“I’m So Excited!” My New Roses Will Be Delivered Tomorrow

 

David Austin, PBUH (this is the US link; it’s originally a UK firm) says that they’ve been shipped at exactly the right time for planting in my plant hardiness “zone.”  (My zone number is somewhere between 6A and 6B, worst case indicating that the temperatures in the winter might go down to about -25F, or -32C.  Looking at the zone map is eerily reminiscent of the sort of feeling I get when I look at those cellular-phone-company coverage maps; I’m usually in none of the orange, or blue, or green areas.  Rather, my area is gray, and if you look at the key, it says that I receive “limited service.”  Yes, Virginia, I live in the little hamlet of “Limited Service, Pennsylvania.”  And my horticultural environment ain’t much to write home about, neither.)

Still, the roses are on their way and should arrive tomorrow.

There are three of them:

  • The Malvern Hills Rose: This is a yellow, ‘rambling rose.’   It’s quadruply special, as it recalls: my days at an English boarding school in the Malvern Hills; the landscape of Piers Plowman and much else of Mr. She’s beloved Medieval literature; Tolkien’s Shire; and my mother, who loved Nat King Cole, and who stopped an energetic smoking habit, stone-cold, on the day he died of lung cancer.  (As I’m fond of saying: Everyone has a story.  Some people have more than one…)

  • The Princess Alexandra of Kent Rose:  Pink, especially fragrant, good for containers.  And Dad’s favorite Royal!  He met the lady when she was on a Royal tour of Nigeria, way back when.  She was gifted on the trip with a huge ceramic vase made by Ladi Kwali, a celebrated Nigerian potter.  There were two made for the occasion (in case one exploded in the firing), and Alex was given the one considered to be slightly the better; Dad was given, and his kids now have, the backup, which is currently on display at the Birmingham Museum of Art in the UK.
  • The Claire Austin Rose: This one doesn’t have an extremely personal connection, but it’s billed as a “vigorous, upright rose; good climber, with pale lemon buds which gradually open to creamy white flowers.” It does well in sunny or shady areas, which is important, as I’m hoping to train it up the west wall of the barn, where it will get plenty of afternoon sunshine, but not much in the morning.  Apparently, David named it after his daughter.  I think that’s lovely.  How nice it would be if someone named an English rose after me.  LOL.  The thorns, maybe.

David C.H. Austin spent his professional life trying to recreate and popularize the roses and the scents of his childhood–old garden roses–while imposing on them some of the requirements of the modern age; a wider color range, longer-flowering, and increased disease resistance.

They’re the roses and the scents of my childhood, too, stemming (see what I did there) from Granny’s rose garden, a small but lovely tiered circular display in her little urban garden, just below what used to be the emergency exit from the bomb shelter below the living-room floor, should it be necessary to exit that way if Germans ever managed a direct hit on the house in the early 1940s.  Oh, how I loved the roses and their heavenly fragrances.  And I suppose, in my seventh decade upon this earth, that it’s alright to indulge my memories this way.

Isn’t it?

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    How about the She Multiflora Rose?

    …ducks…

    • #1
  2. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Percival (View Comment):

    How about the She Multiflora Rose?

    …ducks…

    Oh, HaHaHa.

    For those of you not in the know, the multiflora rose is an invasive weed plant that now grows wild throughout most of the United States.  It originated in China, and was imported with the best of intentions (isn’t everything?).

    See?  See!  My mother-in-law was right, when she used to mutter about those “Chinese mattresses…”  People said she was a conspiracy theorist.  But, no.  If she’d lived long enough, she’d probably have figured out the brown marmorated stink bugs, too.  (My own theory about them is that they came over in packing crates, embedded in the Chinese mattresses…)

    Multiflora roses completely take over any pasture they invade, and although (in one sense, they might be considered an attractive shrub with small (not terribly) fragrant blooms, they’re a bloody pest if you’re trying to do anything with the land.

    The only solution?

    Goats.

    Goats love multiflora roses.  Run goats on in a field with multiflora roses for three years and…gone! (Pro tip:  Goats love poison ivy, too.  Useful creatures, goats.)

