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June 20, 2005

Rosa Monday
Posted by Teresa at 03:00 PM *

Out in the backyard, planted just this spring, my new “Caldwell Pink” polyantha rose is doing spectacularly well.

That was a happy find. I was in the garden department of my local Home Depot this spring, viewing with faint condescension their promotional loss-leader truckload of second-string hybrid teas, when I spotted the ringer: a brushy litle own-root polyantha. I belatedly recognized the name: Caldwell Pink, an interesting rose, one of the Texas found roses.

Here’s the story. Roses have been bred and hybridized for a long time. The promising ones are given names and put on the market. If the distributor subsequently goes out of business, finding and identifying surviving specimens can get iffy. Roses get moved and propagated. Sometimes they hybridize on their own. There’s a group called the Texas Rose Rustlers that’s into finding, salvaging, and identifying old roses. One of them found Caldwell Pink in Caldwell, Texas.

When a rosarian finds an unidentified rose and puts it into play, it’s given a purely descriptive study name based on who had it, where it was found, or some other identifying characteristics. That’s why there are roses named Cemetery Keeper Peach Tea and Highway 290 Pink Buttons. As far as I can tell, the rose keeps the study name even after it’s been identified, because some people will inevitably feel that it hasn’t been proven to be the same one. There’s a good chance that Caldwell Pink is actually “Pink Pet,” a polyantha introduced in 1928, but it’s still being sold as Caldwell Pink.

I brought mine home, dug it a nice hole in a sunny spot, and let it do its thing. You could practically hear it revving its engine. It has since sprawled out in a vigorous and comely fashion, and at the moment is covered with clusters of pink roses in the flattish dense-packed old-rose style. By report, it should keep blooming like that, off and on, until serious cold sets in.

There in a nutshell is My Secret for Growing Roses: pick a good one, dig it a nice hole in a good spot, maybe throw some bones into the bottom of the hole if you’ve got them around, and then keep the thing watered until it settles in. That should be enough, if you give it a little extra water during dry spells and keep the weeds from choking it. If you find yourself having to treat multiple rose diseases and infestations every summer, you didn’t pick the right one.

One of my most cherished gardening beliefs is that “may become invasive” is a strong recommendation. Some plants just try harder than others. This is especially pertinent with roses because plant breeders have fiddled with them so much, in many cases sacrificing vitality for unusual flower colors or some other desirable characteristic. I’m not into single perfect blooms a few times a year. My gardens are too small for that. Fortunately, that’s the direction roses are going anyway.

I’ve sometimes wondered whether that long period of Americans growing cranky, unattractive, disease-prone Hybrid Teas, with their small number of florist-quality blooms and their constant neediness, wasn’t a manifestation of some of the problems Stewart Brand talked about in How Buildings Learn. If you’re buying roses from a catalogue or nursery on the basis of a color photograph of said rose, single perfect blooms are going to be your best selling point.

A few years back, when I lived reasonably close to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, home of the Cranford Rose Garden, I had an informal project going. Every week or two I’d visit the garden and make notes on which roses were looking good that day. It was educational.

In early June, every plant with rose in its genetic makeup will bloom or die trying. The Cranford Rose Garden is so intense that you could think you’re hallucinating. Everything is covered with flowers. All those old roses that only bloom once a year are out in force, and their scent’s enough to knock you over. The hybrid teas and grandifloras and floribundas are in their first flush of improbably perfect bloom, and their foliage, being brand-new, is likewise in a seldom-seen state of perfection.

This is a terrible time to be making decisions about which roses to put in your garden. Unfortunately, it’s also the point in the cycle where all that exuberant display is likely to make you want to buy some plants. This explains a great many things about the commercial rose world.

A few weeks later, lo, how changed. The once-a-years had packed it in, of course; they do that. What was startling was how many other roses had done the same thing. For instance, two current bestsellers, Gertrude Jekyll and Abraham Darby, had been impressive during the first flush, but afterward they slacked off, rebloomed sporadically, and slowly fizzled out in late July, not unlike most of the other roses on the market. Nothing special there.

The modern tea roses in general were just awful, and the AARS annual selections, which had their own little section, practically deliquesced. As of about the first week in July, they were almost uniformly flowerless, and plagued by black spot.

Granted, they were in an exposed spot. Granted also that it was a rough summer for disease-prone roses, with warm heavy rains plus wind in June, and spells of high heat and humidity but not enough rain in July and August. But so what? Summers like that will happen. I don’t want to hear about how great a rose would have been if only I’d grown it under laboratory conditions.

The summer wore on. I kept taking notes. When it was all over, the House Cup went to all the little polyanthas and to the rugosa hybrids. They’d looked good, stayed in bloom, and kept their leaves all summer.

Two things happened that make me feel good about my observations. One was that I got an unexpected result. I kept noticing roses which, while not quite the nonstop bloomers of my final list, seemed to always look significantly better than the other roses of their sort: Polka, Charles Aznavour, Frederic Mistral, Johann Strauss, Leonardo da Vinci, etc. When I checked on them in some of the online rose databases, I discovered that they were all bred by one company, Meilland, and that most of them were in Meilland’s “Romantica” line, which I think is their answer to David Austin’s “English Roses” line.

IMO? Meilland’s Romanticas are much better—sturdier, more vigorous, with clean dark-green foliage, and lots of gorgeous flowers that smell like Granny Smith apples.

A more recent thing that made me feel good about my results is the recently announced EarthKind Roses program at Texas A&M. In an attempt to get away from the constant pesticides, fungicides, fertilizing, and pruning of conventional rose growing, they grew 117 different kinds of roses in high-alkaline Texas clay soil. They didn’t fertilize them, they didn’t spray for insects and diseases, and they didn’t water them after the first year. Eleven of their 117 varieties turned in spectacular performances anyway. Of those, five were on my own final list. suspect some of the roses that weren’t on my list simply weren’t in the Cranford Rose Garden.

Their list: Sea Foam, Marie Daly, The Fairy, Caldwell Pink, Knock Out, Perle d’Or, Belinda’s Dream, Else Poulson, Katy Road Pink, Mutabilis, and Climbing Pinkie.

My list: The Fairy, Stanwell Perpetual, Seafoam, Perle d’Or, Baby Love, Cecile Brunner, Bloomfield Abundance, Happenstance, Mutabilis, Else Poulson, Golden Wings, Marie Pavie, Bonica, Jeanne LaJoie, and Verdun.

Note: if the rose the Macdonalds call Drunken Lady keeps going this summer the way it has so far, it’s going to make my permanent list.

Other results:

Rugosa hybrids: Hansa, the Grootendorsts, the Pavements, John Davis, Henry Hudson, Yankee Lady, Rosarium Uetersen, Rugosa Magnifica. Honorable mention: Fru Dagmar Hastrup, Roseraie de l’Ha�, Blanc Double de Coubert.

