Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Plants in the Truskot Garden

West Side of Back Yard

Open Garden: Visitors Welcome
Sunday, May 27, Noon to 5 p.m.
350 Chaparral Street, Salinas



Westerland, a Kordes climbing floribunda

List of Roses


Rose Variety Rose Class Year Location
Alba Semi-plena Alba 1867 Back-Fence
American Honor Hybrid Tea 1993 Back-House
Apricot Twist Miniature 1993 Back-Center
Baronne Prevost Hybrid Perpetual 1842 Front-Yard
Black Prince Hybrid Perpetual 1866 Back-West
Blue Girl Hybrid Tea 1964 Pot
Blush Damask Damask 1000 Walk-Side
Bubble Bath Hybrid Musk 1980 Back-Fence
Cecile Brunner, Cl Polyantha 1894 Back-Shed
Charles de Mills Gallica 1840 Back-Fence
Chic-a-dee Miniature 1990 Back-Center
Children's Hope Miniature 2016 Pot
China Doll Polyantha 1946 Back-Fence
Chrysler Imperial  Hybrid Tea 1952 Pot
Crepuscule Noisette 1904 Walk-Side
Dublin Bay Large Flowered Climber 1975 Back-West
Ellen Wilmott Hybrid Tea 1936 Back-West
Escapade Floribunda 1967 Front-Walk
Gemini hybrid tea 1999 Pot
Gizmo Miniature 1998 Back-Center
Gloire des Rosomanes China 1825 Back-West
Handel Large Flowered Climber 1960 Back-Fence
Henri Martin Moss 1863 Back-Fence
Iceberg Floribunda 1958 Pot
Irresistable Miniature 1990 Back-Fence
Isfahan Damask 1832 Back-Shed
Jeanne d'Arc Noisette 1848 Far-Side
Joseph's Coat Large Flowered Climber 1969 Walk-Side
Kathleen Ferrier Floribunda 1952 Front-Yard
Lavender Lassie Hybrid Musk 1960 Front-Yard
Little Artist Miniature 1982 Front-Yard
Madame Alfred Carriere Noisette 1879 Back-House
Margaret Merrill Floribunda 1977 Pot
Maria Callas Hybrid Tea 1968 Back-West
Marie Pavié Polyantha 1888 Far-Side
Matangi Floribunda 1978 Back-West
Mme. Legras de St. Germain Alba 1846 Back-West
Natchez Miniature 1994 Back-House
Nur Mahal Hybrid Musk 1923 Walk-Side
Oldtimer Hybrid Tea 1969 Back-Center
Peace Hybrid Tea 1935 Pot
Perle d'Or Polyantha 1884 Back-Center
Phyllis Bide Polyantha 1924 Back-Shed
Picasso Floribunda 1971 Back-West
Popcorn Miniature 1973 Back-Fence
Portland from Glendora Portland 1882 Back-West
Radiant Perfume Grandiflora 2002 Pot
Rosa californica Species 1878 Back-Shed
Rosa woodsii   Species 0 Pot
Rosa woodsii fendleri Species 1888 Back-Fence
Russelliana Hybrid Multiflora 1824 Walk-Side
Sacred Heart Hybrid Tea 2002 pot
Sally Holmes Hybrid Musk 1976 Front-Yard
Secret Hybrid Tea 1992 Back-West
Sombreuil Tea 1880 Back-Center
Stanwell Perpetual Hybrid Pimpinellifolia 1838 Back-West
Tahitian Sunset Hybrid Tea 2006 Back-House
The Dark Lady Austin 1991 Pot
Therese Bugnet Hybrid Rugosa 1950 Far-Side
Tiffany Hybrid Tea 1954 Far-Side
Tootie Miniature 2003 Pot
Zigeunerknabe Bourbon 1909 Walk-Side