    Thanks a lot, @percival. I won’t forget.

     

     

    • #2
  3. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Oddly, the sense of smell has been found to be more closely linked with memory than any other of our senses.  I’m pretty sure that’s true, given the number of times I’ve been minding my business thinking about something else, when suddenly, even the tiniest hint of a smell familiar from decades ago wafts against my nostrils and suddenly I’m worlds away.  Sometimes, it’s incredibly unexpected and even problematic, especially when (as it the case sometimes with matters British of mid-twentieth-century life), it invokes something like “bad drains.”

    • #3
  4. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Wonderful!  That’s all I got.

    • #4
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    She (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    How about the She Multiflora Rose?

    …ducks…

    Oh, HaHaHa.

    For those of you not in the know, the multiflora rose is an invasive weed plant that now grows wild throughout most of the United States. It originated in China, and was imported with the best of intentions (isn’t everything?).

    See? See! My mother-in-law was right, when she used to mutter about those “Chinese mattresses…” People said she was a conspiracy theorist. But, no. If she’d lived long enough, she’d probably have figured out the brown marmorated stink bugs, too. (My own theory about them is that they came over in packing crates, embedded in the Chinese mattresses…)

    Multiflora roses completely take over any pasture they invade, and although (in one sense, they might be considered an attractive shrub with small (not terribly) fragrant blooms, they’re a bloody pest if you’re trying to do anything with the land.

    The only solution?

    Goats.

    Goats love multiflora roses. Run goats on in a field with multiflora roses for three years and…gone! (Pro tip: Goats love poison ivy, too. Useful creatures, goats.)

    Thanks a lot, @ percival. I won’t forget.

     

     

    My cousin wanted to experiment with napalm. I don’t think it would work.

    • #5
  6. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    @she, at our age we can pretty much do anything we want to that is not destructive of others.  Go for it!  And maybe post pictures of your roses once they are duly planted and blooming.

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I had three David Austin apricot roses. I lost them to mildew. I didn’t understand roses back then, and I put them too close to the house. They needed more air circulation. But they were so beautiful and fragrant. I miss them to this day.

    Other roses I’ve had, and I’ve had quite a few, were eaten by deer and rabbits. It’s so frustrating.

    I just ordered a Julia Child rose from Gurney’s. It’s a bare root, and it’s the only one I could find from the places I normally order plants. It’s my favorite rose, but deer and rabbits ate the first one I had years ago. They destroyed an entire side of the plant. Very frustrating. I want to try this again inside a large fenced-in area where I have a couple of other roses in containers doing quite well. I’m hoping I’ve learned enough to keep this going. :-)

    We have had two years of bumper crops of bunnies. I love them dearly, but they eat everything I like. I keep talking to them about clover and grass. But they prefer my flowers.

    So this year I am putting together a new garden that will be fenced in completely to protect the plants from the bunnies. I put together the order last winter when I was able to buy $500 worth of plants for $250 from American Meadows in Vermont. I too am getting my order this coming week–which means I have to get this new garden turned over tomorrow. But I am so excited to have some plants that will have a chance to grow and flower.

    That said, I went out yesterday and saw that some animal–I think a turkey–squashed a small Penny Mac hydrangea in one of my gardens. The animal broke off the branches trying to get the buds. We went through this last year too–a very dry April. The animals were just desperate for any kind of moisture they could find, including leaf and flower buds.

    But we have some heavy rain coming this weekend, so that will solve that problem.

    It will be a wonderful floriferous summer. :-)

     

    • #7
  8. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Percival (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    How about the She Multiflora Rose?

    …ducks…

    Oh, HaHaHa.

    For those of you not in the know, the multiflora rose is an invasive weed plant that now grows wild throughout most of the United States. It originated in China, and was imported with the best of intentions (isn’t everything?).

