Spring has sprung. Maybe. Fingers crossed. The winter has been relatively warm, without the hard, dry freezes that do so much damage to roses. And it has been relatively wet, so there’s good soil moisture. I’m cautiously optimistic for the rest of the spring. The roses? Are not cautious, on no. It looks as if there was an explosion in a chintz weaving mill around RedQuarters.
So the soil moisture and mild winter have contributed to the floral frenzy.
The Knockouts (TM) were planted three years ago and are really coming into their own. They are the second youngest roses on the place, not counting a few miniatures. The oldest are Sweetbriar (Eglantine AKA the Attack Rose), Dortmund, and Darlow’s Enigma. There was also a beautiful, huge Joseph’s Coat, but it succumbed to the need to replace a gas line last fall. We’ve had York and Lancaster, and Brother Cadfael, and a few others over the years. We’re at the point where all the roses are own root. Grafts just don’t make it.
The water is because I had to spray everything down before I released 1000 ladybugs. Without water, they’ll fly away. The neighbors love it when I forget.
Cane is the term for the main branches of a rosebush. The pink rambler, Sweetbriar, Goldbusch and a few others have enormously thick canes that require serious situational awareness of the passer-by or gardener.
There are at least a dozen more, either duplicates of those shown, or right where the evening light made photography impossible. On a humid, early morning the scent is amazing, which is the effect Mom and DadRed and I have been hoping to achieve. It has taken 30 years to get this garden. But roses can live forever, or so it seems, unless something kills them. that is, own-root roses. Around here grafts just don’t really last more than a decade, probably because the cold-dry winters freeze the grafted part, leaving the rugosa roots to do their thing. And then the native plants, the salvias and desert sages and all sorts of things will kick in over the summer.
Yes, you are seeing a whole lot of very hard work. But when everything lives over winter, and blooms, and the evenings and early mornings are sweet with slanted light and perfume and butterflies dance in the sunbeams… “It was very good.”