Monday, April 23, 2012

The 2012 Rose Season is Officially Open

Cecile Brunner (aka The Sweetheart Rose) is my first bloomer of the year.
This is my first spring in the mountains, and since we’ve had such a whacky winter, I didn’t know when my roses might start blooming.

But today it’s official – Climbing Cecile Brunner has revealed her first pastel pink blossom, declaring it to be Opening Day in the Hunt rose garden.

I haven’t always been so clueless as to when I’d get a sniff of my first spring posy.  During the years I lived and gardened in Maryland, I made notes of when my roses and other important plants would begin their new parade of blooms.

 Souvenir de la Malmaison
For example, in looking back at an old wall calendar, I knew that by April 13th I’d see at least one showy Souvenir de la Malmaison in the garden. For over a decade it made an appearance close to that date and never let me down.

I also knew I’d see male hummingbirds zipping around by the 17th. And the next week another Bourbon rose, Zephirine Drouhin, and the David Austin charmer Cottage Rose would make their spring debuts.

Fireflies would light up the evening sky beginning May 15th -- a sure sign that summer was around the corner.

Now that I’ve moved to a new garden and a different USDA zone, I’ll have to start my record keeping all over again. I’m wondering if the mild winter and reports of other plants flowering early will throw off my calculations.

Nevertheless, anticipating the day the garden will burst into bloom is sure to be a tonic next year.

And from experience, I know having a rough idea of when each variety will be at its best is helpful when planning special events, whether it’s a family bar-b-que or an outdoor garden party.

Diaries can banish the blahs.

A “diary” needn’t be more time-consuming than jotting down a plant name on a standard calendar, then updating bloom dates yearly.

But don’t dismiss the idea of doing a more elaborate journal. Some people add photographs, even their own paintings to notations about plants, insects, weather conditions and so forth. Such a journal can be an invaluable garden tool and an informative heirloom.

I wrote extensively about my vegetable garden one particular year. I only kept the notebook going for a season, but still enjoy going back to reread my entries. And it’s probably no coincidence I had my best veggie garden ever while I was so attentive.

Cottage Rose always stole the show in late April.
So if you generally suffer from flower withdrawal and the winter blahs, or just want an idea as to what will happen when, consider sowing some spring aspirations now in a personal journal or diary.

It may just give your gardener’s soul a chance to blossom early in 2013.


The Redneck Rosarian said...

Beautiful post. Love your roses!

Teresa said...

What amazing pictures. Inspiring!

Lynn Hunt said...

Thanks so much to you both for the kind comments. They give me inspiration!

Cathy and Steve said...

I absolutely love Cecile Brunner... but our rose blooms are still a few weeks off, even though the rest of the garden is quite early. Your blooms are lovely! Enjoy the perfume of Cecile with a glass of Moscato d'Asti wine. You'll be amazed at how the flavor of the wine reflects the fragrance notes in the rose!

Les said...

Diary? I am lucky if I remember to jot down the name or save the tags of what I plant.

The Graceful Gardener said...

Love your roses! Your writing is captivating! Looking forward to more posts!

Lynn Hunt said...

Graceful Gardener, thank you so much for your very kind words. More posts are on the way, I promise!!

And Les, given your busy schedule, I understand you don't have time for a diary. But as I wrote, a plain old wall calender works well even to jot down names.

Cathy and Steve... got a bottle of Moscato d'Asti today so cheers!

Casa Mariposa said...

Question - My happy, healthy organically grown roses have blackspot for the first time. I rarely have disease problems and don't grow disease prone hybrid teas. My hypothesis is that our blazingly hot, dry March stressed them, and despite all the water I gave them, they developed black spot. They receive lots of sun, compost, and have excellent air circulation. I don't want to use a systemic because I don't use pesticides but have been spraying anti-fungal sprays. I've also been wiping down my pruners with Clorox wipes. Any ideas/advice? I'm in northern VA. :o)

Casa Mariposa said...

One more thing - your rose photos are beautiful!!

Stacey Bourne said...

These roses are beautiful and very relaxing. Gardening is really fun to do. Just make sure you really love what you're doing and you'll be enjoying doing this stuff.

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Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I tried to write down each and every new plant I put in my new garden.....have about 15-20 to catch up on writing into the list. I use my blog as a pseudo diary. Love your rose pictures.

Lynn Hunt said...

That's a great idea Janet, using your blog as a memory jogger! Glad you like the rose photos -- more to come once they recover from that terrible rainstorm the other day.

Lynn Hunt said...

Thank you farnandas! Hope you visit again.

Max Martin said...

Hey Lynn, great post. Wondering if you have a brand of gardening tools that you prefer using? A good friend of mine who was once a florist swears by Fiskars and the DMT flat file, which serves as a great pruner sharpener, to keep all of his Fiskars pruners, shears, and loppers sharp. Any experience with these brands? Can you make a recommendation?

- Max

Lynn Hunt said...

Max, I have used the Felco pruners with the floating handle for a long time but also like the Barnel pruner available through The Rose Gardener. I am not familiar with the DMT flat file, but if a florist liked it, it must be good. De Wit tools are also excellent. I had a pair of long loppers for pruning climbers but we left it MD and I have forgotten the brand :( Hope this helps! So glad you stopped by.

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