More roses and a Brit weather
OK so it’s official: I won’t complain about drought anymore. This spring is going to be the wettest and coldest ever: we are towards the end of May and yet i’m sleeping with a thick cover, I’ve got a terrible cold with running nose and I can’t smell the roses. Or at least what rain left of the roses.
Anyway the garden has never been so luxuriant and healthy, weeds in particular are growing like never before and snails left a thanksgiving card under my rug. Slugs haven’t sent me anything yet although I bet a basket full of fruit must be on its way…
Since we came home from Malta we stopped hearing the usual chirping from the finches nest box and also the frantic coming and going of mummy and daddy finch stopped. We had some hard winds and rains lately and I thought the worst had happened to the finch family but I didn’t want to know, so I didn’t check the nest closely. As soon as the rain stops, though, a choir of birds populate the garden and around the compost leap I spotted a baby finch spying on me from a willow branch. Bold and proud it looked at me, sure to be far enough to feel safe. Will it ever knows I built its birth-house? I only care about it staying around and looking at me warily from time to time.
But hey there are artichokes to take care of now… When I spotted the first 2-3 popping up from the plants I thought I shall let them flower, they look so beautiful and at the end of the day whom hunger am I supposed to appease with 3 little artichokes? But after Malta, and all that rain and wind and chilly days I finally stepped out in the garden and found a lot more than 3 little artichokes standing near rosa Purezza. So I’m now thinking how to cook them. I’ll let you know.
But this post’s title promised you more roses, didn’t it? So here we go with a gust of roses, I’m so sorry I can’t tell you about how scented they are because my running nose doesn’t allow me to smell but they are a real joy for the ayes anyway. So glad they are such tough plants and not everything’s been ruined by the bad weather.
The Rose garden is finally starting to perform as I intended it, I’m glad of the combinations I have long thought of during cold days in winter, like the one pictured before, two roses of the same colour, flowering together with very different shape and size. The big one is Celestial and the small one is supposedly a china rose labelled as ‘Angel’s Wings’ but I found out that a rose with that name is totally different. It’s a little beauty though and it sets billions of tiny little red hips.
I am even more pleased with some random combination that I made with some seedlings of a totally unknown salvia received as a gift, a pennisetum volunteer and this dark coloured gallica rose named ‘Obrèe Parfaite’. I love that salvia and I’ll talk again of it later, maybe some of you could recognize it.
Some roses don’t need company though, they know they are the queens. Chloris is planted on the crabapple bed, between the grass garden and the proper rose garden. here there are a bunch of roses planted together that mingle nicely with each other. There are also Omar Kahyyám, a damask rose with a nice story about the origin of its name, please see helpmefind.com for reference. I like the long and curled tepals of this rose, resembling some kind of old-fashioned handwriting.
I am also trying a new kind of white stuff to mulch my roses… I’ll let you know how it works…
You might have noticed I have a few old-fashioned power poles in my garden but I’m glad I’ve been able to turn a bad feature of the garden to my advantage. The power poles are now ‘trellies’ for big roses like Purezza and Zéphirine Drouhin and we liked it so much that we trained Plaisanterie the same way, adding some small timber poles. This rose was bred by Lens crossing ‘trier’ (the rose mother of all the hybrids musk) with rosa chinensis mutabilis. Apparently he obtained three commercially valuable seedlings, one is Plaisanterie, with all the main features of a hybrid musk but with the unstable colour of r.c. mutabilis, blooming creamy yellow in the morning to fade deep pink. Flowers only last for one glorious day but are produced in drifts. I’ve recently bought another of those seedlings, called ‘Souvenir de Louis Lens’ which looks thinner and paler than Plaisanterie, I’ll let you know.
The rose garden is now in full bloom but more rain and a drop of temperatures are forecast from tomorrow… Will I ever be able of pulling some weeds? The basil refuses to grow and I couldn’t manage to plant some zuchini yet, which is crazy.