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September 10, 2017

2nd annual "underdog" award


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There are Oscars, and there are comeback player of the year awards, but there's nothing quite like the "underdog" rose bush of the year award.  It was exactly one year ago, September 10, 2016, that I  featured the first honoree in a post of that date titled:  The "underdog" rose bush.   You can see today's winner below -- an unnamed seedling of the 'Queen Elizabeth' rose.  This seedling stands just 1 foot tall, but it is displaying some very pretty blooms (photo on the right), just like it did when it displayed its very first bloom (photo on the left).   The "birthday" of this rose plant was March 16, 2010.  Doing some quick math, we see that the plant is a little less than 7½ years old.

First bloom:  June 17, 2010
Today:  September 10, 2017

Note:  there may or may not be an award next year.  Most of my seedlings are fairly vigorous, just like the two rose bushes (both over 5 feet tall) seen behind today's winner.

August 21, 2017

Eclipse Day

Well, August 21 is Eclipse Day in North America, so I had to add a couple of photos to the mix.  I didn't purchase a solar filter for my camera, because I wanted to include roses, as well as the Sun, in my photos.  The first photo was taken about 20 minutes into the eclipse, when the Sun was about 20% covered by the Moon.  The combination of bright Sun and no filter makes it look like no eclipse is in progress.  The rose on the right is 'Queen Elizabeth', while the white rose to its left is one of the "Queens" unnamed seedlings.   The second photo shows an interesting phenomenon.  It was taken just 8 minutes before "totality", and it shows the shadow cast by the giant Cedar tree seen in the first photo.  Notice the many "mini eclipses" in the shadow, each depicting the Sun which was at least 90% covered at the time -- photo: 10:09 am,  totality: 10:18 am.

Photo taken:  August 21,  2017
Photo taken:  August 21,  2017

July 29, 2017

Grandifloras

Grandiflora rose bushes (originally a cross between the hybrid tea and floribunda rose types) are tall plants that readily produce clusters of blooms.  The 'Queen Elizabeth' rose was the first to merit the designation of "grandiflora", and I have quite a few unnamed seedlings that I have grown from one of my open-pollinated (very likely "self" pollinated) 'Queen Elizabeth' roses.  As you can see in the photos below, the clustering habit is very evident in two of the seedlings.

Photo taken:  July 22, 2017
Photo taken:  July 29, 2017

Update of September 16, 2017:    The rose bush that produced the bloom cluster shown in the photo on the right (above) was looking really nice today.  The growing season is tapering off, and fewer clusters are forming, and more slowly at that.  With a rainy week ahead, I thought it would be wise to  take a photo of the rose today, while it still looked good.  This grandiflora-like seedling, now 5 feet tall, will be 8½ years old next month --

Photo taken:  September 16, 2017

July 14, 2017

Pretty sights in the rose garden

Once again a very pretty dragonfly lingered long enough in the garden to have its photo taken.  This one had a blue body and two-tone wings of pastel blue with streaks of black.  Through the transparent part of the wings, you can see the mossy ground cover that's now brown for the Summer.  You will find additional photos of other dragonfly visitors to the garden in earlier posts in this blog.  Here is today's visitor --


A pretty dragonfly
Photo taken:  July 14,  2017


The roses continue their amazing show of beauty.  Here are a couple of recent photos of blooms from two of my seedling rose bushes.  Both roses have the 'Queen Elizabeth' rose as their parent.

Photo taken:  July 5,  2017
Photo taken:  July 6,  2017

July 2, 2017

How things look today

Every once in a while I like to take some "panorama" (i.e. stitched) photos of the major rose growing areas around the house.  You will definitely want to click on these photos to enlarge them.  The first photo shows the big rose bed in the back yard.  Toward the left in this photo is a 7 foot tall 'Queen Elizabeth' rose, easy to recognize because today it is displaying many pretty pink blooms.  This particular rose bush is a parent of many seedlings in this same bed, many of which now stand between 6 and 8 feet tall.  The second photo shows the roses growing along the driveway in the front yard, a real challenging spot because of the sloping terrain -- a steep north-south slope (top to bottom in the photo) and a less steep west-east slope (left to right in the photo).  Well placed circular edging around each bush allows water to remain in place.


