Monday, January 17, 2011

Managing rose inventory

There for a long time roses were coming in and going out at almost the same rate - or so it seemed. The end of 2009 saw some "ruthless" cleaning out, because I wanted to reduce my numbers, but spring of 2010 saw a good many newcomers. It was with a disappointed heavy sigh that I read the tabulation of ins and outs after last spring. It was a wash. I hadn't reduced my inventory at all. I so much wanted to get under 90 for the sake of my sanity. Ninety-six is way to close to 100 and lends credence to the idea that I have no self-control. Don't you think 89 has a much more reasonable ring to it? To my credit, I did have the total down to 87, but then it went up again.

Last fall the outgoings were flying out of here. I simply decided that in order to live here a rose had to meet some minimum pleasure requirements - for me. Primary on the list of requirements was canes with leaves, then canes that didn't turn black, then flowers that didn't ball all the time, then leaves that didn't blackspot all the time, then leaves that didn't cry out "I need iron" all the time, and finally plants that wouldn't at any moment engulf my entire property and dwelling. Apparently, not growing veggie centers wasn't a requirement, because I kept one that did that so there must have been another requirement that caused one exit. In both evacuations I found homes for several roses that left, but some moved on to the happy compost pile in the sky since I didn't feel it would be nice to pass them on to an unsuspecting friend.  (I've gotten quite adept at cutting them into little pieces.) Then in September and November there were more incoming. There were some Buck roses I wanted to try, and the coming closure of my favorite nursery (though admittedly temporary) pushed me to get more, totaling about eight or ten or twelve more (no need to be specific). Sigh. Back again to that magic number 96.

That brings me to yesterday. I went out to plant some more seedlings which I did do, but I made a command decision to move some roses as well and quite efficiently. Archduke Charles went into the ground from his 20-gallon pot, the last of my 'permanent container roses' experiment. He went into half of the space left by house-eater 'Cl White Maman Cochet' about whose ultimate size I was perfectly clear to her new owner. In a desperate attempt to save my investment in the Hybrid Musk 'Jeri Jennings' (shipping from California for a single rose more than doubles the price) she has a new home on the east side next to the fence kind of under 'Reve d'Or'. I'm hoping that this will be a cooler situation for her and she'll hold on to her leaves more tightly. And tiny little 'Souv de Pierre Notting' was moved out of the shade of 'E. Veyrat Hermanos' into JJ's former sunny spot. That left me with four roses in my pot ghetto: 'White Maman Cochet' (destined for a new front bed), 'Marchesa Bocella' (heading for a pot home), 'Mme Scipion Cochet' the Hybrid Perpetual (planned for a switch with a non-descript tea that does nothing for me and that's saying a lot because I love teas) and Martha Gonzalez who will be staying in a pot, I think. Quite unbelievably, all this juggling left one vacancy in the garden.

So, as circumstances often do, today they conspired to fill that vacancy. Just on a lark, I went up to the Rose Petals Nursery website where previously all roses were designated, "Item cannot be ordered." Imagine my glee upon seeing the words, "Available from stock." Well, right off the bat I knew there were two roses I really wanted (uh-huh, I can see you doing the math in your little heads), 'Lilian Austin' and 'Souv de St. Anne's'. I had seen them in November when visiting a friend's garden, and they stole my heart. Now, as to the math, Lilian will go in the vacancy, and SdSA will go in the spot of one of my three 'Hermosa' bushes who will go in a pot, a lovely one, I'm sure. Well, as long as I was there, I figured I'd look at the Polyanthas. After all, they're small. (And don't argue.) And this is where the conspiracy enters the picture. Someone put a climbing polyantha in with the bushes. So obviously this was meant to be. There before my eyes was 'Climbing Clotilde Soupert', proclaiming her availability. Someone knew that I'm a sucker for this rose since I have two bush forms, and she performs wonderfully for me. Someone also knew that Parade has been living here on borrowed time, saved by her flowers that I love but doomed by her, shall we say, foliage. Ah-ha, 'Clotilde Soupert' would be the perfect climber for the prime front porch location of 'Parade', and 'Parade' could go somewhere in the back, somewhere I'm not sure where, but later on that.

I'm counting and counting again. Dang, 97! It's a conspiracy, that's all. One thing's for sure though. I'll never have more than 100, because that's all the markers I have.


  1. So, I can send you a package of plant markers;)

  2. What a great sense of humor! Thanks for the plug, can't wait to meet you! Cydney

  3. Oh but they sell more markers, lol I was wanting to know if I could move some of my roses now? You did....

  4. You have only four in your pot ghetto?? You are a model of restraint, Sherry.

  5. Yes, only four, Masha. Isn't that cool?! Roses in nice pots (not nursery pots) don't count, do they? The rest of you are troublemakers with your markers. A hundred is plenty, thank you very much.

  6. You will love CL Clotilde Soupert and with her being located at your front porch, she has few thorns and such a wonderful scent!!! Enjoy her!!!