Agave victoriae-reginae


Partial List of Succulents and Other Plants



Adromischus cristatus 'Key Lime Pie'
Adromischus marianae
Aeonium 'Kiwi'
Agave attenuata
Agave guiengola 'Crème Brulee'
Agave parryi
Agave pendunculifera
Agave victoriae-reginae
Aloe aristata
Aloe iriorum
Aloe labworava
Aloe 'pink blush'
Aloe wanalensis
Artemisia absinthum 'Powis Castle'
Astrophytum myriostigma 'Bishop's Cap'
Astrophytum ornatum
Beaucarnea recuvata
Billbergia nutens 'Queen's Tears'
Crassula ovata 'Jade Plant'
Cycad revoluta 'Sago Palm
Echeveria agavoides
Echeveria 'Blue Prince'
Echeveria 'Dolores Taylor'
Echeveria elegans
Echeveria imbricata
Echeveria nodulosa
Echeveria 'violet queen'
Echinocactus grusonli
Echinopsis chamaecereus
Echinopsis subdenudatum
Ferrocactus latispinus 'Devil's Tongue'
Gasteria 'Ox Tongue'
Hydrangea macrophyla 'Lace Cap'
Hydrangea macrophyla 'Lace Cap'
Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi 
Kalanchoe luciae
Kalanchoe pumila 'Frosty Pink'
Laurus nobilis
Pachypodium succulentum x. bispinosum
Portulaca 'Elephant Bush'
Sedum spectabile
Sempervivens  
Sempervivens arachnoideum
Trachycarpus fortunei 'Windmill Palm'
Velthemia bracteata
Viburnum davidii

Epiphytic cactus



Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Open Garden, 350 Chaparral Street, Salinas


Ellen Willmott, hybrid tea, 1935
Visit my garden on Sunday, May 27, noon to 5 p.m. Gardening public welcome. All parking is on the street. Enter the back yard through the side gate.

I haven't opened my garden for viewing in 7 years and hope that this opportunity will bring many visitors. Several of the roses have been in the garden since 1993 and are showing at their very best this season.

It's an eclectic selection which includes hybrid teas, floribundas, miniatures, shrubs and climbers. I have a good sampling of damask, alba, hybrid perpetuals, polyanthas, species and noisettes as well. I also have an array of succulents and other garden plants which should be of interest.

Baronne Prévost, hybrid perpetual, 1841 -Winner, Best Old Garden Rose at the 2018 Monterey Bay Rose Society show.
The rose pictured above was one of a dozen roses clusters that bush produced. The fragrance is awesome.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Annual Rose Show is this Saturday

Judges from Central California review all the blooms at a Rose Show
Join rose lovers from around the Monterey Bay at Alladin's Nursery and Gift Shop 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 5, for the 2018 Monterey Bay Rose Society's Annual Rose Show. The show features some of the best flowers grown by experienced professionals and passionate novices. Samples of the many forms of America's National Flower will be on display to delight the senses - except maybe touch. Watch out for the thorns.
Perfect Moment, a past Queen of Show

Got a rose you'd like identified? Bring a sample to the show and one of the consulting rosarians will do his or her best in telling you what it is.

In addition to the roses, Alladin's offers music, wine tasting, and delicious food from the grill.


Dazzling display of rose sprays
 Alladin's Nursery is one of the oldest, independently owned and operated garden centers along the Central Coast with hundreds of plants and garden items for sale. It's approaching its 100th birthday and is located at 2905 Freedom Blvd, Watsonville.

Exotic and unusual flowers are always on display
Exit Highway One on Green Valley Road. Drive to Freedom Blvd and turn left. Continue to Alladin's Nursery. Got questions? Call them at 831-724-7517.

More photos from past rose shows:
Northern California Nevada Hawaii judeges: Linda Burk, Jolene Adams, Barbara Gordon and clerk Karl Dosht




Much more information on the Monterey Bay Rose Society home page.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Payoff of Pruning

noisette, truskot, madame alfred carriere, carrièe
Madame Alfred Carrière, noisette, 1875
Madame Alfred Carrière was planted in my garden in the spring of 1993 - one of the first and most steadfast of all my roses. She was purchased from Roses of Yesterday and Today in Corralitos while Pat Wiley was running the business. Many of the others on that first large purchase have long since departed, either by death or extraction.

Madame Alfred was named for the wife of the chief editor of Revue horticole - a 19th century French horticultural magazine. She loves her location on a south facing corner of my house and has continued to bloom steadily all season long - in spite of the mosaic virus it contracted from infected rootstock. New canes arrive every year.

