It has never rained on the Rose Viewing, and I think I can claim it did not rain yesterday either. The Rose Viewing is from 1-4 pm. At 3:45 yesterday there were a few drops of rain, but then no more. The guests who were here at that time strolled into the Cottage Ornee where we stayed and chatted, ate the last few cookies, and strawberry sorbet that one of the guests brought, until Sunday afternoon exhaustion set in and the young set thought it was time for supper. Farewells at 5:15 and heavy rainfall at 5:25. I am going to claim an unbroken record.
Daughter Betsy was here to pick up her 15 year old, Tynan, who had been spending time with us, and practicing his hiking with a 40 pound pack on his back in preparation for his 12 day trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. I was fortunate to have her here to keep the lemonade punch bow filled, and to handle book sales. I really enjoy meeting the people who buy my book and inscribing it to them, but of course I am always glad to know that it sells at our local bookstore and through Kindle.
Thomas Affleck, a hybrid created at the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas may have been the star of the day. He stands near where most people parked their cars and made quite a statement. This rose, although created in Texas, has made himself perfectly at home on our Massachusetts hill, elevation 1700 feet. He begins blooming in mid-June and continues through October, although with diminished energy. He is not bothered by blackspot or any other disease, even in this very rainy spring. I have never detected the promised fragrance, but yesterday’s visitors did a lot of sniffing and said there is a subtle fragrance. My sniffer’s powers ares clearly declining.
Ghislaine de Feligonde was another rose that attracted a lot of attention. The golden buds are the first beauty, and then the shifting delicate colors of the blossoms. She is listed as a climber, but so far, in my garden, she is getting more vigorous, but is showing no tendency to climb. Others in Heath have had similar experiences. Our climate seems to control growth. The late beloved Elsa Bakalar always told the story about her visiting British brother who asked the variety of the single rose in her garden. “How can you not recognize ‘Queen Elizabeth?” she asked indignantly. His response, “Oh, I didn’t know there was a dwarf variety.”
I have tried to grow the magnificent Austin rose, ‘Abraham Darby’ but been unsuccessful. The winters were too much for him. When I gave one to my daughter who lives in central Massachusetts, it grew lushly up the side of her porch. A true climber with no trouble.
So what comes after the Rose Viewing? Weeding the vegetable garden! It has been ignored during preparations for the Rose Viewing and the rain has called up all manner of weeds. But not today. It is raining. Again.