Here's What's Going On in the Garden

This page will be updated from time to time to let you know what's up in the garden.

September 1998 Status:

bulletThe summer has been a time for recovery in the Garden. The unusual rain in May brought disease that defoliated many of our roses and damaged others. June and the beginning of July saw few blooms as the roses put their energies into growing foliage. By mid July they looked pretty good and we had a second spring where almost all the rebloomers flushed together. Thus, by the end of July almost everything was between flushes. As August went on, the roses began to get out of sync in their flushes, but heat reduced the size and number of blooms. This is continuing into September with a hoped for build to a great show in October. The garden looks wonderful right now.


bulletThe garden is showing the results of the increasing number and experience of the volunteers encouraged by our volunteer coordinators, Laurie Lynch and Judi Henderson. Laurie has formed the "Wednesday Adopters" (otherwise known as the "Lynch Mob") where work in the garden is combined with short talks on rose issues and a social time. We are making real headway solving problems that were previously getting ahead of us. Bracey Tiede has emerged as a major help to me in supervising other volunteers. She and others can already identify 3 of the four types of understock suckers that pop up under our roses (Multiflora doesn't sucker much).


bulletNew Varieties. Ed Wilkinson secured around 100 varieties provided graciously by Mike Lowe. Jason Derer secured some rare old Hybrid Teas from Bush Pastures in Oregon. Vintage Gardens is helping by growing these out for us. Thanks Gregg Lowery.

Planting.  We haven't planted many roses this summer due to the heat. We have around 300 to be planted this fall and winter.

bulletStandards. We have been preparing 'de la Grifferaie' budded to 'Manettii' planted two years ago to be standards. These are being budded at 4' for standard tree roses and at 7'-8' for weeping standards (Cascades). Those done last year are coming along fine and all but the latest this year have taken nicely. One 8 footer budded with "Etain" has the scion almost reached the ground! We are trying one rambler at 10' to see how it will do!

'de la Grifferaie' is a great standard stock here as it transpires at these heights like a slush pump and it seems to accept any scion.

Four foot tree roses? We find that these are perfectly vigorous and they can rise above the surrounding bushes and be seen where regular "Dr. Huey"-based tree roses get lost. In general 42" or 4' standards are much more spectacular. All of this is thanks to the great San Jose climate for roses.

bulletPruning. We hope to get started in late October so we can prune the Hybrid Perpetuals, Bourbons and Portlands that have never been properly pruned. These will be followed by the Chinas and Teas and then the modern roses.
bulletVolunteer days. We are now concentrating on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 - 12. As pruning time arrives, we will have to add Sunday 9 - 12 to get done. For info, call the Garden Center at 408-298-7657. Especially needed are knowledgeable rosarians that can take supervisory responsibility for work days.

Note. I have been getting a number of email requests to buy roses. We do not sell roses. Nurseries who do are found on the links page.

Mel Hulse, September 13, 1998


This page was last updated on 02/27/06.

Address comments to Mel Hulse