The roses have been sadly neglected for some few years. This spring I've been lopping and pruning and scraping out the detritus to find the little tags from when they were planted, about 20 years ago.
The Dortmund and the Bourbon Queen are lovingly intertwined. Each throws out long runners like brambles, so until the flowers (which are quite distinct) appear, it can be difficult to determine which cluster of buds belongs to which set of stems.
But once the buds open, it's dead easy.
The Dortmund has clusters of small open flowers, deep red, not showy but plentiful. It keeps on flowering into November, at least here in Victoria.
The Bourbon Queen has, well, these. Big double flowers, with a scent that can pretty much fill a room.
I thought this might be a good year to do a rose map, with pictures of the flowers as each one blooms, and notes on how the plant is doing. Consider this the first notes toward that plan, and please excuse the quality of the pics. Mark's pics are the ones that are in focus and generally better. Mine are the others.
Next to the Bourbon Queen was the Ulrich Brunner. Note past tense, for to judge from the evidence, Ulrich was dragged down into the earth by teams of woodlice, which then spat back the bare stems, like graboids.
So the next surviving rose is the rugosa rubra, which has a few more blooms today than it did when this picture was taken. The evil caterpillars have been busy, but it's holding up well.
The Rosearie de la Haye and the Kazanlik next to it are leafy but have no sign of flowers or buds so far. The Kazanlik is probably 8 feet tall, but I can't recall what the flowers look like. If we get any, I'll post an update.
But here's a bloom from the Rugosa rubra, this one not eaten by caterpillars.
My own mental category of 'rose' seems to be something close to this, an open flower like the wild roses that grew in the scrubby cleared fields when I was small, not the complex double flowers that I saw in gardens. Perhaps because the garden roses were always seen from a distance, never smelt and picked?
Sitting demurely below the towering Kazanlik is a little Blanc Double de Courbet, which Mark particularly likes for the startling whiteness of its blooms.
It's like the ghost of a flower.
We pass quickly over the Sir Clough, Ferdinand Pichard, and Jenny Duval, none flowering at present.
Until we reach Henry Hudson. The stems have toppled, I don't know why, perhaps trampled by dogs or cats, but the rose itself is healthy, and putting out nice open double flowers. The scent doesn't quite overpower the Bourbon Queen, but it might, if the plant itself were bigger.
Today I bought a plant-propper-upper thing, so if it works for Henry Hudson, I may be propping or restraining more of the roses.
Over to the other side of the yard past the path, and it's nowt but greenery. Buds on the Jacques Cartier (sending exploratory runners into Alain Blanchard's territory) and the Wenlock, but for flowers nowt, nowt.
Until Sir Walter Raleigh, throwing himself against the trellis to flower into the driveway. It took both Chris and me to nail the trellis up a couple of years ago, against Sir Walter's exuberance.
At least we have a rough map for the front yard, and tags for most of the roses (some are blank, now, with the action of weather and time). The back yard is going to be mostly guesswork, aided by the rule that the backyard is medieval, so the roses have to be from 1500 or earlier.