone cancer, but of course that is always a good possibility with our greys. I could have brought her home with stronger pain meds and kept her a few more days, but that was not being kind to Jesse. She remained very interested in food, and as long as she did not have to move about, was content. I did not want the disease to progress to where she was no longer comfortable and wanting to eat.

Jesse will be coming home, likely the first of the week. Her collar and tags will adorn her urn.

I am so fortunate to have "found" you. Yes, let's stay in touch and some day I would love to meet you and if possible my beautiful granddog, Emma Grace."

My husband and I met Jesse's mom in person a few months later.  We were traveling to Memphis, Tennessee, and we made a stop in Nashville to see her.  It was sad that I never got to meet Jesse in person, but wonderful to see (and hug) the woman who loved her so much.

My favorite photo of Jesse.  It's the one we have on the Memorial Page of the Greyhounds Rock web site.

Next Saturday, October 1, I will be walking with Daniel in the Downtown Dog Fair's Masquerade Dog Parade to raise money for canine cancer research.  He and I will walk in memory of Jesse,  and all of the other dogs that I know who have been taken from us by cancer ... and for TJ, who is fighting the fight right now.

If you want to support us, you can do so by donating online.  Click HERE to go to the donation page, then click the green 'Donate to this Team' button underneath the photo of the four of us ladies and our dogs.

Emma says, "Thank you!"

In case you are curious, here are the links to my dogs' pedigree pages on my favorite greyhound info site.  Click HERE for Emma's, and HERE for Daniel's.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Do You Read Tara Dillard?

Tara Dillard is a landscape designer/author/TV personality/lecturer in Atlanta, Georgia ... and she has one of my very favorite blogs.  If you don't read it, you should.  Her style is snappy and straight-to-the-point, and her advice is just as no-nonsense ... and I'm not telling you this just because she featured Hartwood Roses in her post this morning.

This is Tara's beautiful photo of 'Dortmund', a gorgeous red climber, that I "borrowed" from her blog.

Tara is on my mailing list, and she (and everyone else on the list) received my latest email update last night.  It prompted her to write and ask permission to republish my note on her blog.  I was touched.

To read what I wrote, and to get a delightful taste of Tara's style, click HERE.  I guarantee you will love it as much as I do.

This is 'Dortmund' again, trained along the front of one of the buildings at Lynchburg's Old City Cemetery.

Do YOU want to be on my mailing list?  Let me know via a comment, or sign up on the Hartwood Roses WEB SITE.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

As Seen on the Dining Table

It's a damp day, with rain expected later, and I'm doing inside stuff.   I walked away from the project that I'm working on in the dining room, and THIS is what I found when I came back.

I was only out of the room for a couple of minutes, and Maggie and Dorothy made themselves quite comfortable in the middle of what I was doing.  Okay, Maggie looks comfortable ... Dorothy looks kinda squished.

I'll show you what I'm working on when I finish it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our New Grandson!

Baby Caleb Edward was born this morning at 8:34.  He is beautiful!!  His mama is doing great ... his papa is proud to the point of bursting ... and his grandmother is overjoyed!

More later.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Art Festival

For weeks, we had been planning and preparing to host artists and art lovers here for a plein air art event.  Saturday was the day, and the weather didn't cooperate.

We woke up on Saturday morning, and it was chilly and cloudy and damp, with a threat of rain showers in the forecast.  This probably scared away most of our artists and spectators.  A few came, and we were happy to see them, but most stayed away. 

Let me show you a few snapshots from the day.  We set up an information and display booth to tell people what Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg is all about.  In our booth, we displayed some literature and dog paintings. 

The yellow lab painting is by Ed King, and the painting of TJ is by my husband ... it's not quite finished yet.

Let's take a closer look my husband's awesome portrait of TJ.  Here is the photo he used:

I took this photo of TJ in January.

... and this is what the painting looks like so far.  It's almost finished.

TJ's mom, Kim, didn't know about the painting, and she saw it for the first time on Saturday.  She cried ... I knew she would.

We had plenty of dogs to visit with the humans who came.  Here are Emma, Daniel, and TJ waiting at the kitchen door while we finish the last few details of set up.

Our non-greyhound representative was Marley, a super sweet Labrador Retriever.

I love this photo of Marley, in spite of its unfortunate background.

(Going off on a tangent .... have I ever told you that my first dog was a Lab?  Maybe not.  I'll have to dig out some photos and tell you about Murphy one day soon.)

