Photo courtesy of Murphy's Rose
Texas, United States
My obsession with roses began in 2003 with Mutabilis. Before, I thought roses were spindly, sick plants with teetery hot-house blooms perched on top, low on fragrance and high on maintenance. Mutabilis changed all that and I am hooked for life. 400+ roses later, I only lust for more. I am progressing through the classes, and am particularly enamored with the species types, spinossissimas, damasks and albas.
The summer of 2011 and the epic drought that continues in Texas has placed a new spin on things. Water is in short supply. I hope to be able to keep my roses alive until we can reach the other side of the drought. In the meantime, conservation is the word. And the fight to keep from ordering new roses is a loosing battle. With the long-timers like Vintage Gardens transitioning out of business and Pickering down-sizing their inventory, I feel the need to get now because this may be the last chance.
September 2012, I look around my gardens, a tortured shadow of its former self in the throes of the drought without end. I have moved many roses to pots, replaced by heat loving perennials and succulents that survive and even thrive in our "new" climate. I see the rose chapter of my garden waning, as predictions of continuing extreme conditions and water restricitons. I am tempting to sell or discard these lone survivors, but will hold on a bit longer with hopes and prayers for improvement.
April 2013, the drought is worsening, with predictions of a summer hotter than before. Not a bloom on a single rose, unusual, should be in full bloom by now. Not a bud in sight. I have ceased irrigation on the survivors and likely it be the end of most of them. I look back on 2010 and how beautiful the roses were then. I am glad I could not see the future and was able to enjoy the last year before the Drought began. The whole landscape of my part of Texas has dramatically changed, old landmark trees and shrubs dying. And there is not a thing we can do about it. Except pray for rain.
August 2013, we received bountiful rain for the month of July and August. Even so. roses are dropping like flies, one dying branch leading to the whole plant drying up. I plan a major cull of all of this pitiful survivors that I cherished so much at one time. They are irreplaceable now. With Vintage Gardens closing, there will be no source for the unusual. I had hoped to be able to keep the Old Europeans alive, but it was not to happen.
Enjoy what you can, while you can.
Very experienced (37 years)
Last visit: More than a year ago