The sky was gray and a few guests came early to the Rose Viewing, hoping to beat the rain, but blue skies arrived, as well as muggy temperatures, and more guests. It is always a pleasure to show people around the garden myself, but visitors can also go around with a rose list and map that my husband makes. Since I look on the Rose Viewing as a quasi-educational event I am always pleased to see people making notes on their rose list. I am also happy to be able to recommend nurseries like the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas which sends container grown roses through the mail in the spring. The advantage to container grown roses is that if the weather is bad, sleety, frosty or even too darn hot, the container plants can be kept watered and happy until they can be put safely in the ground.
There was a lot of discussion about whether the roses were all early, but after the spell of high temperatures that send the roses rushing into bloom, it got turned cold again. Another fire in the woodstove. It stayed cool and most of the roses relaxed, content with their more normal bloom times. Remember our house and garden are more than 1600 feet above sea level and that means that nights are cool through most of the summer. One rose that is blooming early is this red Meidiland landscape rose that came as a sample from the hybridizer more than 15 years ago. Usually it has only a few blossoms to show at the Rose Viewing which is always the last Sunday in June. It has survived nicely, as has the White Meidiland next to it, but our weather is severe enough that it hasn’t attained the spread it is known for. You can image that this brilliant scarlet rose is quite a delightful shock when the other roses are in shades of pink and white.
As delightful as it is to wander among the roses, enjoying all the fragrance, the day was hot, and it was equally delightful to sit down in the Cottage Ornee and visit. The Cottage quite magically seems to capture every wayward breeze, the lemonade was cold, the strawberries sweet, and the cookies delicious. If I do say so myself. Then Sheila brought her handmade goat cheeses and Cheryl, pictured above with our neighbors the McCutchens, brought Strawberry Shortcake!