Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A drought tolerant rose garden?

Niles Cochet,
at an abandoned gas station in San Juan Bautista,
is the green bushy plant to the left, next to window.
Found/reported by Jeri Jennings.
It was not in bloom in this photo in mid-August,
but its foliage was a nice deep green.
Check out the supporting cast of characters:
agave, yucca?
Can you have roses in a drought tolerant garden, that gets little water in the summer?

I first became aware of such an idea from the "Rose Rustlers", those intrepid seekers of old roses at abandoned homestead, roadways, cemeteries, and abandoned gas stations. Many of these roses were brought by early settlers and were as rugged as the people who brought them. The roses are often disease resistant as well as drought tolerant.

The Master Gardeners of Alameda County have three demonstration gardens: Fremont, Livermore, and Albany. Look for their recommended plant lists.

I was surprised to see roses in the Livermore demonstration garden. I was double-surprised that one of their roses was the 'Mutabilis' rose or 'Butterfly' rose, a China/Bengale hybrid, and is listed as an Earth Kind rose.

Tea roses, like the "Niles Cochet" and its "sport mother", the Maman Cochet, do not require summer water once established.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Measuring Tree Girth

We visited these ancient olives at
Mission San Jose during the Olive Festival 2017.
I will need to compare
with those old ones
at the California Nursery Historical Park.
But I think this one is bigger by far.
Tree girth is measured at breast height. Also lets you give them a good hug!

I'd say this one is about 10 feet in circumference

Saturday, October 21, 2017

You can have your roses and eat them, too

All roses are edible. But some are more tasty. And of course, only if they are grown organically.

Rosalind Creasy suggests these roses in her book, the Edible Flower Garden:

  • 'Cécile Brünner'
  • 'Zéphirine Drouhin'
  • 'Austrian Copper'
  • 'Eglantine'
  • 'Belinda' (candying)
  • Rugosa alba
  • Rosa gallica
  • Rosa moschata
  • Rosa centifolia
  • Rosa damascena
  • 'The Fairy'
  • 'Carefree Delight'
  • 'Jeanne Lajoie'
  • 'Graham Thomas'
  • 'Perfect Moment'
  • "Tiffany'
  • 'Mr. Lincoln' (the red one that Beta is smelling)
  • 'Double Delight'
  • 'Mirandy'
  • 'Pink Flower Carpet'
For making rose tea in the rose garden, I like the Bourbon rose 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' and the Portlands 'Rose de Rescht' and 'Pickering Four Seasons'. 'Jacques Cartier' is nice, too.

Also check on an earlier article with other roses to use for rose extracts.

To make it easier here's the list from that page:
The Best and Most Fragrant Roses for Making Rose Water and Potpourris suggests Damask rose, Centifolia rose, moss roses. 

Suggested Damask roses: Leda, La Ville des Bruxelles, Jacques Cartier, Celsiana, Hebe’s Lip, and Madame Hardy. 

Suggested Centifolia roses: Tour de Malakoff, Fantin Latour, and The Bishop. 

Suggested Moss roses: Alfred de Dalmas (Mousseline),Chapeau de Napoleon, Henri Martin, William Lobb. 

Other suggested roses: Madame Isaac Pereire (most fragrant?), Souvenir de la Malmaison, Comte de Chambord, Reine des Violettes

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Shinn's Lamarque rose

"La Marque Rose, 
thirteen years old, 
budded on Cherokee stock, 
on the Shinn farm house at Niles California"
From Vick's Illustrated Magazine,
February 1891
So it was planted in 1878.

The Shinn house once had a very large rose bush climbing up its walls. No longer. A yellow rose clambers up the trellis.

Charles Howard Shinn wrote about "California Rose Cottages" in Vick's Illustrated Magazine in 1891. He used a photograph of the farm home in Niles where he grew up. The La Marque rose is approaching the size of a house-eating rose.

Charles says "Then when people ask still further, what roses to plant, I have told them to begin almost any where, but that a Lamarque was good to start with, for one could plant it on a hillside with a crowbar, and it would come out ahead."

The La Marque rose is listed in the Shinn's Nurseries catalog.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Teasing out the Peace Rose History and Weaving in the California Nursery Company

The Roeding family history says that the California Nursery Company was the official West Coast propagator of the Peace rose. Or were they one of several? What about Armstrong?

It is also said that George Roeding, Jr. arranged to have Peace roses delivered to some number of delegates for the United Nations meeting in San Francisco.

Yet there is never any mention of this in the official Peace rose history. Why?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What happened to our Peace Rose?

From the 1948 California Nursery Catalog
These colors? Did the Peace Rose ever have these colors? Was this a colorized photo by someone who didn't know the true colors?

The California Nursery Company was the official propagator of the Peace Rose on the West Coast in the mid 1940's. This was the color shown in their catalog. But the Roedings remember a different color than the color sold today.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

'Black Dragon' wisteria

My favorite wisteria at our local park was a mystery.

I asked the pruning community for a good wisteria book for identifying the wisteria in the park and was recommended Peter Valder's Wisterias, A Comprehensive Guide.

However, once I posted a photo, two people knew exactly what it was: 'Black Dragon'!

It is the only double flowered wisteria, from what I understand, so there is no need to key it out.

Some interesting connections with the park is that W.B. Clarke was the west coast distributor of this Japanese wisteria. W.B. Clarke was, apparently, an employee of the California Nursery who opened his own nursery in San Jose. The CNCo sold W.B. Clarke's low-chill lilacs, so the Dragon might be in the CNCo catalog as well. I will check.