Good climbers: Aloha, Awakening, Compassion, New Dawn, Jeanne La Joie.

Oldies but surprisingly goodies: Gruss an Aachen, Marquise Boccella.

Not the most floriferous, but unaccountably makes me happy: Sparrieshoop.

Your mileage may vary. Have fun traveling.

Comments on Rosa Monday:
#1 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 05:34 PM:

There is a Charles Aznavour rose? No Edith Piaf? No Charles Trenet?

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 05:39 PM:

I can't find a Charles Trenet rose, but there are two roses named Edith Piaf, both of which are Hybrid Teas. One was introduced by Verbeek in 1964, and the other by Meilland in 1999.

#3 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 05:48 PM:

Since roses have come up again:

There's a rose in my front yard that's thriving for the first time since I've lived here. It's a perfect whipped-cream white-but the buds look pink! Is that usual?

It smells gorgeous too.

#4 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 05:56 PM:

Do those Piaf roses have very small blooms? That would make sense. The lady was very petite, but quite a bundle of energy. Which sounds like California's politician Carol Migden.

As for myself, I'm more a Bird-of-Paradise kind of gardener. The backyard's soil is crappy hard stuff (although no worse than it is elsewhere in New Mexico) and I like stuff that thrives even when you water it only once in a while.

#5 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 05:57 PM:

I love walking around my neighborhood and seeing old roses gone wild. One house, admittedly not a very big one, has a rose completely covering one end, all the way onto the roof. I wouldn't want to do that, because of rats, but it would be nice to have a rose in my yard that could go toe-to-toe with the ivy on the other side of the fence, and needs only occasional trimming with a machete.

#6 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 05:58 PM:

"May become invasive" is a good recommendation, as long as you're not talking about anything from the mint family.

The phrase that's a huge selling point for me is "thrives on neglect". I have a cane begonia (formerly known as angel-wing begonia) I inherited from my mother, which I refer to as The Plant That Will Not Die. Kept it for years on a balcony that got 15 minutes of sunlight a day -- it was fine. Moved it to an apartment where it gets bright indirect light most of the day -- it's fine. Underwatered it to the point that it dropped all its leaves -- gave it some water and some Superthrive and it's fine. The only things I've found that it really doesn't much like are too much direct sunlight (slows its growth significantly) and too much water (although it seems perfectly happy when I stick cuttings into a jar of water and don't bother to pot them for months). Mom used to ignore it except for watering it every few weeks. It was blissfully happy, to the point that a couple of times a year she practically had to take a machete to it to hack it back into submission.

It's a pretty plant, too -- large, dark-green leaves with silvery-iridescent white spots on them, plus pink flowers that seem to go through a two-stage process of blooming, from an initial, fairly simply-shaped flower, to a second, more elaborate blossom that looks to me like a chandelier or a fancy lantern.

I'm starting to pot up cuttings to give to all my friends. I have hopes that this begonia will take over the world. Mwa-ha-ha....

#7 ::: Andrhia ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 06:09 PM:

Melissa, it's common (in my experience) for a rose to change color as it blows out. I've got a rose next to my front steps right now that's a deep pink in the center today, where it was creamy with a pink halo on the outside edge yesterday.

I don't know any of the *names* of my roses, though. :)

#8 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 07:03 PM:


I call mine The Red One, The White One, The Yellow One That's Never Bloomed, and Great-Grandma Conderman's Yellow One. ;)

#9 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 07:29 PM:

One of my most cherished gardening beliefs is that “may become invasive” is a strong recommendation.


I only wish that lilies of the valley (which a family friend deplored because of their invasiveness - I found this mind-boggling) would last all summer long...

#10 ::: Ailsa Ek ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 07:34 PM:

I have a white rose that came with the house that I have tentatively identified as Frau Karl Druschki, and she has pink buds and white blossoms. She's also the epicenter of black spot in my garden, unfortunately, but she's tried so hard to keep going that I can't bear to get rid of her. When we bought the house, she had a baby maple tree growing through her middle and managed one blossom all summer. I weeded her and mulched her and spent a couple of seasons aggressively cutting back the maple tree, and now she blossoms like crazy.

I started off with hybrid teas and floribundas grafted on Dr. Huey rootstock. I still have some of them left, but they struggle along and don't do much. I went to own root bands, but was insufficiently careful to keep track of hardiness zones, so I lost a few of them and others are creeping along, although I have hopes they'll get there eventually.

My best successes have been hardy roses - whether Rugosa hybrids, Explorers, various really tough Old Roses such as Gallicas or Albas, even a few particularly hardy David Austin roses - generally grafted on R. multiflora. The current stars in my garden are Linda Campbell, Basye's Blueberry, Rosa Mundi (yes, she only blooms once a year, but oh, that once is amazing!), and Variegata di Bologna. Morden Ruby is getting set to give me a good show, but this is only his second year (first full year) in my garden, so it's way too soon to say how he's going to be. (My recommended Austins, by the way, are Mary Rose and her sports and Heritage.)

The biggest problem with recommending specific roses is that climate zone and soil type make such a huge difference. I can't grow Romanticas, for instance, gorgeous as they may be, because my garden is in too cold a microclimate.

I don't actually have a thesis here beyond "Roses are wonderful; plant as many hardy roses as you have space in your yard." OK, that and "Buy your roses from reputable vendors, such as Ashdown Roses in South Carolina or Pickering Nurseries in Canada." My favorite rose search engine, btw, is HelpMeFind. Oh, and I have a Rose Links page on my website.

#11 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 08:11 PM:

Ailsa, that was a satisfying heap of rose-neep. I see you like spots'n'blots.

I don't know Heritage well, but Mary Rose is definitely one of his better ones. Tamora's okay too -- not spectacular in photographs, but she's got some starch in her spine.

#12 ::: Cassie Krahe ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 09:12 PM:

I'm the same way with my family's garden, Melissa-- I don't know the names of specific plants, but we have them all labeled. We've failed pretty persistently at roses, though. Mom's students gave her a pink climbing rose that should do something interesting, if we don't kill it within the year.

#13 ::: Pamela Dean ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 09:38 PM:

I have a Henry Kelsey, from the Canadian Explorers series. I love it passionately. In a state where Serious Gardeners bury their roses in the winter, I leave it up on its arbor, it dies back almost to the ground, and then every year it produces a whole new batch of canes fourteen feet long. It is an evil rose to work with -- it has both huge rigid thorns and minute prickly ones that come off in your skin like cockleburrs -- but it saved my life once, by giving me puncture wounds and cellulitis, so that I had to go in to Urgent Care, where it was discovered that I had severe hypertension.

It's the reddest of the Explorers, and its first flush is more fragrant than its later efforts, but it's a glorious bloomer, always putting up a couple of unexpected bunches of buds, and often reblooming with almost June-like fervor in September.