Past recent pruning attempts were committed in a frenzy after large pieces of it were torn from its moorings and flung it into the yard by wicked winter winds. She hadn't been methodically guided and supported properly in years. This season, however, she got the attention she needed and the results are stunning. She will continue to grow and bloom also season.
Madame Alfred Carrière, January 31, 2018, morning

Madame Alfred Carrière, January 31, late afternoon

Madame Alfred Carrière, April 28

At the base of this climber is a shallow ditch which actually carries rain water from the back yard out under the fence to the front yard and eventually down a storm drain. The rose's roots reach out under the soil in all directions. It was given two fists full of alfalfa pellets in February and fertilizer in March and early April. Here's the result on April 28, 2018.



All roses benefit from some pruning. If you hadn't done any this year, you still can cut down on disease and encourage blooms by thinning out your bush and allowing the best canes to develop.

Read more about Madame Alfred Carrière:  Older Post

Monday, April 23, 2018

Look out for Downy Mildew

Downy Mildew on the hybrid tea Sacred Heart, April 2018

Danger. Danger. Danger. Downy Mildew is a disease of many plants particularly vining ones like grapes, cucumbers, melons, and squash but it also will affect ornamental plants including roses.

The weather in Salinas has been particularly unusual in 2018. The rains did not start in earnest until March. By then, most gardens had been pruned weeks before and leaves were already out. When the rains began, temperatures dropped and the leaves were often wet for long periods of time. With ever increasing sunshine and continued low temperatures, the ideal conditions for downy mildew were in place.

One of my new roses, a hybrid tea named Sacred Heart, came from a local nursery. It was in the reduced-for-quick-//sale section of the parking lot and had been at the nursery in all likelihood for at least 12 months. That's usually a plus as such roses are eager to have a new pot and fresh soil and respond well when they get them.

Like all other new plants in my garden Sacred Heart was potted up, pruned a bit with all old leaves removed. I hadn't sprayed the pruned canes with a chlorine solution or hydrogen peroxide but trusted things would be fine. Apparently, it brought many spores of downy mildew with it.

Just last week, I noticed mysterious blotches on its new leaves. I've had plenty of experience with the three common fungal diseases in roses: black spot, rust, and powdery mildew. But these blotches were different.

My first diagnosis was sunburn. It can happen to leaves and canes which have been growing in the shade (very cloudy weather even) and suddenly the April sunshine beams down. Reason prevailed. Why did Sacred Heart get sunburned when the other new roses around it did not?

I reached out to fellow rosarians for help and the answer came in: downy mildew.

All agreed the weather this season has been unusual. Winter came late and wet and often days went by when the rose leaves never completely dried off and the temperatures were often highs around 60 degrees and lows in the 40s.

Other reported effects on roses were short stems on the hybrid teas, many blind shoots (new canes with no buds at the top), and "high rose tide" delays by at least two weeks.
Downy mildew on a hybrid musk showing its stoppage at a vein

Details on Downy Mildew


Unlike the true fungal diseases mentioned above, downy mildew is caused by an organism more closely related to algae. Therefore, fungal sprays won't have any affect on curtailing it. The disease isn't all that common along the Central Coast because we usually dry out by the time leaves are in profusion.

Its spores are airborne and usually associated with poor sanitation and lots of water. It's an algae so think wet: wet infected leaves, stems and soil.

Also different from the fungal diseases, downy mildew is a pathogen. If left untreated, it will kill the plant. It is parasitic.

Jolene Adams, former president of the American Rose Society and a resident of the East Bay, responded with the following comments:

"One of the "defining" characteristics of Downy is that it does not cross the leaf veins.  So - in your photo you can see the blotches of the mildew stop at a vein and start on the other side.

People do get it confused with BS because it is often on the same leaf at the same time.  And its blotches can be oval or circular - but they still do not go into a vein.

Baldo (Villegas,
an environmental research scientist for California’s Food and Agriculture Department and a noted expert of plant pests and diseases) taught us - long, long ago - to turn the leaf over, pinch it closed so the mid-vein stands up and then look closely at the blotch close to it with a 10x or better lens.  You'll just barely be able to see tiny fuzzy growth rising from the leaf surface.

