Mish Mash Monday August 10

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Laundry day, checkbook balancing day, go to the grocer’s day, gardening day, well that one is every day, mish mash post day. I love Mondays.
Shown above is one of two blooms this whole year for the pond waterlily, Nymphaea pygmaea ‘Helvola’. The dogwoods and birches have grown so large that what was once quite sunny is now too shady for many watery flowers. The trees got a good pruning recently and a little more sunshine is beaming in. The wild grapevines that had a strangle hold have been removed from the trees to brighten the scene as well. Let it shine on, or in.

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One of the redder Asclepias tuberosa seedlings is hosting a honeybee, ants and some little beetle. It is hoped there will be seeds of this one to spread later. So far only the true orange have produced seed pods.

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Gaillardias of the late summer seem to have an orange halo rather than the yellow ring. Or is it a different variety? Burgundy and Goblin have been growing here for so long that they have had some combination of genetic material with the seedlings. The unfurled petals look so pristine, like knife blades on edge. But what really has been a success story is the Winterbor kale in the blurry blue tinted background. There is some insect damage, but there will be regrowth after frost kills the chomping chow hounds.

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Pink turtlehead, Chelone obliqua is just beginning to bloom. This is its third year and the plant is full of vigor and buds. Not a starlet but a good character actor in the Fairegarden show.

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Clematis stans, from Clyde, North Carolina via San Francisco is roaring along with non stop blue flowers. This brings a smile and a bend down to speak sweetly to it with every pass by. This is one of our very favorite plants, for several reasons, not the least is the color and floriferousness.

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Free seeds from Baker Creek were sent with our order of this European melon, Petit Gris de Rennes. Never before have melons of any kind been grown by us. We watch the progress of this, the largest fruit, daily for signs of readiness. Can anyone tell when to pick it? When it smells like a melon was one sign mentioned on a web search. Can you be more specific, please?

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Most all of the Japanese anemones growing here are A. hupehensis ‘Praecox’. He spreads by seeding and runners and has made a kingdom for himself on the lower path. After seeing his lovely dark pink blooms, some might call them purple but that is a stretch, we added a couple more varieties. One died immediately, Whirlwind I believe it was, and Robustissima, which has had a couple of leaves each year. This may be the year of a robust flower. Or it may be the Prince has usurped its spot where the tag remains faithfully in the ground. I hope we can tell the difference in pinks to be sure whom is sporting the flowers.

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Seeds for this Rosa chinensis ‘Angel Wings’ were ordered a couple of years ago from Renee’s Seeds. The thought of growing any rose from seeds seemed preposterous but they germinated quickly in the greenhouse/sunroom and were planted out in the veggie bed for protection. We didn’t plan on the eight ball squash planted nearby growing to mammoth proportions and were surprised to see the three little rose plants still alive under the skeletal leaves of the squash last fall. They have been moved to the long wall behind the main house and have grown several inches taller, still under one foot though. The pale pink petals are most delicate and befit the name, Angel Wings.

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Last year I admired the gold foliaged pineapple sage, Salvia elegans possibly S. ‘Golden Delicious’ growing in offspring Brokenbeat’s garden in Asheville. He has been saving a potted cutting of this very fragrant foliaged plant for months and it finally made its way home after our beach trip. It has been planted with some rosemary that was stuck into a reddish pot last fall to protect the pansies from digging devil squirrels. The rosemary rooted and is growing well. This happened in several places, the veggie bed to protect broad beans and the veggie box raised planter to protect seeds that never germinated. We are now awash in rosemary and really did not need anymore. Look out family and visitors, you might be getting some free rosemary whether you want it or not.

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We have been whining wistfully wishing to see the butterflies return to the Fairegarden in decent numbers. Slowly they are showing up. The blooming of the Joe Pye, Eupatorium purpureum ‘Gateway’ is usually when they are more plentiful. Hooray!

