Monday, September 14, 2015

Summer's Last Rose

I am up early these days now with purpose and intent: grading. I collected my first set of essays from the students last week; now it is time to get to work. I am finding that my long missed job is really just that: a job with work and responsibility--makes me feel good, too. So first this morning I am finishing up the blog post then I will grade essays for the better part of the day.

Remember way last spring how I bemoaned the loss of my roses in the courtyard because of the unusually cold winter? I should have sought advice sooner, from you, especially Judith, who said to be patient because they just might be slow to wake up after a long nap in a very cold winter and an especially cold spring.

I was not. So late were they, that Head Gardener and I took our now annual trip to the Town Far Away to buy roses. I've written about the Flower Bin in Longmont, the best place in northern Colorado to buy roses.

We came home with 5. It was still too early to plant them, we thought, so they lived on the front porch far too long, suffering shameful neglect. Finally, weeks later I told the HG that we must get them in the ground. I had procrastinated so long because I didn't know where to the plant them. They were replacements for the roses that died, but didn't, now I had to create a new rose bed. I decided on the north side of the house, a shady spot in the morning with lots of hot sun in the afternoon. I have managed to keep the weeds down in that space, so it required little prep to put the roses in. So far they are doing well, even blooming--a very good sign that they are happy. The medium sized bark mulch that we purchased from Lowe's keeps the soil moist and the weeds down.

Here they are now well settled in their new homes. Despite the horrible neglect that they suffered early on, they gratefully set down roots and even dared to bloom. Next summer they will be spectacular.

With all of the rain that we had last spring, the trees have grown, which is changing the gardens around the house from hot, direct sun perennial gardens to more shady spots. The roses seem to have settled in and will brighten up this harsh space. I will probably add some spring bulbs this fall. 

In the front court yard, the roses have thrived. I can't remember what this one is called, a gorgeous peachy roses that has done so well in her new spot.

Next year she will even taller and a more prolific bloomer.

 Dear James Galway, a David Austin  hasn't done well this summer at all. Gertrude Jekyll went through the same funk last summer, but came out it, so I am hoping that James will too. He is planted between the water garden on the wall with the hope that he would climb high, instead he struggles. I do think that brick tends to leach the iron out of the ground, so the plants may benefit from an iron supplement. If he does not perform next summer, I may dig him out.

Shropshire Lad, my other peachy David Austin, succumbed to winter's harshness, reverting the old rose. I'll have the HG dig him out. The front bed in the front of house needs a lot of work. There is little plant material; most of it winter killed.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles also shares the front garden and she has looked ill all summer. I am not sure what gets into these David Austins. Perhaps they just are not suited for for harsh, hot climate here in the northern part of Colorado. I haven't fed them all summer, but even with food Gertrude did not overcome her malaise last summer. She apparently had to sleep it off over the winter.

Finally this sweet girl in the front court yard blooms her little heart out,  giving roses with a glow-like bloom, and a radiant iridescence quality. 

As summer's last rose blooms before the killer frost that is bound to come any day now, I dream of the beautiful roses that will come next year. They are sweet companions that please all summer long.

The rest of the garden suffers from summer's very hot end with temperatures in the 90s. We haven't had measurable rain in weeks, so I get pretty depressed when I walk the garden paths. We didn't get all of our projects done; there is always next year I tell myself. If we have a mild winter, we might still be able to get a few things done. I do want to add fall bulbs, so I had better get them ordered.

In the mean time, I have work to do. Papers to grade and company arriving Thursday. 

I am so glad that you joined me today. In advance, thank you for your sweet comments. Be sure to check out Mosaic Monday hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage. Just click on the link. Have good week.


  1. It is so disappointing when roses fail, sometimes for no known reason. Maybe with some cutting back and a feed they will recover...but they do have minds of their own!

  2. I hope your new rose patch will be a great success next year! Good luck at school!

    Madelief x

  3. Here also sometimes roses fail without reason, Last autumn we had replanted a lot of the old roses from the center of the garden to the borders, this summer they did not flower at all, but they have grown, I expect they will be at their best again in the third year. We gardeners always remain optimistic, next year new chances.
    I feel you are back in your element now you teach again.

  4. I don't envy you that grading, Ann! The piles!
    Your garden always looks so tended and loved. Roses! Yay!

  5. Oh dear Ann - the trouble you have with your roses. If it makes you feel any better I have trouble with them too. So glad you are enjoying the new term. Now get back to grading those papers. have a good week.

  6. I like the new rose bed you put in and looked guiltily at your AC. I planted two dwarf (not!) lilacs beside ours and they have smothered it. Hubby hacked them back last week so there will not be be as many flowers next year. Realistically I should have left it clear around the AC as you have.
    Not sure I envy you grading papers but I hope it is a job you like and it goes smoothly.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Ann.

  7. Well I am glad the roses have survived and revived. Mine are hit and miss with the weather here...but in fall some make a reappearance until the freeze and snow that hopefully is a long way off.

  8. It's interesting that you call your husband "Head Gardener" and I call mine "the Gardener." The peach rose is absolutely stunning and makes me think of my mother. gone now two years, who loved the color of peach.

  9. Your roses are lovely indeed, especially any of the peachy colored ones. Mine haven't had a very good year, but then again, many of them are in their first year. Next year will be my year! At least that's what I say every year. LOL

  10. Ann that peach rose...well it's breathtaking!

    My roses were pretty much dormant this spring...I thought I had lost them last winter, but they did so well in the intense heat of this summer...go figure. Of course they are always the last to do anything in the spring, little tricksters.


  11. Ann that peach rose...well it's breathtaking!

    My roses were pretty much dormant this spring...I thought I had lost them last winter, but they did so well in the intense heat of this summer...go figure. Of course they are always the last to do anything in the spring, little tricksters.


  12. Hi Ann,

    Roses certainly are temperamental plants, aren't they? I love their beauty and fragrance, but they are a lot of work. We have a Gertrude Jekyll rose, too, and it wasn't quite as pretty this summer. I hadn't thought about iron supplements, but ours is in front of a brick wall, too. Hmmm. Your peachy roses and the pink roses are just lovely! I know what you mean about weather; it was tough here this summer, too. I'm just ready for fall at this point.

    I'm glad to read that you're enjoying being back at work! It is so important for us to have something meaningful to do, isn't it? I appreciate all your visits; I'm sorry I'm slow getting back to you, but I've had a lot going on lately. I'm trying to catch up with my visits this week. :)

    Have a great day!