vendredi 23 mai 2008

The other Ghislaine de Féligonde presents a rose

A lesson in orientation
When less sunlight is good, depending on your preferences

A plant comes with a ticket from the nursery. It says it is a Ghislaine de Féligonde. You have seen pictures of it. You have even seen one in your friend's garden, and you just loved those apricot hues. (Not that I saw one anywhere that I can remember, other than on-line.)

Your plant comes home from the garden store covered in buds. You plant it, and wait.

The first bud to begin to open is... creamy? You check the nursery label. It looks official. The canes match the description of the plant, and so do the clusters of buds, the leaves.

The rose opens, the palest of Devon cream -- not apricot at all. How can it be?

Orientation, perhaps? How and when it receives the sun. Just look at the difference between the first two roses to open, one on each plant. I thought the one under the protection of the weeping mulberry, about to produce tons of berries, received less sun, but I suspect that it actually receives more filtered sunlight for a longer period of the day. Hence, its paler coloring. The other plant receives direct sunlight in the afternoon to late afternoon, and the fact that it is direct does not make it more light. Hence, its nuanced and deeper colors.

Some flowers have better coloring in the sunshine, some in the shade. You can't go by the species of plant, but by individual varieties. That's why we love our plant books and the Internet when we are lacking in experience!

That's one explanation I have seen. But it doesn't explain why some buds on the same plant are of one coloring and others completely different. I suppose it is like children from two parents. They don't all look alike, even when they come from the same plant, for the truth is that I have deep-rose tinged buds on the plant that produced the first, cream flower.

Accept no pat explanations! Accept variety.


Lonicera misidentification?

I also suspect that the nursery that supplied the Lonicera x heckrottii 'Goldflame' to Florosny made a mistake, either that or their breeding efforts are not tops. These look much more like one of the L. x heckrottii parents, L. x americana, their coloring being far more yellow with a purplish color to the trumpet and the buds, than reddish-orange that is the signature of the 'Goldflame' honeysuckle. The leaves are also lighter in color like the L. x americana.

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