August 5, 2009 039 (2)
As summer winds down there is a flurry of activity outside. The checklist of things needing moved grows exponentially after a season of growth reveals poor placements. Since the blooming of many plants is nearing an end, there is less sadness to disturb the roots and cause the flowers and leaves to wilt a bit in the effort at improved future design. We do it every year at this time without fail for we know it will turn cold fast and the fallen deciduous tree leaves will need processing, bulbs will arrive and need planting, in other words, the gardening chores that need doing will pick up. Until then, we need to lay back and look at the clouds, take deep breaths and be thankful for Monica the Garden Faerie and her crazy good idea of Mish Mash Mondays where anything goes!


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34 Responses to Mish Mash Monday August 10

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    This is a delightful Mashing of the Mish. So much going on in your garden. My turtleheads haven’t begun blooming yet. It won’t be long.

    Hi Lisa, I like that, Mashing the Mish, good one! Glad you have the turtleheads too, they are growing on me. πŸ™‚

  2. lotusleaf says:

    A delightful mishmash. Butterflies seem to have become rare here too.

    Hi Lotusleaf and thanks. Maybe we are jumping the gun witht he butterflies. My posts from last year began showing them in the later summer months of August into October. Patience. πŸ™‚

  3. Darla says:

    I love it when you do Mish Mash Frances. It seems the gardening chores are picking up around here too. Poorly placed plants…that happens quite a bit around here. As far as your melon goes…did the seed packet give you an idea of how large the fruit would grow…sometimes, they do smell ‘ripe’…

    Thanks Darla, it is such an easy post since the subject matter can just flit from thing to thing without a theme or main idea. The packet did not say when to pick them, or even how large they would get. I have done much research trying to find out more and did not get much more than the smell thing. Or that they would come off the vine easily. Well I don’t want to pull them off the vine if they are not fully ripe. Thanks for the input. πŸ™‚

  4. lynnsgarden says:

    I’ll be doing all these chores (post vacation)from the checklist too, Frances! Except maybe the yard work..it’s supposed to be in the 90’s and muggy! I planted a similiar blue clematis this spring but she hasn’t done much. Watermelon is not something I’ve grown either..maybe when the bugs start trying to bore into it means it’s ripe…? That’s what I look for when shopping for one anyway! Your collection of echinaceas is wonderful! Have a great M-M-M πŸ™‚

    Hi Lynn, thanks. It is in the 90s here too, I have to work outside quite early to get anything done, and am still dripping wet from sweat, blinding my eyeballs even. I need a headband, HA This is the second year for the clemmie, last year it was only leaves. It is in full sun too. I will check for bugs trying to bore into our melon, thanks! πŸ™‚

  5. Gail says:

    Good morning Frances, I love this Mish Mash post and feel like we are having coffee (I am having my special Italian Roast) and taking a stroll around Fairegarden! I love the waterlily and think it would be lovely in the stock tank that I’m considering….Wow on the rose from seed! It’s a lovely little flower. You are so right~~we will be busier soon! The bulbs will arrive, sales are going on and Growild will be having their open house! The melon is gorgeous…can’t wait to hear how it tasted! gail

    Thanks Gail, I was just thinking about you and your coffee. I wish you were here now to view the garden before the day heats up too much. I am excited about your stock tank too, and hope you can manage one. Growild open house sounds too wonderful for words. πŸ™‚

  6. gittan says:

    Lovely mish Mash post! All my posts seems to be mish mash =) I find it hard to go for only one thing at the time. I’ve never grown melons but I do know that they are ready when they smell like melon when you put your nose real close and smell.
    I wish we had such beautiful butterflies here / gittan

    Thanks Gittan. Many of mine are mish mash too, they just don’t get the official title. HA Thanks for the melon tip, that seems to be the common wisdom. I will have to keep smelling it.

  7. Randy says:

    Just beautiful, Frances! The butterflies finally found us Saturday! I was so happy to see them. Sunday was pretty much a no show, few butterflies at all. At least we had Saturday!

    Hi Randy, thanks. Good deal on your butterflies too. I guess we just were being impatient, but who can blame us with the beauty and magic they bring to our lives. πŸ™‚

  8. Rose says:

    Beautiful photo of the swallowtail on the Joe Pye Weed! The butterflies have slowly started to arrive here, too, but it’s good to know that they are attracted to this plant, as it’s just starting to bloom. Of course, my Joes are still so small and hidden behind the tall cosmos that the butterflies may not find them:) Looking at the gardens here this summer, there will have to be some major renovation, but all will have to wait awhile. I’m helping youngest Daughter pack up for her move across the country.

