Saturday, June 6, 2015

serious trial time

With the onset of June's heat and the winds, in addition to the end of the spring flush, this is serious trial time for the roses. I had to go to the Albuquerque Rose Garden and see what's looking best. Surprisingly, most of the floribundas are past prime or nearly flowerless. The Austins are done for the year (except one). So are the rugosas, and the once-blooming old roses. Even Iceberg, and Home Run, and Linda Campbell are taking a break. So here are the Best of Garden winners.

The Gold winner (at least to this judge) goes to 'Wild Blue Yonder.' Those ruffly flowers just kill me. 

But the thing to really notice is that the flowers are full, they aren't fried from temps in the mid 90's or the winds.  It's blooming away when just about all the floribundas are on break.

What you can't see is how delicious these smell.

Even forming a nice bush.

 The Silver award goes to 'Mermaid'. The only reason that it doesn't get the gold is because it doesn't have as much fragrance.  Fragrant, yes. Just not as much. Also is vigorous climber, which wouldn't fit in my yard.

But quite an impressive thing. Not a single flower showing heat or wind damage. I realize that this is probably due to the short-lived flowers and multitude of buds, but in this climate, it works.

The Bronze award goes to 'Sunset Celebration.'

Of the hybrid tea roses, this one had the least damaged flowers, the most flowers, and the most fragrant. It gets the Gold award in the hybrid tea division. It beats out roses that I've previously been impressed by: 'Memorial Day' which had terribly damaged flowers, 'Olympiad' which looked good from a distance, but petals were fried on the edges (no fragrance) 'Dick Clark' which is remarkably exuberant, but shows that loosening of form and diminishing of petals and fading of color that occurs in the heat (also no fragrance). Too bad I don't like the color of 'Sunset Celebration'.

Honorable mentions:

'Lavender Lassie'

Whatever this rose is, it seems to be tough, heat resistant, and is wonderfully fragrant. 

It's labelled as Rosa gallica  versicolor. But I'm not believing that for an instant. Those leaves scream "modern rose."

Of the Austins, the only one with any flowers of significance was 'Claire Rose.' The flowers were a bit misshapen, and it is hanging on to its dead heads like a drowning man with a life raft, but consider that all the other Austins (including 'Belle Story' and 'Bow Bells') were done (or nearly so) for the year. Of course I went to a nursery afterwards, where I was impressed with 'Munstead Wood' which was looking and smelling mighty good. Same with 'Princess Alexandra of Kent.'

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