October 6th, 2008

Paul Neyron rose 2

quick trip to Longwood Gardens

     Made a brief visit to Longwood Gardens -- they closed at 5:00 p.m. today, and I didn't get there until almost 4:00 p.m.  Waterlilies were spectacular.  I particularly liked the blue ones.  Will have to get back there before the first frost -- L. said she wanted to go, so maybe I can take some people with me.

     A couple of big displays of pumpkins and gourds outside.  Some of the pumpkins were huge.  Saw two different little kids playing with pieces of the displays.  The one's mother was yelling at him to stop climbing on the display -- "Either pick him up or put him on a leash, lady," I thought.  Once he stopped climbing, he was running around with an ear of corn.  I refrained from telling him to put it back where he found it.  The other small child on another display of pumpkins was carrying a small pumpkin around and asking his parents if they could buy one.  I again stopped myself from telling the child to put the vegetable back where he found it.  I'll be surprised if they have anything left except for the pumpkins too big to move once the anklebiters are done messing with them.  Not that it wasn't a cool idea -- just too tempting, I suppose.

     Some of the roses in the formal rose garden at Longwood still blooming.  Many of them seem to be Meilland roses.  The U.S. importer for Meilland roses isn't that far from Longwood -- I wonder if there's a connection?  I really like the fragrance of 'Rouge Royal' -- I mentioned that one before.  Will have to try to catch up on the newer cultivars.  I have so many books on Old Garden Roses, but the books I've got that have pictures and descriptions of the new-at-the-time roses are from the 1990s or earlier.  I do think it's so cool to see what the hot new things were in each decade of the twentieth century, and I do have rose books from the 1910s, 1930s and 1950s.  Heck, I've got a book that says what the great new rose introductions were in the 1880s.  (It's a reprint edition from the 1930s.)  It's fascinating to see what the popular ones from the 1910s were, for instance, and to check the catalogs and web sites to see if there are any still around.  Only very small proportions of roses from the old classes and from the early Hybrid Teas are still available in the trade, but it's so interesting to see which have lasted out of the trends of the time.  In the twentieth century, amber-colored roses were popular for a while, and lavender was very popular for some time.  From decades earlier than when "blue" roses were that popular, I have to say that 'Reine des Violettes' is pink.  Lavender-pink maybe, but much more pink than purple.  And from many centuries before that, the Red Rose of Lancaster is pink, too.  A dark pink, but definitely what we'd call pink today.  True crimson didn't come in until the red Chinas were introduced to the West.  Not that I don't like the pink ones -- obviously I do.  But I expect something more violet from the 'Queen of the Violets'.  Just my take on it.

     Took a quick turn around the Flower Garden Walk.  They had masses of heliotrope in the "purple" section of the walk.  My heliotrope did nothing this year.  It probably would've helped if I'd watered them.  I'm debating whether to try to save them this year.

     I've decided that the things I'd most like to try to overwinter are the geraniums, and they need the west windows.  Again wishing I had a conservatory -- wouldn't that be nice?  I'm thinking of giving away some of the other tender perennials -- or at least loaning them out for the winter.  They won't all survive in the house, but they are in nice pots -- just plastic, but I got them only this past year.  I'd like to be able to reuse the pots.

     Biggest gardening disappointment that wasn't the fault of the plants -- or my no-maintenance approach: having most of the tops eaten off the tiger lilies.  They took being transplanted from the raspberry patch to the front yard so well, and then got munched.  Well, they will come back next year.

          It was a pleasant surprise to have the jasmine blooming again.  It still has some buds.  I'm trying to remember to water it more frequently now that it's been in flower.