Recent Gardening Journal Entries
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July4: planted all roses except Thomas Affleck, Earth Song, Mel's Heritage, Cecile Brunner.
The Rosa species in my collection from the U. C. Berkeley Botanic Garden came from two sources, as plants or seeds. Both were mainly from the Rosa research conducted by Dr. Robert D. Raabe, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology at U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Raabe obtained an amazing collection of Rosa from Botanic Gardens around the world. Propagator Nancy Holland made available surplus seeds and the plants were sold at U.C.B.B.G.'s semiannual plant sales.
The seeds were in packets often with the identity of the source Botanic Garden. The plants were simply tagged with a species name and code number (example: "R777"). Possibly the original source could be traced from the code number but this all happened in the 1980's and 90's. Everyone involved has moved on and I've lost contact with them. And sometimes plants would appear at the sales with accession numbers usually meaning they were also actually planted in the Botanic Garden.
Seems to be a very slow starter. It's still tiny, after almost four years. Hard to believe it has a reputation for exceeding nine feet in height. Maybe it needs more care and feeding than it has been getting, but all the other Teas have been in the same soil with the same (occasional) feeding and they range from medium-sized up to monster.
Will try giving this one some extra attention and see what happens.
Edit: Margaret reckons there are two different 'Lady Roberts' lurking in Australian nurseries, and it looks like I got the tiddler. It's a very nice rose. It's just a nice rose on a small bush, which I suppose I not necessarily a bad thing.
After a bit less than four years in the ground, the bush is now around 2.1m/7' tall and about the same diameter. Robustly healthy, with almost no care taken at all. It has mostly been left to fend for itself. Currently flowering its head off in the middle of winter.
Re the gales mentioned several years ago: the bush got blown over on its side by a howling southerly while still quite young. It just lent on some of the northern canes and kept growing. I figured I might as well let it, since if I tried to force it to do anything else it might get worse damage from the next gale. This has turned out well. It has just kept on growing and more or less sorted itself out for form.
Cut all the dead wood out of it yesterday, including getting right under the canopy at ground level. It's quite an easy rose to work around providing you are careful. I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, but no other protective gear. Came out of it with all limbs still attached and minimal loss of blood.