    See? See! My mother-in-law was right, when she used to mutter about those “Chinese mattresses…” People said she was a conspiracy theorist. But, no. If she’d lived long enough, she’d probably have figured out the brown marmorated stink bugs, too. (My own theory about them is that they came over in packing crates, embedded in the Chinese mattresses…)

    Multiflora roses completely take over any pasture they invade, and although (in one sense, they might be considered an attractive shrub with small (not terribly) fragrant blooms, they’re a bloody pest if you’re trying to do anything with the land.

    The only solution?

    Goats.

    Goats love multiflora roses. Run goats on in a field with multiflora roses for three years and…gone! (Pro tip: Goats love poison ivy, too. Useful creatures, goats.)

    Thanks a lot, @ percival. I won’t forget.

     

     

    My cousin wanted to experiment with napalm. I don’t think it would work.

    Probably not.  Experience tells me that the quick fix–even if it involves blowing up everything in sight, including perhaps the house and yourself–isn’t all that effective and that the blasted (lol) things will just return the following year and grow over anything that’s left.  I think that’s why goats work; they’re mission-oriented, and in it for the long haul.

     

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    She (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    How about the She Multiflora Rose?

    …ducks…

    Oh, HaHaHa.

    For those of you not in the know, the multiflora rose is an invasive weed plant that now grows wild throughout most of the United States. It originated in China, and was imported with the best of intentions (isn’t everything?).

    See? See! My mother-in-law was right, when she used to mutter about those “Chinese mattresses…” People said she was a conspiracy theorist. But, no. If she’d lived long enough, she’d probably have figured out the brown marmorated stink bugs, too. (My own theory about them is that they came over in packing crates, embedded in the Chinese mattresses…)

    Multiflora roses completely take over any pasture they invade, and although (in one sense, they might be considered an attractive shrub with small (not terribly) fragrant blooms, they’re a bloody pest if you’re trying to do anything with the land.

    The only solution?

    Goats.

    Goats love multiflora roses. Run goats on in a field with multiflora roses for three years and…gone! (Pro tip: Goats love poison ivy, too. Useful creatures, goats.)

    Thanks a lot, @ percival. I won’t forget.

    My cousin wanted to experiment with napalm. I don’t think it would work.

    Probably not. Experience tells me that the quick fix–even if it involves blowing up everything in sight, including perhaps the house and yourself–isn’t all that effective and that the blasted (lol) things will just return the following year and grow over anything that’s left. I think that’s why goats work; they’re mission-oriented, and in it for the long haul.

    Cows won’t pay them any mind at all, and horses are even daintier than that. Only one aunt kept goats. She wanted them to replace the lawnmower. They preferred the neighbor’s garden.

    There was acrimony.

    • #9
  10. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    @ she, at our age we can pretty much do anything we want to that is not destructive of others. Go for it! And maybe post pictures of your roses once they are duly planted and blooming.

    Thanks, @rushbabe49!  I do feel myself approaching the state in which my mother-in-law (a huge Rush fan, who always referred to herself as a “seasoned citizen”) lived the last few years of her life, when she felt free to speak her mind on just about anything, when, in earlier years, she’d have been more circumspect.  It’s a liberating feeling…

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I had three David Austin apricot roses. I lost them to mildew. I didn’t understand roses back then, and I put them too close to the house. They needed more air circulation. But they were so beautiful and fragrant. I miss them to this day.

    Thanks.  A very good tip, and I’ll keep it in mind.

    Other roses I’ve had, and I’ve had quite a few, were eaten by deer and rabbits. It’s so frustrating.

    Most of mine are in fenced areas (I have a 4′ high high-tensile perimeter fence, and put a board fence and gates across the driveway end of the property a few years ago).  It doesn’t completely eliminate the deer problem, but it’s helped significantly.  I also keep the–what passes for–cultivated areas of the garden close to the house, where the dogs are going to bark if they sense an intruder.  I think, based on what you say in the rest of your comment, that you’ve to this figured out too, and I hope you have much luck going forward.

    I just ordered a Julia Child rose from Gurney’s. It’s a bare root, and it’s the only one I could find from the places I normally order plants. It’s my favorite rose, but deer and rabbits ate the first one I had years ago. They destroyed an entire side of the plant. Very frustrating. I want to try this again inside a large fenced-in area where I have a couple of other roses in containers doing quite well. I’m hoping I’ve learned enough to keep this going. :-)

    Do keep trying.  As I mentioned above, fences help.

