I’ve been watching the buds on the roses swell and show a bit of color, and asked Scott if we should have a race and put money on our favorites to win. I proposed a front yard race and a back yard race. Then I had to propose a front yard race for hybrid teas only–in order to exclude those cheaters, the Knockout Roses.
So although Scott declined to put money on the roses, I’ve been watching closely to see who would bloom first. Fittingly, on the morning of the Kentucky Derby–yesterday–I spotted across the back yard a hot pink bloom on The Herbalist, and lolling in big tangled arches under the shade of the neighbor’s tall pines, Penelope (an old hybrid musk climber) had several lovely light pink-to-cream blooms. It’s a tie!
In the front yard, Granada won handily, unfurling two dainty little buds.
A little later, I went into the back yard and discovered a lovely and fragrant pink bud on Abraham Darby, and a fat yellow bud on Golden Celebration. When I went out in the afternoon, a bud had opened on Molineux, a saturated gold at this time of year, and on Winchester Cathedral, white and myrrh-smelling.
The upshot is that sitting before me on my desk are two lovely little vases of rose blossoms.
Yay! I love rose season. There will only be a week or two in my yard when everything is blooming heavily enough to make a big impact, and then will come the Japanese beetles. Over the years I’ve let go of the garden in my imagination. But the surprise in its place is the joy of walking in the yard and meeting the actual roses as they are. [Stop and think about how that might work in other aspects of life.] Pests being what they are in my yard, I’ve learned to cut the flowers as they come, and enjoy putting together bouquets for the house. I have many varieties and each one is surpassingly beautiful in its own way.
I’m happy it was Granada that won in the front yard race. Granada is one of the only roses I have liked so much I decided to buy a second plant of it. Since I have limited rose real estate, and love to grow a variety of them, that’s saying something.
When I saw my original Granada’s first bloom, the word circus popped into my mind and I almost laughed out loud. The colors are an unreasonably cheerful blend of vivid yellow and hot pink, with tinges of deep cerise on the outer petals, at least in the bud stage. As garish as that sounds like it could be, the blooms are on the small side and have a hand-colored look. The effect is, shall we say, happily vivid — not tastelessly loud. It is quite fragrant for a hybrid tea rose and lasts well in a vase.
Scott has the camera with him at the pipe show or I’d cut the flowery descriptions and just show you a picture.