They Heard Me!

Either the roses heard me grumbling yesterday about eight of them not having bloomed yet or they have access to this garden journal!  Today I was quite surprised to find that four of the eight have bloomed overnight!  Lagerfeld, Moon Shadow, Pierre de Ronsard, and Queen Elizabeth have joined the bloom parade.  Though I had promised myself that I was going to post less photos this year, somehow I can't help myself and I keep snapping shots of gorgeous blooms, so lots more photos are now posted on the various pages of the web site.  Here are just a couple of examples, the first blossom of Pierre de Ronsard and a totally gorgeous rose on the Peace tree.

2008 pierre de ronsard

2008 peace

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Happy June!

And it is indeed a happy June.  Today brought us the first opened blossom ever on Madame Isaac Pereire, an Old Garden Rose that I planted last year but which did not bloom until now.  The flowers are very large and very deep pink, with the extremely strong old rose fragrance that I find intoxicating.  The photo at the bottom of this entry shows the very first flower of Mme. Isaac Pereire.  Other roses that have opened blooms for the first time since my last entry are Fragrant Cloud, Graham Thomas, and Sunbright.  Most of the other roses are in full bloom and I've posted to the web site about a hundred new photos of all of them taken over the last few days.  In fact, of the twenty-five varieties I have in the garden this year, only eight have yet to bloom: Queen Elizabeth, Falstaff, and Tropicana along the north-facing front of the house (they always bloom last), Moon Shadow and Garden Party (both shaded by Louise Odier) and Lagerfeld (late this year for some reason) in the side yard, and Sweet Juliet (always the laggard) and Pierre de Ronsard (also late for some reason) in the back yard.  Though it's a bit early with eight still to go, I've posted the annual Roses in the Garden – 2008 page that shows one example of each rose currently in the garden and links to each of their individual rose pages.  As more of the other bloom, I'll add them to the page.  I've also updated the Roses by Face page to include Mme. Isaac Pereire.  The Faces page shows a thumbnail of most every rose I've ever grown along with a link to its page, so if you don't know the names, it's a great way to pick out which rose pages you want to view.  In other garden news, the Mock Orange has bloomed for the first time in two years, last year's bloom being another victim of the old landscaper's very belated 2006 pruning.

madame isaac pereire

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My Favorite Time of Year

Though I love Summer, late Spring has to be my favorite time of year.  A day can't go by without another rose blooming or having new blossoms open on one that has already bloomed.  The air is filled with the fragrance of roses, which I find intoxicating.  Over the last couple of days, Dr. Huey, Fisherman's Friend, Heritage, Melody Parfumee, and Peace have joined the bloom parade.  I'm about to go out to spray the roses with Funginex as the wind that's been blowing for what seems like a week is finally starting to die down.  In other garden news, the Peony has finally blossomed with it's delightfully sweet-smelling, huge flowers, and both the white and purple Rhododendrons are putting on quite a show.  I've now posted more than 100 new photos to my web site.  This one shows a patient visiting Dr. Huey, quite probably for nutritional assistance! Smile

2008 dr huey 

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Roses, Roses Everywhere

Since my last entry, things in the garden have really been popping.  The white and purple rhododendrons have bloomed beautifully, though the peony is taking its own sweet time to open its huge fat buds.  It's in the world of the roses where most of the activity has been.  Louise Odier has gone from a single blossom to literally covered with large, sweet-smelling blooms.  I counted over 60 buds on just one cane!  Though I might usually post just a photo of one of the other roses that have bloomed, the photo below was just so perfect that I had to share it.  The other roses that have thus far bloomed are Double Delight (the tree in the backyard), Fragrant Lace, Gertrude Jekyll, Heritage, Pat Austin, Red Ribbons, Winchester Cathedral, and, of course, Zephirine Drouhin.  All of the others are covered with large fat buds and should soon be putting on their spring shows.  In particular, Mme. Isaac Pereire (which was newly planted last year and did not bloom) has lots of enormous buds that are just starting to open their sepals to show the red petals inside and I'm very much looking forward to seeing her first blooms.  There are lots and lots of new photos posted on my web site; the What's New page will always show you the newest entries first.  Here are two perfect blossoms of Louise Odier.

2008 louise odier

And here is the first from Fragrant Lace.

2008 fragrant lace

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The First Rose and a New Toy!

The garden has been quite busy over the last week or so.  The Bluebells have bloomed and the Wood Hyacinth remain in bloom.  I found in reviewing their pages on my web site that I had photos of each intermixed (they're pretty easy to confuse) so I got everything straightened out.  I think!  Wink  The peony is getting ready to pop, more of the azaleas have bloomed as have the spiraea and the weigela, and all of the roses are now covered with buds.  Yesterday, I was very pleasantly surprised when I went out in the garden to find the first rose of the year smiling down on me from up on Louise Odier (she's at least eight feet tall now and growing).  Ah, the wonderful fragrance of old roses is as sweet as ever and most welcome after a long winter.  Though Zephirine Drouhin is covered with buds about to open, t'was Louise Odier who took the honors this year.  In order to help me take better close-up photos of the roses (and the other garden denizens and the model trains and …), I took the recommendation of my dentist (who happens to be an excellent photographer) and added the Canon 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens to my arsenal.  This lets me get very close to the subject and produces a very sharp image that helps to show much of the detail that you sometimes miss.  Here's the first rose of the year, taken with that lens.

