Friday, May 20, 2011

New Additions, and a review.

Recently, due to a gift certificate for my birthday, and a little extra in the garden budget, I was able to acquire a few new roses. As any rose addict knows, this is a happy time in the garden. Fresh starts, new growth, the anticipation of when the package will arrive, where to put the plants, how they will grow and fill out. It is like a dose of rose-crack, straight into the veins. So with my gift certificate to ARE (antique rose emporium) I picked up two new roses, CL Cecile Brunner, a certified house eater from all accounts I have gathered, which I am still not sure as to its planting location yet. Also purchased was Duchesse de Gramont, a smaller, more in-bounds climber, which will serve as a "footer" to another, larger climbing rose on one of the four pergolas in the back rose circle. Then, I got the greater joy of purchasing 4 roses from a nursery I have been aching to order from for some time. Hartwood Roses, whose blog is on my favorites list (go visit) is run by one of the nicest people, and a great rose knowledge base, Connie. Though we have never met in person, I count her in my favorite people column, and I couldn't wait to order roses from her small nursery based outside of Fredricksburg VA. So order I did. I purchased a Reve d'Or, a beautiful climbing rose with a color like a golden sunrise, Garisenda, a barely pink rambler, the apparently unstoppable Peggy Martin, who gave the middle finger to Hurricane Katrina and kept right on growing, and The Bishop (apparently their are many roses called the bishop, but I think this one is also called Velours Episcopal, of which I have seen many pictures and loved every one)

So here comes the review section, and then pictures of the new babies...

I have ordered before from ARE, and had mostly success, and a couple of definitive failures. Overall, the roses are healthy, 2 gallon plants, with decent cane structures, and usually apparent signs of burgeoning new growth. The failures I speak of are the loss of 3 roses from them (out of the number I ordered, it isn't that bad overall) one of which was Souvenir de la Malmaison, a rose I adore and STILL don't have in my garden, due to it croaking. Of course, my laziness and inability to be confrontational kept me from calling and getting a free rose..but nevertheless. The two new roses arrived late last week, beautifully packaged as always, and ready to take over the world. Duchesse de Gramont has bloomed three times this week, still in its pot in a shady location (The pot ghetto begins again) and Cecile has new growth popping out all over. So that order was a success.

Today, I heard the knock of the package delivery guy, and was greeted at the door with a shallow rectangular package from Hartwood Roses. I nearly killed myself getting through the house to the back deck so I could unpack my new pretties. The roses were meticulously packed, secured to the box in such a way as to not have any breakage in transit. Each rose pot was wrapped to avoid drying out and there on the top was my handwritten bill of sale. Remember now, this is a 1-2 person operation, so the level of  care shown here reflects not on workers paid to do a single job, but of a nursery owner who wants to do the best job she can at making her customers happy. The roses themselves are beautiful; healthy canes, great foliage, and even a bloom on one. So an overwhelming recommendation goes out to order from Connie at Hartwood.  I know this all sounds very biased, but just so you know, there is no compensation or discount given here for this review. Just a very happy rose addict who would be pleased to see a small rose nursery run by a good person succeed. Order away won't be dissapointed.

And now for pictures of the babies:

a bloom on Peggy Martin, from Hartwood Roses

Duchesse de Gramont from ARE

CL Cecile Brunner from ARE

look how happy the foliage looks. The Bishop from Hartwood Roses.

My Hartwood Order.  From left to right: Reve d'Or, Garisenda, Peggy Martin, The Bishop

So there you have it. A new set of roses to place in the garden, a happy rose addict, and couple of great places to order roses from (although you know I am biased to one)

Happy gardening,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It has been too long...

