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May 28, 2018

Stellar performers

Note 1:  When you reach the last post on this page (and the next page, etc.) be sure to click on Older Posts just beneath the post and to the right.  You don't want to miss anything !

Note 2:  You may click on any of the photos in this blog to enlarge them.  To return to the blog text, click on the x-box in the upper right-hand corner of the frame.

I've devoted quite a bit of "ink" in this blog to 'Red Galaxy', a rose that I grew from seed and to which I  gave a descriptive name.  In turn, I grew another rose (unnamed) from seed that I obtained from 'Red Galaxy'.  The two roses are now growing side-by-side in my backyard rose bed.  Here they are in photos that I took today -- unnamed seedling on the left, and 'Red Galaxy' on the right.  Note the state-of-the-art weather station in the foreground.

Unnamed seedling
'Red Galaxy'

Close-up photos of respective blooms are shown below.  Important note:  I've been tracking the unnamed seedling from its "birth" in a photo documentary that you can see just by clicking on the TAB at the top of this blog, the one labeled "A rose seedling grows up".

Unnamed seedling
'Red Galaxy'

May 27, 2018

A stitch in time

The weather has finally turned mild, so the roses are making up for lost time with a welcome display of blooms.  My favorite spot by the side of the backyard rose bed has a perfect view of a vigorous group of rose bushes (ranging from 5 to 7 feet tall), most of which I grew from seed.  I can best share the experience with you by "stitching" together 2 horizontal close-up photos to form a vertical stack that shows the view from ground to highest bloom.  What looks like grass in the photo below is really a spreading form of wild "Irish moss" (it makes a very nice living "mulch").   I've also added a second BONUS photo, taken later today, to acknowledge a garden visitor sure to bring good luck -- a petite dragonfly.

A favorite view
A welcome guest

May 11, 2018

It's been a while

It's been 5 months since my last post, and I hope that I haven't lost my blogging touch.  Below are two photos that show how my rose garden has evolved to what it is today.  The first photo shows the rose garden just starting to take shape (October 12, 2009), and the second photo was taken today (May 11, 2018).  Remember that most of my roses have been grown from seed, the first ones being "born" in 2008 and 2009.  Look closely at the first photo; you will see an orange oval around a particular rose seedling located close to the lawn border (click on the photo to enlarge it).

October 12,  2009
Today  (May 11,  2018)
So what's so special about the rose in the orange oval?   Well, it's the first to have an open bloom this year, for which I am extremely grateful.  It's hidden by all of the foliage seen in today's photo above, but it didn't escape my attention.  There it is in the two photos below, a proud seedling having the 'Queen Elizabeth' rose as its parent.  The seedling was "born" on April 4, 2009, and was just 6 months old in the October 12th photo.

Buried in the foliage of
a 9 year old rose bush
A closeup 

December 5, 2017

Life imitates Art

It's getting late in the year, and the roses have been gradually going dormant.  You probably won't be hearing from me again until next Spring, but you can always go back and rummage through the previous 84 posts and their 300+ rose and garden photos.  Remember that there are additional "pages" in this blog; they are accessed via the tabs at the top of the blog, which are labelled: Queen Elizabeth seedlings, Voodoo seedlings, German seedlings, and A rose seedling grows up. 

This, by the way, is the sixth anniversary of this blog;  the first post was on December 5, 2011.  Herein, nature and digital photography have merged into an art form.  My garden guardian The Chicken, shown below on the left, has been with me for 20 years, and is itself a work of art.  The wild turkeys that have been roaming the neighborhood are life imitating art; I took their photo in October.

The Chicken
 (photo taken:  December 5, 2017)

Wild Turkeys
(photo taken:  October 22, 2017)

Update of December 27, 2017:    Let's flip sides and say that "Art imitates life".  Such is the case in the following 2 photos, where I first selected one of my better photos (from way back in 2015) and then processed the photo through a great photo editor & art facilitator.  Many thanks to for providing the software -- the result below is rather striking -- 

A pretty rose cluster
(photo taken:  June 28, 2015)
Art  imitating life
(created:  December 26, 2017)  

September 10, 2017

2nd annual "underdog" award

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


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