Sunday, July 08, 2018

Resurrection rose, July 6, 2018

My mom has always wanted a yellow rosebush. The roses her father planted many decades ago were bright red Blaze roses. I planted rose-pink Royal Highness roses about twenty years ago, and then the white-and-red Double Delight a few years later.

Other roses have been attempted, but most have failed. Roses are tough to get started. They usually need a year or two in a large pot, during which they get accustomed to outside weather conditions. Only then should they be planted directly in the garden, and even after that they should be mulched heavily and given protection their first few Winters. (I used a thick layer of leaves and some burlap on my Royal Highness the first few Winters.)

This rose got none of that. Bought late in the season on sale at a deep discount, kept in the packaging too long, hastily planted directly into the garden, lightly covered with some leaves that blew away sometime before the end of the year. Some growth came up that first year, and a little more in the following years. Only last year did we finally get some yellow roses. At the end of the season I pruned the rosebush and hoped for the best.

This Spring the rosebush looked dead.

When the tulips first came out, the other rosebushes were already mostly leafed out and some had swelling buds. This one looked like a dead, dried-out stump. In late May, as I was weeding around the Gas Light Garden so I could plant the petunias and impatiens from my brother's family's Mother's Day gift planter, I contemplated pulling out the dead stump to make room for other flowers.

It was then that I noticed that the stump wasn't entirely dead. Out of the middle some tiny green fingers edged in red were pushing up. Barely worth noting, but the red edging told me that this was actual rosebush growth, not some plant growing through the rosebush.

Last week I noticed a single shoot growing up out of the stump. At the end of the shoot was a single bud. Small, but the promise of new roses couldn't be ignored.

This week the bud opened up into the full-sized rose seen above, photographed Friday, July 6. Not sure if it will turn fully yellow or retain the pink and cream color it has now. I'll keep an eye on it.

One thing is for sure: this Autumn I'm covering this rosebush in a thick layer of leaves and wrapping it with burlap.

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