Derby Day Roses

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.


About katiekind

Enjoying the second half of life. I have three sons who are the apples of my eye and a wonderful husband of 35 years--those are the important things. Long ago, out of the blue, I became a Christian. It was something I never planned on, but what joy it has been. I do website development and I like to read and garden and paint and I love beauty and truth.
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4 Responses to Derby Day Roses

  1. TulipGirl says:

    This post makes me smile. And while black-thumbed as I am, I’ve not tried my hand at roses–I do appreciate the nurturing work others do in their gardens.

  2. Mel says:

    Do you have any suggestions/recommended reading about basic rose care (for someone who inherited roses with a new house and has *no* idea how to make/keep them happy)??

  3. katiekind says:

    Hi Mel!

    Roses are hungry feeders so give them some fertilizer periodically throughout the season. Plain old Miracle Gro is fine, or you can get Rose-tone which is a good organic fertilizer. I buy bags of compost at the lawn and garden place and spread that out under my roses, too. Since you have young children, you might investigate a product like Bayer’s All in One Rose Something-or-other. You can find it in the garden center at big box stores. It’s very good and will give you fertilizer, disease treatment and insect treatment “all in one”. It’s pricey, though. With the amount of roses I have, I can’t afford that, but if I had only a few, I’d do that in a heartbeat.

    Roses also like a lot of water. We’ve had PLENTY of rain here where I live but if you’re in a drier climate, you’ll want to water your roses deeply pretty often.

    Roses also like to get plenty of sunshine. If your rose is in the shade, it probably won’t bloom too well. Some varieties are more forgiving than others in that department. You can move your rose if it’s in a shady location. They forgive you eventually!

  4. Mel says:

    Funny, I just saw that Bayer’s all in one stuff advertised in Lowe’s mother’s day sales flyer… I’ve only got 3 intentional bushes, so Bayer’s would probably be do-able. There are a few volunteers here & there; I think the former owner had a super-green thumb with clippings rooting (and blooming) in her wake. Must’ve been nice…

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