Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day Roses

Until about 30 years ago on Mother's Day nearly everyone would pin a rose to their Sunday outfit. If your mother was alive you pinned a red or a pink rose, white otherwise. Or if the right color was not available, you just used whatever color you could get. These were not florist roses. They were picked from yards, as roses were always blooming in Alabama by the second Sunday of May. This past Sunday I did not see one single person with a rose on. I guess that has gotten to be too "country" a tradition for my church. I had on one though. And maybe somebody else did, too. It's hard to see when you always sit in the back of the church. I always felt it was a nice private way to remember Mothers.

This is an almost infaliable rose which was given to me as a rooted cutting by Myrtle Minter, maybe 20 years ago. She called it a Hawaiin Tree Rose, but if you google that term, the plants you find are certainly not roses, so I guess that was just Myrtle's name for it.  It is a tough, reliable rose that is not troubled much by black spot disease. It roots fairly easily, and blooms throughout summer and on into fall. (If you know anything further about this rose, please let me know.)
This is a Knockout Rose, but the color is red, not rose as it appears in this picture. A friend dug hers up because threy were lining her walk and scratching the daylights out of her. She was tired of the incessant trimming. I was the joyful recipient of her curbside leavings. Knockouts need to be planted in a place where they cn be viewed from a distance (individual roses are single and not that striking close up) and allowed to take their own shrubby form. This one is too close to the house. Like many plants that become fads, I hear Knockouts have a problem on the horizon. It is a virus that causes rose rosette disease, and is slowly spreading .
This is an old pink sweetheart rose. This is the old southern rose that often survives without care at abandoned homesites. It does need at least annual pruning to keep it from becoming a tree, but it does not require spraying to help it survive the fungal south. The flowers don't last long in a vase, but they atre beautiful on the bush and the fragrance is heavenly (so rose-like!)

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