Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Roses in mid-May

The roses are nearly finished now, but this is what they looked like in the middle of May.

Swamp rose and Veilchenblau next to the vegetable garden

The foxglove is thankfully seeding itself around by the sidewalk and in the
front yard-adjacent bed. They even look healthy in spite of a very wet winter.

There's a swamp rose at the edge of the front yard too.

On the way down to the big bed I pass a big hulking sweetbriar. The flowers are small
and fleeting but the fragrance of the foliage is delicious. Most people describe it as
smelling like apples, to me it smells like a mixture of apples and honey. The fragrance
drifts for many feet once the weather warms up and is especially noticeable after a rain.

There are several big swamp roses down there, as well as several small and medium-sized
(young) ones, most started from cuttings. The greenery in the foreground are baptisias
and the dead branch is that of a fig. Both of our fig trees took a big hit from the cold
as they did last year. I cut off all I could with loppers but some will have to be taken
down with a saw. I wouldn't be surprised if the fig shoot up and covers the dead wood
before I can get around to cutting it down. Several trees in our area died all the way
down to the ground. Those are probably 'Brown Turkey'. Judging from the leaves we
think our figs are 'Celeste', which is the most cold hardy common fig there is.

A swamp rose next to an area across from the bed that I still haven't cultivated yet.
I plan on eventually planting a couple of sugar maples there perhaps as I'd like to be
able to see beneath their canopies to the fields beyond. There's a volunteer snowbell
next to the rose. I wish the snowbell had volunteered before I planted the rose there.

Roses next to the neighbor's pasture

One of the roses next to the neighbor's pasture has sized up nicely, and several at the north
end of the big bed (furthest from the house) are getting big too. I had just decided to plant
a bunch of big roses there because over 10 years of planting perennials had not proven fruitful.
The native bamboo always did better than everything else.

Swamp roses at the north end of the bed

There's still some willowleaf aster 'Miss Bessie' and orange daylilies, but hopefully the roses will grow over the daylilies soon. The orange daylilies are blooming now with the last of the swamp roses and the combination is .... not good. I'm going to clip them. I love groupings of orange daylilies, especially in a bit of shade to highlight their color so that they look like goblets filled with burning orange. Not with pink roses. Orange is a difficult color to incorporate into my garden. The only thing that can make pink and orange get along is the addition of purple, and 'Hippolyte' is done before the daylilies bloom.

Swamp rose and 'Hippolyte'. 'Hippolyte' is 4-5 feet high and wide now and has never looked
better. The flowers are full and ruffly and several different rich shades of purple... and
fragrant. An old rose fragrance that is as beautiful as the flowers.

The one and only 'Hansa' that is left in my garden with a swamp rose in the background.
Not sure what happened to them... they just died. I like the flowers so much that I ordered
another couple of 'Hansa' from High Country Roses. The habit isn't all that great -- it's been
a bit angular and awkward in my garden -- but I love the color and velvety texture of the blooms.

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