#14 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 09:51 PM:

Oh, this is wonderful, thanks! I'm still figuring out what can work in my garden. My parents have a fantastic rose bush blooming like crazy all over their fence. I rescued it from oblivion when I was 10 years old or so...It was all choked with weeds and hadn't bloomed in years, but I'd just read The Secret Garden and decided that if I pruned it, it would bloom. And darned if it didn't! So now, decades later, it's still thriving with practically no care and it's enormous. Of course, I have no idea what the darn thing is.

My parents' yard is extremely shady, and mine is extremely sunny, so I can't plant any of the stuff I grew up with, but I've had great luck with hibiscus and climbing viney things like clematis and morning glory. My rose bushes seem to be doing ok right now except for the total lack of blooms -- they are hybrid teas. So I think I'll do some research and put in some of the ones on your list next spring. In the meantime, how can I coax more blooms out of tea roses? Other than keeping the bunnies and grubs from chewing on them?

#15 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2005, 10:04 PM:

It might just make it. Last winter our Yellow One That Doesn't Bloom (assumed yellow, anyway, since it's never bloomed) was a single little rotting stick. Literally rotting-the bark and thorns fell off when I touched it, but I couldn't bring myself to pull it up because my husband and I got it for our anniversary. This year it has twigs and leaves all over it!

#16 ::: Cassie Krahe ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 12:12 AM:

Oh, we have our undead plants. My aunt gave my mother cuttings from her mother's rosasharon; they were lovingly planted in the right places and she adored the little leaves.
My brother mowed over them all. Twice.
They've come back. Better luck than the rosebush the dog ate and the rosebush Mom pruned-- actually, that had about the same damage as the twice-mown rosasharons.

#17 ::: Lucy Huntzinger ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 12:19 AM:

My yard features the hardy and constantly blooming Buff Beauty, an extremely handsome Full Sail, two Margaret Merrills, a Gold Medal climber that cycles through blooming about every five weeks, Ballerina which is in bloom from April to September, my adored Clothilde Soupert, and La France which comes out of the ground this fall in favor of something that needs less care. I'd like to try some of the Meillands.

Loved and lost: Blue Girl, Joseph's Coat, Blossom Time, and Brass Band. Every Austin rose I've ever planted succumbed to blackspot. I think it's my garden as they do well in the neighborhood.

#18 ::: Lois Aleta Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 01:37 AM:

Ah, but does it smell nice?

There was a lovely rose bush in the backyard of the house I grew up in, with flowers a lot like the Caldwell Rose. It had little pink flowers and lots of them, and they had a lovely scent. Which I think spoiled me. Most of the rose bushes I've seen with flowers like that don't have much scent. And it doesn't seem right to have roses without scent; it's almost as awful a concept to me as -- not that I've seen any, praise be! -- lilacs without scent.

Aggravatingly, my dad tore the rose bush out about a year before I bought my house, when I might have been able to take a cutting, at least.

#19 ::: hk-reader ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 05:43 AM:

Some "may become invasive" roses *can* be a real headache. My mama lives in Massachusetts and she bought a house w/ a big garden (w/ a small orchard of about 8 apples and a pear and a plum). The previous owners had brought in some yellow roses years before. In the last year or so, before my mama bought the house, the previous owners neglected the garden and these yellow roses became very...FERAL.

When I arrived to visit in the July after she bought the house, to try and help put the garden in order, the roses were choking a couple of apple trees and I had to dig them out in several other places, they were almost as bad as wild raspberry or blackberry.

I've been fighting these roses for 3 summers now...

#20 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 06:07 AM:

Thw White One turned out to be intensely fragrant, too.

#21 ::: Mac ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 06:56 AM:

A friend brought a straggly, thorny little stick of a rose bush to my yard this spring. She dug a hole, and stuck the thing in it. She told me it was her grandfather's, she'd pruned it way back, and since she has no yard, she'd elected to put it in mine.

It's since erupted in about ten thousand smallish, old-fashioned blossoms that show no sign of fading.

On reading your entry, I'm suddenly curious about what it is. I'm off to sift through pictures on websites. Thanks!

#22 ::: Tayefeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 09:23 AM:

I'm not overly fond of roses myself, mainly because I'm not fond of any plant that requires attention. If it dies because of a couple weeks of neglect, it clearly wasn't suited to my yard. I'll think about the roses recommended here, though...

Lexica wrote:
"May become invasive" is a good recommendation, as long as you're not talking about anything from the mint family.

Even with mints, "may become invasive" is a recommendation. When the mint tries to take over the world, this is a clear sign that it's time to make creme de menthe...

#23 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 09:48 AM:

Tayefeth - I'm not overly fond of roses myself, mainly because I'm not fond of any plant that requires attention. If it dies because of a couple weeks of neglect, it clearly wasn't suited to my yard.

Heh. My roses get maybe a couple of hours of attention a year. We chop out the grass underneath them whenever the grass gets too tall, and snip off the blown roses (one flowers all summer if I do that). If it's really dry, they get watered once a week.

The climbing rose by the deck has been there for five years, and has really taken off. It's a 6 by 6 foot spray of color. It was covered with bright pink blossoms two weeks ago, and is now starting a second flush of blooms, which isn't as dramatic, but smells heavenly. The white dog rose by the house only blooms once, but the canes were invisible under the 1" blooms. Even the non-blooming rose in front of the garage is happy, it just doesn't blossom. I'm going to give it a couple more years before I dump it (or move it to where it gets more middday sun).

The only thing we've ever had a problem with is Japanese Beetle.

#24 ::: Vera Nazarian ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 11:02 AM:

Thanks for a lovely post on roses, Teresa!

I have so many varieties here in the yard (pretty much everything I could locate at the local Home Depot which is affordable while the nurseries are not), including the ones you mentioned, and I do think you are absolutely right, the ones you noted to be more healthy and hardy tend to do so much better overall.

#25 ::: Pamela ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 11:56 AM:

Suddenly I'm sad to live in an apartment. Does anyone grow roses indoors? Or can the assembled wise ones recommend a good indoor flowering plant that will put up with mild-to-moderate neglect and a few cats?

#26 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 01:17 PM:


Try minature roses.

I've found them in the indoor section of Lowes as well as at the grocery store. I had miniature roses that did quite well indoors, and when we bought a house I planted them outdoors and they're still going. My only problem with growing miniature roses indoors was getting enough sunlight. Do you have a deck or porch?

#27 ::: Dee ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 02:08 PM:

Thank you for the list! My experiments with roses involved the two-dollar ones from Home Depot or Menards . . . at the old house, we had a cheapie from HD that did wonderfully for two years until we had to move the fence (when we moved the fence, it became part of the back yard rather than the side yard and lost the afternoon sun) and then fell over. Right now, we have the hybrid-tea-that-should-be-red and the floribunda-that-should-be-pink that were picked up this spring for $1.50 at Menards. (And the thing-that-should-be-yellow I picked up at the grocery that still needs to be planted.) The hybrid tea is actually doing well--I haven't been allowing it to bloom because I thought it needed some time to bush out so it's begun exploding in size. The floribunda grew a little bit and flaked out without any blooms so far. The "Tropicana," the third of the $1.50 Menards roses, died without ever trying.

