There has been light frost here in the Fairegarden, right on schedule at the end of October. That cold snap will often be followed by some of the most glorious days of fall, with backgrounds of brilliant foliage and skies so blue it brings tears of joyful gladness. These sorts of days bring out the last hoorah of the various roses dotted here and there. The hybrid musk, one of my favorite classes of rose, Rosa ‘Penelope’ blushes shyly from the corner of the shed.
Rosa ‘Moonlight’, another hybrid musk, this one trained as a smallish climber likes to throw out a few blooms well into winter. Some get the cryogenic treatment when a hard frost descends, encased in icy crystals. When that happens, it is hoped that these dreadful cucumber beetles will bite the dust.
Climber Rosa ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’, one of the replacements for the oversized rose referred to in the earliest of posts here as Killer, click here to read about it, reigns atop the arbor. Unfortunately most blooms are at the top of this structure, too high for a stature-challenged gardener to sniff their sweet scent. An August cut-back spurred some blooms within nose reach, happily.
In a moment of temporary insanity, three grafted hybrid tea roses jumped into the cart at the big box store a few years ago. Planted in the inhospitable environs under the tall pine trees, with no extra water or care whatsoever, this tall drink of water, Rosa ‘Touch Of Class’ graces us with late blooms. Funny thing, I thought that I was buying Tropicana, as the tags were sort of mixed together on the display. Tropicana was my grandmother’s favorite rose. I believe she would like this one, as well.
Rosa ‘Old Blush’ loves to bloom after the rest of the roses have closed up shop. It is also known as ‘Parsons’ Pink China’, ‘Old Blush China’, ‘Old China Monthly’, and is derived from Rosa chinensis. It is generally accepted as the first East Asian rose cultivar to reach Europe. It is recorded in Denmark in 1752 and England in 1793.
Which brings us to the best performing rose grown here, the original Rosa ‘Knockout’. Seldom does any plant live up to the hype when it is first introduced. This one is the exception, so much so that it has become ubiquitous, planted at every gas station, bank and shopping center in town. Often it is the only plant besides mowed lawn in residential neighborhoods. I don’t care. It is fabulous, carefree and nearly always in bloom.