Back to the subject at hand.  Even though we had few people at our event, it was still a lot of fun.  The people who did come were great ... I even had a couple of rose customers drop by.  What could have been a total bust turned out to be a really nice day.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Slices of Friday

Most of yesterday was spent on small tasks to get ready for the art event that we are having here today.  The morning started in the garden as it almost always does, but not in my garden this time ... I went next door to Hartwood Winery to their garden first.

I didn't go over there to photograph butterflies ... but, I had camera in hand, and the butterfly was right there ... I had to do it.

My neighbor had told me that one of his plants was infested with yellow aphids.  Since I had never seen or heard of yellow aphids, I HAD to see this for myself.  Sure enough ... yellow aphids.  A quick Google search found that these are called Oleander Aphids, and they are a pest of milkweed ... which was what they were infesting in the winery garden.  This truly proves that we CAN learn something new every day, if we are just open to it.

Icky aphid photo.

In my own garden, I found a perfect flower on Blossomtime rising above the weeds that still choke that area of the Rose Field.

I was back in that portion of the garden to FINALLY install blue wine bottles on my bottle trees that flank the entry to the Austin Garden.  I have never shown these to you, because they didn't have any bottles on them, because I hadn't removed the labels from the bottles I have been collecting for the past two years.  A couple of hours of work over the past few days, and I cleaned up my 40 bottles and I arranged them onto the welded rebar structures.  I still need more bottles, but at least I have enough now to look pretty respectable.

The sky over toward the vineyard looked for a while like we were going to have a storm, but we didn't.  Though it never came, it sure made for a pretty picture.

With my outside work taken care of, it was time to go grocery shopping ... but I made a trip to the thrift store first.  This fantastic little solid wood two-drawer chest was too good to pass up.

While I was grocery shopping, I saw this display of t-shirts in the Halloween department. 

Back at home, I was putting away groceries while Dorothy slept on the church pew in our dining room.  At least it LOOKED like she was asleep, curled up there on the baby quilt.  Looking closer, I realized that she was playing 'possum and one of her eyes was wide open.

We have an hour and a half to get the final preparations in place for today's art event.  Let's hope that lots of artists, and art lovers, come today to support canine cancer research.  Speaking of canine cancer, I heard from my friend Kim that her dog TJ went for his quarterly chest x-ray on Thursday.  (TJ is 16 months post amputation for osteosarcoma.)  One of the most common places for osteosarcoma to metastisize is to the lungs.  His lungs are clear, his attitude is great, and he will be here today to greet our guests.

I'd better hush and go get things ready.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Souvenir de la Malmaisson for GBBD ... and a Winner

Visitors to the garden for the past two weekends have marveled at the performance that Souvenir de la Malmaisson is putting on in one of my front yard rose beds.  While a huge majority of my roses are looking pretty shabby from the neglect that they have suffered this year, SDLM is a beacon of loveliness.

Here is a wide shot, so you can see just how many flowers are on this bush.  You can also see that it's surrounded by weeds, Bermuda grass and Creeping Charlie being the worst offenders.  (The tall rose on the right is Felicia.)

I shot these photos earlier this morning, just as the sun was rising above the trees across the street.  The gentle morning light perfectly showcases the soft pinkness of this beautiful rose.

This grouping of flowers below looks like a ready-made bouquet.  

I wish I could pass along the scent of this rose, as I was experiencing it while standing on my head to get these photos.

On to another matter ...

The winner of the tile tray is:


Martha said, "I love reading good blogs - it's like reading a book for me. I love hearing about other people's hobbies and lives and crafts.  And considering you don't live that far from me, I find it even MORE interesting.  Oh, and I do love the first experience with roses was that my mother's name was Rose. And we always had roses in the yard in NY."

(The accuracy and the results of this drawing are certified by the feline firm of Dorothy, Maggie, and Alice.)

What I loved most about this giveaway was getting to know a bit about many of you who spend part of your day here with me, reading what I write and getting involved in my world.  I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity.

Since today is the 15th, it's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day!  It has been a while since I have participated, so I think I will head over to May Dreams Gardens to see what everyone else over there has blooming in their yards.  I'm also going to take this post on the road to party over at Fishtail Cottage for Cottage Flora Thursday

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Week To Go

Next Wednesday morning, our second grandson will make his appearance into the world.  With so little time left, we had to do a family photo shoot for our daughter and her family SOONER rather than later.  She and her husband and son came here on Sunday evening, for photos and dinner.  It was a beautiful evening ... perfect for capturing the last few moments of her pregnancy.

