Friday, April 30, 2010

This Dish Comes with Plenty of Butter

Julia Child, the cook, was famous for adding butter to her dishes.  I suppose for this reason it's no coincidence that the rose named after her is deep butter yellow.  This is a floribunda rose that doesn't get too large and blooms nearly non-stop from April till freeze.  The flowers have a nice licorice smell.  Healthwise, mine has stayed pretty green until late summer when it develops some blackspot and loses perhaps half its leaves.  I don't spray for blackspot, so that doesn't help.  First up I've got a single bloom.  The blooms start off this deep color, then gradually fade to a light yellow.  They are not long-stemmed, so it's not the best rose for vases.

Next is a picture of a cluster of blooms.  Typically this rose, as with most floribundas, blooms in clusters.

Last, I have a picture of the whole bush.  Notice how healthy this plant is.  It's a pretty small bush that would be nice for a large container, I think. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


This rose has one of the most poetic names of all roses - Earthsong.  It's a rose developed by Dr. Griffith Buck, a horticulturist at Iowa State University.  Buck spent many years trying to get roses that are disease resistant, repeat blooming, and could really take cold weather without protection.  The result was a large group of shrub roses that are, naturally, called the Buck roses.  It just so happens that these tough roses also can take the heat and humidity of the South just as easily as they take the cold of the North.  Earthsong is the only Buck rose that I currently have and it performs stellarly.  From spring till frost it produces deep, hot pink roses with a semi-open bloom and a sweet fragrance.  My records show that last year it only got a little blackspot on its leaves in the late fall and lost no leaves from it - with no spraying.  Any people from colder climates that may read this blog should seriously consider this rose.  First I present a couple of single bloom photos:

Here's a shot of the whole bush as it looks now:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Moved With Compassion

Compassion is an apricot/pink climbing rose that I planted a couple of years ago.  It has taken longer than some of my other roses to really take off, but I have great hopes for it this year.  It's got some nice new basal canes coming up and it's showing signs of upcoming vigor.  The blooms are semi-open, highly fragrant beauties that cheer the heart of anyone passing by.  Here are some bloom close-ups:

The plant has been slow to grow for me, but I've always heard that many roses don't take off until their third year.  It lost about 60% of its leaves to blackspot last summer, so I wouldn't call this a great no-spray rose where I live.  It's a large-flowered climber with pretty stiff canes, so you need to start training it young or the canes will resist trellissing.  Here are some shots that show the growth of my plant:

All in all, a beautiful rose, but one that will require some effort and patience.  It makes a nice spring flush and then blooms in flushes sporadically till first freeze.  I would recommend many other roses before this one if people asked me for advice, but I don't intend shovel-pruning mine any time soon. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Coral Honeysuckle - Our Native Beauty

Most people around where I live don't even realize that the common honeysuckle you see on every roadside is actually an invasive non-native plant.  Those yellow fragrant honeysuckles are actually Japanese honeysuckle that have taken over in many places.  The native variety is lonicera sempervirens ("Coral honeysuckle") that you will see pictured below.  Our native variety is not as fragrant as the Japanese honeysuckle, but it makes up for this by being more beautiful and far more attractive to the hummingbirds, butterflies, and song birds.  The tubular, red flowers are probably the favorite food of ruby throated hummingbirds.  Later, the red berries attract many song birds.  The plant is evergreen in mild winters and will come back after colder winters.  This first picture shows the neat clusters of bloom that are so pretty.

As you can see in this next picture, my plant is growing up our mailbox. 

I've seen specimens of this plant that get large and make a beautiful clump on a fence or trellis.  Plant one of these and the hummingbirds will forever thank you.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Driving down the road today, I noticed several Prosperity roses growing at nice old homes.  They looked divine and I could just imagine the smell of them.  They reminded me of why I had to plant one of my own.  I first really noticed this rose at the gardens of the American Rose Society last year.  The fragrance hit me from 10 yards away and the white blooms beckoned to me.  This is an old hybrid musk rose that has the peculiar fragrance that family of roses has.  My plant was just planted last October, so it's not really that much to look at right now, but here is the best I can do for now.
First up, a single bloom.

