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


  1. Sandra, you are so right about the fleeting garden days of June! I had never heard of 'Sonia' before and agree she has a wonderful bloom form. I am an admirer of Angel Face, too, but was also not happy with a plant most likely grafted on Dr. Huey. I might also try her own roots in the future or on fortuniana root stock, which is supposed to work well in our alkaline soil.

  2. Thank you, Christina.
    Sonia has been among the most widely-sold roses in the world, both as a florist's rose and a garden rose. Though it has been a top money-maker for Meilland, it is perhaps considered old-fashioned now.
    Help Me Find says it is for zones 7b and up, but we're in 5a and Sonia has been a consistently good performer for at least a decade in our garden.
    And yes, it's hard to believe that June is almost gone!

  3. So have you been using a filter to take those pictures? What camera do you have? Sonia looks wonderful, I love the color and form. Angel Face performs really well for me, I love the fragrance, but I don't love the greyish fade color. It will be leaving me this winter solely because it happened to be exactly the color of the penstemon I planted next to it, and I like the penstemon better than the rose :). 'Benny Lopez' will go in its place, I hope it will look good there. I will post pictures next year...

  4. Sandra, I just read your answer to Christina, and I am wondering if you will post a comment on HMF regarding your experiences with Sonia - it will be very valuable to all of us to correct the zones for this rose.

  5. Hi, Masha!
    I don't use a filter, or any add-on lenses. I use a cheap little Sony point-and-shoot. (Sony Cyber-Shot 1080) I see the camera itself as a filter between me and the garden. : )
    I'll have to look up Benny Lopez. The name alone intrigues.
    I'd love to see you purple penstemon!
    Sonia is a darling.

  6. Sandra, your June blooms are beautiful. And now it's July! I can't believe it. Your cheap camera does a great job, but it's more likely the photographer, I think.

  7. Let me join the list of disappointed Angel Face lovers. I have grown it grafted and on its own root. In both cases it has not thrived for me. It is a beautiful flower and yours are great pictures.

  8. Thank you for your comment!
    I like the way you put it. We want Angel Face to be all it could be, and it never quite seems to reach the perfect purple rose of our imagination, I guess.

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