Thursday, April 30, 2009

Melody Parfume and the Rose Challenge Finale

Starting with the top row, left to right
Climbing All Ablaze, Mandarin Sunblaze Mini, Perfect Moment, Joseph's Coat, Golden Showers.
Olé, Ingrid Bergman, Austrian Copper, New Year, Golden Celebrity.
Gertrude Jekyll, Climbing America, Playboy, Evelyn, Lady Banks.
Wild Rose, Monet, Betty Boop, Double Delight, Julia Child.
Melody Parfume, Tiffany, Chicago Peace, Johann Struass, Peace.
Angel Face, Unknown, Scepter'd Isle, Cecile Brunner, Class Act.
Today is the last day of my Rose Challenge and to celebrate I made a mosaic of all thirty roses. When I started this challenge on April 1st, only a few roses were open, but now they are in their glory here in California's Central Valley and it's easy to find them everywhere. I've shown you roses from my garden, from my Dad's garden, from the public garden at Victory Park, roses from the University, and roses from random stranger's gardens. I've carried my camera everywhere I go; back and forth to work, on Day's Out, and even on walks. I've enjoyed the challenge immensely, and I hope you have too. Thank you for joining me on my little journey.


Today's rose is Melody Parfume. It is called the headache rose here Amongst The Oaks because the Lord of the Manor bought it one day just after having his first migraine headache. Luckily he has no more headaches, but the rose is doing fine and the nickname stuck.

It's a pretty almost lavender color and has a great scent. It makes a vigorous shrub that is hard to keep less than 6' tall. And the flowers make a nicely scented long lasting bouquet. I think it might be LOM's favorite rose.


Roses have been cultivated for thousands of years and it's easy to see why. Not only do they have varied and beautiful flowers with a wonderful scent, but they are easy to grow and fill a wide variety of landscape needs. I hope I've inspired you to plant a rose or two in your garden. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Scepter'd Isle English Rose

Here we are on our next-to-the-last day of the Rose Challenge. I hope I haven't run anyone off because of all these rose photos, but April really is the best month for them. On May 1st we will abandon this project and return to our normal format. Whatever that is. Ok, we'll return to our normal rambling.
Today's rose is this beautiful soft pink English Rose. I think it's Scepter'd Isle, but I can't find the tag on it and I didn't write it down anywhere when I planted it 6 years ago. Any rose growers out there who can verify its name?

It starts with large bunches of small shell pink buds, and progresses to 3" cup shaped flowers which have a luscious scent. The flowers aren't large, and it drops its petals quickly in our heat, but I don't mind because it's so pretty.

It makes a nice landscape shrub along the patio next to this birdbath and it seems to co-operate by staying about 3' tall.

Please join me tomorrow for the finale of my Rose Challenge here Amongst The Oaks.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Evelyn, Sweet Evelyn

For the 28th day of my Rose Challenge I am sharing one of my favorites: Evelyn. Evelyn is a David Austin rose and is not only beautiful, but delightfully fragrant. I didn't realize how big it would get and it shoots out several tall canes every year which I cut back, but I'm thinking it could be trained more successfully into a pillar shape. Obviously it's quite hardy here in my hot climate. Because of its fragrance, the flowers make a wonderful bouquet.
Thank you Evelyn for brightening my day here Amongst The Oaks.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Noble Spear and Julia Child

Our town has an Asparagus Festival every spring to celebrate that noble spear, asparagus. We always donate time to put up and take down lots of the signs because we like to help promote our town. And we always go to the festival and support it that way too. It's fun to see the entertainers...
check out the arts and crafts booths...
and watch the kids enjoying the rides...

But the real reason we go every year is for this: deep fried asparagus. It is just so good. We never fix it at home this way, but once a year we devour it like this.

If you are close to Stockton, I highly recommend visiting the Asparagus Festival. It's always the third weekend in April, rain or shine. Here is their website.


And today's rose is Julia Child. I think she would be happy to be on the Asparagus Festival page because she has certainly cooked and eaten plenty of it. Wasn't she a great lady? I have two of her cookbooks, and they never let me down. They're both full of great classic recipes.