Photos stitched on July 2, 2017
Photos stitched on July 2,  2017

Update of July 12, 2017:     Not to be neglected is the rest of the back yard (photo below on the left), which features 5 store-bought 'Queen Elizabeth' roses that are now a little over 10 years old.  In the stitched photo below, they are the ones with the pink blooms.   The rose bush with 3 orange blooms is the hybrid tea  rose 'Voodoo', which was the only rose on the property when I moved here 10 years ago; I transplanted it to the back yard so that it would have some company.  In the two corners in back by the fence are a couple of Rosa glauca species roses which are also over 10 years old.

The photo to the right gives another perspective of the back yard, as seen when exiting the back door and approaching the rose garden.


Photos stitched on July 8,  2017
Photos stitched on July 12,  2017

June 30, 2017

Some early Summer blooms

It's been a while since my last post, but I haven't forgotten you.  I have some more pretty rose bloom photos to share, and once again they show the variety of flowers produced by the seedlings that I've grown from an open-pollinated 'Queen Elizabeth' parent.  Another point of interest:  look below the foliage in these photos to see the low-growing ground cover that's beginning to turn brown.  Quite a bit of Sagina procumbens has invaded the back yard rose bed, adding to the already present moss and liverwort patches.  Which will become dominant is anybody's guess.

Photo taken:  June 29,  2017
Photo taken:  June 20,  2017

Photo taken:  June 29,  2017
Photo taken:  June 21,  2017

Update of July 2, 2017:     To aid you in remembering what a 'Queen Elizabeth' bloom looks like, I took a photo earlier today of a cluster of seven blooms on one of my 'QE' rose bushes (I guess "seven" is reflective of the fact that I also have seven 'QE' rose bushes) --

Blooms on a 'Queen Elizabeth' rose bush
Photo taken:  July 2,  2017

May 28, 2017

A hint of pink

I was able to get out among the roses this evening after some "down time", and I noticed a trio of similar blooms even though they were on different rose bushes.  The thing that they had in common, however, was their parent plant, namely the 'Queen Elizabeth' rose.  The three roses were grown from seed from an open-pollinated (very likely self-pollinated) 'QE' mother plant.  The white blooms with a hint of pink are very pretty indeed.


Unnamed 'QE' seedling #1
Photo taken:  May 28, 2017
Unnamed 'QE' seedling #2
Photo taken:  May 28, 2017

Unnamed 'QE' seedling #3
Photo taken:  May 28, 2017

Update of June 4, 2017:     Below are two more different 'QE' seedlings that have the same color traits as the seedlings above.  You might detect a pattern here.  If you read my post of May 31, 2012 which I titled "Singles are nice, too",  you will see another strong trait among my seedlings.  Is there enough evidence there (and here) to determine who the "paternal grandfather" of the 'Queen Elizabeth' rose might be (which is to say, the "pollen parent" of the "pollen parent" of 'QE').  It still remains a mystery to me.


Unnamed 'QE' seedling #4
Photo taken:  June 4, 2017
Unnamed 'QE' seedling #5
Photo taken:  June 4, 2017

May 10, 2017

Patience pays off (finally)

It's hard to establish what is "normal" around here.  For the last 2 years, the first rose blooms in my garden opened on April 21st, but this year was quite different.  Today (May 10th), one of my 'Queen Elizabeth' seedlings was the first to open, and it was a welcome sight.  It helps that it is a 10 petal bloom (easier to open), but its size is an impressive 4 inches.  Below is a photo of today's bloom as well as a photo of the seedling way back in the year 2010 when the plant produced its very first bloom.  Check out the dates -- sometimes it doesn't take very long for a seedling to produce its first bloom.