The-thing-that-should-be-yellow (the tag reads "yellow rose" without any further description) really needs to be planted. But, even in the pot, it was too large for the place where the Tropicana died and I haven't found another location for it yet.

#28 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 02:28 PM:

My mother has a fondness for "may become invasive" plants. The only problem is that Florida gardening is a year round near-daily obligation, and she can sometimes lose interest in things. Of course, it being FLORIDA, this does not mean that the unattended plants die (some do -- the potted patio bushes, under an overhang don't get watered enough), but rather do what is natural for most flora in that state -- go completely out of control. First time I visited her after moving out, the basil was partially blocking the window of my old room, and getting to the house-faucet on one side of the house was completely impossible due to the rosebush (not a proper rose, I believe).

#29 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 03:17 PM:

maybe throw some bones into the bottom of the hole if you’ve got them around

Pardon my complete ignorance of gardening here. But, really? Bones? Really?

#30 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 03:20 PM:

Ok, so can I plant roses in July (in zone 5)? I think my parents' unkillable rose is "the Fairy" so I want to go find one.

#31 ::: RiceVermicelli ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 03:29 PM:

Melissa, your white rose sounds like Iceberg to me (pink buds, white blooms), except that I'm told that Iceberg isn't strongly fragrant. The one I planted is, but the catalogs insist it's not.

#32 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 04:18 PM:

Mary Dell: In the meantime, how can I coax more blooms out of tea roses?

I haven't tried this with teas, but it's worked on every other kind of rose I've tried it with: Bend the canes over in a big, soft loop. Obviously, this has to be done when the canes are flexible enough to do this without breaking. The rose will then put shoots out along the top of the loop, and you'll have more flowering canes.

You may be able to find 'The Fairy' on clearance at DIY stores about now. Once the roses have finished their first blooms, the stores often dump them in the clearance sections at half off, because they don't look pretty anymore. If you get them before they suffer from the inevitable neglect, you can get some good deals.

Alex Cohen: Pardon my complete ignorance of gardening here. But, really? Bones? Really?

Yep. Bones, or bonemeal, is good for lots of plants, from bulbs to veggies to roses.

#33 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 04:20 PM:

Bones are. Bonemeal is. Dagnabbit.

#34 ::: Neil Rest ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 07:54 PM:


I am deeply ambivalent about adding this word to my vocabulary . . .

#35 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 08:00 PM:

Odd-I found a few wesites with pictures of an Iceberg Rose. One looked like mine and the others didn't.

#36 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 08:21 PM:

Crucialrosian? Rosen? RoseFen? Rose-'un?

Our Mister Lincolns are looking good, but if we buried bones amidst their roots, our dog might become actively involved in degardening. Spaying does not stop deflowering.

I can't google or remember the limerick, so I'll recompose it:

Fibonacci is failing to sleep--
Although his exhaustion is deep.
Throughout his vacation
His multiplication
counts rabbits but doesn't count sheep.

#37 ::: jenavira ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2005, 11:59 PM:

What a wonderful example of synchronicity. This summer the roses that came with our hundred-year-old house finally packed it in, and we really need to look into some new ones, soon...and now we have a baseline to start from. :) Thanks.

#38 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2005, 02:58 AM:

One of my Scentsation roses didn;t survive the winter. Other miniatures did, though.

I'd always meant to go visit Nor'east Roses, which used to be in Rowley, Massachusetts. It's not there anymore, it got sold and moved out to California.... the Scentsation line of roses from the company, though, is very fragrant--so much so that when some of them were in my car I had to drive with the windows down for the next three days to avoid migraines from the residual fragrance! [I am not exaggerating. It was really annoying with one of those days it was raiing out!]

Rosa rugosa is one of the top ten pest plants in Massachusetts, per lists such as from the New England Wildflower Society and that state. Others include I think purple loosestrige and phragmites grass. Wineberries are invasive pest plants. I planted some from a catalog long before I found them listed as an invasive plant. They are quite invasive and vigorous, I like the berries, but...

The New England branch of the American Rose Society has a rose garden in Waltham, which I used to work around the corner from. It's at the site where once upon a time the state did ag research and development--the place that developed Waltham butternut squash, Waltham broccoli, and there had been a researcher whose work on corn even developed a variety with a square crossection cob! But, that was long ago. The state still had a facility there, but it's not really doing active development these days. There used to be a farmstand up the street, which got turned into parking lots and sports fields for Bentley College, alas. Further to the west on the same street is the Lyman Estate aka The Vale, which has one of the oldest greenhouses in the country. It's owned by the Society of Preservation of New England Anquitities. East and south is Gore Place, which is an independent nonprofit facility of historic house and grounds, including a Victorian garden and livestock==sheep, goats, a guard llama that puts up with scampering kids that clamber onto its back when its folded itself up legs beneath it sitting on the groud, chickens, ducks, etc. The fowl areas have a gate to let people go and sign,s "Animals bite!" informing visitors that essentially if someone gets bit they were given fair warning about it.

#39 ::: teep ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2005, 06:27 AM:

I'll second votes for Stanwell Perpetual and The Fairy -- both grow nicely in my yard and need minimal care.

I'm also fond of Charles de Mills, a gallica rose that gives me huge quantities of lush blooms in a saturated reddish-purple color once every year in June... I ignore him the rest of the time while he does his best impression of a large green shrub so it's not like there's effort involved, here.

#40 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2005, 01:20 PM:

Speaking of gardening, there's nead botanical prints here:

#41 ::: clew ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2005, 04:34 PM:

I am making a Truly Sturdy Trellis out of half-inch copper pipe for a ?Gold of Ophir?, but because I am very sloooow soldering, and because Seattle had yet another totally uncharacteristic summer downpour, the longest cane folded over and probably pinched itself off. I am a bad rose-mother.

I hope it means more canes next year. Sad this year. Sad.

My easy rose is an actual weed: it grew as a seedling in a new bed and is now putting out few but frequent semi-double red blooms. Probably only a rootstock by Tea Rose standards.

"Invasive" in plants makes me very very nervous; ivy and silverlace kill enough trees to knock out urban woods. "Disease-resistant" and "drought-hardy" and "native" do me fine.

#42 ::: Eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2005, 05:47 PM:

Genuinely "invasive" plants--not mint, but the ones that happily spread along the roadsides and into the woods--are just bad news. My mother worked for a land trust, and they spent untold volunteer hours trying to eradicate purple loosestrife before it killed off all the lovely native flora.

There are apparently a few genuinely invasive roses which folks are spending a lot of time and money to eradicate. Check your Federal and State noxious weed lists, and just say no. The forests will thank you!

(That said, I'm a great lover of the absolutely unkillable tiger lily, which is gorgeous and will happily survive a bulldozer. Now that's a flower!)

