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Archive for the ‘Cherry Parfait Rose’ Category

2-Rose-Show-RosesThis year our rose gardens peaked on June 20, a few days later than usual, and we had plenty of roses to bring to the RI Rose Society Rose Show on Saturday June 18th.

Mike was the 2016 Rose Show Chair so we spent the Friday before the Show getting the venue ready with other volunteers from the Rose Society. We set up over 30 tables in anticipation of exhibitors arriving on Saturday morning with loads of roses.

1-Rose-Show-Set-UpWe weren’t disappointed. Before the judging began, all tables were filled with stems and sprays of roses — including different varieties of hybrid tea and grandiflora roses, climbing roses, shrub roses, old garden roses, miniature and miniflora roses, even mystery roses with no known name. The room was transformed into a spectacular indoor rose garden with hundreds of vases filled with colorful roses.

8-Rose-ShowWe had arrived at the Rose Show at 7 AM with dozens of stems from our gardens. We especially enjoy exhibiting English boxes and, while our Graham Thomas rose wasn’t in full bloom in time for the Rose Show, we still had enough blooms for the Shrub English Box and Graham rewarded us by winning Best of Class. Graham Thomas never disappoints and when his blooms are fresh they’re tough to beat. We entered a spray of Graham in the David Austin class and he won again.

5-English-Boxes

Graham Thomas English Box on right. Day Breaker English Box on left

Other English box winning entries were Day Breaker and Cherry Parfait. Day Breaker is a big favorite of ours but we had to replace the bush this spring due to excessive winterkill. The day before this year’s  Show, the new Day Breaker had only a dozen or so blooms, but they were all the same size and perfect to enter in the English Box for Floribunda Class.

Cherry Parfait is a floriferous grandiflora so we had an abundance  of blooms from which to choose. I think its striking lipstick-red and white flowers against the black of the English boxes makes a great presentation.

4-Cherry-Parfait-Box

Cherry Parfait English Box

The theme of this year’s show was “The Rose – America’s Flower” and the theme class was one stem or spray of any white and one stem or spray of any red rose displayed in a cobalt blue vase. We had a difficult time finding a white rose to display with our red Super Hero rose, but at the last minute a spray of Macy’s Pride, an Easy Elegance rose by Ping Lim, opened and the combination produced the red, white and blue we were looking for.

9-The-Rose-America's-Flower

The Rose-America’s Flower

6-American-Beauty

American Beauty Rose

The rose I was hoping we could enter in the Show was American Beauty. It is the only old garden rose we grow and I like to enter it in the Old Garden Rose Victorian Rose class which is for roses introduced in 1867 or later. American Beauty is a hybrid perpetual rose introduced in 1875 and tends to bloom early. This year, though, American Beauty started producing great clusters of roses the second week of June. To my surprise, it continued to bloom until the end of June. We have been growing American Beauty for 5 years and in its first season it produced 3 roses. Since some varieties take a few years to become established, we waited until the second season, but didn’t get more than 8 or 10 roses. Still, we waited. And this year American Beauty exploded into bloom with dozens of fragrant cabbage-like roses in great sprays. The rose bush was spectacular and American Beauty did win Best Victorian Rose. Patience paid off.

7-Awards-Table

Awards Table

Early each June I wonder if we’ll have roses in time to exhibit in the Rose Show and each year we always do. We just never know what varieties they will be. But no matter. All the roses at this year’s rose show — and there were hundreds of roses on display — were beautiful. While we always enjoy all the roses in the June Bloom in our garden, there’s nothing quite like Rose Show Roses.

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Peak Bloom

Peak Bloom in Our Garden

Each spring we wonder when peak bloom will occur in our garden. We consider the current spring’s weather and the harshness of the previous winter and then venture a guess. Ideally, peak bloom happens a few days prior to the Rhode Island Rose Society’s annual rose show which this year was held on June 20. While our garden actually peaked on June 15 (this is purely a subjective judgment on Mike’s part), many of our shrub roses had gone-by. Regardless, the garden was still full of other roses that we could take to the rose show.

RI Rose Society Rose Show Awards Table

RI Rose Society Rose Show Awards Table

Rose Shows serve several purposes; the first is to display the genus rosa in all its glory to the public – the show is free and open to all in the afternoon. There is a class in the show for every type of rose and the gardening public can see them all under one roof. The second is to satisfy the competitive nature of local rose gardeners who vie for ribbons and bragging rights.

Unlike last year when we cut roses in the rain the night before the show, this year the weather was perfect – sunny and dry. Mike and I went from rose bush to rose bush, cutting and labeling roses. One of our favorite ways to exhibit our roses is in English Boxes which means we need 6 fresh blooms each the same size and stage of bloom so they all match. So we keep an eye peeled, looking for these possibilities as well as other sprays and single blooms. After selecting the best stems, we place them in vases of cold water and store in a dark, air-conditioned room overnight so we’re ready to go first thing in the morning.

