I have had two flushes of booms and with the warm, dry weather, I have been watering potted every day and in ground roses every other day. I feel like a full-time gardener. Not a bad thing since that means I can deadhead at my leisure after the mid day sun. My ministure roses are putting on quite a show in spite of the near 80* F temps. Top pink rose is ‘Joy’. The Second photo is ‘Erin Alonso’ and bottom photo is ‘Jeanne LaJoie’.
The big news is that I have been thinking about putting in a new rose bed for three years and finally took steps to make it happen! There are so many large roses I want to grow, but had no ground to plant so it was grass reduction time! As you can see by the grass in the photo, western Washington has a dry summer. The weather people are saying we have had no rain here for 36 days and counting. I water veggies and roses, not the grass. That is a common attitude of gardeners in my county. The rain will return in September and hang around for nine months, grass returns and needs mowing.
My action plan is to dig out the mature asparagus, now in the fern stage, then get four yards of good garden soil to mix with the existing very sandy, native soil. In early September, I expect to plant a few large roses currently in containers but most of the planting will be in March 2018.
This has been one late rose growing season in Western Washington. Last year my first bloom was April 20, 2016 and this year we are at least three weeks past that date and my garden is seeing a lot of very tight buds and blind shoots. I went out during a brief dry period to capture a few images to help you understand. Paul Zimmerman wrote the following for Fine Gardening magazine: A blind shoot is a stem that grows and grows but a flower never appears at the end of it. There are a few reasons why this happens. The most common one is a late frost in spring that kills the tiny rose buds before they can fully form. Other causes can be lack of nutrients, shortage of light and tiny midges.
In my garden It could have been late frost or shortage of light this spring. We have broken many records for excess rainfall/lack of sunshine. The rose variety in the photos is ‘Whirlaway’.
The excitement is building now that the holidays are behind us. The 2017 Northwest Flower and Garden Show will be here before we realize it. This is the traditional kick off to spring in Seattle. Speakers and vendors crowd the convention center for a jam packed five days of garden glory. I love the display gardens to get inspired for the growing season. This year I will be speaking about roses on Saturday to kick off the the bare root rose growing season. I am so excited I can hardly wait. My program is finished and gets tweeked every week.
Six years ago, Orion Roses in Minnesota had a going out business sale and I purchased several roses thinking this one was ‘Celestial’. It is not pink or ‘Celestial’ but since they business is gone, I have no idea what the identity of the rose is. It is quite large, drops it’s petals cleanly and forms oval hips and fills a space but I wanted a re-blooming rose in this location. Do you recognize this rose?
My first flush of roses is nearly over, but with the temps in the 50’s and 60′ for highs, the rebloom is moving slowly this year. Our Pacific Northwest District rose show will be Saturday June 4th down in Vancouver, WA and I need some sunny warm weather to compete!
Here are today’s blooms from the first flush of some of my Austin shrub roses.
Every year we prune and fertilize and wait for the blooms to begin. Every Spring I am surprised by the special blooms that begin my rose growing season. Perhaps they are not the best blooms that will grow in my garden, but they do get all my attention because they are the first after a long, wet winter.
Large pink bloom was sold as ‘Louise Odier’ but has been questioned on a Facebook page. What do you think? Is this what your ‘Louise Odier’ looks like?
The single form bloom is rosa damacina macrophylla.
The City of Roses knows how to put on a rose show. This is the second year I have been invited to judge the show and it never disappoints. The emphasis is on American Rose Society large flowers (hybrid teas, floribundas, shrub roses) displayed in single vases and the local society and the rose growing public participates. The head table trophy winners in the Novice section displayed different exhibitors in each award category. To me that says they are doing something right in Portland to fill up the Lloyd Center Mall indoor ice rink with beautiful roses. Congratulations to all exhibitors. You had much competition on Thursday.