Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tenacious Tip Tuesday - The Roses of Autumn

I seem to be on a philosophical kick with my Tips the last few weeks. As the season ends, I have a tendancy toward melancholy and introspection. I hope you can bear with me. Today's tip is simple - be true to your gardening self, no matter what.

As you know, I've been trying to simplify my gardens to better care for myself. Many plants are being re-evaluated and some are hitting the compost heap. If I'm being honest with myself, most of my roses should be shovel pruned. Many of them are hybrid tea roses, which are notorious for disease problems and generally are the prima donnas of the garden.

This year, they have gotten no love whatsoever. No fertilizer, no spraying; they were lucky to have gotten pruned this spring (in fact, some didn't). I wrote in an earlier post that I would have to toughen up and get rid of the worst of them. The ones that survived my new Darwinian care program would stay; all others would be banished forever. I really meant it, too.

Then they go and do this:

Rose 'Playboy'
'Playboy' is one of those roses that looks fabulous when well cared for. It gets covered with those orange/yellow flowers, has glossy green leaves and stays a reasonable size. It's a blackspot nightmare when not sprayed, at least in my garden. I thought it had died over the winter and spared me the necessity of digging it out. But no, it not only recovered, it started sending out little clusters of its beautiful flowers.

Or how about this one?

Rose 'Sunstruck'
This rose is what we who grow roses call a "one-cane wonder". It literally has only one cane coming up out of the dirt. Excuse me, out of the soil. Yet, it has still managed to have at least one gorgeous flower and a few buds on it all summer. How can I rip it out when it's giving me presents like this?

So I've decided to modify my earlier, tough-love stance on my roses. They still get no special care, but if they keep blooming, I'll keep enjoying them, even if all their leaves fall off. My true gardening self simply isn't as hard-hearted as my renovation self. And I don't care! The joy I get from a single rose blossom is worth a few weeks of blackspot or Japanese beetles.

Here are some more roses currently blooming in my garden. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Rose 'About Face'

Rose 'Autumn Sunset'

Rose 'Chrysler Imperial'
Rose 'Cinnamon Spice'

Rose 'Falstaff'

Buds on Rose 'Mother of Pearl'


The Sage Butterfly said...

I have had that happen as well. I become frustrated or all but give up on a plant and it surprises me with a lovely bloom or sprout. Your roses are certainly looking beautiful. The 'Falstaff' is a lovely rose with such a fullness that I wish I could touch it...great photos!

Sharie said...

Thanks, Michelle. Falstaff smells good, too. I just wish that cluster wasn't laying on the ground! I keep meaning to go stake it but . . . LOL!