This gardening season I have been thinking about my rose growing hobby a lot. I like rose horticulture exhibiting, making arrangements and growing the miniature and miniflora roses and I am moderately successful, especially since the move from the short growing season in Minnesota to western Washington. To do really well, a person needs some type of florist frig or other not frost-free frig that will stay at 36* F to hold roses for a week or so before a show. It will keep a perfect bloom in that state for days until needed. All the really good rose exhibitors have a special frig. I do not have such a frig. The frig really only needs to be using electricity for a month or so in June then a month in Sept. to cover all the rose shows in the Pacific Northwest. So I have been wondering, do I want to get such a frig? Do I want to continue showing roses at this level? How many more years would I really want to be showing roses? Would it be worth the effort? What do I really get out of all this? Heaven knows I don’t need more trophies and stuff. I like the recognition and thrill of getting on the head table. I only need one up there for it to be a success. I like being with rose people and judging. Judging is where the real action is, IMHO. So I am conflicted. I like my humble shrub roses with their full fluffy variety of colors. They are not show roses for the most part. Dr. Buck and David Austin are well represented in my rose collection. I am also trying a few of the Kordes varieties this year because of their reputation for disease resistance. So where does this bring me? I will probably continue life without a frig, but I would take one if it magically appeared.
Top row L to R:Honey Perfume, April Moon, Joy a miniature show rose on its second flush, Lena, a cute shrub born in Minnesota.
Bottom: Serendipity and Aunt Honey by Griffin Buck.
I love the history of the Buck roses and I continue to increase my collection of his creations. Three are blooming today. ‘Spanish Rhapsody, ‘Aunt Honey’with a companion double clematis and ‘April Moon’.
I love the display gardens at Heirloom Roses in St. Paul, OR. The gardens feature many types of roses including extensive collections of miniatures, Austin’s and Buck roses. I think Heirloom has the nicest collection of Buck roses I have ever seen in one place. St. Paul, OR is farm country and the display gardens are down a winding road but getting there is well worth the effort.
A few weeks ago I was at the American Rose Society convention in San Diego and took a one day seminar about rose photography. This seminar yielded a lot of motivation for me to get back into a favorite aspect of my rose hobby. The advice was to do photographs every day. So today I am sharing the a wonderful rose photographed today, in a typical Seattle drizzle.
I much prefer American Rose Society rose shows, but today was the first local (Kitsap Peninsula, WA) show according to Federated Garden Clubs of America rules. I think the judges appreciated good roses. These are some of the very first blooms of their kind from my garden in 2014.
When I lived in Minnesota and started growing roses in the late 1990’s, there seemed to be a re-discovery of the nearly 100 roses hybridized in Iowa by Dr. Buck. I was fascinated by the stipling pattern in a few of his roses, but quickly learned that many of the Buck roses could not survive in Minnesota as they do in Iowa. Now that I am in a much warmer winter low temp climate in Western Washington, I have been adding Buck roses every chance I get. This year, ‘Prairie Lass’ arrived from Heirloom Roses in Oregon. I also have ‘Spanish Rhapsody’ and ‘Freckles’ but they are not in bloom.
‘Summer Wind’ (1975) is also a special of mine because of the spicy fragrance and single form with contrasting stamens.