Archive for the ‘Playboy’ Category


Clair Matin

Every season I wait to see which one of our roses will bloom first. Traditionally, it’s usually our big climber, Clair Matin. Despite the cold, rainy, dank, dreary, dismal, sunless weather we’ve experienced over the past few weeks (just a few days ago the temperature topped out at 49º), Clair Matin began its June Bloom right on schedule at the end of May, with its first bloom.

3-Clair-Matin-bush-6.4.17Clair Matin on June 4 above. Clair Matin on June 9 below. What a difference a few days make!


Not so with our other roses that opened almost a week later than last year. While our Yellow Brick Road rose bush was full of buds ready to burst for days, the  first bloom finally opened on June 5. But it was worth waiting for because, atypical of its normal deep yellow, this first bloom had a more intense yellow more commonly found in autumn roses.


Yellow Brick Road

The Earth Song Mike propagated and has growing in a pot bloomed the beginning of this week. As you can see in the photograph, Clair Matin, in the background, is full of blooms while the rest of our garden is still in the bud stage.


Earth Song

A few other roses were “early” bloomers.  I found one Macy’s Pride while I walked through the garden with my camera.


Macy’s Pride

Just yesterday Mike took a photo of Playboy.



The garden is finally starting to show more color and I am hoping that with a few warmer, sunny days, the rest of the garden will bloom in time for the RI Rose Society Rose Show on June 17.

You’re all invited to attend the Rose Show which is open to the public from 1:00 to 3:30 PM. Admission is free and there’s plenty of parking at the North Kingstown Community Center, 30 Beach St. Wickford, RI.


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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.



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, 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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A few days ago Angie stood looking out the kitchen window and remarked about all the roses in bloom – they seemed to have opened over night. Now in early October when the 3rd and final bloom cycle is traditionally modest due to the loss of sunlight and dropping temperatures, our rose gardens were a mass of color due to drenching rains and above average temperatures.

Outta the Blue

I cut a few sprays of Outta the Blue roses and they’re now sitting on our kitchen table, filling the room with the sweet scent of clove and roses. This beauty has very fragrant, deep magenta blooms with golden yellow stamens, but no tolerance for heat. While the petals burn and shatter the minute they open in intense mid-summer heat, the cooler autumn display is spectacular with clusters of 3 to 5 old-fashioned, wine-colored blooms.


This isn’t the only variety affected by seasonal change. The colors of some varieties morph from season to season. The gold and scarlet hues of the beautiful but fussy Playboy are more saturated in October than in June and the stunning reds and whites of Cherry Parfait are sharper in the fall. Some whites turn a pale pink and bi-colors show stronger contrasts.

Cherry Parfait

Regardless, these are the last roses of summer and I’ve already started the annual rite of fall – preparing the gardens for winter. Three yards of horse manure have been ordered for delivery later in the month; potted roses are being gathered together and lightly pruned, ready to be pack away into cribs after Thanksgiving. The long, long arching canes of our very mature Graham Thomas that shot up in mid-summer will be swung over a bare spot in this large elegant specimen rose and pegged down to fill the bare spot with blooms next summer.

But despite the calendar, this may be one of those rare years when the rose gods are kind and really hard frosts are delayed, making it possible for us to have roses from our gardens on the Thanksgiving table. We’ll let you know.

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