#43 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2005, 09:34 AM:

"Invasive" in plants makes me very very nervous; ivy and silverlace kill enough trees to knock out urban woods. "Disease-resistant" and "drought-hardy" and "native" do me fine.

Around here we're starting to have big problems with Tree of Heaven The previous owner of our house let them sprout up behind the house, where the took over. It took over a year to irradicate them, and a full day with a chain attatched to a truck bumper (this is WV after all) to pull out all the stumps. My dad is finding them in the woods behind his house, where they're starting to crowd out the native plants.

Invasives might be nice in an area where their ability to spread is limited, but they really shouldn't be allowed a foothold in areas where they can cause serious problems.

Just from my experience anyway.

#44 ::: Mina W ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2005, 06:58 PM:

Lois Aleta Fundis wrote "Ah, but does it smell nice?''
My feelings exactly:
"A rose by any other name might smell as sweet,
but if it be not sweet, I'll call it not a rose."
[my alteration to Shakespeare]
I love the new trend to breeding for old fashioned hardiness and fragrance, including Ralph Moore's minis and other hybrids of amazingly diverse ancestry.

#45 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2005, 07:12 PM:

Lois Aleta Fundis: Ah, but does it smell nice?

I have friends whose critera for selecting flowers (esp. roses) is the absence of fragrance. So, on the rare occasions I send them flowers I find myself quizzing the florist on the relative beauty and fragrance of the floral options.

They think that the fragrance sets off their allergies, rather than pollen. I'm no allergist, but this strikes me as unlikely but possible.

Me, I love the scent of flowers on the hoof, so to speak. The two years I lived in Rochester, I looked forward to the ridiculous explosion of lilacs throughout the city. (Less so to the Lilac Festival, which was practially in my back yard.)

#46 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2005, 07:48 PM:

They think that the fragrance sets off their allergies, rather than pollen. I'm no allergist, but this strikes me as unlikely but possible.

Fragrances, including strong flower scents like the gardenia one of my co-worker's has on her desk, can give me a (thankfully temporary) asthmatic reaction. Maybe they have the same problem, rather than allergies as such.

--Mary Aileen

#47 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2005, 06:18 PM:

If I bring flowers in, the cats eat them and then throw up, so I don't do that anymore.

#48 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2005, 08:14 PM:

I love lilacs. I wish they lasted longer.

#49 ::: Imp ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2005, 12:58 AM:

Tonight a dinner guest brought beautiful flowers for our table - lush sprays of pink roses.

Tonight my husband learned he's allergic to roses.

I brought them to the man who works the graveyard shift at our apartment complex's front desk. I explained the situation and asked if he'd take them. He hesitated before saying yes, he would like them. He took the roses, inhaled deeply, and closed his eyes.

#50 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2005, 02:20 PM:

Yesterday, after my writer's meeting, I went to the rose nursery in Newark I'd happened by a month ago, where I'd found that they actually had the Apothecary's Rose I'd really wanted for mead-making, and the fact that it's an incredibly old rose and thus plain cool on that point. They'd said they had twenty-three of them, but were in the locked off section of the nursery and I could come back later, since they wouldn't sell out.

So I went back yesterday, as I said. Good news, the funky weather had made the roses unhappy enough that the nursery put a huge sale on everything, so $30 roses were now $19. Bad news, the Apothecary's Rose was down to two specimens, neither very healthy looking, and they'd already bloomed their one bloom of the year. I also went hunting for an Austrian Copper, which dates to 1590, and found one with two blossoms and the rest of it black and dead. Next year for both then, and I'll try getting them as bare root roses.

However, while out in the hinterlands of the multiple-acre nursery (one that would be a few city blocks), looking at the old garden rose overstock, I found some things that caught my eye. The first, a "berries and cream" which has no scent to speak of, but has amazing striped blossoms which are, as expected, berries and cream colors. This one had been exhiled to outer Mongolia with the old garden roses because it was so healthy and excited that it had burst the side of its peat pot.

Along the way, I pased the overstock David Austen English roses and found a Brother Cadphael, which is an almost thornless (one thorn on the whole plant that I could find) beautiful plant with big shrimp pink roses with the English curled-over petals and an amazing scent which matched the old garden roses I'd been sniffing.

In the old garden roses section up front, where the more saleable ones were kept, I found a Belle Poiteville, which is this rugosa dating from 1894 with magenta blossoms, a strong scent, and amazing curly foilage.

The final one I picked out with the help of staff was a White Lightning, which is a grandiflora with snow white blooms and a really good strong rose scent as well.

The White Lightning is going where the old Matterhorn was when I was a kid, since the garden had no more pure white roses, while Brother C. is going in a spot by the walkway where the Voodoo died and it will be good to have a thornless rose to not catch clothes. The other two are going to go into containers, if just because their peat pots are enormous and I don't want to be digging that much in the clay-based soil.

It was very interesting looking at the old garden roses. One of the most interesting was a musk rose, that had a nice blossom with a pretty color and nice scent, but also the most thorns I've ever seen on any plant. The stems were furred like huge gray pipecleaners with thousands of fine gray thorns, all of which were needle sharp. My thought was, "What a fascinating plant. No way is this coming anywhere near my yard."

I might get one extra yellow rose, if I can find one with a good scent.

#51 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2005, 02:43 PM:

Small extra bit of rose humor. At the nursery, walked by the "Maria Shriver" rose. Asked the nursery woman if they had an "Arnie" rose to match. Her response? "God, I hope not."

#52 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2005, 08:28 PM:

You will tell me RIGHT NOW where this Newark rose dealer is.

There is a George Burns rose, and a Gracie Allen. The Cranford Rose Garden has them growing next to each other.

There's a very good rose called The Delany Sisters that's named after Chip's formidable aunts. It stands up to all kinds of adverse weather, as is only appropriate.

#53 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2005, 10:29 PM:


"My yard features the hardy and constantly blooming Buff Beauty, an extremely handsome Full Sail, two Margaret Merrills, a Gold Medal climber that cycles through blooming about every five weeks, Ballerina which is in bloom from April to September, my adored Clothilde Soupert, and La France which comes out of the ground this fall in favor of something that needs less care. I'd like to try some of the Meillands.

Loved and lost: Blue Girl, Joseph's Coat, Blossom Time, and Brass Band. Every Austin rose I've ever planted succumbed to blackspot. I think it's my garden as they do well in the neighborhood.

My goodness. Not your bog-standard mass-market roses.

I envy you your Clothilde Soupert. That was another of my research conclusions: in this climate, you should only plant Clothilde Soupert and Souvenir de Philemon Cochet if you crave the angst of losing all those fat promising buds to balling. (It was such a bad year for humidity-related disorders.)

Gardeners who report having a good experience with Blue Girl always sound a bit surprised.

Mac, did you ever find out what rose that is?