    Thanks Rose. How fun to be helping your daughter too. Family time is always special My Joe was little for the first couple of years then really took off. Gateway is supposed to be shorter and more purple than the 12 foot species, but it is still way over my head with flower heads as big as large pizzas! Major renovation has a name, it’s called gardening. HA πŸ™‚

  9. Love all your colorful blooms! My gaillardias with the yellow edges still have yellow edges… maybe you have some hybridizing going on, lucky you! There’s a cool new yellow gaillardia, ‘Mesa Yellow’, I’m looking forward too though I haven’t even gotten ‘Burgundy’ yet! My Japanese anemone are also budding already; it’s quite early for them here; maybe because it’s been so cool they think it’s fall!

    Hi Monica, thanks. I love the yellow gaillardia but have trouble getting them going here for some reason. My daughter Semi has Lemons and Oranges or something like that and it does great for her every year. I can’t get it to live even a few weeks here. Burgundy was sown from seed the first year we moved here, 2000. It pops up in unexpected places. It is anything but cool here but still seems early for the fallish things going on. πŸ™‚

  10. Dave says:

    Our orange asclepias are producing seed pods too. I can’t wait to spread those around. As for the melon I usually wait until the stem pulls off without any effort. If you test it every now and then as it approaches its full size eventually it will pull off very gently. At least that’s how my cantaloupe work. I’m getting impatient with my ‘Moon and Star’s watermelon. It’s big and I’m hungry for watermelon!

    Hi Dave, good deal on your seed pods. I read that they need a cold period, spreading them out this fall should take care of that over the winter. Thanks for the melon advice. Mine is on a reinforcing wire hoop. Maybe it will just fall off when it is ready. I am hungry too. Your Moon and Stars is so pretty. πŸ™‚

  11. Carol says:

    Lovely blossoms Frances! Your water lily is a beauty… your photo like a beautiful painting. Seeing your turtlehead makes me miss the sweet plant, as I no longer have it… must find it again. Great photos as always. Enjoy your Monday!

    Thanks Carol. I had to get under the bird netting over the pond to take the photo so was at an odd angle. LOL. Happy Monday to you too. πŸ™‚

  12. tina says:

    Wonderful flowers. Many of the same are growing here and just now coming into bloom. Especially that turtle head which cannot be beat! I can hardly believe it is almost fall. Yahoo for the butterflies! I saw my first monarch just this Wednesday.

    Thanks Tina. Hooray for your Monarch too. Fall is coming whether we are ready or not! πŸ™‚

  13. At the Havens we have two ways to tell if a melon is ripe. The first is one I don’t recommend, and we have established a fence around the garden that is turtle proof to eliminate it. When a melon is ripe, you will find a box turtle eating it from the blossom end in. Alternatively, it will smell like a melon, but if it is truly ripe it will “pick itself”, meaning the stem becomes very loosely attached and when you roll the melon over to expose the underside to the sun, it will come off the plant into your hand. And that is the best indicator of ripeness I know.

    Hi Hands, thanks for these tips. My melon is hanging on a reinforcing wire hoop, up off the ground. Maybe it will just fall off when ready. I hope it does not get too heavy and fall before then. It might need a little hammock to support it. How funny. I appreciate your tips. πŸ™‚

  14. Good morning, Frances;-) What a wonderful post this is. You have many pretty plants still blooming and your melons look good too. I’ve never tried growing those either. My anemones and turtleheads are at the same ‘place’ as yours and it’s so great to see them again! I love how they look so bright into the fall season! My crepe myrtles are bloomin’ away too…I must take photos and post soon. I’ve had a pond before and it was so nice, but our trees grew so much that it got too shady for it. I almost put one in this spring and then remembered it wouldn’t be practical. Maybe if we move oneday I’ll have one;-) You mashed your mishes really well today…they all blend together perfectly!

    Hi Jan, good morning and thanks. The crepes are having a banner year here too. Aren’t they so colorful? Love that phrase, mashed your mishes, HA

  15. Pam/Digging says:

    Your gaillardia/kale combo reminds me of my gaillardia/artemesia combo, Frances. I love those hot-and-cold pairings! I’m trying pineapple sage this year, but it’s not holding up well at all in our heat and drought, which surprises me.

