The Hildesheim Rose

Hildesheim Rose

I heard it all the time that the rose is difficult to grow and yet the Hildesheim Rose is estimated at approximately 1,000 years old. It is said to be the oldest rosebush in the world.  It is the one climbing the wall of the apse of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in their courtyard at Hildesheim, Germany. It is a symbol of the city of Hildesheim and its prosperity. According to the legend, as long as the rose keeps blooming, Hildesheim will not decline. During World War II in 1945 allied bombers destroyed the cathedral yet the rose not only survived the bomb attacks but it grew new shoots just a few weeks later and soon was growing strong as ever.   It has withstood war, drought, pestilence and poison gas to bloom serenely every summer against the Cathedral wall.

There are several mythical explanations of the origin of this rose.  The most appealing story is that of Emperor Louis who became separated from his men while out hunting for deer.  Night was falling and the snow was blowing fiercely about him as he hung his crucifix on a thorn tree, knelt and prayed for help.  Worn out from his exertion he curled up in the snow and slept.  The next morning he awoke to find his crucifix hanging from a rose tree in full bloom.  And through the leafless forest he saw his companions walking toward him.  In thanksgiving he built a chapel on the spot.  The chapel grew in size until it became the great Cathedral of Hildesheim against which the rose still blooms.

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

Author and Garden Writer

 

 

The Green Rose

Is there a pot of gold for us lovers of roses? For all the Irish in all of us and lovers of roses, let us think green, not a shamrock but a green rose. Not St. Patrick rose which only has a tint of green, but a real Green Rose.

 The Green Rose

 

At one of the meetings of the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society, I won a unique rose called Viridiflora ‘Rosa Monstrosa’, otherwise known as Green Rose. Records say Green Rose has been in cultivation as early as 1743 and is a sport from Rosa Indica (The China Rose of England and the Daily Rose of America).

 

The Green Rose is a small plant that grows to 3’ tall and has few thorns. It can be grown in a pot, and is rarely out of “blooms”. The buds are small, oval, of soft bluish green color but unless you know what you’re looking for, it is hard to find the bud since the bush is totally green. The “blooms” are usually formed in clusters continually throughout the season and look wonderful. The petals of the bloom revert back to leaves (petals are modified leaves). The bloom does not have reproductive organs. As you would expect from an Old Garden Rose, Green Rose is fragrant too. It has a spicy fragrance. The Green Rose is an oddity and people either love it or hate it.

 

So for rose lovers, take pride. We have our own green to celebrate. It is a wonderful rose to use as a filler material in arrangements or as a landscape rose. But I’m sure some visitors to your garden will undoubtedly say “That’s not a rose.  You got to be kidding.” or worst yet, “That is the ugliest flower I’ve ever seen. Why do you give it space?” Because it is a great conversation piece to say the least. Plant it and you might like it. It is worth a try. Just as when you present your friend with a perfect red rose and they ask “Is that real?” I bet you this same person will tell you this rose is not real. But it is a real rose. The Green Rose is just that, a green rose.

 

“May the sun shine warm upon your face

And

May the rains fall softly upon your rose beds.”

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

 

Contrary to popular belief, roses are not that difficult to grow. Why do you think Roses have been around for millions of years?  All they need are food, water and sunlight.  Just like you and me. If you supply their basic needs, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful and fragrant flowers like the Green Rose. Unlike other plants that only bloom once a year like azaleas, roses bloom all season long. If you keep on pruning them, you’ll get another bloom in 5-6 weeks.

If you have any questions on roses, ask the Rose Gardening World group on Facebook, they will share their rose knowledge with you. Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/128765990560518/

Happy Rose Gardening!!! 

Time To Prune Your Roses

If you look at the calendar, Spring begins on March 20 but for lovers of roses, spring comes when that yellow-flowered shrub called Forsythia starts to bloom.  Pruning roses is a rite of spring for rosarians. In the South, I was told to prune on the last week in February. Then our season begins.  Some rosarians start early which is not such a bad idea especially if you have plenty of roses to prune.   You can always cut more later but you have a head start.

We prune our roses for several reasons – to keep our roses healthy, to control its excessive growth and to shape the bush for a better display.

Before we rush out there in the garden, make sure you have all the right equipment.  A good pair of bypass pruner preferably Felco. No 2 is recommended. Keep your pruner very sharp.  A sharp pruner is less taxing to your hand and creates less bruising on your roses.  For cutting larger canes, a lopper is a better choice.  Their longer handles make it easier to cut through thicker canes.  You should also have a pruning saw for those extra thick canes.