My eyes are so bad now I don't bother anymore. I just de-leaf."


The best control involves isolating the plant immediately if it's in a pot. If that's not possible, pull off all infected leaves and spray what's left with a mild solution of a tablespoon of bleach to a quart of water. If you halt its progress (and the weather warms up again), you will most likely get it under control. As a further safeguard, remember to remove all leaf matter at next season's garden clean up.

Safest way to control downy mildew. Water well and leaves will reappear.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Celebrate Earth Day in your own yard

Gabilan Mountains Slender Salamander, Salinas, Gardening, integrated pest management
Gabilan Mountains Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps gavilanensis) in Salinas, California

Ever since I began gardening in Salinas in 1993, I've come across a tiny, worm-like salamander sharing the yard with me. My first encounters, sadly, had to do with mistakenly cutting the poor creature in half with my trowel. Its tail twitched and writhed in rapid convulsions and startled me awake from my routine digging and weeding. It captured my entire attention. I've since learned that that display was one of the slender salamander's primary defense mechanisms.

While I watched its very long tail flop about on the soil, its body scurried away to hide and find a safe place to grow another one.

Working in my front yard recently, I lifted a brick and discovered a slender salamander. It laid perfectly still, its color not dissimilar to Salinas adobe soil. That was another defense mechanism.

Two days before, I'd assembled a terrarium in a fishbowl with dark green ground moss, dried bark-covered rose canes replete with bright green moss, and attractive rocks. I captured the salamander, carried him over to the terrarium and placed him inside. He (or she) immediately disappeared beneath a few rocks and into the moist soil.

This encounter set me on a path of discovery. I needed to know more about California slender salamanders.

In 2001, scientists (Jockusch, Yanev and Wake) did an extensive survey of these long, thin amphibians identifying differences great enough for them to determine several unique species inhabiting California. They include the Gabilan Mountains Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps gavilanensis), the Santa Lucia Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps luciae), and the most widespread - California Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus).

Gabilan Mountains Slender Salamanders range begins in southern Santa Cruz County includes the Salinas Valley and San Benito County down to northern San Luis Obispo including the eastern side of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The Santa Lucia Mountains Slender Salamander's range includes the western side of the Santa Lucia Mountains out to the Pacific Ocean and down the coast to San Luis Obispo County. There are places where the two species share ranges. The California Slender Salamander inhabits most of northern California from Santa Cruz County north.

Members of the genus Batrachoceps have several distinguishing characteristics:
  • they breathe through their skin and through cells in their mouths and have no lungs
  • they are terrestrial and do not need water to mature in but need moisture to be active
  • they lay 10-19 eggs in clutches which hatch as live juveniles ready to live on their own
  • they eat insects, insect larvae, spiders, mites, small slugs, sowbugs
  • they are active when nights are warm and the ground is wet
  • they estivate which is similar to hibernate, but occurs during dry periods. However, if the ground is kept moist such as in Salinas gardens. They stay awake the entire year.
  • they have four toes on their front and back legs where most other salamanders have five
  • they use holes and underground passages made by worms or other animals 
  • they are eaten by moles, raccoons, skunks, and oppossums
  • they can live for 12 years.
Slender salamanders are not considered endangered but their habitat is challenged by use of pesticides on lawns and in gardens, by the shrinking size of home gardens, and by the increased amount of paved surfaces.

You can establish them in your garden by providing a few flat boards, bricks and smooth rocks lying on the soil throughout your garden.

In fact, every true garden should have a dark, moist corner with a few rotting logs on the surface to encourage some diversity of life.





Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ragged Robin meets the Red-Red-Robin

Ragged Robin or Gloire des Rosomanes
. . . and they both go bob-bob-bobbing along.

The American Rose Society gives it the name Gloire des Rosamanes which can be loosely translated from the French as "The Pride of Rose Maniacs." It has been around since 1825 where it was bred by Monsieur Plantier in Lyons using a remontant rose from China and a damask rose, although there may be some doubt to the pollen part.

