Friday, August 9, 2013

Summer roses

Munstead Wood, with strawberries and basil and hyssop

There are roses, at last. A sodden June and a hellish July made all roses, everywhere,  miserable. But for these shrubs, in smallish pots, with roots taking the sun's heat directly through those pot walls, I think life may have been torture. Sorry, roses. Really.

Abraham Darby - the best pot rose, ever

I started to feed them in early July, after my six week absence - fish fertilizer, and Espoma's Rose Tone. The stinky fish emulsion is weekly, via watering can (I try very hard not to drip it on my bare toes) the Espoma - granular - monthly.

Calamintha and Munstead Wood

Calamintha always takes a while to get going. The Munstead Wood buds and blooms are small (but fragrant) - a sign of stress. The next flush will be a better one...

And the Iceberg? It should be dead. I was steeling myself for euthanasia. A month ago it was 80% defoliated - the result of blackspot. Many branches had suffered from die back. So I cut a lot back, and out, while carefully pruning the stems that had flowered in the spring, in the hopes of a second flush. I fed it, contrary to good gardening practise (you're not supposed to feed a stressed plant). I also made sure it dried quite well between soakings, as I think it had been very damp.

And it's back.

Finally (this a case of last, and least), Lady Emma Hamilton. The woman is hot. And not in that way. I think the rose is simply affronted. You put me in what, up where??? Do you know who I am????

What reads as an interesting peach to apricot with hints of rose in pictures comes out as quite flat orange, in person. We'll see what happens in the cooler weather. September through mid November are good months for roses on the terrace. (If we're here in November, she mutters, darkly, twitching...)


I'll think about it next week. Today I am playing with watercolours.
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