Lexica, Tayefeth, I use mint as ground cover. It works splendidly. So does oregano. I saw a lawn in Italy where half the grass had been displaced by close-cropped oregano.

I've been looking with interest at a rose called Red Cascade, one of Ralph Moore's climbing miniatures. Anecdotal reports speak of specimens run over by riding lawn mowers, or crushed under 18-wheelers, then bouncing right back. Other characteristics: will rapidly escape containers, will rapidly outgrow containers, will spontaneously root wherever its canes touch the grount ...

Neil Rest: "Rosarian" is a good word, full of potential for mistakes and confusion, since it means both someone who's into roses, and someone who's into the Rosary.

#54 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2005, 10:38 PM:

The Rosarians (not a religious order . . . well, on second thought . . .)

#55 ::: Kathi Kimbriel ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 12:33 AM:

I've been looking with interest at a rose called Red Cascade, one of Ralph Moore's climbing miniatures. Anecdotal reports speak of specimens run over by riding lawn mowers, or crushed under 18-wheelers, then bouncing right back. Other characteristics: will rapidly escape containers, will rapidly outgrow containers, will spontaneously root wherever its canes touch the grount ...

Teresa, I wish I'd known you were interested in the older style roses when you were in Dallas--I would have given you names of all my favorite Texas rose haunts. Come to Austin, and I'll take you to Barton Springs Nursery. Stay a few days and we can drive to Brenham and The Antique Rose Emporium.

I've been designing a three ring labyrinth in the side yard that will have herbs, Xeriscaped regional natives and roses along the sides, and Red Cascade is a very strong contender for one area. I've seen several in person, and the red is overwhelming--zillions of tiny, intense flowers. One was growing pinned over a railroad tie supporting a hill--the creosote didn't bother it. W loved this rose when he saw it, but now says he thought he remembered larger blooms. So, I'm investigating other reds that might work here--we're 8b, and the soil will need encouragement.

I must have a Mutabilis, because I can't find an Austrian Copper anywhere in Texas, and I'm suspicious this means they won't grow here (the Apothacary Rose isn't recommended here). I want a Cecile Brunner, and am considering a Katy Road Pink or a Belinda's Dream. But then, there's the red candidate. I dream of that Red Cascade....

I'm thinking about either Red Cascade on a pillar in one corner or putting a climbing Cecile Brunner over there, and getting a compact red like Dame de Coeur, Frances Dubreiul, or Old Gay Hill.

Does anyone have a favorite true red or blue red rose that is tough and can take the heat of 8b? I saw that A&M recommended Knock Out, and it looks pretty good--but they have all sorts of threatening copyright notices up anywhere it's sold, and that doesn't feel quite right, starting out a relationship with a rose that way. I also worry about mail order roses--my friend who has tried that had half her Thompson & Perkins shipment die, and they sent her the wrong variety on one bush!

I'm afraid Drunken Lady and several of your other favorites turn up odd searches (like Jackie Chan movies!) Do you have a nursery you know carries them?

Thanks for mentioning the Earthkind results--it's nice to know some of my choices have a good chance of surviving.

#56 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 12:46 AM:


As ordered, the location of the Newark rose nursery. But a small caveat: I forgot to mention that it was Newark, CA, not Newark, NJ.

And actually, while on the border of Newark, CA, it's actually in the neighboring and continuous city of Fremont, CA:

Regan Nursery
4268 Decoto Road
Fremont, CA 94555

On the plus side for those on the east coast, the nursery folk told me that all of the nice container roses I was buying mostly started as bare-root roses they'd had shipped from companies in Canada, so I'm certain they'd happily tell you which ones and let you order directly from them, or at least pester your local nursery into ordering some of the rare roses.

I'm planning an expedition in the next few days for one more rose, since the sale goes until July 3rd, and there's a bare white wall with a spot that could easily sacrifice its agapanthus (which would be bumped to another corner).

Got two pots today at Home Depot, in cobalt and teal. The cobalt has the berries 'n cream and is hanging out near the spa, while the Belle Poiteville got the teal pot and is in a place of honor on the front porch, looking wonderfully old world for all the neighbors.

Brother C. and the White Lightning go in the ground tomorrow.

#57 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 01:11 AM:

Re: Bones and bonemeal.

If the idea doesn't creep you out, one can also use a bit of a loved one's cremated remains in place of bonemeal to feed roses. We used a bit of Edna's (Hilde's mother) ashes to fertilize the Whiskey Mac that was her favorite rose.

(First person to mention "A Rose For Emily" gets whapped!)

#58 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 01:50 AM:

Here in San Jose, the world headquarters of the Rosicrucian Order, Rosicrucian Park, is located in the north end, in the Rose Garden district, also home to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden.

Rosicrucian Park, which does not have any actual roses, does have a solo walking tour, however, of the rare trees and other plants, including the monkey puzzle trees and the huge Australian paperbark, which looks and feels like it's made out ten thousand weathered blank bibles.

Of extra interest on that end, for not being blank, is the Rosicrucian Library, which used to be open only to members, but was recently opened to the public. Walked in last year and saw a 1st edition of The Magus there in the front case, so if you want to do Jane Austen era demonology, there's your source.

#59 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 03:03 AM:

I was wondering what Kevin was doing in New Jersey. I'd forgotten there was a Bay Area city called Newark.

#60 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 04:29 AM:

Kevin Andrew Murphy: I forgot to mention that it was Newark, CA, not Newark, NJ.

Not to say that there wouldn't be multiple city blocks availble for roses in Newark, NJ...

Actually, I think Newark, NJ is underrated. There's lots of spectacular (albeit somewhat decayed) architecture in Newark, and the Newark Museum is a gem, especiallly the American and Tibetan art collections. (Last time I was there, the guards all thought I was Drew Carey - memo to self, big diet, better haircut.)

#61 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 07:09 AM:

Kathi Kimbriel: A quick search at Garden Watchdog should yield a good supplier or two.

#62 ::: Lenore Jean Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 09:52 AM:

Larry Brennan - Newark NJ is also the home of my favorite soul food restaurant, JE's (corner of William & Halsey). Breakfast, lunch or dinner. Biscuits or corn bread (good corn bread) with every meal. Grits (or hash browns, but why would you ever get hash browns when you could get grits?) with breakfast. Pork in everything. Choice of 2 sides with lunch or dinner - yams, mashed potatoes, green beans, collards, mac & cheese.... AND proper southern cobbler for dessert, made with pastry, like God intended.

#63 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 10:28 AM:

proper southern cobbler for dessert, made with pastry, like God intended

Made with pastry? Like rolled out pie crust pastry? My receipes call for a sweet buscuit-like dough dropped on the fruit mess in clumps, so that the juice bubbles up between the clumps as it cooks.

What's the advantage of pastry?