Ragged Robin (or Red Robin) became very popular as it blooms in large flushes through out the season. What it lacks in form, it makes up for in vitality, color, and generosity of flowers. It's a perfect rose for a fence and will easily go to 8 feet by 8 feet. An annual winter pruning will keep it in check and allow you to thin it out. I've even pruned mine back midseason and responded with a springtime-like flowering.
Gloire des Rosomanes is one of the first roses to bloom in the spring.
Because of its China ancestry, it's one of the first roses to bloom in the spring with a massive display of crimson red petals resting on top of light green, somewhat pointed leaves. The flower stems are short and individual blooms last only two or three days. It cleans itself perfectly. Regular deadheading will keep in flowering all season long.

You may find Ragged Robin blooming in many old neighborhoods in California as it once was used as a rootstock.

My plant was rose rustled out of a yard on Van Buren Street in Monterey. It was easy to root and has been in my garden for well over 20 years. Unlike many old garden roses, it does not send out runners and stays right where it was planted.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Late Spring Flowers by Catharina Klein


Iris


Here's a 9-minute video showing the creativity and talent of German painter Catharina Klein (1861-1929) in portraying iris, primrose, lilacs, flowering trees and more. Click here.

A few more pictures in this collection.


Azaleas


Lilacs

Apple Blossoms

Anemone
Violas or Johnny-Jump-Ups
Primrose
To see the video with dozens of paintings, Click here.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Meeting in the Garden

Take time to smell the roses.
Learn about fertilizers, chemical and organic, from experienced gardeners in a well-established garden.

The Monterey Bay Rose Society is holding its monthly meeting at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 14 in the Display Garden at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. The meeting is open to the public and will conclude with a potluck luncheon.

Here's a great way to discover roses you may fall in love with AND grow well here with few problems AND often smell delicious.

With the late winter we've had, we can't promise a garden full of blossoms but there will definitely be some to admire and enjoy.

Consulting rosarians will be on hand to help you with your rose questions. Bring in your unnamed flowers and we might be able to tell you what they are.

For the potluck, please bring your favorite dish to share and RSVP to Janey Leonardich at 831-722-7958 or sweeete940@gmail.com by Wednesday, April 11, so we know how many to prepare for.

Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds MBRS Display Rose Garden 2601 E. Lake Ave. Watsonville.Take the Livestock/Horseshow entrance (2nd entrance not the Main entrance), across the road from Sierra Azul Nursery.

TOPIC: How Do Our Roses Grow? We will take you through the rose beds and see how the roses are growing this season. We will discuss fertilizers, weeding, finger pruning, and more.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Repot plants now to make use of spring vigor

A pot-bound windmill palm

The days are now longer than the nights and the low temperatures continue to climb. Those factors combined with the wet March weather and everyone should see a real boost in plant growth.

I tackled two very large patio plants. They had been growing in their pots for more than a dozen years. This was slow going as they were both extremely pot bound and way past ready for new containers.

One, the windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei), I bought for a few dollars from the TLC section at Sierra Azul Nursery in Watsonville, certainly 15 years ago. During its first two years on my patio, it brought back its true form and vigor. It's a very clean, container-loving palm and its foliage offers a great contrast to most other plants. It's also one of the hardiest palms and I never have to worry about Salinas' mild freezes.

It was, however, constantly drying out and needing water. That's a sure-fire sign its time for a larger container. As the photo demonstrates, it had actually consumed most of the original soil and had little else to sustain it.

Extracting it wasn't easy. It had been growing in that large terracotta pot so I couldn't just cut it out and I wanted to reuse the pot. So with some rolling, tugging, and shaking - it finally released itself. It was a solid mass of roots.

The new container was a half wine barrel purchased from The Home Depot which also sported a nice bit of dark wood stain. The barrel was considerably wider but not significantly taller.

What to do?

Bonsai gardeners have always had to trim roots as well as branches. I got my pruning saw out and simply cut off the bottom 7 inches of the root mass. It was now a perfect fit.

All of this took some doing as I estimate the windmill palm weighed about 60 pounds.

I made up my own soil to save some money. I combined cheap topsoil with cow manure and mixed in lots of Perlite to provide good drainage. The topsoil had a significant amount of humus in it which will provide microbes and retain some moisture.