    Thanks Pam. As for you pineapple sage, that is strange, they usually love the heat. We planted three this spring in the ground and are still waiting for them to bloom. It is worth the wait though for those red flowers that the hummers love so. Often they will winter over here too. I will be bringing the gold leaf one into the greenhouse since it is so late in the season.

  16. elephant's eye says:

    Back to your melon. When we shop here you will see the customers picking up the sweet melons and sniffing them to see if they are ripe. A green melon doesn’t smell. A ripe melon DOES smell. Fruity or fragrant if you like.

    Thanks for that Elephant’s eye and welcome. I will be up in the veggie bed daily sniffing closely for a sweet smell. πŸ™‚

  17. ourfriendben says:

    Love the tour, Frances! And I’m oh so envious of the golden-leaved pineapple sage. I have two pots of the green-leaved ones and can’t ever, ever get enough of that foliar fragrance! If I were you, I’d call baker Creek and ask about the melon. They’re such sweet, friendly folks and I’m sure they could tell you! As for your over-enthusiastic rosemary, I just wish I could be there to “help” you harvest it. Bear in mind that you can just leave it to enjoy as you stroll by and brush against the foliage!

    Hi OFB, nice to see you and thanks. That sage and the lemon verbena always make me swoon with the wonderful fragrance of the foliage. Brokenbeat also gave me a piece of one called fruit sage, it has huge furry leaves and smells like fruit cocktail! Good idea about calling Baker Creek, thanks! The rosemary here grows to gargantuan size quickly. The ones in the veggie beds cannot be allowed to take up that kind of room, we already have hedges of rosemary in several places. It is a wonderful plant. πŸ™‚

  18. Jenny B says:

    What fun! Roses from seeds–and anything as exquisite as Angel Wings is a must! The pink Turtlehead is so delicate looking.

    In true Mish/Mash form, I must ask how you like your metal roof? I have wanted one for years…when we had our roof replaced last year, the roofing company talked us out of it, citing leaking as a problem with them. Do you have any problems with yours? They are so popular here, I can’t imagine that being an issue. I have always felt the real reason they steered us aways from one is because it wasn’t cost effective for them…but I tend to be a tad cynical occasionally. πŸ˜‰

    Hi Jenny, thanks. We love our metal roof and will always get one wherever we live. It does not leak at all and the sound when it rains is enchanting. We always know if is it raining ahead of the view out the window. I can’t say enough good things about the metal. Love the way it looks too. I can’t imagine why the company tried to talk you out of it except for their own selfish reasons. It takes special skills to install it and lasts 50 years. Less money for them in the long run.

  19. Tatyana says:

    Laundry?! I thought you were just gardening and blogging! Just kidding! A lot of action in your garden! Somehow, my Joe Pie weed doesn’t attract many butterflies. I guess they all went to Tennessee! Angel Wings reminded me of spring. All in all, very interesting mish mash!

    Hi Tatyana, thanks. Have you been talking to my family? You sound just like them!!! HA I am surprised about your Joe Pye, do you also have the carrot family plants, like fennel, parsley, etc? They are the larval food for the yellow swallowtail and we have plenty for them eat. I know your garden is a magical wonderful place. Our butterflies have just now shown up, maybe yours were at the same party and overslept as well. πŸ™‚

  20. I started both chelone and anemones this year. “Someone” has eaten the chelone! 😦 I am blaming the rabbits. The anemones are surrounded by agastache and the foliage looks great. I can’t wait until they establish and bloom.

    Yes, the butterflies are returning finally. Lots of Tigers have shown up in the last few days. Cats on the parsley, but none on the fennel or milkweed so far. If you don’t have asclepias incarnata in pink — give it a try.