#64 ::: Lenore Jean Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 10:41 AM:

Michelle K - to be honest, the Northern-style biscuit cobblers taste pretty good, too. But I grew up with pie-crust-style pastry toppings, and pined for them until I found this place. They also absorb the fruit juice and cinnamon, and they taste glorious. (I expect they have more calories than the biscuit toppings - pastry is pretty high-fat. This is good for taste, but bad for one's waist-line.)

#65 ::: Angela Gustafsson ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 02:19 PM:

Teresa, are you familar w/ Paul Barden's site?

And on the note of red roses for small spaces, I've been trialing Austin's newer version of Wm Shakespeare. Have you seen it? It does suffer from the common weak stem problem. On the plus, it has been cold hardy for me here up near Albany. It is certainly small, and best because I can't use sprays, it has been resistant to both black spot and mildew. I don't know on the rebloom cycle yet.

#66 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 03:09 PM:

My late aunt Alice Baer and uncle Max Baer totally knew their roses, i.e. could identify any of several hundred at a glance. Their cat somehow shared the fascination with flowers, and would sometimes bring a neighbor's rose home, and lay it at their feet as a gift in lieu of a rat or bird.

I hope that you've had a chance to see the Shakespeare Garden at Huntington Gardens & Library & Museum, (San Marino, south of Pasadena, California) with every flower mentioned in Shakespeare's texts. And their Rose Garden. And their Cacti (maybe world's #1 collection)...

Maybe Newark, New Jersey, and Newark, California, should be Sister Cities; ditto Pittsburgh, PA & CA; Pasadena, TX and CA; and all the cities with the same name as in The Simpsons. My wife, though, would draw the line at Edinburgh, Scotland, and Edinburg, (no H) Texas. I think.

#67 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 03:27 PM:

Oh, and:

From A Few Wild Ancestors, A Citrus Cornucopia
Whether it's a halved grapefruit sprinkled with sugar, mandarin slices tumbled in a green salad, mouth-puckering lemon wedges or a classic navel orange, there are probably enough kinds of citrus to satisfy any personality or taste.

But scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Riverside, Calif., who recently assessed their extensive collection of Citrus species from around the world, have found that despite the long list of seemingly distinct and different citrus fruits, the majority of those most familiar to us are hybrids that got their start from just a handful of wild citrus species....

#68 ::: Kathi ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 04:40 PM:

Aconite :

A quick search at Garden Watchdog should yield a good supplier or two.

Thanks for the great site, but no pics or info on Stanwell Perpetual or Drunken Lady...

#69 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2005, 09:37 PM:

Moan. You must stop doing this. While I was looking up some of the rose varieties you talk about in this post I found a very dangerous site. I've just ordered several of their miniatures for the pots on the deck. There's no room in the yard, but that didn't stop me from ordering 2 full sized ones. In spite of the fact that it's really too late to be planting.

Evil, I say, you're evil.

Look at this! Or this! How about this one?

I had half a mind to order this one sent to you, just to teach you a lesson but that seemed wrong somehow.

MKK--who wishes there were more cool non-pink ones...

#70 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2005, 11:56 AM:

Kathi: Can't speak to Stanwell Perpetual, but the Drunken Lady problem would be because that's Teresa's name for an unknown rose. I'll bet that some of the people at the places that specialize in roses could help with info if you contacted them.

#71 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2005, 01:35 AM:

Took my mom up to the Regan nursery today. Ended up getting four more:

1. Honor, a pure white rose, no scent to speak of, but tolerant of shade. It goes under the plum tree.

2. Black Baccara, a dark red rose fading to velvety black with intensely curled back petals. Nice fragrance, it looks like a rose made out of dark red velvet. Goes on the north side where it won't burn, against a blank white wall.

3. Top Notch, a grandiflora with orange blooms which smell like anise toast cookies. Really. Goes under the bottlebrush in a relatively sunny spot. Supposed to get darker with more heat.

4. Nicole Carol Miller, a grandiflora with pale pale lavender petals shading to mauve. Amazing strong rose-citrus scent. Was the rose I was planning to go for after looking at the rose guide and seeing it was the only grandiflora that had almost ever positive: very fragrant, showpiece rose, good cut flower, and disease resistant. It goes in the spot where another rose died, next to the Mr. Lincoln, since it should match it in height.

Just went online to look up the name, since it rang some small bells, and I couldn't figure out whether it belonged to some minor movie star or where I remembered hearing it, and then I found the tribute page: Nicole Carol Miller was one of the passengers on the planes on 9/11, but more than that, she was the only one from my neighborhood, Almaden. Went to Bret Harte middle school, same as my sister, and Pioneer High, same as many of my friends, and moreover, she'd been there when I'd been doing substitute teaching at both schools, so I must have had her in some of my classes. She waited tables at the local Chili's too.


If tragedy gets any silver lining, I'm glad at least that she got a better memorial rose than Princess Di, since my mother went straight past that one (and it is a very pretty rose) and on to the one for Nicole Carol Miller, which I think is going to be a favorite for at least the next century.

#72 ::: Kathi ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2005, 01:38 AM:

Mary Kay,

You were VERY bad. Look at this. Or this. Or even this.

And that's not counting the ones that say "Texas growers are warned against this rose."

The herbs are going to be crowded out....

#73 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2005, 01:34 PM:

Thanks to Mary Kay! Not for the links above, which were cool, but for the ones she posted on her blog. I think I found the rose I was remembering, that we had in our backyard when I was a kid. It seems to have been Old Blush. Everything fits, the fragrance, and the fact that the older blooms would be darker (which I hadn't remembered until I saw this). In fact, I'm now using this photo as wallpaper on this computer.

#74 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2005, 01:47 PM:

Kathi: Hee. Basye's Purple is one of the 2 full sized ones that I bought. In fact it was searching for that rose that took me to Uncommon Roses to start. I clicked on the link T provided for the Texas thing and one of the pages there mentioned Basye's Purple. I'm a sucker for purple. The pictured flower doesn't actually look all that purple, but what the hell. I thought all the black ones were pretty impressive but the other full size one I ordered was the one that changes color dramatically. The name is slipping my mind.

Lois: Happy to have been of help!


#75 ::: Kathi ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2005, 01:28 PM:

Mary Kay: but the other full size one I ordered was the one that changes color dramatically. The name is slipping my mind.

Mutabilis? I'm going to plant one of those, too--there's also a climbing variety!

Hee, indeed...8^)

#76 ::: Imp ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2005, 09:15 PM:

Jonathan Vos Post: alas, Pittsburgh PA and Pittsburg CA don't make good sister cities. Once Upon A Time the postal service had enough, thank you just the same, and decided all *burg(h) cities were, from then on, *burg. Well. So much for that plan.

One might claim that at least they're pronounced the same way, but that's not entirely true either.

#77 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2005, 10:18 PM:

Kathi: Yes, Mutabilis, that's the one. I remembered as soon as I posted of course. I've currently got a couple of ordinary yellow climbers ready to be trained over the front gate and I don't think I've got another good place for one. I mean the back deck is the preserve of the clematis and woe to any encroaching plant! Darn thing nearly pulled down a nearby pine!