My second wine barrel was to be the home of my ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) which had been in its 15 gallon plastic pot for more than 10 years. I hadn't realized that the plant's roots had split the hidden side of the pot from top to bottom!

Ponytail Palm in its new wine barrel home.
I bought it from the little nursery that used to be on Blanco Road, Salinas right at the Salinas River Bridge. It was only in a 4-inch pot when I got it. I had grown it as a houseplant in Arlington, Virginia and remembered it as being attractive and needing little attention.

Its roots are much more flexible than the true palm so I was able to fit it into its new home without much effort.

In both cases, I held off watering for a few days. Newly repotted succulents need a chance to seal off any broken or cracked roots. This will prevent rot.

Agave victoriae-reginae in its new pot.
The freeing up of one large terracotta pot meant a shuffling up of several other plants into larger containers. The Agave attenuata went into the windmill's pot. The Agave victoriae-reginae went into the attenuata's pot. The golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) got the victoriae-reginae's house.

Healthy plants need healthy soil. When they grown in containers, it's a good idea to replace the soil and trim the roots as well as the branches.
Golden barrel cactus in its new home.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Early Spring Flowers

Narcissus


Here's a recent video of mine containing some early spring flowers captured in paintings by Catharina Klein. It's too high resolution for Blogger so follow this link: Early Spring Flowers.

And a sampling of her flower paintings depicting these first bloomers . . .

Hyacinth
Tulips
Snowdrops
Violets
Daffodils
Forget-Me-Nots

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Carmel's River House Book Store for Sale


Since its publication in 2011, this book store has sold more than 40 copies of my Central Coast Rose Manual. I wish Diane and Gordon a happy retirement and hope that the new owners will continue this wonderful independent bookstore.

Here's the email I received yesterday.

Greetings,

With sad heart, wanting to let you know that River House Books will be closing by the end of April, when the lease is up, as Diane and Gordon are retiring.  The store is for sale, so hopefully there is a future for a bookstore continuing here in Carmel at some point.

Thank you for letting us sell your books.  We have enjoyed getting to meet so many of you.  Also, a reminder, if by chance you have unused Gift Certificates laying around, now is the time to redeem them.

Thank you for your patronage.

Sincerely,
River House Books
831-626-2665

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Re-invigorating Agèd, Grafted Roses

Barren bud union of Oldtimer, hybrid tea, 1960. 

The time comes in every rose garden when that beautiful hybrid tea you've enjoyed for years starts slowing down, producing no new strong canes from the bud union (basal breaks), and looking more and more like a gnarly, bark-encrusted tree stump. The above photo shows Oldtimer which has been growing in that spot for more than 20 years. It once produced 7-inch blooms in abundance but has gradually declined with fewer flowers and no new strong canes.

The natural aging process in grafted roses is particularly hard. With each season, new canes are produced further and further out from the bud union. As the organic material in the soil decomposes, the soil compacts, and the rain and wind erode the dirt around the rose, the bud union - the spot of the original graft - becomes more and more exposed to the dry conditions which cause it to crust over. When the bud union sits too far above the soil line it becomes nearly impossible for the rose to break through the hard and dry wood with a new cane.

Tiffany, hybrid tea, 1954
Those plants that continue to do well over the years have probably wandered off the rootstock and developed their own roots. Eventually, the rootstock becomes useless and, if its shoots are consistently removed, will die. The above photo shows Tiffany, planted in 1994, still producing canes from its bud union (on the left) but also having a cane that's developed its own roots (on the left). In order for a grafted rose to develop its own roots, the new canes must be touching moist soil.

So what do you do if the grafted roses are sitting high above the soil line and refuse to produce new canes?

1. If it's a particularly popular rose such as Peace, Iceberg or Double Delight, dig out the old one, freshen up the soil with compost and manure; buy another Peace, Iceberg or Double Delight; and plant it in that spot.

Remember: if this rose was given to you by a special friend or was the rose that was growing in your late grandmother's garden, still plant a new one. Roses are reproduced asexually which means there is only one rose bush that is Double Delight, all plants are multiples of it. They are simply clones.

