Update On Rose Seeds

The growing of roses from seed began in 2008, with a packet from Renee’s Garden of Rosa chinensis ‘Angel Wings’ planted in a pot of seed starting mix in the greenhouse/sunroom in early spring.

August 5, 2009 043 (2)
Successful germination, planting out in the good loam of the veggie garden to keep an eye on the tiny seedlings and flowering the first year on miniature bushes less than six inches tall led to the ordering of yet more seeds.

A post was written about gathering and planting seeds from those original roses, now growing along the long wall behind the main house. Click here-Rose Seeds to read it.

After the saved seeds story was written, the waiting game in the greenhouse/sunroom resulted in zero babies. Nothing sprung from the careful and loving planting. Given every chance to produce, the contents of the flats was finally dumped unceremoniously along the long wall in the general area of the mother roses. They were then forgotten.

The few babies that arose from the packets sown in the greenhouse were planted out in the same location along the wall. Many produced flowers the first year, even though the plants were only a few inches tall. They are so sweet, these little roses, some pink, some more white. It was good. But as summer gave way to fall, a tiny rose plant was noticed near the stepping stone pathway. There are invasive roses in the neighborhood of the multiflora type. They are large rambling shrubs and take several years to flower. Their offspring pop up all over the yard, like the other berried plants that the birds love to spread. So rose seedlings that spring up uninvited are removed, after we learned from experience that they don’t grow up to be desirable garden denizens. But this little baby rose bloomed pink before its first birthday, it was a baby Angel Wings. Nature doesn’t need our human interference to get the job done, but we knew that already.

The top edge where the cement blocks of the wall meet the mulch topped clay was scanned to see if any of those seeds from the failed experiment might have produced plants. The answer was yes! There are several itty bitty rose bushes growing in a couple of places, spots where the seed trays were dumped and forgotten, not wanting to waste good soilless mix.

These roses, though extremely small, are hardy and hearty, able to withstand the digging of squirrels, the tunneling of voles, lack of watering in summer, horrible dense clay under the few inches of amendments and total neglect of the gardener. In other words, they are perfect for the philosophy of the Fairegarden.

The glistening of melting hoarfrost on the ruby rosehips is part of winter’s canvas. Knowing there is a promise of the fluttering of more pale angel wings encased inside the crimson shell brings great happiness.


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16 Responses to Update On Rose Seeds

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I tell you it is all of that love that you spread in your garden that makes things grow. Angels know all about this and they wing through your garden every chance they get.

    Thanks Lisa, what a sweet thing to say! Others mentioned that some roses will seed and germinate freely, like those invasive multifloras, but I had never had that experience. Until now.

  2. Layanee says:

    You have come full circle! Pretty rose.

    Thanks Layanee. The circle of life, yes. Now all I have to do is keep an eye out for baby Angel Wings and move them if necessary. That is gardening at its best!

  3. What a wonderful surprise and story! I love the photo of the frosted Angel Wings.
    Frances, I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas and I wish you and your Garden a fantastic 2012!

    Thanks so much, Christine. We did have a great family Christmas and are looking forward to the best year ever in 2012! Onward!

  4. Barbara H. says:

    I love this story and I really love Lisa’s explanation! I agree whole heartedly with her. What beautiful flowers with the bonus of showing up on the plants so early. Kind of like fairy flowers in a way.

    Thanks Barbara, for that sweet sentiment, too. These small rose bushes would be perfect if my fairy garden were in full sun. Hmmmm, maybe we need a vacation fairy garden.

  5. michaele says:

    Success and failure….serendipity and disappointment…all part of the journey true gardeners take. This post was the perfect example of happy satisfying surprises.

    Thanks Micheale, so true about success and failure. The same in gardening as it is in every aspect of living.

  6. What beautiful delicate roses! I only seem to plant David Austin roses these days, probably because he lives quite close to us. But perhaps i need some more delicate ones.
    I know you love the work of Piet Oudolf and Tom Stuart-Smith so can I suggest you take a look at my recent blog “Trentham – a garden for all seasons”. Love to know what you think. It is such a photogenic garden.

    Thanks Green Bench. These are very small roses, hardly bigger than a mid-sized perennial, with flowers to match that proportion. I do love the work of Piet and Tom, so will rush right over to see about Trentham as soon as time allows!

  7. Gail says:

    Frances, More proof that fairegarden is magical! They are the sweetest little flowers and fit their name~’Angel Wings’ delightfully. xxoogail

    Thanks Gail. We are so glad these little sweet roses like it here, too.

  8. Sharon says:

    I’ll be gathering the hips from my tea roses and planting them in small pots, giving them a good watering and putting them outside for winter to work it’s magic on new years eve.

    That sounds like a good plan, Sharon. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so they say. It does seem like a perfect way to start a new year, too.

  9. Catherine says:

    I have those same little roses started from seed last winter. They have barely stopped blooming since they were a few inches tall. I didn’t notice any hips on mine though. If I do, I will have to try and see if I can get any started too, looks like they were a nice surprise for you!

    Oh I am so glad to hear it, Catherine. These are the sweetest little roses ever. I found the best results by doing nothing at all, let the hips fall to the ground and germinate by themselves. Taking them into the greenhouse was a mistake, I believe they need the chill.

  10. Oh they are so sweet! I agree sometimes left alone they do even what they are suppose to even better than us helping them alog. I bet that wall of roses is just gorgeous in the Summer!

    Thanks Alicia. I love the kind of gardening that just happens by itself. Talk about low maintenance. The rose section of the wall is about 3-4 feet of a 40+ foot wall. It is very pretty with blood grass and Euphorbias weaving in and out. When all those baby roses get bigger, it will look better. The red hips in winter are as welcome as the flowers in spring and summer.

  11. Worth the effort just to get all of those lovely rose hips.


    Thanks for visiting, Eileen. Yes, the hips are a big plus for these little roses, that and the self seeding.

  12. I love a story with a happy ending, especially a seed story!

    Thanks Helen. It was a happy surprise to see those baby roses, so glad they weren’t the multiflora type, too. Now all rose seedlings will be given a second look to see if they are Angels!

  13. Cindy, MCOK says:

    I’ve seen those seeds and thought about trying them. They sound like tough little plants, and you know that’s what I need down here on my corner of Katy!

    These would be good for your corner, Cindy. Easy, drought tolerant, they laugh at the heat!

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