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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Friday, June 01, 2007

June Roses

This has been an unusual spring, with plenty of moisture releasing us from a couple of years of drought. Having water in the lakes is a relief, but with off-on rain, plants don’t dry off fast enough to keep molds and fungal disease in check, and the bugs are going wild. Both Pam/Digging and MSS from Zanthan Gardens have experienced some problems with their roses and that's happened to our sprawling old dark red roses on the south fence.

But for the other roses? On their behalf I’m tempted to riff on Field of Dreams – “Is this Heaven”… “It's Austin…”... "Austin? I could have sworn this was heaven..."
Since the literature promised that Julia Child could rebloom, I was happy but not too surprised to see her developing a new set of butter-yellow flowers. There are about 10 buds on this 2-foot tall shrub rose which was just planted in March.

This 'Champagne' mini-rose arrived in a gift box in December. It was very unhappy inside the house so I hurriedly stuffed into a holding bed, hoping it would be alive when we returned from Christmas in Illinois. It froze but survived and was moved to the new side border in March. The little shrub has rebounded and is covered in buds - it's margarita weather, but we're also enjoying ‘Champagne’!

It was totally unexpected to see these buds when they began to develop on the tall pink rose on the trellis where walk meets gate.
Yes, that's the rose I described in April as 'once-blooming' pink rose. Each spring for 3 years it made long wands with roses at the tips. After the flowers faded, I pruned it back, gradually shaping it, trying to make the rose build a sturdy scaffold of branches, fed and watered it. Each May it shot out long wandlike branches, growing to 12-feet tall but there were no flowers until spring came again.
This year the spring show was fine- two dozen clear pink, nice-sized roses… and as they faded I once again cut the canes back & gave it a foliar feed. On June 1st we had an unprecedented rebloom.

As a gardener I can't just think "Wow, how nice that old pink rose rebloomed this year"... no, not me! I'm compelled to try to understand why it happened! Is it totally weather related? Instead of getting water from the garden hose, Mother Nature watered the rose this May, while the temperatures stayed under 90º F. Was that enough of a reason?

We've changed things in that bed - removing a 6-foot tall nandina from the center of the bed late last fall. Could it have cast enough shade on the rose to make this difference?

Until March the path next to the bed where the rose is planted was made from a wooden board, a hump of grass, and some inset stepping stones; Philo pulled out the wood and we got out the grass, made the bed wider, flattened the hump, and Philo made a proper walk. This could very well have had some effect.

When we moved here at the end of summer in 2004, this unnamed rose extended a couple of long canes over the shoulder-high nandinas and crepe myrtles that grew in front of it, and I fancifully imagined it asking me to free it, to feed it, to rescue it. Is it a once-blooming climber having an odd year? Is it a rebloomer that's taken three years to recover? What's the name of this rose? I don't know any of the answers yet, and will keep on wondering but in the meantime I'm enjoying the second flush of 20 roses.


  1. Annie, is that "my" rain in your rain gauge? Your roses do look like they've had a nice spring, and it is always good to hear about the end of a drought. I hope our weather turns back to normal, and we start getting some rain, too. I have only one rose bush in my garden, but do enjoy seeing them in others' gardens.

  2. Carol, on your blog you asked "is gardening ever fair?" and you were right. I sure hope you get rain soon, with yellow flowers on tomato plants, and many, many tomatoes.

    As to the rose collection - there's only one rose growing in my garden that I selected and paid for myself - the 'Julia Child' ... other people chose the rest of the roses.


  3. The only rose I have in bloom right now is "red cascade," which is a climbing minature. Mine usually don't do much for me once the weather heats up.

  4. I think you'll be trying to figure out "why" for a long time. In my experince nature is fickle and it's impossible to take all the factors into account. But have fun trying :)
    I like your Champagne mini rose, it's very pretty and delicate.

  5. It's difficult, isn't it, when there are so many variables to figure out which one is THE one; but whatever it was, it sure worked! Your garden must be a delight.
    Yesterday I was certain I had left a comment on the passalong post, but it's not there. It was late, who knows what I did!

  6. RSorrell, the coral mini is the only one of the 'legacy' roses that ever bloomed more than once in spring. So I did have hopes for the mini one.

    Hi Marie, you are right, there are way too many variables, not only in TX weather but because we've been here less than 3 years, and don't know what the heck went on for the other 26 years ;-]

    Nothing came into my mailbox Anna Maria - this comment was on the dashboard. I guess it just happens sometimes?

    Thank you,

  7. I think Roses are very hardy. Our extreme drought is near total water restriction but my roses are still blooming.

    Send some moisture our way?

    Actually, there is hope of a guy named "I forgot his name", a tropical storm in the Gulf heading towards the southeast over the weekend. I will sing in the rain.

  8. All my roses are happy again and blooming too. I love all the different roses in your garden but especially that yellow rose of Texas.

  9. Annie, the water from the heavens is better than the water from the garden hose - at least that's what I've decided. We, too, have had abundant rain this spring and things are blooming or getting ready to bloom like never before. My rose bushes are so loaded with buds I've had to re-tie them to their pillars. A mock orange I've babied for years and on which I've never seen a single bloom amazingly has two this evening! I'm reveling in it all and enjoying it just as you are with your unprecedented re-blooms!

    Philo poured that walk? Oh, I need some lessons!

  10. Some of my roses (Blush Noisette, Souvenir de la Malmaison, Red Cascade, and Prosperity) are blooming now. However, this last week of heavy rain and higher temperatures is accompanied with a lot of black spot which I need to deal with.