    We have had two years of bumper crops of bunnies. I love them dearly, but they eat everything I like. I keep talking to them about clover and grass. But they prefer my flowers.

    LOL.  I love them too.

    So this year I am putting together a new garden that will be fenced in completely to protect the plants from the bunnies. I put together the order last winter when I was able to buy $500 worth of plants for $250 from American Meadows in Vermont. I too am getting my order this coming week–which means I have to get this new garden turned over tomorrow. But I am so excited to have some plants that will have a chance to grow and flower.

    That said, I went out yesterday and saw that some animal–I think a turkey–squashed a small Penny Mac hydrangea in one of my gardens. The animal broke off the branches trying to get the buds. We went through this last year too–a very dry April. The animals were just desperate for any kind of moisture they could find, including leaf and flower buds.

    Maybe put out a couple of tubs with water in the dry season?  Something like this? https://www.premier1supplies.com/p/rubber-pan?cat_id=20.  Low-profile and close to the ground so a turkey, or even a rabbit can drink from them?  (I have to confess that I’m such a softie I worry about mice drowning in mine, so I put a brick close to the edge inside, so the poor creature–should there be such a one–can dog-paddle (mouse-paddle?) over to it and climb out….)

    But we have some heavy rain coming this weekend, so that will solve that problem.

    It will be a wonderful floriferous summer. :-)

    I hope so.  Spring here has been very wet, and the spring bulbs were absolutely beautiful.

    • #10
  11. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Percival (View Comment):

    Cow won’t pay them any mind at all, and horses are even daintier than that. Only one aunt kept goats. She wanted them to replace the lawnmower. They preferred the neighbor’s garden.

    There was acrimony.

    Acrimony is one of my favorite plants!  Oh, wait….

     

    • #11
  12. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    She (View Comment):
    Experience tells me that the quick fix–even if it involves blowing up everything in sight, including perhaps the house and yourself–isn’t all that effective and that the blasted (lol) things will just return the following year and grow over anything that’s left

    My husband has been gardening a lot longer than I have. He has always said, “These things like poison ivy that are everywhere and that you can’t get rid of are probably the cure for cancer or some other equally horrible human illness or problem. God put it right in front of us, and we keep killing it, swearing at it, and ignoring it.” :-) 

    • #12
  13. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    She (View Comment):
    Spring here has been very wet, and the spring bulbs were absolutely beautiful.

    That’s interesting to read. It’s been extremely dry here, and the daffodils are simply spectacular. It must be something else afoot.

    In fact, as I write that, it would be the weather conditions that existed when the flowers formed inside the bulb, right?

    That’s true for a lot of plants. When late August or early September is extra dry, I have to water my blueberry bushes with extra water because however it is that they form the berries for the following summer happens in response to water they get at that time of year.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Flowers are beautiful. Period. But there is something about roses, no matter the size, the shape, the color that is simply uplifting. I was always in heaven visiting the Balboa Park Rose Garden–gorgeous. The only sad outcome for some roses is they have no scent. There is something awful about that! Have a great time with them, She!

    • #14
  15. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Speaking of daffodils, this is a picture of my compost pile today where, over the years, I have thrown daffodil bulbs that didn’t bloom where I had planted them.  This is a very humbling sight. :-)

     

    • #15
  16. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator
    Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker
    @AmySchley

    She (View Comment):

    The only solution?

    Goats.

    Goats love multiflora roses.  Run goats on in a field with multiflora roses for three years and…gone! (Pro tip:  Goats love poison ivy, too.  Useful creatures, goats.)

    They’re also one of the few reliable sources of kudzu control.

    • #16
  17. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Speaking of daffodils, this is a picture of my compost pile today where, over the years, I have thrown daffodil bulbs that didn’t bloom where I had planted them. This is a very humbling sight. :-)

     

    That’s lovely.  And yes, I understand that dynamic.

     

    • #17