Apologies to anyone who actually reads this spaced out rambling of a blog, I know I have been lacking in posts for a while now. The final weeks of any final project in an Architecture program are hectic, filled with 18-20 hour days, and sometimes strings of days without sleep. (I think the personal record for this semester goes to a good friend of mine who worked the full last week on her project with 6 hours sleep, across 4 days) Drawings must be spectacular, models well crafted, and this is no easy feat. In the studio, we deal with tempers and egos flaring to an alarming level, meltdowns of every shape and size, our cigarette addictions doubling in size, trash building up like small foul-smelling mountains, lack of home-cooked (or sometimes cooked at all) meals. All this leads to pinning our completed work up on a wall, dressing as neatly as possible, shaving the weeks of stubble from our faces, applying a thick coat of foundation under our eyes so as not to look like a raccoon, and presenting. An architecture jury goes like this: 1. You present your project, hoping against hope you remember why you made and drew everything up on the wall and all the while wondering where the semi-articulate speech uttering from your lips is actually coming from, as your brain is probably the consistency of tapioca after the last week. 2. Upon completing the presentation portion of the jury, a panel of distinguished visitors, who have never seen your work before, tell you why you are a complete waste of space, or how awesome you are, but most likely a blend of 60% bad, 40% good. 3. You sit down, and try to remain awake (this hardly ever happens) for your fellow classmates turn. 4-9 hours later, you pin down your work, almost literally throw it on your desk, and leave. Now here is the strange part...even though you haven't slept in a month, the fact that it is over and done with creates a new gust of lucidity, and nearly everyone in the class is chattering about which local dive bar to invade, drinking and talking long into the night about how awful or great the semester was. I know this whole systems seems horrid, but it actually is quite invigorating. It takes a passion for what you are doing to cope with this, especially considering that the average salary for an architect is somewhere around 40,000 after 5-7 years in the field, and entry level is a mere 25-30,000. I love my classmates, and enjoy each semester of learning....but sometimes I really just want to dig in the dirt..

So herein lies the point of this post. I have had lots of pretties blooming and growing, and when I have the chance in the mornings, or whenever I happen to be home, I snap a couple pictures, meaning to post them on here. Now I get my chance. This is a load of pictures, some roses, some daylilies, and various other things. These range back over the past month, and some back to February, as I finally found my iris pictures. So enjoy, and let me know what you think:

The Cleome is really taking off!

Capitane Dyell de Granville

"Forever in Time" from the Nethertons' at Peace on Earth Gardens

again, with mealycup sage and sweet potato vine (which is taking over!)

An older variety of daylily from my mother's yard.

Not sure on the variety, but its so lovely.

looking to the oldest pergola, with Mrs. B.R. Cant climbing up and over.

I am finally getting my hydrangeas to turn, they were SO pink last year from the alkalinity.

Leveson Gower and Vincent Gosdiff

My first thripless bloom in Anna Olivier

Anna, and two of my three hounds. 

Mrs. B.R. Cant. This bloom was nodding down in my path, and just begged me to take a picture.

Abraham Darby flopping over the adjacent fence, along which grows a passionflower vine.

and again, isn't he handsome?

This variety of passionflower (maypop as we call them) smells just like fresh laundry to me. Very clean and very beautiful.

I believe this to be "always joy" but I am not sure, as it got misplaced in another clump.

My first Paul Neyron bloom! Nearly 4 inches across at the height of bloom, and smells to me like lemons and tea. 

The aforementioned mystery day lily.

My sweet girl, Cinnamon. (I did not choose the name, she was adopted)

Heirlooms from my grandmother. She loved iris, and even though they tell me most iris won't grow here, these apparently did not listen. These bloomed in February, and I thought I had lost the pictures. 

So now that the Spring semester is over, I have 1.5 weeks to devote to the garden. Boy have I missed it, and it shows. Apparently the camphor trees in my yard are trying to kill me, as every seed they produced has been viable, and I now have to spend the next two days ripping those damn little trees out of every bed, crack in the sidewalk, and anywhere else they fell. Here I thought oak trees were bad. HA! Absolutely no contest. The upside is, I got a gift certificate for ARE on my 30th that I still need to use, and I now get to put my spring/summer rose order together. There are upsides to everything.

Sorry for the epic length of the post, I have missed writing and I felt the need to catch up.