Lady Banks Rose (Banksia Lutea)
The lady is a force to reckon with, but she is accommodating.
Our next door neighbor planted five Banksia Lutea shrubs, in a 30-ft strip, along our property line. Only one shrub would have produced the same effect! This is a view from our side of the fence, underplanted with white camellias. Rigorous pruning, twice a year, is required.
At the Sacramento Old City Cemetery they let her rip. What a joy to see a rose like this reach its full potential.
ARRANGING LADY BANKS
Again, she is one flexible gal. No thorns, and pliable canes easily allow forming a basket handle like this. The cane ends are inserted in water vials.
If you're having a special event, during bloomtime, don't be afraid to cut those long canes and place them in a large container. I harvested the bouquet, below, in a 5-gallon bucket, then lifted the whole thing, all at once, into the vase. Presto- no arranging.
Fun with Bloom Clusters
Harvesting the short clusters for small vases is always fun, and a good project for children.
In the examples, above, the clusters were cut with 5 or 6-inches of cane left on. In the bouquet at the top of the post, a chunk of oasis (lower right) allows many stems to form a fancy pouf.
The base for the pillow, on the grass, is a cake pan filled with plastic cups of water. I took this to a spring party, where everyone brought flowers for children to fill little baskets with.
There are four forms of Rosa Banksiae, two singles (5 petals per bloom) and two doubles (more than 21 petals per bloom). They come from China where they flourish along roadsides and edge plated fields. From 1796 to 1824, plant collectors sailing the globe for unusual specimens brought three of the four roses to England. William Kerr discovered the double white form growing in Canton in 1807, and named it Lady Banks. The name honored the wife of his benefactor, Sir Joseph Banks, who helped establish the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London.
Banks roses are once bloomers that are not recommended for areas colder than USDA Zone 8.Prints of my rose alphabet are available for sale in my etsy shop.
After a photo session, the refuse is often too pretty not to take a picture.