This floribunda has a wonderful yellow color and an great scent; almost like licorice. The shrub is compact and covered with flowers all season long.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lunch on the Pier and Austrian Copper

We decided to go out to lunch today, so we went to Santa Cruz. It was a beautiful day and the Boardwalk and beach were abuzz with activity. We drove out onto the pier to park and walked around a bit to see the sights. There is an old Monterey fishing boat on display, and plenty of fishermen to talk to, and shops to browse, and wildlife to watch.

And there just happens to be this great place where you can buy fresh seafood...

or eat a lunch like this coconut shrimp. Which we did.

Then we walked some more and watched the pelicans...
click on photos to enlarge


sea lions...

and seagulls.
We had a wonderful day out at Santa Cruz and I'm glad you joined us.

And today's rose is Austrian Copper, a very old species rose. The flowers are a wonderful orange color, and when the petals fall off, the pistil and stamens still look fresh and make an bright yellow accent on the shrub.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Climbing Rose America and a Surprise

Today is the 25th day of my Rose Challenge and I'm sharing the climbing rose America. It is a salmon pink color and does well in our hot climate. It grows quite quickly into a 10' shrub covered with flowers all summer long. I have two of them given to me by my father. I rarely use them in bouquets because they aren't strongly scented, but they make a good landscape shrub.

And now for the surprise...
Check out this beautiful flower I saw yesterday. We were driving home for lunch on the same route we've driven for years when I saw it. I'd never seen it before so I asked the Lord of the Manor to stop so I could photograph it on the way back. Isn't it gorgeous?

It almost looked like a clump of chrysanthemums, but, no, the petals are too pointed.

Getting closer you see it's got a large deep throat; certainly not a chrysanthemum.

What kind of beast pollinates this thing? It's got to be big, perhaps a hummingbird? Any guesses what this flower is?

Give up?

Surprise! It's a cactus. It's called an Easter Lily Cactus or Echinopsis Oxygona. Isn't it amazing? I've seen cactus flowers before, but never anything like this. Has anyone else ever seen this before?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gertrude Jekyll and A Bug

Today's rose is Gertrude Jekyll, a David Austin rose. Some think it's the finest David Austin rose available with it's intoxicating scent and pure pink blossoms, but others think it growth habits and disease resistance are poor. I have had mine for several years and it seems to be doing ok, but I do have trouble understanding its pruning needs.
The buds start small and yet produce many cup shaped petals in a classic old rose shape. And the color is a perfect clear pink with a wonderful scent. I haven't found it to have health issues, but the aphids do seem to love it.

I also found this guy and some of his cousins on my roses yesterday. Does anyone know what he is and what he eats? If he eats aphids, I'm liking him. But if he eats roses, I'm thinking maybe I need to squash him and all his cousins. Exciting here Amongst The Oaks, isn't it?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ingrid Bergman

Today's rose is Ingrid Bergman. It's a large flowering deep red hybrid tea rose. The Lord of the Manor picked it out last year. It got a rather slow start because it was in the shade of the magnolia tree, but he thinned the tree so it should do better this year.

I had the same problem photographing red this time. It just doesn't look right. I'm going to try messing with the "levels" in Photoshop next time I do a red rose. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday & All Ablaze

It's easy to participate in Outdoor Wednesday when you're doing a rose challenge. Please visit Susan, the host of Outdoor Wednesday and all the other participants at A Southern Daydreamer.
My rose for today is this climber All Ablaze. After getting a trellis last year, it seems much happier and is rapidly scrambling up it. The pruning technique with climbers is different than other roses. You must leave long canes to build the framework and secure them to something to establish its shape. Then you simply cut back the laterals every year to force more smaller branches which bear the roses.

Here is the Joseph's Coat near the front porch. If you click on the photo you can see the Black Phoebe sitting on the plant bracket. She is on the porch all the time now incubating her eggs.

Even the robins seem to be enjoying the roses.

And lastly, here is a wonderful peach scented iris that just popped open. I hope you enjoy a peaceful Earth Day and my Rose Challenge here Amongst The Oaks.