samedi 30 mai 2009

Miracles of the smaller order

White hybrid tea rose

right side second terrace


Lesson in pruning

Cardinal rule: You can't hardly do it wrong, whatever you do. Including cutting every single stem off your nearly 6' tall and rather old tea rose plant, right down to the main stem.

I learned that yesterday, after having watched this rose plant do nothing visible to the eye since the winter passed and every other plant had formed shoots already, including the hydrangea I transplanted last August (worst time, full flowering) from the entry courtyard (fancy name for a small... entry court alongside the house) to the hydrangea bed (jungle) I made down behind the pool (swamp), and then proceeded to completely neglect (abandon). That poor plant had no root system. I planted its tap root and a few straggling roots in the very best soil I could possibly prepare for it, and settled in to wait and hope. Such waiting and hoping as I did being fulfilled last month or so with a shoot.

Sure, it's not much to look at right smack in the middle of the bed, a stump with a single shoot, but it gave me reason to hope -- not unappreciated -- as I gazed on what I did to that tea rose last November and wondered at what I could possibly have been thinking. You are supposed to leave a couple of stems, even if they are only a few inches long.

And it gave me hope for the CRRA. I have since pruned the Camellia again, removing all smaller branches and what remained of the leaves I had cut in half in the hope that additional conservation of energy would help it develop a root system capable of encouraging it to bud. When I pruned it again, there was evidence beyond feeling that it was still alive. The wood was green.

My husband does not believe there is basis for my hope.

Yesterday, weeding the beds nearby, I turned to look and reached down, placed my hands around it and began to pull, as though to pull it up from the soil (I don't know why. It would never work. They have roots I'd have to cut through.), when I saw it. I stuck my head closer to see if I was actually looking at a weed, but it was the right color, the leaves were folded in just the way new shoots of rose bushes do. It grew from the soil just next to the stump.

The white hybrid tea rose had developed a shoot from its base!

The next thing to check is that it isn't just a sucker, unable to produce flowers. I'd say I hadn't thought of that (I had), but I'd sort of forgotten about it in my hopefulness until just now.

It looks right, though. It looks like a real, flower producing stem. If it is, it will take its place and fill in the hole my extreme pruning of it left just before this pink hybrid tea, at the end of the lavender and rose bed.
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