vendredi 28 mars 2008

A rose by any other name than Eric Tabarly

Eric Tabarly Roses

I just had to include this picture. I noticed yesterday, while I worked outside during the sunny bits of the day, that the four climbing Eric Tabarly roses are coming into bud! This afternoon, after I took the picture of the orange juice bottle of sand, silt and water, I turned to take a picture of a tight little bud, and what did I see?

This one, beginning to open. It is not even April, and it has not been especially spring-like. Just goes to show you the benefits of a south-facing wall. The roses seem happy so far this season, healthy leaves and new growth.

I replanted these four Eric Tabarlys last November, at the same time that I put the two new Queen Elizabeth hybrid tea roses I had delivered from David Austin Roses in England in at the ends of the lavender beds along the edge of the second terrace, to complete the row of hybrid teas there. The wrong sort of rose was planted at the right end, and the plant on the far end just never did that well. Since the Queen Elizabeth grows to up to 6' tall, it can go get the sun in a corner where it is overshadowed by a big, vigorous weeping rose and a spiraea.

The Eric Tabarlys hadn't grown as much as I had expected, their growth tailing off as the season went on, and they appeared a little "thin". They also tended to suffer chlorosis; a sure sign of too much calcium in the soil. When I planted them in the spring, I had removed quite a bit of chalk and horrible dirt, but it was likely that I hadn't dug deep enough. In November, I dug out pails of chunks of chalk, mixed lots of manure with the planting soil at their roots, gave them plenty of crushed bone and let them rest for the winter. One suffered a sort of shock and lost all of its lower leaves, which turned yellow almost overnight before dropping all at once, while the other three were just fine. The bush recovered. I decided not to touch it, leaving well enough alone, and it is still doing fine.

The house might crumble and lean at little more towards the terrace, but at least the roses are happy.

Let us hope that it will dry up towards May and June so that they have a chance against fungal diseases this year.
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