The traditional belly-to-belly shot.

Grandson wasn't quite cooperating.

I love this one!  (though he's still not cooperating)

I saved my favorite for last!

I'm not a portrait photographer, and posing people is totally out of my realm of expertise.  Our son-in-law stepped up and posed most of these shots.  He said was glad that he could put to use everything he's learned while our daughter 'forces' him to watch America's Next Top Model on TV.

(Dinner, you ask?  I stopped by the farm stand on the way home from my meeting (see yesterday's post if you missed it), and I bought fresh corn and zucchini to go with grilled steak for dinner.  If you've never tried it, zucchini on the grill is delicious!)

My giveaway ends tomorrow morning, so you still have time to enter.  I have loved the comments left in everyone's entries!!!  Click HERE to enter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This Weekend Was a Blur

From mid-afternoon on Friday until almost bedtime on Sunday, I felt like I was constantly in motion ... almost everything we did was fun, tho.  Sit tight, buckle up, and come along with me for a wrap up of a very active weekend.


We met our friends Kim and Andy at 3:00, and the four of us headed to Richmond to meet more friends at Richmond International Raceway to watch the Nascar Nationwide race.  I LOVE auto racing (Nascar in particular), so going to watch the races live is one of my most favorite things to do!  I love to go to the Nationwide race, because there are far fewer people there than there are for the Sprint Cup race the next night ... no crowds and we have room to spread out and be comfortable in the stands.

You KNOW I had to take a photo of the beautiful pink sunset over the stands ... during the race, no less.  This is the backstretch, and this section of the stands is closed during the Nationwide race.

I photographed this car to show it to my teacher friends.

The noise of these cars is unbelievable.  Hearing protection is not optional!

Saturday.  (No photos of Saturday, sorry.)

My garden and nursery were open on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.  A steady trickle of visitors and customers came throughout the day.  The weather was lovely, and the roses looked pretty good ... considering most of them have been enveloped in weeds all summer.

As soon as the last customer left, I put my stuff away and I raced into the house to get a shower ... because we had to be at my brother's house (an hour away) at 6:00 for a surprise birthday party.  The party was for his 50th birthday, and his daughter's 25th, and each of them thought the surprise party was for the other one.  Both of them were VERY surprised to find that the party was for BOTH of them.

After a solid three hours of partying and yapping with friends and family, I started to fade and it was time to head for home.

Sunday.  9/11
I was up and dressed and out of the house bright and early on Sunday morning, because our youngest daughter and our grandson were running in a charity race.  The morning began with the national anthem ... especially poignant on the anniversary of 9/11 with the sun streaming through the flag flying from the tower truck.

The local fire departments brought their antique firetrucks to display.  Throughout the day, lots and LOTS of kids climbed into the driver's seats to had their picture taken.

Our daughter ran in the first race, a 5K.  I have a photo of her running, but she won't let me show it to you.  I took it as she was approaching the finish line, and it's not pretty.  Trust me.

Our grandson was in the next race, the Fireman's Chase.  The kids ran a timed mile, chasing firemen in uniform, and it was so much fun to watch.

These are some of the firemen (and women), gathering to go to the starting line.

The final event was the Firefighters Extreme One Mile ... where firefighters in full turn-out gear, on air, ran a timed mile.  The first firefighter crossed the finish line in just over seven minutes ... and the final one finished in about 12 minutes.  It was incredible!

The only part of their gear that they didn't have to wear was boots.  Most of the firefighters wore running shoes.

The most emotional part of the day was the finale ... the balloon release to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11.   Hundreds of yellow balloons rose into the blue sky ... I cried.

Next on Sunday's agenda was a planning meeting for Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg's "Take a Bite Out of Canine Cancer" benefit in November.  We always accomplish a lot during our meetings, and we eat ourselves silly while we're doing it.  I think the star of the banquet this time was a banana cake with caramel filling and chocolate icing ... I MUST get this recipe!

As it is with all of our meetings, dogs are welcome.  Evey was chilling for most of the time.

TJ had a great time playing with toys.  I told him to 'wait', and I put this toy rat on his head.  He kept it there for at least six photos.  Good boy, TJ.

After the meeting, I raced home to meet our oldest daughter, her husband and her son here at the house for a photo session.  It turned out so well ... I'd like to devote a whole post to it.  I hope you don't mind waiting till tomorrow.  It's worth the wait ... I promise.
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