Monday, June 27, 2011

What is so Rare as a Day in June?

June is dissolving like sugar water, creating and leaving behind sweet visions in the same moment. Roses bud, open and are gone before they can be properly captured on film. Choosing the camera when the ambiance of the garden is so delightful without the artificial filter of its lens is difficult, but the gardener is driven to share. 
Sonia is a remarkably lovely rose. I remember her well from my florist days in the 1970s, when California was the main provider and a perfect rose was still rare. When bunches and bundles of perfectly formed roses, each on its long, straight stem arriving at the wholesaler's from South America were still a future away, Sonia was a delight to work with. I still love her classically beautiful form.

Angel Face is a favorite, though she does not thrive in my garden. The grafted plants I have faithfully produce  but a few flowers each season. I would like to try her on her own root.

Angel Face is forever charming. The lovely scent is worth every fleeting moment I have with her.

Chicago Peace is paler this year. He is producing like a brave convalescent recovering from a harsh virus, but the winter certainly took its toll, and the plant is smaller than it has been for years due to winter die back.

Chicago Peace is a brave soldier

Chicago Peace is beautiful and bright though slightly pale from the harsh winter.

You May Click to Enlarge the Above Photos

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Few Firsts, Especially Quietness

Following a jerky spring of late frosts, a few roses are tentatively beginning to bloom in our garden.

I cannot enough express the pleasure Quietness affords. As the first blooms finally begin to open, I fall in love anew with this romantically exquisite beauty.

The pure, cool coloration of Quietness wanders softly among pale pinks and creamy apricots.

Her petals throw the sunlight back to me in a joyous celebration of the morning.

Quietness remains unmarred by the ravages of nature that target pale flowers. Thrips and grasshoppers seem to be kept at bay by a reverent awe of  her beauty. Even the blazing sun refuses to allow her delicate color to fade.

Our ancient Zepherine Drouhin seems surprised and glad to find herself alive for another summer.

Peace tests the summer hesitantly. This blossom reminds me of a shy over sized child wishing to be included in the fun.

The first of the climbing America blooms seeks the protection of foliage until certain that summer has arrived.

This mini has such classic form. It reminds me of my florist days, when  roses of this color and shape were sought by many a hopeful suitor. He'd carry it carefully out of  the shop, wrapped up in green paper with a piece of ribbon, nestled among a piece of leather leaf and a spring of baby's breath, to conquer the heart of some fair maiden.

(You may click to enlarge the above photos.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Miniature and Mini-Flora Roses That I Love

Sunny miniature roses are bright spots in our garden.

An unnamed yellow Parade mini

The first to begin blooming and the last of the season to quit, minis delight us anew each year. The series of late spring frosts has slowed down all the other roses in the garden, but the minis surge ahead and reward us with clusters of happy blossoms.

Flawless is our new miniflora from Heirloom this spring. Already it is displaying its long pointed buds and breaking into fragrant, beautifully formed flowers. I adore the color. It is planted in front of Dream Weaver, which produces ruffled clusters of salmon pink roses to create a harmonious blending with Flawless.

Rugged minis in the front rock garden 

Grocery store minis from a decade or more ago
The grocery store minis above are as tough as the petrified wood lining their bed.

A chance seedling

I love the red flares on the chance seedling's flowers. I hope it becomes a robust, floriferous rose bush.

I was happy to note that our chance seedling made it through the winter and is about to bloom. It produced one or two pale yellow blooms last year. We'll see what this year brings.

White rose from last year's cutting project
The above white mini was planted last spring from the previous winter's cuttings. It made it through our nasty winter and is blooming away in its permanent garden home.

The mother of the white mini cuttings
The original is a grocery store plant from more than a decade ago. It's still healthy and productive in the front bed.

Moonlight Scentsation

Moonlight Scentsation is not as robust as Flawless yet. It is from the same spring Heirloom order. It's trying very hard to please!

Overnight Scentsation is fragrant and lovely. The two I planted from Heirloom this spring are now blooming.

They are in small round beds that are next to each other, along with dianthus, some burgundy minis from Trader Joes, and Starlight Express Oriental lilies. The fragrance is divine!

You may click to enlarge the above photos

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Peonies ~ Extravagant, Fleeting and Wonderful

A peony bud tightly holds her promise as long as she possibly can. It seems a long wait.

Finally deigning to begin breaking, she whispers lightly.

Now she senses the sunlight, deciding that perhaps it is a good thing.

 Still shy, but coming inexorably out of her awkward stage

Sarah Bernhardt has come into her own.

Old-fashioned, perhaps, but there is no time restraint on the fulfilling pleasure afforded by the classically lovely Sarah Bernhardt peony. She is as beautiful as her namesake.

 Bowl of Beauty is bright and happy.

A charming flower.

My young bush struggled to produce a few, fast-fading flowers for us this year.

You may click to enlarge the above photos.