Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Finally some roses... and daylilies on sale

Between trying to replace the master bathroom sinks and faucets (what a struggle that’s far from over!) and the slimmest rose pickings I have seen since that first horrible summer, I have not had much to blog about. Throw in the heat and humidity and I am barely crawling to the finish line of summer. I am ready for mid-October’s break in the weather. R-E-A-D-Y !!

This evening was a good time to run out to the front garden with the camera. Instead I fell asleep on the sofa until it was almost too late. Still groggy I put a strong battery in the camera and dragged myself out into the waning light. In a mere fifteen minutes the light was going, going, gone, and focusing became impossible, but I managed to capture a few beauties among many deletes.
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‘Le Vesuve’ is starting a show after a long, unusual drought of blooms. Two and a half weeks ago I fed the front roses with a complete organic rose food. Then on Sunday it occurred to me that I hadn’t applied any epsom salts since spring. Perhaps that is why the rose bushes have looked so dreadful, leaves scarce and not green, flowers substandard and even deformed. I’m not very scientifically knowledgeable about this, so I can’t say these are signs of any true deficiency. It’s just a heat-weary gardener grasping at straws and trying to stay in the air-conditioning. Tossing out ten pounds of epsom salts in the cooler evening on Monday required little energy, thankfully.
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The flowers of ‘Le Vesuve’ are just as big and fluffy in person as they look in these photos. He’s definitely trying to cheer me up.
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‘Bermuda’s Anna Olivier’ has struggled this summer. Feeding and sulfur applications don’t seem to perk her up. I think her deepest roots must be down into the native limey sand that looks like road bed, and being less than eight feet from the curb this ground may well be road bed. In taking this wide shot of Anna and ‘Softee’ in the pot , ‘Enchantress’ snuck into the picture, and I didn’t even notice but I'm happy she did. Her tiny bright magenta flowers really pop against her deep green foliage. Anna’s leaves are normally more of a yellow green but not this yellow.
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“Bermuda’s Anna Olivier’ has always had the same impact on me as ‘Maman Cochet’ because of her lovely fat flowers. Lots of petals in there – just the way I like them.
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We’ll just call this type of photography dreamy rather than out of focus.
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I can’t show you ‘White Maman Cochet’ even though she has some lovely blooms on her. By the time I got over to her bed the dim light demanded an absolutely steady hand with the camera which I don’t have, and my monopod was inside. It was blur city! So I went back to ‘Le Vesuve’, hoping for a bush shot. Don’t panic. Your eyeballs aren’t failing you. No light, no focus.
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Here it looks like it was raining roses, doesn’t it? This is what happens when you shoot and lower the camera while it’s still trying to suck in all the light it can with it’s slowest shutter. Kind of a beautiful mistake, don’t you think?
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I’m so glad you stayed with me until the end to see what my tease was all about. Fifty percent off daylilies!! Fall is the traditional time for daylily sales. I had four or five tabs open on my browser last week checking out the sales of several daylily nurseries when much to my delight I discovered that Shaw’s Sunshine Gardens in Augusta, Georgia is having a sale until October 15th. I first ordered from Charlie Shaw, a true gentle-man, back in the fall of 2009. Being a total novice with daylilies, he was very helpful and patient with me, helping me choose from among the hundreds of enticing photos on his website. Choosing is a painstaking process for me of analyzing and agonizing. I remember that that sale was a buy-one-get-two-free sale, and he was just hoping to break even for the year. I sure hope he did, and since this year’s sale is only buy-one-get-one-free (or half off), I hope that means that 2011 was a better year for him. When my first order arrived, the size and robustness of the daylily tops and roots took my breath away. I just had to buy more which I did a few weeks later. I bought so many that some of them didn’t get planted until February or March.
This year I was thrilled to see many Bob Carr daylilies on Charlie’s list. They’d been there all along, I suppose, but I didn’t know just how magnificent they were until recently. Someone on the Daylily Forum mentioned that Bob Carr’s daylilies are known to do very well in the south. Naturally, I jumped on Google to learn about this man who was the hybridizer of ‘Sherry Lane Carr’, my beautiful almost-namesake daylily. I found out that Dr. Bob Carr passed away in 2007 and that he was a pediatrician here in Ocala whose very serious hobby was hybridizing strong, gorgeous daylilies. From that moment I had to have as many of his daylilies as I could find. I felt like he had created his daylilies just for my garden. I already had three of them, the other two being ‘Key To My Heart’ and ‘Pearl Harbor’ from my first two orders from Shaw’s Sunshine Gardens. So among the ten I just ordered yesterday there are three more Bob Carrs. I know…why so few? There were thirteen others (more if you count dormants), but I was choosing for color and rebloom and sadly for price. There’s always next year, right? And after all, there were thirty-five DLs on my whole list. You can imagine how painful it was whittling that list down to a reasonable number, using DH's definition of the word, of course. D'ya think I should tell him they're on the way? Nah. I’m excited about the plants that are coming next week, because I know they will be beautiful, well rooted and well packed by Charlie Shaw. And you’ll see them right after they arrive. I can’t wait!

By way of disclaimer I receive no compensation for bragging on my favorite daylily nursery. 


  1. Your Roses are beautiful. Hope you enjoy your new daylilies. I am on that same forum.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Oh, I just love Le Vesuve's big poofy blooms! Absolutely gorgeous! I have very few pink roses, but this one could almost make me want to change my color scheme! I take lots of "dreamy" pictures, too. lol Your pic of the raining roses could go in a modern art museum. It almost looks 3D! How fun for you to find so much information on your favorite daylily hybridizer. I hope you continue to add to your collection.

  3. Those fluffy roses are just beautiful. I just finished a post about my roses coming through the monsoons we've had here. I'm amazed at their resiliency.

    Interesting to learn about your daylilies and their hybridizer. I love a good backstory.

  4. Oh your Roses are just fabulous and your rose beds look so colourful. Roses are a plant I've never tried to grow, but I certainly appreciate how beautiful they can look in a garden.

    Thanks for dropping by My Dry Tropics Garden blog. Your experiences with hurricanes sounds very much like the experiences we have here with cyclones. They are such destructive events and I can understand your decision to downsize after your garden was damaged. It took us a long time to clean up and a lot of the trees and shrubs are still recovering.

    About our winters ... no you're right we don't really get very cold weather here. Overnight temps during Winter occasionally drop below 50 deg F, but that would only happen for a week or two. Usually our coldest temps (night-time) is around 56-57 F.

  5. You think you don't have enough roses? Not from what I can see on those pictures... I love your raining roses pictures, very unusual. Your Berumda AO does remind me a lot of my Etoile de Lyon. I agree it is a beautiful rose.

  6. NanaK, I heard about your monsoons from my SIL. It was a total shock since we’ve had one rain (1.2”) in three weeks. And yes, roses are tough.

    Bernie, fortunately for Florida hurricanes seem to go elsewhere more often than not, but you wouldn’t know it from our homeowners insurance rates. It’s hard to believe your trees and shrubs can remain so green after 5 months of no rain. Your garden has more of the look of a rain forest than a desert. Without rain Florida would be parched sand from coast to coast. You have wallabies, and I have squirrels. I guess I’m grateful squirrels aren’t the size of wallabies! Thanks for checking out my blog. I like visitors!!

    Masha, the numbers now have improved from a week or two ago as the new bloom cycle is apparently underway. I should have taken pics back then for comparison. Heat does bad things to motivation levels. As a photographer, you can probably plan for such effects. For me it was a happy accident. I may just do some experimenting when the light gets too low to focus. I hope I remember.