2008 louise odier

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Things Are Popping Up All Over!

Over the last few weeks, the garden has truly sprung to life.  The azaleas are in full bloom and I've shown one eyepopping shot below.  I actually had more tulips than I expected, with the yellow and red parrot tulip putting in an appearance this year.  The grape hyacinths have bloomed and have clearly spread compared to years past.  The wood hyacinths have also bloomed and the bluebells are getting ready to do so.  I remembered to place the peony support before it shot up so that its growth is strongly upright this year — there are already lots of buds that promise a profusion of large, sweetly-scented blooms.  All of the hosta have emerged from their winter slumber and are putting on very strong growth.  All in all, it seems to be a banner year for the garden.

In the world of the roses, I'm pleased to report that all of them have awakened and broken bud so it seems that there will be no losses this year.  Most of them are now covered with buds that foreshadow another banner rose year.  Last year, I allowed Falstaff (normally very stingy with blooms) to put out a very long horizontal cane through its neighboring abelia.  Sure enough, this spring, that long cane has put out lots of laterals, each of which should have a bloom, so perhaps the secret with Falstaff will be to train it along the fence of the front porch.  The rootstock of the late, lamented Sheer Bliss tree has put out a lot of growth and buds, so I should see relatively soon if it's Dr. Huey, as was the rootstock of the old Tropicana tree.  Near the new Peace tree, there's a volunteer rose growing well that also has buds, so I'll find out if it's been spread from rootstock or is perhaps a result of some cross-fertilization with Peace.  Time will tell.  Happily, Mme. Isaac Pereire, planted last year, now has buds so I will soon get to see (and smell) this wonderful old garden rose.  I've also given the roses their second spraying, this time with Immunox.  Hopefully, I will be able to stay on schedule this year and keep the nasty evil blackspot away.

2008 azalea

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A Wonderful Day!

Today was a very nice day in the garden.  While the daffodils are starting to fade, the anemone and scilla are in full bloom and the tulips are opening up, though as with years past, this year we'll probably have less tulips than last year and it's probably time for me to replant a new batch of tulip bulbs.  The cherry trees are in full bloom.  And, we have our first rose buds!  Smile  This year, both Louise Odier and Zephirine Drouhin claim the honor of having the first bud, which seems to  have come a few weeks early this year.  I've posted lots of new photos on the web site ; the What's New page will always show you what's new!  Smile

Today was also the start of my spraying regimen as all of the roses have broken bud and the new leaves are sitting there waiting for either my spraying or blackspot spores.  I think both I and the roses are much happier with the former.  As in years past, I will do my sprayings weekly, alternating between Banner Maxx, Immunox, and Funginex as I've had good success with that regimen.  Here for your delight is one of the first rosebuds.

2008 rosebud

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A Few Warmer Days …

… can do wonders for the garden, especially at this time of year!  The Forsythia are in full bloom, the Hyacinths are really popping, the entire Scilla bed is coming up, and all of the Daffodils are in bloom as are the Crocus. Here's one of the Hyacinths.

2008 hyacinth

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Spring Has Sprung!

In walking through the garden today, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that several of the bulb-borne flowers have bloomed.  The crocus are to be expected around this time of year, but the daffy daffodils are in full bloom and the first of the hyacinths has also bloomed!  It's a sure sign that Spring has arrived.  The lawn is going to need a good reseeding as there are quite a few bare patches after the winter.  I'll probably need to dig a bit and put down topsoil first as the good old Jersey red clay is showing through.  A few weeks ago, we had a nice warm day and I was able to clean-up and prune the roses before they broke bud.  They've since broken bud as expected (given our generally mild and rainy winter) and the tiny leaves are already emerging.  Hopefully, we will once again have a bumper crop of roses this year!  Meanwhile, here's one of the first flowers of the year to whet your appetite!  Smile

2008 daffodil

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Yes, I’m Alive!

Did I ever mention that I tend to hibernate for the winter?  LOL  We had roses into November, when the cold weather put an end to them.  Though I had taken a few photos in October and November, the late roses weren't spectacular and I never bothered posting them.  I've got SO many photos on the web site that I need to rethink the directory structure for this year and I think that I'll stick with posting only the very best of each of the rose varieties.  We haven't had much of a winter here in Edison (NJ) — one ice storm, about a half-inch of snow, and not very cold weather either.  Today it's just above freezing after a few days the past few weeks when it's been in the sixties approaching seventy and I went out in the garden to have a look.  Yup!  A bunch of the bulbs (daffodils, methinks) have been fooled and are coming up.  Hopefully, the remainder of the winter won't do them any damage.

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