Thursday, April 30, 2015

disappointments and joys

 Today was a day of contrasts, a garden emotional rollercoaster. Several great joys and several dire disappointments. I'm starting with the disapointments, because I'd rather end on a happier note. 

The first began as a joy, as I anticipated the arrival of my (week-late) shipment from Heirloom Roses. I've had nice plants from them before, but what arrived looked terrible. Three 'Evelyn' and one 'Velvet Fragrance.' The last rose I received from them 'Jude the Obscure', died. I blame having had it shipped in the fall, and trying to overwinter in the garage. These, however, I blame on the bad packing. Previous plants I've received from them were packed well, but these were just stacked in the box without any protection from one another or the side of the box. I hope that in a year, I'll show pictures of some nice looking plants, but right now, not so much. Similar things have happened in the past. But next year, I may order elsewhere.

My other big disappointment of the day is 'Bolero,' which opened today.  I had high hopes for this rose, since it has done well for so many people across the country, including some hot dry areas. I planted eight of them. Four of them died (I blame the nursery for sending bad plants) but I spent last year rooting cuttings, and have the eight again.

But my 'Bolero' roses have all had crispy petal edges. I thought maybe it had to do with the plants being young, or some issue with the weather. This year however, my 'Winchester Cathedral' has no petal damage (it has mildew on some leaves), and the 'Bolero' flowers are still crispy.

Here's 'Winchester Cathedral' again.

Here's a bud on 'Bolero.'

Even the buds look bad. Yes the flowers smell good. Much better than 'Winchester Cathedral.' The leaves are disease free, glossy. They have put out a lot of buds. The plants are compact. But the flowers? Not so nice. Maybe I'll  replace them with 'Winchester Cathedral' or 'Iceberg'or 'Claire Austin' or 'Windermere' or 'Pure Perfume' or 'Fabulous'. 

Better to move on to the "Joys."

I'm excited that 'Madame Isaac Pereire' has decided to grow. I can't wait until it becomes a 6 foot tall behemoth with its luxuriantly fragrant flowers. There will be a few this year, as the buds are forming.

Spuria iris 'Ila Crawford' opened its first blooms today. I love this iris! These plants were salvaged from Casa Coniglio last year, and were planted on the south side of the new house. The year before, some were planted on the west side. Those on the south are blooming a week or two earlier than the ones that I planted on the west side. Last year, first bloom was May 4, but those plants look at least a week out this year. In any case, these are doing 10x better than at Casa Coniglio, where they weren't getting enough sun.

'Old Blush' keeps getting better and better. 

The 'Walker's Low' catmint has started to bloom.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: 'Green Spice' is my favorite heuchera. This year, the leaves are each as big as my hand. So lovely.

I need another shot of 'Old Blush' to help me get over the sad plants that just arrived. This is an afternoon shot, with the sun getting low. 

Addendum: I contacted Heirloom Roses, and they more than made good on customer service. Thank you!


  1. Yet roses in general do so well in Abq, or here, or many places in the RG valley of NM. Those crisp flower edges seem odd, even with the air lacking any trace of humidity the last few days. Soils? Nutrients?

    Then again, most every native Dasylirion, broadleaf Yucca and near-native Hesperaloe gets brown tips on the foliage, and they're from here. But not in southern CA...

    This post might cheer you up, Signore W., from a blog in your favorite country -

    1. Or get me depressed that I'm not living there! Lol! Maybe I'll move there someday.