Rugosa Redux

Note to self: it helps to include the photos of the flowers you are writing about when you create a blog post…

Pink Rosa Rugosa - Rugosa Rose.

These are our pink rugosas. They aren’t long-stemmed roses, but instead bloom in clusters like you see here.

Pink Rugosa Rose Bud.

The buds are small compared to most hybrid roses, as the Rugosa has just a single circle of petals on each bloom, but just as lovely.

White Rosa Rugosa with bumblebee.

In addition to just one single circle of petals, rugosas have very distincive crinkled leaves… and this one has its very own bumblebee…

White Rosa Rugosa with bumblebee up close and personal.

Bzzzzzzzzz – or is it just ZZzzzzzzzzz? Sometimes the bees really do seem to take a snooze in their favorite flowers!

Friday Flower – Rosa Rugosa aka The Original Rose

If you haven’t already noticed, Oh Best Beloved, I am not a regimented gardener. My tastes run more along the lines of “Zowie! I gotta try growin’ one of those!” which rather destroys any chance of a planned or formal design. When I first found a nursery that would mail-order organic shrubs and trees, what caught my eye was the page that had seedling rugosa roses. It said, “Rosa rugosa is the hardiest rose known, withstanding fifty below temperatures with no damage.” Hello! Now that’s my kind of rose! I bought six, colors “assorted – no choice – but will be pink, red or white.”

When they arrived, they did splendidly, even in our thick clay soil. I was estatic! They grew like gangbusters from spring until early fall. And then, one morning, I looked out the window and…

No bushes. Not one.

Someone, someone with big long furry ears, whiskers, and sizable chompers, had mowed every single rugosa bush flat down to the ground and eaten every scrap, every leaf, bud and cane and even consumed the thousands of tiny sharp sharp thorns.

That was the day I ordered industrial-strength rabbit fencing for my future plantings, something which my gardening friends said I shouldn’t use as it would “spoil” the looks of my garden beds.

Um, didn’t the bunny already do that?!

I also called the nursery, to order more rugosas. To my surprise, the owner laughed and said, “Don’t worry. You don’t need to replace them. They’ve had a chance to establish. You watch. Next spring you’ll have lots of healthy vigorous canes shoot up from the roots.”

He was right.

Each bush is now over three feet in width. If left untrimmed they grow to over six feet in height. They’re completely unfenced, have survived numerous assaults by the bunnies, and are absolutely beloved by the local bumblebees. To my surprise, none of the bushes turned out to have red blooms; two have white roses; one has roses that are a very pale pink, and the others have blooms that are a deep candy-lipstick pink. The rugosas bloom in early summer, with literally hundreds of blossoms on each shrub, and bloom again in successive waves throughout the summer.

If you ever consider growing rugosas, I highly recommend St. Lawrence Nurseries, the nursery that I bought these from, btw. They carry an amazing variety of northern climate fruit trees (apple, cherry, pear and plum) as well as nut and lumber trees, which they will ship bare-root anywhere in the continental United States. They even have disease-resistant American elms, and a variety of native horse chestnut that is hardy in northern climes.

They’re organic growers, but if you’ve shied away in the past from buying organic because of higher prices you needn’t worry. These folks have fantastically competitive prices that beat the socks off of the prices you’ll find at most conventional nurseries.

One warning, if you decide to add these shrubs to your garden and aren’t already an organic gardener. Don’t use a drop of any synthetic pesticide (including insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) of any sort on or near a Rosa Rugosa. Synthetic pesticides are absolutely deadly for these lovely plants!

Friday Flower – Rose Lyric

I’m ready for some more flowers!

Clump of gorgeous Rose Lyric Daylilies.

These lovely daylilies are a variety named “Rose Lyric.” I bought this plant on a whim when ordering from one of my favorite daylily farms, Bloomingfields Farm. Most nurseries don’t offer this particular plant, and I don’t understand why as it is a stellar daylily.

With blooms of rich red that don’t fade, and deep golden-colored throats on each flower, it makes a glorious display. I especially like that each clump produces scads of blooms, not just one or two, and it blooms for weeks instead of just a few days.

Rose Lyric Daylily Bloom.

To my surprise, this daylily blooms prolifically in heavy clay soil while only getting morning sunlight. It even has richer colored blooms under those conditions than it did when I had it planted in “nice” soil and getting uninterrupted daylight.

The bunnies love this daylily, too – but not to eat! They hide under its nice thick clump of leaves.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

The American Flag.

One thing I absolutely love about the United States is the peaceful transition of power we have every election cycle.

I watched the entire inauguration on CSPAN, as well as the following parade. As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m an independent politically. That sometimes gives my friends and family heartburn, as I’m neither a liberal nor a conservative. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about politics and issues – it’s exactly the opposite. I care deeply, and am involved as much as is possible for someone with my limiting disabilities. None of the political parties, however, large or small, have platforms that match my personal beliefs. For example: I abhor abortion and believe a life begins at conception. Yet I care deeply about the proper stewardship of the environment, and strongly support organics, wind power and the value of the “precautionary principle.” So much for ‘fitting’ in with either of the major political parties. Both seem to believe that you can’t feel that way about those issues concurrently.

Seeing President Obama take his oath of office was deeply moving. Whether or not I agree with Mr. Obama’s stance on issues (some I do – some I don’t), to see an African-American take office as the President of the United States in a peaceful transition of power was awesome.

God Bless America!

217 Horses

The NY Times said in an article today that the upcoming Inauguration parade includes 217 horses.

Forgive me, Oh Best Beloved, but what came to my mind when I read this is that ANY political parade in Washington D.C. (regardless of political party) has many more horses asses in it than horses…

(With apologies to all the politicians I’ve known personally over the years who really do work hard and have my highest regard. You weren’t who I had in mind…)