Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Flowers

Unlike me, Kahili Ginger and roses like heat. And unlike Night-blooming Cereus, ginger flowers last longer than one night. And don't hide. One is flowering now in the greenhouse with two more plants spiking buds. The greenhouse/jungle room smells like Hawaii day and night. That I like.

Outside, the roses are one of the few flowers that seem to thrive, or at least survive, on my neglect. Here are some blooming now. Below left is Double Delight, one of my mom's favorite roses. But she had lots of favorites. I inherited her love for roses, but not her diligence at caring for them. My roses have to take care of themselves.

Below right is Sunsprite, one I had not heard of until I found out about Heirloom Roses, near Newberg, and became addicted to their annual half price sale. (I stayed away this year by a huge effort of will.) Heirloom has own root roses, meaning they are not grafted onto wild stock. If the rose freezes and comes back from the roots, it will come back as itself and not the wild stock. The bud below is of my favorite Heirloom Rose, Playboy. It is usually covered with flowers. The leaves are super healthy and pretty themselves.

Two years ago I found another nursery on the web, Hortico, from Ontario, Canada. Their prices were good and although they don't have own root roses, I bought some anyway, mostly Rugosas for the arboretum. Rugosas really do take care of themselves and have big lovely rose hips in the fall. I also bought a Kordes shrub rose from them, Gebruder Grimm. What a spectacular bush that has turned out to be. The buds start out yellow and red, then turn colors from orange and yellow to red to pink. There's a kaleidoscope of color blooming all the time. It, too, has healthy vigorous leaves.

Not much besides roses can survive the heat and weeds and lack of water in my neglected flower beds. But the cheerful blue Love in a Mist somehow manages and pops up everywhere. I love the name as well as the flower.

I do not, unfortunately, remember the names of all the roses and other flowers that I have planted. This tall hybrid tea, name forgotten, has long-stemmed flowers but not much in the way of leaves. That doesn't matter because it resides next to a dwarf mugho pine which would be more dwarf if it ever got pruned, as would the rose, no doubt. I figure they complement each other.

Many more roses are beating the heat, some with no water at all this summer. But they're used to it. A few of these roses were here when we arrived in 1977 and who knows how long before that. This one is an old-fashioned beauty that doesn't hold its many-petalled flowers up as well as the newer varieties, but it's still here after all those years, blooming every summer in spite of the tough conditions. It must know that the Oregon mists will return again eventually.

Maybe all those weeds around the roses provide protection from the sun and keep a little moisture in. Well, something must. I can keep the veggie garden and greenhouse watered, but the roses, except for once in a great while, have to wait for rain. There are benefits to my neglect: without water splashing the leaves, I have very little problem with blackspot. And only the disease resistant, super hardy bushes survive. I call it tough love, without the mist.

1 comment:

  1. My front yard is full of playboy roses! I like the rose a whole heck of a lot better than the name though. I too got them from Heirloom, but mine were ordered with Christmas gift money from Elmer and Elsie. What a nice present, eh? I ordered them in January and they showed up come spring. Wonderful!