    Hi Cameron, thanks for visiting. Sorry about your turtlehead being eaten, darn rabbits! I keep checking the fennel for the catts and haven’t seen a one yet. But the yellow swallowtails are here and one gulf fritt too, so things are looking better in the butterfly department. I have the pink incarnata, it is budding nicely. Hope to see some monarchs on it later. πŸ™‚

  21. Catherine says:

    I enjoyed you mish mash post! I have found that Butterfly weed is a perennial here and plan to add some even if the Monarchs don’t make it this far. Our Chelone is in about the same stage, I just planted it last year and am happy to see it returning.
    Our water lily ‘Sioux’ doesn’t get full sun and blooms from spring until fall, it’s a pretty one but I think yours is even prettier with the ruffled looking petals. It might be a good one to try for a shadier pond.

    Hi Catherine, thanks. I really appreciate your letting me know about the waterlily Sioux, sounds perfect for our somewhat shaded and getting darker all the time pond. You will love the Butterfly weed too, a noble plant, like the Chelone. πŸ™‚

  22. Joanne says:

    Ah Francis! How I have missed your lovely photos and interesting posts. I have just returned from a fortnight playing dutiful daughter. Had fun getting to know my camera but still a way to go. I couldn’t bare not to blog so prepared two posts before I went and then the amazing news on Lyme Disease Review. Now I am back to the lovely blogs but oh so many to catch up on. Probably never will but it will be fun seeing some.

    Welcome back, Joanne, nice to see you again. I will catch up with your posts too. πŸ™‚

  23. Jean says:

    What a lovely mish-mash Frances. That melon looks very intriguing. I hope it’s good. I’ve also been whining about lack of butterflies. I’m still not giving up hope for them but really, I could use a few more.

    Thanks, Jean. The seeds were free or we wouldn’t have begun our melon growing experience with one we had never heard of before. The butterflies seem most active late afternoon. I don’t know where they hang out until then, it is very hot here lately, and dry. Surely we both will get the usual numbers. I hope. πŸ™‚

  24. Frances

    All good stuff. That rose is a result. You could gather seeds from the hips and plant those. It’ll come true.

    Japanese anemones are really superb. I planted Honorine Jubert last Autumn and they’re budded up at the minute.

    Thanks Rob. I was wondering if there would be any seeds from these little roses. So far none, but they are just starting to bloom and are quite small yet. I love the fall Anemones too. There are lots of buds and they will bloom well into late fall. We could use something besides green here at the moment. It is so fun to hear of the same plants about to flower when we are so far apart geographically. It does seem that our climates are similar though. πŸ™‚

  25. commonweeder says:

    In the past I have sacrificed my carrots and dill to swallowtail caterpillars, but I haven’t seen any this year although there seem to be a lot of butterflies arouond. Our mint ‘field’ is about to bloom and the monarchs should be here soon. I’ve been thinking about adding Joe Pye and an aesclepia. The list never gets any shorter.

    Hi Pat, glad to hear you have lots of butterflies, you seem to be in the minority so far. We plant those things solely for the catts, and lots of bronze fennel because it is such a good garden accent as well. No catts yet, but some butterflies are showing up, oh so slowly. I agree, the plant list only grows. πŸ™‚

  26. I am glad the Clematis stans are blooming for you Frances. Still no sign of such an event here. They are planted in full sun in the saprolite sub soil layer that was spread on top. Maybe they are hungry. One day they will be mulched. I have buds on the Anemones too which surprised me. next year they should be even better.

    Now that Joe Pye ‘Gateway’ is listed as E. purpureum subsp. maculatum and as E. maculatum. It is annoying. Who decided there were four species of Joe Pye? I think I’ll just have to go with Joe Pye ‘Gateway, it’s pretty and be done with it.

    Hi Christopher, what is up with this naming? It seems so much more complicated than it needs to be. Let’s go with Gateway, I agree. My beds are not fed or enriched with anything, maybe they should be. Only the veggie bed gets the precious bagged Black Kow. The C. stans is in a spot that gets more regular water, could that be the key? Hooray for your Anemones. I see by my journals that I have given you that plant several times! HA

  27. RobinL says:

    My chelone is about to bloom too, such an interesting shaped flower! How fun to grow a rose from seed, I’ve never heard of such a thing. I see the tiger swallowtail finally arrived in your garden. He was here too, and his photo will soon appear on my blog, of course!

