Spring Finally Arrives

Firstly, I must apologize for the lack of recent posts. I returned from a work trip to Asia (which went extremely well — I could have happily spent six months there) only to end up deeply immersed at work. But at last, signs of spring are upon us.

Now that the days are long enough for me to walk around the yard after work/the gym, I can finally inspect the plants on a more regular basis. The last few days have been the biggest change, with nearly all of the roses at various stages of leafing out.

Eugene is in the lead, with multiple buds already formed and growing (in all honesty, this is stunning performance, as it had already leafed out three weeks ago with snow on the ground). I’m not buying the conventional belief that it’s a China/bourbon hybrid; I don’t see how a rose with a close China ancestor, much less a parent, could be that enthusiastic in the cold.

Eugène de Beauharnais

Neptune is doing well for a hybrid tea, and is already looking quite happy.

Unfortunately not all is well. My potted Winchester Cathedral, which practically arrived ill and is the only rose I’ve purchased through a local garden center, appears to have been done in by the wild temperature swings in March.

Lady Hillingdon is critical ill, owing to my own stupidity. It’s my only true tea, and its total lack of disease and heat stress in its first year led me to forget it should have been dragged into the garage for winter, or at least the ridiculous 50 degree temperature swings we had last month. Dieback is moving slowly down the canes, suggesting the roots are part of the problem. A few of the base canes have some red spots on them — which gives me some cautious hope that stable temperatures may help what’s left of it pull through. If not, I might be going shopping again…