Monday, November 21, 2011

November flush flushes on

This year the huge difference between the summer flushes and this November flush is leaves. They’re back!! And they’re beautiful. It may sound backwards, but to me leaves on a rose bush are the icing on the cake (buttercream is my yummy favorite). It’s not absurd to say that blooms are a dime a dozen, but leaves are precious after a dry Florida summer in which the bushes in my garden either couldn't or wouldn't grow leaves for weeks and weeks. Self-preservation?

I love the green stuff – leaves!

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'Hermosa', a China-Bourbon from 1840, is a consistent bloomer, and her smallish, globular flowers are a vivid lavender pink. Her leaves are lovely, but most of the summer she was decidedly underclothed.

I have three 'Hermosa' bushes planted together a la David Austin's custom of planting in threes for greater impact. Of course, in the United States where most climates are warmer than in England, most Austins as well as non-Austins give plenty of impact one at a time. 'Hermosa' in bloom is always a joyful sight, virtually eliminating her chances of ever being shovel-pruned.

You can see that the three 'Hermosa' plants are on the diminutive side - about 40 inches high by two feet wide late in the season. In the background 'Pinkie, Climbing' is a very bushy thing with one or two clusters of flowers. Not exactly an overwhelming fall flush. In the foreground 'Souvenir de Francois Gaulain' is loaded with buds as is 'Clotilde Soupert' to his right and below.

The lovely and fragrant 'Clotilde Soupert', a Polyantha-Tea from 1889, suffered not so silently through the summer, looking bare and sickly, but suddenly after another weekend not spent in the garden I found her lushly green and covered with buds. Going through my photos last night I was shocked to see that a month ago she was also covered with flowers. She's definitely a rapid rebloomer.

'Clotilde Soupert' with lots of buds and a few spent ones left. What a pleasant surprise to see her like this when I got home from the Marion County Rose Society meeting yesterday.

'White Maman Cochet' just doesn't stop. She's only been in the ground since March (remember the driveway bed?), so she's still gawky and somewhat lopsided from growing only in one or two directions - so far, but she's a serious bloomer. Just as the last batch of five or six have dropped their petals, her buds that have been in hiding burst open and take my breath away.

Now 'Madame Abel Chatenay' has been in bloom for a month or more. She's slowing down a bit now and has some new healthy foliage but not anywhere near as dense as I'm used to seeing on her. I'm pretty sure I'm going to move her this winter toward the house about four feet, re-amending her new and old spots. That will make room for another rose (maybe 'Starry Night') or lots of daylilies. It all depends on how much of that crappy, impenetrable native soil I can remove. It occurs to me that this 'lifting & re-amending' may be a triennial occurrence.

But she's worth it, don't you think?

'Le Vesuve', always thrilling to me.

You may doubt me, but this too is 'Le Vesuve'. As she ages, her blooms become very pale pink, almost white, making her a bush of many shades of pink.

'Souvenir de la Malmaison' - if I had to have only two roses...  no, three... there's no way I could only have two. Alas, there's no way I could only have ten. Hey, there's a post topic in that. Anyway, the two would be 'Souv de la Malmaison' and 'Le Vesuve'. But just so you know... it ain't happenin'.

The Encore azalea basks in the glory of 'Souv de la Malmaison' on the left and the right. Personally, I don't see how they can call it a summer blooming azalea or even a repeat bloomer, but at least it's not dead like the three others.

'Duquesa', the Tea rose from 2005, has been transformed from the summer bush that had such teensy pale flowers into the cool-weather heart-stopper with her large, flat, fragrant, peachy flowers, so well branched and foliated, as you can see below. She was planted a year ago this past September, and she's more than four feet by four feet.
'Sweet Chariot' is a miniature and a great rose. Her magenta pom-pom flowers are a delight, and she's quite healthy.

Oops, 'Le Vesuve' thinks it's been way too long since she was the center of attention and the topic of discussion.

Bush shots are so difficult. This photo is a horrible representation of this 'Clotilde Soupert'. Her many-petaled blooms just look like white blobs, and her foliage doesn't look nearly as well recovered from the dreadful summer as they do in person. I would have left out this photo, but I could not leave out this rose. Such a wonderful garden rose should not be overlooked in Florida. With a little more acidity in the soil she would be as happy as happy can be.

'Madame Lombard' plays tricks on the camera.  You'd think she were a mostly white rose, but she's far from it. This photo does, however, show the sticky-ness of a young Tea rose. She's not a mass of leaves yet, just a few twiggy canes with little tufts of flowers and leaves at their tops.

Mme Lombard's flowers are shades of deep pink and very variable. She was bred in 1878 and arrived in my garden a year ago last month.

She can rightly brag about her gorgeous blooms, and this time next year she'll probably have some heft to back it up. I recently was reminded just how large she will be.

Right now she's throwing canes wide and low and taller, too. She could easily get to eight feet tall and almost as wide, but it's the width that unnerves me.

This camera simply can not get a handle on 'Madame Lombard'. Today she was a deeper rose color to my eye that this photo shows.

Here's a whole bush shot. The recurve of her petals must reflect light funny, so that the camera sees white instead of pink. Can you find where she begins and ends? If you ran a line from left to right from the faded clematis on the tuteur, that would be the back edge of ML. See the blue flowers? That's the plumbago. Mme Lombard probably has extended her canes into Mr. Plumbago's territory, and since I'm standing in my neighbor's yard to take this picture, you can figure ML will be gracing Linda with her presence pretty soon. The space allotted to this rose was six by six. Can you hear 'Madame Lombard' laughing at me?


  1. I am speechless, Sherry !!!! That's your garden in November ? Wow !!!

  2. What beautiful blooms you have right now. So much going on for you.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. Lovely roses as always. I love this time of year down here in FL.

    Have a great Thanksgiving ~ FlowerLady

  4. November Flush? Oh, so we're back to rubbing your beautiful roses and my Northern climate in my face, huh Sherry? Yes, I'm jealous since my only November Flush involves draining the garden hoses.

    The Hermosa, by the way, is to die for.

  5. Gorgeous! I, too, think a rose bush without leaves looks ridiculous. I have a few that are being scolded, threatened, and halfway hidden by companion plantings. But they are irritating. And I agree that it's difficult to take bush shots. Not sure why that should be, but like you, the color doesn't come out, or it's just not as pretty as what the eye sees. Something. I have to say, though, I am loving the bush shots on this post. Your garden is truly a beautiful sight to see.

  6. Sherry: Oh, I wish I can be in your garden to smell the roses now! Love your roses, and it must be wonderful feeling to see all these rose flushes, and smell the heavenly scent in the air.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  7. Your roses really love this cooler weather don't they? The healthy leaves just make those beautiful blooms stand out more don't you think?

  8. Sherry, this whole post was such a joy. I just drank in all those roses. Duquesa is new to me, what a beauty. Mme. Abel is still one of my favorites in your garden. Le Vesuve naturally is a given and my four are a continual source of joy. I'm so glad you were given all this beauty after a "naked" summer.