“Of all flowers, methinks rose is best” 

As summer rolls on, the landscape is unseasonably lush. The lawn is rapidly making the garden beds home. On the one hand, the garden is superb, brilliant green, but also far too moist, humid, and overgrown, so in need of serious attention. It is the complete opposite of a few years back when drought was a daily issue. Each day I’m making headway in getting the weeds and defiant lawn under control now that we have a welcome seven days without rain. The roses begin to bud after deadheading, and many have started to bloom. It is glorious.

The blooms that catch one’s eye at present are the Frida Kahlo roses. Like her namesake, the flowers are unusual and unique. The colour is vivid and intense, especially where they sit under the arbour of olive trees in two large pots. Frida Kahlo roses are a Floribunda, new to Australia in 2021 but bred in 2014. The colours are meant to intensify as the rose ages. I have written about this beautiful rose before in a past post here. The flowers are bright red, deep pink and gold striped, so it is a one of a kind rose not unlike Frida Kahlo herself and her incredible art. I found this article by Suzanne Horn expert Rosarian, who writes on Frida Kahlo, her rose and life- entitled ‘Frida Kahlo’-A UNIQUE SHOWY FLORIBUNDA HONORS A GREAT ARTIST click here to read.

“There is nothing more precious than laughter”

Frida Kahlo

Since writing about my Frida Kahlo roses in December, I moved the pots to the new position to view from the lounge room, and they look great from a distance. They have plenty of direct afternoon sun from around one until sunset. The blooms are striking bright beacons of colour that pop in the afternoon light- stunning.

Another Hybrid Tea rose that has just opened again after Spring bloom is Peter Frankenfeld. I have two of these as standards that sit opposite one another on the front path. Peter Frankenfeld was bred by Reimer Kordes in 1966 Germany and introduced into Australia in 1967. It has luminous cerise pink or magenta high centred bloom form- gorgeous. I love this type of rose, upright, bushy, stunning colour, easy to cut for indoors, healthy leathery foliage. Peter Frankenfeld was a German comedian (1913-1979) who lived in Berlin.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

William Shakespeare

The front path is the area I had initially designated as the home for the “bright” roses. They are all standards; deep orange in France Libre and Ashram, brightest yellow in Soul Mate, The Golden Child and Cote D’ Azur and deeper red in Fiona’s Wish, softened by Peach Profusion and Stachys lambs ears underneath. Until this year, I was not entirely sure I liked (or understood) the beauty of standard roses. They can be tricky and require careful pruning and positioning away from wild winds. I’ve come to appreciate their elegance this year, in a milder season. They grow unencumbered by other vegetation and undergrowth after I pruned all the lavender back and so are highly visible.

The colour of the roses in the front path is not as intended. What started out as a carefully curated colour scheme, is now a miss match, only because some, unfortunately, went in the drought or were broken in storms and have been replaced by Peace roses. Their colours are a real focal point in the front garden unlike the ones along the front fence.

A rose that has always been a favourite is Rosa Gorgeous from Eureka Plants in Canowindra. Our local garden club visited the rose grower, and Luke showed us through the polytunnel and his nursery. Having Eureka close by has been fantastic as an easy place to buy plants. He leaves them at the farm gate for pick up during restrictions.

Last week my Rosa Gorgeous was weeded, mulched, fertilised and watered with eco seaweed and given a summer trim and now has twenty or more buds ready to open to large vivid pink and yellow blooms. It has beautiful bright glossy foliage and is healthy and compact, growing upright on the garden’s border at the front. It should reach 100cm at full maturity and is a great one for cut flowers. Rosa Gorgeous was Bred by L. Pernille Olesen Denmark, 2012, as a Hybrid Tea in the Paramount ® Collection. with registration name of POUlpmt009.

“The rose is a flower of love. The world has acclaimed it for centuries. Pink roses are for love hopeful and expectant. White roses are for love dead or forsaken, but the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant.” Anon

Alfred Sisley is also near the border and in my garden with so much direct sunlight is deep burnt orange or tangerine colour with creamy white splashes and yellow centres. Like all the roses in the Impressionist Painters Series, Alfred Sisley, DELstrijor, is a Delbard rose bred in France in 1998. It will grow to 100cm and is magnificent, vigorous with dark glossy foliage.

“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again.” Unknown

On viewing the roses above, it appears as if the entire garden is garish bright roses, but I can assure you there are many more subtle roses in the garden. One is is Soul Sister. Soul Sister is a floribunda bred by Christian Bedard in the US in 2008 and was released in Australia in 2015 by Swane’s Nurseries. The rose is unique and the colour exceptional; chocolate and then a milky latte colour; then, as the rose ages it fades, to a soft lavender-pink shade.

Hundreds of white, cream and pale pink roses are reblooming like Princess Monaco, Grand Siecle, Sharifa Asma, The Children’s Rose, La Vien Rosa, Mothers Love and Eglantyne roses.

The weather is perfect at last for at least half a day of work outside in the garden. After several days of strong winds that seem to have blown all the mosquitoes away and helped dry out pools of moisture, it is far more pleasant now. To improve my fun in the long slow process of weeding, I have added several new plants and two new fixtures for climbing roses to the garden. More to come next time, and now out to the garden.

Title quote William Shakespeare

All content and images Di Baker 2022

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