At the risk of sounding like Elvis Costello, it's been a good year for the roses, at least so far. Most of the roses have started to bloom, and many of the ones that I though I had lost over the winter are actually thriving. I planted a teensy "volunteer" rose that I found in another part of my garden last year by an arbor, and this year it's a good 2-1/2 feet tall. I was hoping that it was the yellow wild rose that is growing in a neglected space in my neighbor's yard, but it turned out to be an 'Alba,' which is ok, because I love wild and old roses. It is a quick and short bloomer, but I suspect that it will be extremely showy in a few years. It joins an Apothecary Rose that I found in my backyard (another teensy slip that grew into a monster).
The first ever bloom if the Zephirine Drouhin slip that I planted three years ago
The Ferdinand Picard and Gertrude Jekyl, which were pruned to the ground last fall by some well meaning friends, are coming back and have lovely blooms.
This Ferdinand Picard used to go all the way up (and cover) my rusty iron work. It had been looking sickly over the last few years, so the good pruning should help it a great deal.
The Gertrude Jekyls with Salvia 'Midnight" and Johnson Blue Geraniums
My favorite, Mme Alfred Carriere, is blooming so profusely that it is falling over from the weight of its flowers. And because it has been so hot, the air is full of its wonderful, heady smell.
I planted the Mme Alfred Carriere to cover the front wall of my house. It's time to use some rope to train it to the wall and start training it up.
I still have a lot of pruning to do. And the aforementioned arbor has broken and is leaning over, so it has to be replaced. I have Gooseneck Loosestrife that is taking over in places that it shouldn't (I made the huge mistake of not planting it in a sunken pot), and, as ever, there is a huge amount of weeding to be done. But things are looking pretty good nonetheless.
Yikes! Always more work to be done!
Finally, my Tree Peony is looking great this year. It only flowers for about a week and a half, but this year it has grown much larger and the flowers are the size of coffee cups!