    Hi Robin, thanks for stopping by. The rose seeds germinated rather quickly too. Try it! I keep following the butterflies around for a portrait and they are not cooperating. Also looking for catts on the fennel, those are easier to shoot. HA

  28. Diana says:

    Frances — Your Clematis is amazing. I would photograph her all the time! I love your suggestion that we lie back and enjoy staring at the summer sky. That’s about all we can do around here right now. While my garden project list is long, it will also be a long time before the weather allows us to start checking things off the list!

    Thanks Diana. The Clem is a unique plant, I love everything about it. So sorry to hear your conditions are still not conducive to gardening. Hope your weather breaks soon. I know you Texans are ready to get out there in the dirt! πŸ™‚

  29. Kathleen says:

    That clematis is stellar Frances. It’s new to me so I’m off to research it as soon as I hit “submit.” I think I may have to limb up my Oak to get my water lilies to bloom too. Although I will think long and hard about that decision. Such a shame to have them and not get blooms tho… I just picked a dozen or so jagged ambush bugs off my Joe Pye tonight. Several bumbles had already fallen victim. So discouraging since the pollinators love that perennial so much. Your melon is lovely but i have no advice. The pineapple sage is quite fetching as well. I hope you do sit back and watch some clouds…

    Hi Kathleen, thanks. Limbing up trees is a regular practice here, we don’t have the room to allow trees to not have something growing underneath. Sorry about your bugs on the Joe Pye, I am not familiar with that insect, thankfully. I have been doing more sitting as the sun’s angle is changing and the bench in the knot garden has a shady period late in the day now. A good cloud watching venue. πŸ™‚

  30. Kathleen says:

    Hey Frances ~ I just posted a close up of those Jagged Ambush Bugs in the Joe Pye if you’re interested. They are small but mighty and blend in well among the flowers (which is how they were designed of course).

    Thanks Kathleen. I ‘ll be right over to check these bad guys out. πŸ™‚

  31. Patsi says:

    Your Gaillardias look great !
    Mine from seed have no blooms yet.
    Trying to find a post from this past week of yours about coneflowers and darn if I can find it. Have to start saving posts.

    Hi Patsi, thanks. Here is the coneflower post if you haven’t found it already:



  32. Victoria says:

    Fascinating post, Frances, with a truly astonishing array of flowers. Re melons, I think Elephant’s Eye is right – with those Charentais types, the smell really is the clue. Just give it a good sniff. It’s unmistakable – if you can’t smell anything it’s not ripe. Another trick, just to make sure, is to gently press the base (the opposite end to the stalk). If it “gives” slightly under pressure, that’s also a sign. But the smell is the main thing. Mind you, I don’t know this from growing them, only from shopping in French markets!

    Thanks Victoria, so nice to see you. Especially since you seem to have experience with this type of melon, not one I have ever seen or heard of before. I did smell it today, nothing. I will give it the push test too. I appreciate your help! πŸ™‚

  33. Sunita says:

    I really think you should do more mish-mashing, Frances. Its such a delightful flitting from flower to flower and topic to topic… much like a butterfly πŸ™‚
    That waterlily is just stupendous! I love it and I’m drooling just looking at it!
    About the melon, I cant really help you. I just walk around looking very knowledgeable, tap it a couple of times as if I can tell its ripeness and then discreetly move away and wait for the lady who helps me out in the garden to tell me if its ready to be plucked.
    I know , I’m such a fraud! πŸ˜‰

    Oh thank you Sunita, what a nice thing to say! I love the mish mash, let’s me talk about things that might get lost in the shuffle with themes and topics. The waterlily flowers are a rarity anymore, with more shade from the dogwoods and birches hindering the blooms. It does seem like the melon needs the smell test every day. That is what I have been doing, nothing so far. Try smelling those melons, like a pro. πŸ™‚

  34. Sweet Bay says:

    Clematis stans is lovely, I must look into that one. I didn’t realize that Renee’s Seeds sold rose seeds. ‘Angel Wings’ is well-named.

    Hi Sweet Bay, that clemmie is a real jewel in the garden, seed grown by Christopher in North Carolina. I can’t even remember how I stumbled upon the rose on the Renee’s site and added it to the order. I think I was looking for unusual lettuces at the time. A lucky impulse buy. πŸ™‚

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