Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name

Would still be a rose, right? But would it still have been a Companion?*

The weather here has been warm, humid and wet, perfect for all sorts of chewing bugs, fungal diseases, and my personal favourite: slugs. So instead of chronicling the Potential Disasters of my garden (because who really wants to go there until they have to) and because the Chelsea Flower Show just ended, I thought I'd show you a few photos from Sheila's Flower Show, which is running all this week.

Come this way. No pushing or picking. Stay on the path, please.

Here we have a perfectly charming little climber: the Guy de Maupassant rose. As FDPG put it, it's really pink. It's also really fragrant. This rose has been moved 5 times in the past three years and some of us around here are surprised that it still wants to bloom, but there's no arguing with the Head Gardener. She gets it into her head to move something and no one can reason with her.
(don't tell her we said that)

And in this corner, nestled under an arch, is a Westerland rose. It's a climber too. I feel like Matt James whenever I see this rose (he's an excitably breathless & extremely earnest Brit who does gardening shows and usually has Richard and I in fits of laughter whenever he utters the phrase 'skimmia japonica') because it has me all breathless and earnest in my admiration. It's so beautiful. So orange. So perfect. And a very reliable repeat bloomer, with hardly any penchant for bugs or black spot.

I feel rather pleased with myself here. And maybe, just maybe a little Nancy Drew-ish in my sleuthing ability. This rose came to me as part of someone's divorce settlement: she was clearing out all the ex's things, including roses, and didn't remember the name of it. Call me totally, completely, neurotically and maybe even obsessively anal but I like to know the names of plants, so I went through two massive books on David Austen roses this winter, comparing all the yellow roses he has to the rose memory I had from when this rose briefly bloomed at the end of the summer. I narrowed it down to two: Graham Thomas or Golden Celebration, although I was leaning towards Golden Celebration because of the scalloping on the outer petals (omg, I sound like a rose geek). Anyhow, I took a bud and a bloom (omg, I really AM a rose geek) into a rose nursery and the Head Rose Geek there agreed with me: Golden Celebration. The difference being that the GC buds have tinges of orange, whereas the GT roses don't.

So there. I need to send David Austen this photo, I think. This is one seriously fabulous rose. The smell is amazing too. I have bowls of them all over the house right now. In fact, I love this rose so much I might marry it. That's what I told Richard the Smartass when he asked me. I did not tell him about going to the rose nursery though. He would start to think I was getting like Matt James.
Here is a snap of the entire bush. I'm making it smaller just in case you start to think I really am obsessed with this rose.

(she is obsessed with that rose - she's just in denial)

The Princess Victoria Louise poppy. I've included this poppy in previous years on the Garden Tour, but it's blooming right this very second out in the front yard so I am giving it a Repeat Performance, because it's a must for your garden. Really. Get out to that garden centre RIGHT NOW. Or ask me for seeds.

And here we have a side view of this delightful poppy. It seems to spread nicely, despite only having been here for 2 years.

Finally, we come to that little rascal of the pot plant world: the pansy. This is Blue Sky Frills (not really, I just made that up) and I think you'll agree that it's a stunner (oh honestly, this is getting idiotic).

It's been lovely seeing you all today, hope you enjoyed your tour. Gift shop is on the right as you exit, and the tea shop is around the corner. If you're nice to FDPG she might give you some Girl Guide cookies.

* A really obscure Doctor Who reference, sorry, couldn't resist.


Michelle said...

Lovely tour. I'm not a pansy fan, but those really are pretty. Did you really make that name up? It suits. I *love* your poppies. Do you have any foxglove or bleeding heart? I'd love to see those featured any upcoming tours.

Rebecca said...

I love love love Golden Celebration. I used to have a Graham Thomas at one of my past residences and it was a very sweet rose, too. This one looks very gorgeous... and it looks like it smells delicious.

Where is the rose nursery? I may have to trundle on over if they have a good selection of David Austens.

Poppy seeds, please.

Thanks for the tour. I did stay on the path most of the time. I promise.

sheila said...

I really did make up the name, Michelle. I don't know that they came with a tag, actually: they were in a flat in the Wilted Flowers section of the garden centre. I am particularly fond of the half blue, half white ones. And oddly enough I DO have some foxglove - I also have some hollyhocks you might like: Ruffled Apricot and Pam's Choice. Next tour!

sheila said...

The Golden Celebration is amazing - even if it wasn't one for its previous owners. The rose nursery is on Benvenuto, that place near the butterfly centre. He used to propagate them, until David Austen's son and business manager got all greedy on him. He also has a load of his own roses. I got the Evelyn rose from him too: another DA rose named after Crabtree & Evelyn. Another place you can try is Russell - last time I was there they had quite a selection of bare root roses, almost all DA ones.

I'll save you some seeds.

Erin said...

your roses are lovely, Sheila and the leaves look so clean. Maybe I'll send you a photo of one I'm trying to ID, it's a tricky one.

I really love the peachy orange yellow ranges of colors. those are my Mom's faves too, and your Matt James looke like one I had at my house growing up...could it be thta old...going back `35 years??

sheila said...

Erin, I like those peachy oranges too. The Westerland is actually a sort of 'bargain basement' rose I bought at a sale last summer. I'm always surprised at what a nice rose it turned out to be.

I'm terrible at IDing roses unless they are David Austen roses (they have very individual traits) but I'll give it a go if you post a shot.

Anonymous said...

Have I mentioned that I covet those pansies?

V. pretty.

orialedo (really?)

Rebecca said...

I bought a rose yesterday. A Graham Thomas. I'm going out soon to see if the deer found it yet.

Theeder Dee and Theeder Dum,


sheila said...

You didn't? How nice. We must get them together sometime, my Golden Celebration and your Graham Thomas - maybe we can do a photo shoot next spring. Compare petals.