Queen of Show

Queen of Show

The morning of the show we arrived at 7 am and started prepping our roses. The first rose we prepared was Smokin’ Hot, a new hybrid tea introduced in 2014 by Weeks Roses. Since we don’t have many hybrid tea roses in our garden any more, this variety was an exception. We got Smokin’ Hot in early May and it was still in its container because we evaluate each new variety for one season before giving it a place in the garden. Well, Smokin’ Hot lived up to its name and gave us a fiery orange-red bloom with perfect hybrid tea form which won Queen of the show. Needless to say, Mike awarded it a coveted spot in our garden a few days later.

Cherry Parfait

Cherry Parfait English Box

Another rose we like is Cherry Parfait, a grandiflora rose that we planted in 2005. It’s aptly named because of its color – white petals with lipstick red edges that swirl around the bloom. In an English Box, each rose looks like a bowl of cherry ice cream with ripples of whipped cream. We brought 2 large sprays to the rose show and entered it in 2 different classes: English box and Grandiflora spray. Both won blue ribbons and Best of Class.

Cherry Parfait Spray

Cherry Parfait Spray

Day Breaker, a peachy-apricot floribunda that produces sprays of 5-7 blooms and glossy immaculate foliage had bloomed perfectly for the show. Like Cherry Parfait, we entered Day Breaker in 2 classes: Floribunda spray and English Box for Floribundas where it won Best of Class in both classes. The Day Breaker English Box also was voted Best English Box in show.

Day Breaker Spray

Day Breaker Spray

The June bloom is over and it was one of our best ever. Mike thinks it was due, in part, to all the snow we had last winter that was beneficial to the garden, a new meal plan he developed for the garden, plus a little help from Mother Nature.

Day Breaker: Best English Box

Day Breaker: Best English Box

One thing I’ve learned over time is it’s pointless to worry about whether we have roses for our rose show; that’s out of our hands. If we do, that’s great, if not, we still have them to enjoy all season. But we can’t complain this season, our roses arrived on schedule and we were able to enjoy exhibiting them as well displaying to the public the beauty of America’s National Flower.

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Pumpkin-RosesHere in Rhode Island, fall is in the air. The leaves are turning color, the nights are getting colder, and … we have roses blooming in the garden! Both September and October have been warmer than average this year and that is the reason why our garden is having a larger, longer, and more colorful third bloom cycle. Playgirl, along with varieties such as Good as Gold, Passionate Kisses and My Girl, has been blooming late into the season.

Playgirl

Playgirl

With Halloween right around the corner, pumpkins are the decoration of choice and pumpkins can also be a way to uniquely display roses in the fall. Rather than let the roses sit on the bushes, we decided to buy a pumpkin and fill it with roses.
We had a good selection of roses for the pumpkin but my favorite was Playgirl, a floribunda hybridized in the United States by Ralph Moore in 1986. It blooms in clusters on short stems and once it starts blooming, nothing seems to stop it. With only 5-12 petals, it still has eye-catching appeal because of its deeply saturated medium pink color and bright yellow stamens that create a stunning contrast. Playgirl is a fairly new addition to our garden and is not readily available in our area, so Mike ordered it on-line. It’s given us spray after spray of 3-5 roses each, repeats quickly, and is shade tolerant.

Playboy

Playboy

Playboy, the seed parent of Playgirl, has been in our garden for years. It was introduced in 1976 and hybridized by Scotland’s Alex Crocker. Playboy, like Playgirl, is a single rose, but unlike the pink flowers of Playgirl, its color is a combination of oranges, golds and scarlet. At a certain stage of bloom, there is nothing as beautiful as a spray of Playboy. It likes a little shade in the afternoon but, unfortunately, wasn’t in bloom at the time I filled my pumpkin “vase.”

Day Breaker

Day Breaker

There are other ways to enjoy roses besides a vase or pumpkin. I place blooms in a bird bath – it’s a way to have roses in my kitchen garden where it’s too shady to grow roses. I like to place roses in decorative bowls filled with water on the dining room or coffee tables. Sometimes I use just one rose or gather several roses to place in larger bowls. To get the same size flowers, we use the terminal bud, the bud in the middle of the spray that opens first. This is the method we use when entering English Boxes in the rose show in June. We find that Graham Thomas, Day Breaker and Rainbow Sorbet have perfect form to be entered in English Box classes.

English Box with Day Breaker Roses

English Box with Day Breaker Roses

Now that the season is almost over, soon the autumn leaves will have fallen and we will have enjoyed our last roses of the season. While I think I will remember everything that takes place every year in our garden, keeping a Gardening Journal is the only way I can be certain I won’t forget. That’s why Mike and I are now in the process of publishing our next book, a journal for rose gardeners that will be available early next year. What a great way to keep track of all the events that happen each season in our New England garden.

Cherry Parfait

Cherry Parfait

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