Next up, a couple of bloom cluster pictures.  One thing about this rose is that it nearly always blooms in large clusters.

Lastly, a poor picture of the whole plant.  I've heard that this is a choice rose to plant for wedding sites.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Abraham Darby

Abraham Darby is another English rose from David Austin that I have a love/hate relationship with.  It's killer beautiful in the spring.  The blooms are huge and full with a fruity fragrance that makes you want to take a bite out of them.  I love the orange/pink/apricot color of the blooms too. However, around May blackspot sets in and nearly defoliates the whole plant and it will be ugly until fall.  You about have to spray it every week if you want to stop this.  Still, I put up with the disease because the plant is vigorous enough to overcome it and still be gorgeous in the spring. 
First up is a picture that shows more of the pink coloration of the blooms.

Next up are some pictures that show more of bush and some clusters of bloom. 

 Such a nice bloom.  The only problem is that the stems aren't very long, so you can't get the best cut roses for a vase.  This rose bush gets huge in Louisiana, but hasn't become the climber for me that I thought it would be. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ducher at Her Peak

I never did post whole bush pictures of my Ducher rose - at least on my blog.  Time to remedy that situation since this was really a sight to behold when at full bloom.  Ducher is about finished now with her first flush, but I expect a new one in a few weeks since this rose is seldom without bloom for long.
First a few blooms clusters, which I may have posted before.

Another bloom cluster

And finally, the whole glorious bush.  Such lemony-white flowers and a nice, citrus scent as well.  Just an all around great rose for the South. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Meet the Diva

Gertrude Jekyll is the most contrary rose in the world.  She's also a rose of many moods.  Sometimes she sulks and trashes out getting rid of all her pretty leaves and wearing only ugly blackspotted ones.  She also can be vicious and has the most thorns of about any rose there is.  She meanly tries to stick and poke any man, woman, or child who passes by.  But at other times she will put on the most beatiful show you will ever see with haunting, deep pink blooms and perfumed fragrance that will waft around the entire yard.  I've said before that I think this is the most fragrant rose of all.  Currently, GJ is in a good mood.  She is pillared up a rebar teepee blooming up a storm, all her leaves are healthy and green, and the scent is heavenly. 

Here is a single bloom.

Here is a cluster of blooms.

Another cluster of blooms

A picture of the whole bush

Anothe picture of the whole bush

I don't recommend this rose to people because it's such a primadonna.  If you are willing to put up with its problems, then go ahead and plant you one.  It will get gigantic and want to grow as a climber in the South, but I hear it's more bush-like up North.  It will get blackspot unless sprayed every 10 days.   

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Full Plant Pictures of Golden Celebration

Several days ago when I posted pictures of Golden Celebration, I mentioned plans to post some pictures of the whole bush so you can see it's growth habit.  GC looks great right now, but it generally gets quite a bit of blackspot and loses most of its leaves in the summer. 

This plant will get a lot bigger over the next couple of years and I hope to have it climb all along the chainlink fence. 

Azaleas Still Going Strong!

Azaleas are almost never still blooming this late in the year in this part of Louisiana.  In fact, it's rare for the azaleas and roses to be blooming at the same time.  This year is very unusual in that about everything is blooming at the same time this spring.  It makes for about the prettiest spring I remember.  My azaleas are still at their peak and today is show-off day for them.  The former owner of my house planted many azaleas along the north side of the house, some where they get almost no sun at all.  They still are thriving.

First up is Red Ruffles, a semi-dwarf variety that blooms profusely for me.

Next up is Pink Ruffles.  This poor azalea gets almost no sun, so it's not as big as my others, but that doesn't stop it from blooming!

Next is the ever popular Formosa azalea.  Several years ago I stupidly pruned this plant over the winter and cut off all the flower buds.  (Note to all: Never prune azaleas in winter!  They should be pruned just after they finish blooming.)  It put all efforts into growing bigger that year since it had no blooms.  Now it's making up for lost time.