2. Look around the plant and see if any of the canes are touching the soil line. Now is a great time to remove this cane and pot it up. If it has a few fledgling roots already developed, all the better. Dust the root end with some planting hormones and grow a new plant. It will take two seasons for it to develop properly but it will solve the problem. A change in location with fresh soil may produce great results.

3. If it's a rose that is no longer in commerce or one that you never knew the name of, the best way to keep it flowering is to start a new plant. Make a cutting and get it started now. Warming days, periodic rain and increasing sunshine - all typical of spring weather - will put less stress on it and improve your chances of it "taking."

4. You can also scrape and saw the gnarly bud union until you reach some green wood. Then, mound up the exposed bud union with some cow manure and alfalfa pellets and let the sun shine directly on it. The bacteria and sunlight will increase the temperature. Make sure to keep it moist.

Others have recommended the addition of Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate) and or Vitamin B1 to stimulate growth. With some luck, a new basal break will show itself. This is more likely to happen when the bush has other canes to provide energy.

When the rose sits far above the soil line, mounding up the soil might not be practical. You may consider improvising or investing in a plastic fence which will help keep the soil in place.

Remember that roses are part of the botanical family Rosaceae (named after them!) which also includes apples, plums, cherries, almonds and other trees. Older climbing roses do develop supporting canes which looks like bark-covered trees.
Climbing Cécile Brunner


Sunday, February 18, 2018

At Home with Westerland

truskot, westerland, shrub_rose
Westerland 1969 shrub



When Kordes introduced Westerland in 1969, this distinguished German rose hybridizer had achieved a new level of excellenze

Westerland truly has everything people are looking for in roses: exemplary beauty, ample vigor, superb disease resistance, delicious fragrance, and an intriguing apricot color blended with cream, yellow and orange depending on the climate and time of year. It also has a long vase life.

To these general characteristics, let’s also add the California Central Coast criteria—the flowers always open, the petals drop-off when spent, and the plant is rarely without flowers. 

I’ve only grown it now for a dozen seasons now so I’m a longtime friend. Others who have had it much longer are equally rapturous with the caveat that it does get “big.” I'd originally planted it in the front yard but there was too much shade so I moved it two years ago into a prime location on a backyard fence.

The breeding of Westerland is one of the most interesting in hybridizing history. In its ancestry, Westerland has R. foetida persica and R. eglanteria—the yellow Persian species which brought that color to modern roses and the wild European sweet briar rose which brought its excellent disease resistance to the table.

The hybrid perpetual General Jacqueminot (1853)—one of the first repeat-flowering crimson-colored roses; the hybrid teas Madama Butterfly (1918), Crimson Glory (1935), Golden Masterpiece (1954), Charlotte Armstrong (1940), and Peace (1945); several of the Pernetia roses including Souvenir de Claudius Pernet (the great French rose hybridizer Pernet (1920)—credited with bringing the color yellow into the hybrid tea class—named this influential hybrid for one of the two sons he lost in World War I.); and the hybrid musk roses Robin Hood (1927) and Eva (1933) through its floribunda parent, Circus (1956).

With such a mixed ancestry, Westerland is given the nondescript classification of “shrub.” Earlier in its history, it was considered a Climbing Floribunda.

Westerland has produced a yellow sport known as Autumn Sunset and an offspringthe relatively unknown but acclaimed, Jane Eyre. 

My cuttings came from former MBRS president Ruth DeBord’s garden. I gave two to the raffle table, one to a friend, put one in the ground, and have one to spare. Even in the worst part of wet springs, I lost no leaves to black spot. Even in the heaviest July fog, it had no powdery mildew.
I presume that Westerland is named for the northern most city in Germany, a seaside resort town. The City of Westerland is located in the Frisian Islands in the North Sea, reachable by causeway, and approximately due west from the German border with Denmark. Given this connection with marine climates, is it any wonder this rose does so well on California’s moist coast?

Westerland, which bears a good rating of 8.3 in the ARS handbook of roses is carried by specialty nurseries and is also available from Weeks and Edmunds. Local nurseries do have access to ordering it so let your contact at your favorite nursery know.

With such ample credits to its name, this rose deserves to be known and grown more. After all, Westerland is where the sun sets in Germany and California is where the sun sets in America. A full spray of Westerland has all the colors of a magnificent sun going down.