Photo taken:  May 10,  2017
Birth date of rose:  March 15,  2010
First bloom:  July 24,  2010

April 30, 2017

Waiting patiently

The first open blooms in my backyard rose bed have generally appeared between the 20th of April and the 15th of May.  This having been the coldest and wettest Winter in the 10 years that I've been here, it looks like it's going to be middle of May this year.  In the meantime, I do routine inspections of the rose bushes, at least on those days when it's not "raining cats and dogs" (find the origin of this expression by doing a Google search).  During today's inspection tour, I spotted a well camouflaged visitor to the garden.  Fortunately, it stayed put until I was able to get my camera, and also do a quick recharge of the camera's batteries after a long Winter.  See if you can spot the visitor in the photo below --


The camouflaged dragonfly
April 30,  2017

December 5, 2016

Give me 5 !

It was 5 years ago today that I began this blog, and it is more than fitting to celebrate another anniversary day.  Today's garden report shows that the individual roses are doing very well, while the garden as a whole continues to impress.  I took a couple of photos of the main rose bed two days ago, taking advantage of a rare sunny day for this time of the year.  The first photo below shows a view looking down the gradually sloping bed; the second photo looks back up the slope.  The roses are beginning their semi-dormancy for the winter months, and they have been pruned back about as far as they're going to be pruned.  It is an eclectic group of rose bushes, and a light pruning style will bring out their best.


Photo taken:  December 3, 2016
Photo taken:  December 3, 2016


As a special anniversary treat for you, I 'm including two photos of a select group of rose blooms which, believe it or not, span the 5 years which we are celebrating --

Roses by Day
Photo taken:  December 3, 2016
Roses at Night
Photo taken:  December 6, 2011

November 2, 2016

Rain records!

Salem just had its wettest October in history.  Not only did 11¼ inches of rainfall set a new record, but 27 days of measurable rain set another record.  The fact that I am writing this post means I survived the deluge, and I am so proud of the two rose bushes shown below that survived with spectacular blooms as well.  The first photo shows one of my unnamed seedlings of German ancestry, and the second photo shows one of my 'Queen Elizabeth' roses.

Photo taken:  November 2, 2016
Photo taken:  November 2, 2016

Update of February 28, 2017:       This has been a wicked Winter, to say the least.  The deluge of  October  has just been "book ended" by the wettest February on record for Salem.  We had 13.29 inches of rain this month.  ENOUGH ALREADY !

September 16, 2016

A couple of late Summer blooms

As the growing season begins to scale down, a diminishing number of rose blooms doesn't mean there isn't anything interesting out there in the garden.  Two blooms in particular have caught my attention with their uniqueness and beauty.   They belong to two of my 'Queen Elizabeth' rose seedlings that are beginning to grow up.  They resulted from open pollination of their parent 'QE' rose.

The first set of photos below show a deep pink rose that has petals with pointed tips, a characteristic that is seldom seen among roses.  Note how the "first bloom" began to exhibit this trait.

The second set of photos show a rose with semi-double blooms, and I really like the pastel orange blooms that fade to a light pink.


Birth date of rose:  March 29, 2009
First bloom:  August 22, 2009
Today's bloom:  September 16, 2016

Birth date of rose:  March 12, 2010
First blooms:  July 21, 2010
Today's bloom:  September 16, 2016

September 10, 2016

The "underdog" rose bush

Here's a curiosity for you:  a Google search for "underdog rose bush" or "underdog rose plant" will give no results found.   That will change not long after this post is published.  My candidate for an underdog rose aspiring to become a grown-up is one of my 'Queen Elizabeth' seedlings that now stands close to 2 feet tall and is finally showing some vigor.  The plant was "born" on April 7, 2010 and is now 6 years and 5 months old.  Congratulations to you, my little rose -- your photographs will now be on the Internet for everyone to see.


