Here comes the Rose Post...and it's not even June. This year, I'm struck by how many of my plants are somehow gifts. This "New Dawn" climber was a gift from...me. Meaning, I actually propagated it from the original bush across the garden. My dad taught me propagation, among so many other things, so it's also sort of a gift from him. The fragrance is that of absolute innocence.
"Climbing Don Juan" gives the gift of transformation...to a corner that stood bare and ugly for years. He's exuberantly covering up the set built by NBC for a "Law & Order" episode about a Mad Bomber, a.k.a. our garage.
"Perle D'Or" was dug up from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Cranford Rose Garden and handed to me by their legendary rosarian, Stephen Scanniello. The garden was about to be renovated, and the bushes were being handed out to staff and volunteers. The buds really do look like golden pearls.
The gift of this lavender miniature rose: surviving from year to year in a dilapidated planter box, thus defying my abysmal track record for wintering over roses that are (a) miniature and (b) lavender.
"Maiden's Blush" is easy: fragrance. The scent is ur-rose, the intoxicating attar that every phony "rose" room-spray in the world tries to pimp out (with woeful, cloying results). It blooms only once a year; the rest of the year, I wrestle with its 6-foot canes.
The foxgloves are gifts from themselves. They have self-seeded year after year.
And then there are Plants from Friends. Here are some spunky hosta divisions generously given from the native shade garden of Flatbush Gardener before his departure on a honeymoon with the lovely gent he gently dubs "Blog Widow." They, and the hostas, seem to be flourishing.