    I love all your questions. I remember when I first started gardening if I had a success that I thought I'd mastered something. Now I know it can just as easily be a fluke--and trying to understand the cause of the fluke so I can reproduce it is all part of the game.

  11. I'm glad to see that you are getting rain. It is a drought year here. "They" say that it will be the worst fire year on record and I live in the mountains--yikes! I love your whatchamcallit rose. Don't think too hard, just enjoy.

  12. Roses have always appealed to me. It looks like you have a wonderful collection!

  13. Got my first roses yesterday. Yours look good.

  14. Hello,
    love the pictures of your roses.
    I have just planted my first bare root roses in the garden and hope to see them grow very soon:-))
    cheers from Ontario, Canada

  15. Annie...your roses are beautiful! Wish I could smell them!

  16. Lovely lovely roses. Roses are something I'd like to have more of, but am afraid of for some reason. Well, not afraid exactly, more like intimidated. They seem fussy for some reason. You are doing a great job with your s though!

  17. Oh Annie, We, too, are getting lots of rain in the Dallas area. Everything is lush...so unusual for this time of year. Unfortunately, some of my leaves are yellowing from TOO much rain. Your roses are beautiful...mine have passed the hey day. Have a great week!

  18. Hi Annie,
    Your roses are beautiful. Makes me wish I had some.
    | could use an inch or two of that rain in my garden! My grass is turning brown.

  19. Just thought I would drop you a line to say how much I enjoy reading your blog

  20. Ah, the pleasure of champagne! Your roses are beautiful. I had to smile while reading about your quest to know "why" the climbing rose re-bloomed - that's one of the exciting things about gardening I figure... even if we never really come up with the answer, we've had the satisfaction of doing a good sleuthing job.

  21. Roses can be difficult in New England. I do have some lovely New Dawn's which have many promising buds. I think I am about two weeks away from bloom but you know what the weather can do to that figure. Hot and they bloom faster, cool and they stay tight. Time will tell. Thanks for sharing your lovely roses!

  22. The yellow rose of Texas, Julia Child? looks very nice. I'm partial to yellow roses and have tried to plant several varieties with the same unfortunate result. Unlike Austin? we have humid summers and lots of mold and mildew. No amount of spraying seems to help and I hate spraying anyway. I should give up and just enjoy other peoples' rose photos.

  23. It's good to know that the drought has been washed away by lots of rain! ;-)

    Your roses are looking good, like the mini one very much. Waiter, champagne please!

    What an improvement that new path is, Philo did an excellent job there!

    Ah yes, the mystery of the pink rose that flowered when it shouldn't. ;-)

  24. Oh, you're making me drool with your gorgeous roses. Mine are just getting started, having been planted in the fall so they are looking a bit scraggly. And I have some canes shooting up taller than the rest. Do I cut them back or let them go? I'm trying to grow a hedge out of roses.

  25. Your roses are beautiful. I gave up trying to grow them a while back after a few years of failed attempts. I think I'll just stick to veggies and come to your blog when I want to enjoy roses. :)

  26. Mary, I hope you get more rain and don't lose things to the drought. Roses seem to be pretty tough once they're established - guess that's why the older ones survived all these years.

    Pam, it may not be the 'official' one, but I sure like it.

    LostRoses, the water that comes out of our taps is so alkaline that local experts advise adding a little vinegar to the watering can!
    I'm glad you're having flowers, too. This spring is sure unlike the other seven I've spent in Texas.

    MSS, the recent heat is withering the flowers fast, but the leaves look pretty clean so far.
    I like the idea of the pink one being a rebloomer, partly for the flowers, and partly because it might help me find out the name.

    Chigiy, we've had plenty of those dry years, too, and I once lived on a canyon where the fire danger was higher. I've been shocked to see people shot off skyrockets over dry roofs in past 4ths of July.

    CountryGirl, there's also a Mothers' Day gift mini from my daughter that's still in a pot, and a shrub rose just planted in a new side garden. More on them eventually!

    Digital Flower Pictures, whether or not they look good again - I've seen them looking good once, at least ;-]

    Hi guild rez, thanks for commenting. I hope your roses bloom well, and that you have fun with the hypertufa. My husband made some troughs and other containers and we like them.

    meresy, there's luck and weather involved here! I did well with the David Austin Roses in the north - they didn't seem too fussy.

    Chris, we had another couple of inches over the weekend! But now it's mid 90's and the rainy period may be turning into our usual hot and dry summer. Yep, we live in Texas, don't we!

    Hi Zoey, there must be a rose dramatic enough to fit in up there - maybe a glowing tangerine rose in your purple and orange garden?

    Thank you Allotment Lady, I'm leaving town for awhile but look forward to visiting you soon.

    Kate, one reason I'm curious is that such a large, bright pink presence impinges on whatever else is growing nearby. The color only matters in spring if it's a once bloomer, but a repeat bloom impacts other seasons, too.

    Layanee, I had New Dawn years ago and still think it's one of the loveliest. Good luck with yours!

    Ki, there's some official Yellow Rose of Texas, but I like Julia so far - and just hope she's tough enough to make it here.
    Austin does get periods of high humidity with mold and mildew.... just not all the time.

    Yolanda, drought comes pretty often here. This part of Texas is dependant on a series of manmade lakes used as reservoirs, so we can be in trouble when some rain falls on Austin, but doesn't fall in the watershed to the west.

    I've known Philo since he was 17, and he is multitalented.

    Bonnie, a lot depends on what kind of rose you planted - there are so many kinds, some blooming on old wood, some on new. Have you checked out the rose forums at GardenWeb?

    Hello Anthony, thank you - but don't count on any more this summer - we are going into the steambath now!

    Annie - not quite packed yet


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