Last, I'm showing two pictures of the only azalea that I've personally planted.  This is Autumn Twist Encore azalea.  It blooms 3 times per year and is the only azalea I have that reliably blooms at other times of the year than spring.  It's not as profuse as the spring-only azaleas, but still looks great.  Encores need more sun than other azaleas, at least if you want them to repeat bloom.  This one is on the south-east corner of my house.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Go Westerland, Young Man

Westerland is a stiff-armed, climbing floribunda rose that makes blooms the color of sunset or orange sherbet.  It blooms in profusion and has a delectable fragrance.  Mine has grown very quickly and is a perfectly healthy and beautiful plant without any spraying.  The canes are very stiff and hard to train laterally, making this a climber that wants to be a bush.  Above is a close-up of a single bloom.

The color can be quite flashy and may not mix well with other flowers.  That doesn't deter me since I like gaudy flowers. 

This is another bloom shot.  The blooms open up quickly to show the stamens.  Also, the blooms don't last very long, so enjoy them while you can.  Not a great rose for cutting because the blooms are so short-lived, but still a beautiful rose for a trellis or fence. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Let's Go for a Sail in Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay is my red climber.  It hasn't got large enough to really climb much yet but I'm sure it will eventually.  It has bloomed so much this year that I don't think it could bloom any more.  One of the wonderful things about this rose is just how long the blooms last on the plant before fading and falling.  Each bud seems to last at least a week.  It doesn't fade at all until the day the petals fall either.  A truly delightful rose.  It does get some blackspot in the summer, but not enough to really hurt the plant.  The one drawback of this rose is that it has no fragrance at all.  But who cares!?  This first picture is of the whole bush

This next picture is a close-up of some clusters of bloom.

And finally another bloom cluster.  My camera has a hard time capturing the red of these flowers.  Suffice to say it's the deepest, most velvety red imaginable.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Madame Alfred Carriere

Madame Alfred Carriere is an old-fashioned climbing rose that makes blushing pink/white blooms with a sweet fragrance that wafts throughout an area.  It's a very fast-growing climber that can easily take over a pergola in a couple of years.  Mine is growing in the part shade of a live oak tree, so it's not nearly in an ideal location, but it's just shrugging it off and still growing like crazy.  First off, I've got a pic of one whole limb.  This plant is so big that it's hard to get a whole bush shot of it.

Next up is a close-up of one of the blooms.  Deeper in the summer when it gets hot, the blooms have less pink and are almost pure white.  This rose will bloom off and on from spring till frost.  It makes larger flushes in the spring and fall.  It does get some blackspot for me, but only enough to take about 40% of the leaves off in the worst part of the season.  I don't spray it at all.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mrs. B. R. Indeed Can!

Mrs. B. R. Cant, my wonderful old-fashioned tea rose is at her peak right now.  It has a nice tea-like fragrance to go along with a disease-free bush that gets HUGE.  This sucker can get 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide if you let it!  The blooms are full, silvery pink, and big.  To make matters even better, this rose is very easy to grow from cuttings.  What a lovely pass-along plant.  Get you one!  Above is a whole bush shot of my plant.

This is a picture up closer where you can see how many buds and blooms there are.  This bush blooms in many flushes through the year. 

Here's a close-up of a bloom cluster.  Notice all the petals. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Celebrating the Gold

Golden Celebration is something of a primadonna rose in my part of the world.  Like all the other David Austin roses I have tried, it gets terrible blackspot in the summer and needs spraying at least every ten days if you want to keep the leaves on the plant.  However, I'm growing it anyway because I love the huge, golden, and wonderfully fragrant blooms.  They have that many-petalled, old rose look that I just love.  The bush gets huge with our long growing season and can be grown as a sprawling bush/climber.  I have mine on my chainlink fence for support. 

The first picture here is of a bud as it first comes out.

The bud opens further the next day.

And then it opens all the way

And here's a cluster of blooms so you can see more of the plant.  In a few days, the bush will be covered in bloom and I hope to get a whole bush shot.