First bloom:  July 4,  2010
Today:  September 10,  2016

August 14, 2016

An unusual occurrence

I  was in the garden this evening when a rather unusual thing happened:  one of those non-stop flying machines, otherwise known as a cabbage white butterfly, stopped to stay overnight on one of my rose blooms.   Strangely enough, the rose bloom that it chose is the closest thing that I have to a cabbage rose, an old fashioned rose better known as the Provence rose and also Rosa x centifolia.  I'll leave it up to you to visit Google Images and search for the cabbage white butterfly and cabbage rose.  My rose, shown below, is actually a seedling derived from one of my 'Queen Elizabeth' roses, and I tell more about it in my post of September 16, 2015 titled An "old fashioned" rose.

If we pretend that my rose is a cabbage rose, then this is probably the only place that you will ever see a cabbage white butterfly perched on a cabbage rose --

Photo taken:  August 14, 2016
Photo taken:  August 14, 2016

July 30, 2016

Supersized

It takes a couple of supersized photos to properly show some of the tall-growing roses in the backyard rose bed.  Most of the roses shown below are seedlings from an open pollinated (very likely SELF pollinated) 'Queen Elizabeth' parent.  Several are now close to 7 feet tall, and many others are also robust growers.  Here are some recent photos; actually, one from today and one from 2 weeks ago --


Photo taken:  July 30,  2016
Photo taken:  July 13,  2016


 When you research the ancestry of the 'Queen Elizabeth' rose, you will find the following colors among the blooms of its grandparents:  yellow, red, and white-to-light-pink.  These are reflected in a couple of my recent photos, again showing seedlings from a self pollinated 'QE' parent --

Photo taken:  June 22,  2016
Photo taken:  June 27,  2016

July 9, 2016

Mixed flora and fauna

There's never a dull moment out there in the back yard.  Slime mold has made an appearance for the second year in a row, but this time it's a bit larger (see my post of August 21, 2015 -- "Slime mold" is for real).  There it is below, next to my size 10 shoe, and not too far away from a rose bush crown.  And there it is again in a real scary close-up.

Photo taken:  July 7, 2016
 
Photo taken:  July 7, 2016

Not too scary is a bumble bee who stayed overnight on a conveniently open 5 petal rose bloom.  Have to give it credit because there was a tenth of an inch of rain last night.  It was just starting to move around when I took the photo at 9 o'clock this morning.

And it's time again to check the progress of the shade tolerant  'Red Galaxy' roses that I grew from cuttings and are now 2 years old.  Nine of them are quite content along the north side of the house.  The chicken in the background definitely qualifies as "fauna".

Photo taken:  July 9, 2016
Photo taken:  July 9, 2016

June 16, 2016

Lucky morning

There's been a string of unseasonal cool mornings recently, but today the cool temperature brought some good luck.  Around 9:30 this morning I spotted a very beautiful large orange dragonfly clutching a large rose bud in my backyard rose bed.  From prior experience with other dragonflies, I suspected that it had been there all night, and that it would stay still for a while until the morning sun warmed up its body and wings -- enough time for me to grab my camera and take the 2 photos shown below.  Swift action paid off, because the dragonfly had already flown away by 10:30.  By the way, any mosquito-eating dragonfly is a welcome guest in my yard.
Photo taken:  June 16, 2016
Photo taken:  June 16, 2016

Update of June 18,  2016:      Another dragonfly spent the night up high on a rose bush and remained for a couple of photos this morning.  Although the new dragonfly was smaller than the one shown above, it had the same knack for finding a perfect spot to sleep, which is at least four feet from the ground on the side of the rose bush (south side) that will receive the first sun.  Recalling that this is a blog about rose seedlings, let me say that the rose bushes chosen by the dragonflies are both tall growing seedlings from a parent 'Queen Elizabeth' rose.

Photo taken:  June 18, 2016
Photo taken:  June 18, 2016