#78 ::: Jen ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2005, 06:12 PM:

I have four rose "bushes" at my new house. No, make that six. Evidently a couple were mowed down in the past, and they sprouted up (but haven't bloomed yet) this year.

One of mine on the east side of the house (amid the mint bed) has grown quite a bit this year, but hasn't bloomed. It had what looked like powdery mildew, so I sprayed it with Safer Soap and the white spots went away.

The other rose in that bed is red, and very fragrant. It had been cut down to the ground and sprouted this year. It's not even a foot high yet, and keeps blooming.

There's a bush in the back that has very small pink roses, but little to no fragrance. It's pretty, but I was a bit disappointed at the lack of smell. It's in a rather shady spot, but bloomed profusely (and is still blooming in spots.)

On the west side of the house is a dark fuschia pink rosebush that bloomed this spring and hasn't bloomed again.

I know nothing about roses. We've always been a wildflower family. Is there a basic website for basic care that anyone would recommend?

#79 ::: Jen ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2005, 06:18 PM:

Hmm. The pink rosebush might be a Cadwell Pink. It sure sounds like it! Don't know about the others, though.

#80 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2005, 01:24 AM:

I now have half a dozen miniature roses planted in the pots on the back deck where they'll get morning sun. Two of the yellow ones have blooms. There's a climbing Mutabilis in the long planter near the fence so it can climb on the fence and the Basye's Purple is in a Great Big pot on the deck. We shall see what happens.


#81 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2005, 11:22 AM:

A tiny scentless pink rose I had for twenty-some years before it disappeared was "The Fairy." "Cornelia," a nearly single peach-pink rose with a lovely scent, planted at the same time, has crowded into the space formerly occupied by "The Fairy," as well as the space formerly occupied by "La Reine Victoria," also planted at the same time, which was nice when it was young but got crankier and crankier after the age of twelve or fifteen or so.

#82 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2005, 07:37 PM:

One of the two leftovers from the previous owner of our house looks to qualify under Teresa's rules. I rarely see more than five blooms at one time (and then only if I count all the colored stages -- this morning there was one bud just clear of its wrapping and two blooms significantly wilted), but it has been in flower almost constantly since early June. Blooms spread to almost 4" across, bright red (not pale or orangey, not as dark as florists' usual red) with a slightly velvety surface, shifting a bit to purple as they pass their peak; stems have a fair number of small thorns; plant has a \serious/ attitude -- we lost four in last winter's bitter cold and the other survivors (~4) are all stunted, but this one is more vigorous than ever ("cold? what cold?") despite a confined space (bounded by concrete and a less-sheltered location than most. Unfortunately, it's not immune to pounding rain; otherwise we would have had a bloom at Readercon for Teresa to guess at.

#83 ::: Valerie ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2005, 11:43 AM:

I have a mass cane dracaena fragrans massangeana tree and it's been growing / maturing beautifully until my new puppy got a hold of it -:((
My puppy had eaten all the leaves off one side of it and my question is will the leaves regrow themselves? If not what can I do to bring it back too it's natural beauty. Thanks

#84 ::: Valerie ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2005, 11:45 AM:

I have a mass cane dracaena fragrans massangeana tree and it's been growing / maturing beautifully until my new puppy got a hold of it -:((
My puppy had eaten all the leaves off one side of it and my question is will the leaves regrow themselves? If not what can I do to bring it back too it's natural beauty. Thanks
I've included a link/photo of this tree just click on my name.

#85 ::: Mina W ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2005, 12:36 AM:

Valeria - I see these in nurseries with the top chopped off, and usually sealed with that black tar stuff. Leaves regrow from the sides of the stump in one to several places, just below the cut. The chopped off top, shoved into the soil, regrows as well. So probably a good chance.

Humidity may be important for this process. If you need more, a large saucer filled with gravel & water, or the pot put up on a couple of bricks to keep it out of the water, will help. The saucer also should be up off any surface which could get black rings from moisture.

Dracaena [some of them], if I remember correctly, are on the toxic plants list; hope your puppy is ok.

#86 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2005, 08:27 AM:

Dracaena ARE on the toxic list--but my cats think they're tasty snacks.

Which is why I no longer have any. Although the cats never suffered any ill effects, I figured it was better to be safe than sorry.

I'd recommend getting rid of the plant, or else putting it up very high so it does not again become a salad bar. In my experience, plants with grass like leaves are always eaten. Others leaf types may or may not be.

#87 ::: Mina W ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2005, 12:52 PM:

Michelle & Valerie - I went and looked up the best toxic plant list I know
because I thought I remembered corn plant was on the safe list. None of the Dracaenas were on the toxic list, to my surprise. [This list is for humans. There is a reference to an animal list.] In fact, Dracaena spp are on the safe list, including the common names corn plant and dragon tree [which is often recommended for lizard habitats].

One reason I like this list is that it can be alphabetical by scientific name, so I know if the plant is on the list or not [well, until the taxonomists change the names]. On the alphabetical by common name lists, the author often is just using a different common name.

Pretty sure where I saw Dracaena on a toxic plant list was a common name one from the vet.

#88 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2005, 01:23 PM:


A toxic list for cats: is where I found the Dracenia listed.

Of course my cats have eaten quite a variety from that list, but besides stupidity in the smaller cat, they seem to have suffered few ill effects. And I think the stupidity was there well before she started eating my house plants.

#89 ::: John W ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2005, 08:11 PM:

I noted you have a Delany Sisters rose bush. Where did you purchase it? Is it on its "own root"?

#90 ::: Ben ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2005, 10:05 PM:

my mass cane dracaena has lost all its leaves,,whats next to save it?

#91 ::: Sel ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2005, 01:10 AM:


I was just wondering if anyone had any information on the rose called "white lightning" I heard it was part of the Californian Flower Essences and would like to learn more about it...If anyone could help that would be great

#92 ::: Jhon ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 05:19 PM:


I write because need the scientific names for six flower's variety:

the commom name are:
Black baccara, Esperance, Freedom, Friendship, Latin lady and Livia.

I thank who can help me.

#93 ::: Mary Solis ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2007, 11:36 AM:

I have orange lilies taking over the north side of my house, they are now going into the front yard.. I have to get rid of them, digging them up seems like the only answer but is there a pesticide I could use to kill them?

#94 ::: Edmund Schweppe ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2011, 06:39 PM:

I wonder how effective boiling water would be as an eco-friendly weed killer.

#95 ::: Carrie S ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2011, 06:45 PM:

Pretty good, especially with salt in it.

#96 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2011, 06:53 PM:

Putting black plastic over your yard and leaving it for a couple of months would probably be pretty effective.

#97 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2011, 08:38 PM:

My red rose hasn't bloomed for 2 years. A nearby tree has gotten bigger. Could the rose be getting "shaded out?"

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