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.
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.