“Learn to be an observer in all seasons. Every single day, your garden has something new and wonderful to show you.”

 I love to wander in the garden in the morning doing an inspection of sorts to see if any changes have happened overnight to the roses that need extra attention or I have transplanted recently. At present most of the roses that were on the watch list are back in health and looking far better than expected. I look for telltale signs of growth like new shoots, buds forming, glossy foliage and the absence of disease or pests. Plus naturally, any surprises or new blooms that I can photograph. The process of observing the new day is wonderful and very uplifting as I’ve become quite good at resurrecting sick roses. Mind you, I certainly don’t want all of them to be so needy but three to five is alright. A couple of real favourites are back on track this week one being a delightful rose called “Summer of Love.”

“Live now, believe me, wait not till tomorrow; Gather the roses of life today.” Pierre De Ronsard

Roses with all their varied shapes, perfumes and glorious colours do not get better than this one. The name alone is perfect. It represents hope, optimism and possibilities, when, in San Francisco, in the 1960s 100,000 people came together in Haight-Asbury, for the Summer of Love festival- a Utopian vision for world peace, love and anti-consumerism. But is also about summer love, romance and feel-good memories. “Summer Of Love” is an outstanding Hybrid Tea rose bred by Keith Zary in the USA and introduced by Jackson and Perkins in 2009.

“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” Henry David Thoreau

“It is the glistening autumnal side of summer. I feel a cool vein in the breeze, which braces my thought, and I pass with pleasure over sheltered and sunny portions of the sand where the summer’s heat is undiminished, and I realize what a friend I am losing.” Henry David Thoreau

Uniquely beautiful blooms are the trademark of “Summer of Love” they are luminous, changing with the light from brilliant yellow to watermelon pink, coral and gold and tinged with white. At times appearing soft and gentle and then blazing, brilliant and almost iridescent. These stunning roses are never out of bloom all season long either in clusters or at times on single stems making them very easy to cut for inside.

All through last season, the rose was wonderful but sadly was attacked by two-spotted mites that have turned the leaves crisp and dry, the growth stunted and no blooms. It is a superb rose and I’m glad to say after weeks of hopeful attention, it has just begun to shoot new growth. Spider mites or two-spotted mites are difficult to treat because initially, you can’t see them or the damage being done until it’s too late and the leaves have become dry and crinkled and the plant looks bare, paused or dormant and sick.

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Frank Lloyd Wright

Summer of Love (JACemini) is a tall spreading upright rose. It usually has dark green glossy foliage and a mild spice fragrance. The blooms are large and open from a high centred bud in a spiral, creating that perfect rose form. It is a vigorous grower, disease-resistant, and the flowers last well in a vase—all the attributes of a great rose. Once the rose plant recovers, it will go into the ground as it is currently in a huge pot. This year I have ordered two Summer of Love bare root roses available from Silkies rose farm for growing along the front fence line. The expected full height will be between 150 cm to 185 cm and hopefully become a good screen for the fence.

The Madrid Rose Trials awarded Summer of Love a bronze medal in 2012, The Australian Rose Trials awarded Best Hybrid Tea in 2009 so it is a beauty and a highly recommended rose.

Another success story this week is the newly arrived Guy Savoy climbing rose planted to hopefully grow up an old tank stand to cover the water pump. I’ve tried many roses and Clematis in this position with varied success. Success is not that the plant will grow if it is watered every day and requires constant attention. Success is thriving with standard water requirements and time spent fertilising or deadheading as with all the other roses in the garden. In this position, any plant must love heat and strong afternoon sun and be hardy and disease resistant. So far, Guy Savoy has come up trumps, it tripled in size in a few short weeks and has many blooms that opened perfectly. In the recent winds, the blooms remain just sitting on the rose stems without falling apart.

Guy Savoy is part of the Delbard Painters series I am so fond of and write about often. Released in 2002 and named to honour the French Chef. It is described by the Victorian Rose Society as a rose with

semi-double cerise blooms with white and red splashes of colour and a subtle orange, peach and vanilla fruity fragrance.

Guy Savoy blooms are uplifting to view as I do from the kitchen window, and after so much trial and error with other varieties, I think this time it will work. It is free-flowing and a brilliant colour blend, a very showy style rose with magnificent perfume, the blooms are delightful, the foliage lush and glossy. Always an attribute that is a sign of strength and disease resistance. This area was where I had planted Joseph’s Coat roses which are still going well but they couldn’t handle the strong afternoon sun. Because they are in pots they were able to be relocated to a more protected position and can climb up the water tanks. On the other hand, Guy Savoy rose is said to be a  heat-loving climber and to thrive in the Australian climate. Let’s hope I’ve nailed it this time.

The Guy Savoy rose ( DELstrimen ) was bred by G. Delbard  in France, in 1994 and introduced by Delbard/Georges Delbard SA in 2001 as ‘Guy Savoy’. It will grow 300 cm x 300 cm so is really best as a pillar rose and perfect against a post or pillar frame.

The other rose to highlight today is ‘Queen Elizabeth II Rose’ – a Floribunda rose bred by Dr Walter Lammerts in the United States in 1954. He was a scientist, geneticist, and horticulturist from the United States. (1904-1996) and well known as the creator of new hybrid tea roses. Evidently, he produced 46 new roses between 1940 and 1981. Because 25% of the American Rose Societies’ top-ranking roses were Lammerts the society created a new rose group called Grandifloras that we are familiar with today. One of these was Queen Elizabeth II Rose, which also won several awards and went on to become “The World’s Favourite Rose” in 1978.

Initially planted in the garden as part of a Treloars Cut Flower Collection ( my first roses.) It is a large size standard rose that grows by the front gate. Like many roses this year black spot caused defoliation but, it is back on track having flowered this week and is healthy again and covered in large dark green foliage.

Queen Elizabeth II rose was introduced to honour the Queen’s ascension to the throne in 1952. The stems are long and straight and, unlike many roses, there is a deep clarity in the colour and bloom formation. It is almost thornless and a gorgeous clear mid pink.

There are other troublesome roses that continue to be in the sickbay in fact they have been there so long it’s almost time to give up on them. I’ve culled very desperate roses preferring to spend time on plants that flourish if I can. It all comes down to the season this year. It was unseasonably humid and wet and like in many parts of Australia, the unprecedented rain caused massive damage, destruction, and trauma for many so a little mould, mildew or fungal disease in the garden is not of significant concern.

Content and Images Di Baker 2022

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