Also, of utmost importance is to wear gloves.  A good leather glove is a must to protect yourself from too many scratches.  Long sleeved shirts or jackets will protect your arms and wrists.  Hat is also important to protect your face from the sun and to protect your head if you are balding.  Make sure your tetanus booster shot is up to date.

Your first agenda is to cut the dead, diseased and damaged canes. Cut until you see the white or cream colored pith.  If necessary, you can go down to almost near the bud union.  Roses will bloom on a dark colored pith but once the weather warms, the canes die back or become unproductive. Don’t go crazy looking for white pith on “Peace” rose.  It does not have white pith.  After getting rid of the dead and diseased canes, begin cutting the longer canes first and get them out of your way.  Pay close attention to what you are doing.  Work from the outside in.  Remember that you are surrounded with thorns so be very careful.

Cut above the leaf with five leaflets to about ¼ inch from the bud.  If longer, the cane can die back and if shorter, new growth might break off in the wind.  Cut to an outward facing bud so a new growth will face outward too.  With few exception, like roses that tend to grow sideways, cut in the direction you want the branch to grow.  Roses like The McCartney Rose, First Prize and Just Joey tend to sprawl so prune them to an inside facing bud.    Always remember to aim at an open space in the bush.  Make the cut on a slant so water drains off.  Seal with Elmer’s glue to prevent the cane borer from burrowing into the newly cut canes.

You also want to open the center of the bush for good air circulation to ward off diseases.  Cut long and straggly canes and canes that are crossing or touching each other leaving the stronger canes.  Leave three or four good healthy canes.  If only one cane is available, cut it lower to encourage new growth from the bud union.

On Hybrid Teas, Grandiflora, and some Floribundas, remove stems smaller than a pencil because they will not produce good blooms for cutting.  For exhibitors, cutting back to 6 to 12 inches length will produce stronger canes and good quality blooms.  Miniature roses are pruned the same way as Hybrid Teas.  If you find this too tedious, you can go drastic and use a hedge pruner and prune to 5” high.  Mother Nature is very forgiving and usually corrects our mistakes so don’t worry too much.

Remove all blind shoots.  These are branches that taper down to almost nothing.  Remove spurs.  These are short growths only a few inches long that have hardened off and taper down to a point.  They will not flower.

Prune to desired height you want for your rose.  Some rosarians want their roses tall.  I want my roses short and compact looking so I can look down on them instead of stretching my neck to appreciate their beauty. I usually cut to about a foot high except for the shrub types which can go from 18 inches to 24 inches tall.

After you are done pruning, remove every leaf.  These old leaves are the reservoir for black spot and mildew.  You might also want to start your spraying program with dormant oil to take care of the overwintering insects.  Also, spread a cupful of Epsom salt around each bush for better growth.  Then you can relax a little bit while waiting for the new growth to arrive.

Before and After Pruning

Rose Bush Before and After Puning.

 

Until next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

 

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author and Garden Writer

 

 

 

Mme Plantier

Mme. Plantier

Photo Courtesy of Rosalinda Morgan, member of Rose Gardening World

Mme Plantier

Class: Old Garden Rose, Alba

Color: White

Petal Count: Very Double

Date Introduced: 1835

 

Mme Plantier is classified as an Alba by the American Rose Society and rated 8.9 in the 2015 ARS Handbook for Selecting Roses. It was introduced by Plantier in 1835 after his wife and for that reason you can only assume that it is his best rose. Parentage is unknown and the consensus is it is an alba/moschata cross. The buds are creamy white with a tinge of pink on the outside which then disappear as the flowers open into pure white, cupped, flat and multi-petalled blooms with a green button eye. Foliage is very healthy, light green at first, then turns into olive green. It forms a mounding shrub, has a very lax habit and can grow up to 20 ft. into an open tree. It has arching canes, almost thornless and can spread to 12 ft. across.

I planted Mme Plantier on the west side of my front porch at my former residence in New York and this bush has grown so big. I trimmed it every two years and it grew more vigorously year after year. One year, I decided to tie the plant to the railing of my front porch. It was the only way I could control its growth and kept the plant upright. It had grown so huge that in early May, it covered half the width of my driveway. It is even winding its canes into the wicker of the porch furniture. When it was in bloom, the bush was covered with thousands of 2” white blooms. The fragrance is so strong that you can smell it from a distance.

Mme Plantier only blooms once and when they do, they bloom their hearts out. It’s a very disease-resistant plant, does not get blackspot, does not need spraying and Japanese beetles do not bother it since they arrive when Mme Plantier has finished blooming. If you want a fragrant rose, try Mme Plantier. You will not be disappointed.