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August 2009

July 2009

Rose of the Week – 'Renae' Part 1


Even though I love many fabulous climbing roses, 'Renae' remains my favorite. She’s a prolific rebloomer (4x!); she’s thornless; shiny leaved; and DR (disease resistant– don’t you think it needs an abbreviation?). A pretty face; an eager climber; and easy to propagate can be added to the list. What more could you want in a rose? Oh yes fragrance– she has that too and it’s lovely.

Renae-rose I ordered 'Renae' on a whim in 1990, when I ordered my two 'Climbing Cecile Brunners'. She was listed in a tiny 16-page catalogue from Ralph Moore. Mr. Moore is famous for his mini roses, but one day I'm sure he’ll be famous for 'Renae' as well. I plant her in every garden that I design, and I’m always talking about her.

At a rose show, I had an opportunity to ask Ralph’s daughter who Renae was named for. She told me, “Renae was a friend of mine when I was a child, and she died of a serious illness.” Renae’s memory lives on in this sweet rose.



In our garden, ‘Renae’ grows in two places. I first planted her on this west facing archway, at the side entrance to our back garden. I don’t prune this one much, and sometimes not at all.


‘Renae’ and ‘Buff Beauty’ mingle on the fence, and it’s ‘Renae’ that covers the arch.  Don’t the two roses harmonize well together?



When our front chimney needed a rose, dependable 'Renae' took charge. This one needs to be kept in check though. I usually prune her twice in a season. However, near the end of summer and on into fall she gets the long drooping canes pictured at left. After the winter pruning, I’m sometimes nervous the poor thing won’t recover, but you can see that she does.


For years I thought 'Renae' wasn’t so great displayed in a vase, she finally changed my mind. Stay tuned.

For more about Renae and a look at some cute bouquets, click here.

Sweet Peas Part 2


Follow-up is one of the perks, and advantages, bloggers have over print media.  On January 20, 2009, I wrote about planting sweet peas. Now, on July 29, I'm showing you how they turned out. Links will forever keep the sweet pea articles connected – more in-depth info – I love it!


My husband Leroy’s wonderful fish sculpture was a shoe-in as a climbing structure for the ‘Orange Streamer’ sweet peas. For the other varieties planted, I fully intended to put up the traditional netted poles, once the new plants grew some length. Lazy bones (me) never got around to it.


My guilty gardener thoughts vanished when I spotted these three tutuers in a pile in the back yard. (The one on the left starred in a bouquet in my CC post – the other two are usually in pots.) I simply placed the tuteurs side by side over the planted row of sweet peas.


The pea plants loved climbing the structures and I enjoyed the training and twining.


The tuteurs gave the sweet peas a natural, rather than utilitarian, feel in the garden. I think I'll use them again next year, they're much easier than poles.

The seeds didn’t all germinate at the same time– some took weeks. I was a little worried, but most eventually showed up for the party.

The Rating Game



‘Painted Lady’ is lovely and bloomed first, however here aren’t many flowers on a stem and they only last a day in a vase.



My old stand-by favorite didn’t germinate fully, and there weren’t that many seeds to begin with, but it kept on blooming and I harvested plenty. 



I picked armloads of these beauties and they looked great combined with 'Lilac Ripple'.


Maybe two seeds of ‘Blue’ germinated and I didn’t care much for the blooms– a bit stark looking, if that’s possible.


‘Orange Streamer’, however was, as my daughter Oneita would say, “Ab fab.”

You've probably heard that harvesting encourages more bloom. It's so true. I’d pick everything pickable one day, and the next day there’d be more. It went on like that for weeks.