Friday, June 21

First Day of Summer

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. ~John Lubbock
 The first day of summer in Michigan brought rose blooms. What's even more amazing is that it's almost the end of June and the Japanese Beetles are not invading my garden as they usually do this time of year.

This is my Rugosa Rose ( Rosa rugosa species) that I grew from a bare root about four yeas ago. I started out with three, but I managed to kill two over the course of the next year or so. My green thumb didn't apply to these roses, even though they are known for being tough and hard to kill.

 This was a major fail on my part, and I was determined to nurture the last one. I moved it to a part of our landscape that would allow the rose to grow as big as its little heart desires. Rugosa roses are known for growing rapidly, and in some situations they are considered invasive. I've wanted to grow this variety for the rose hips, which are plentiful and large. 

Every year the Japanese Beetles attack with a vengeance, and the bloom above is the first one I've had that isn't partially chewed.  One year, over half the plant, which wasn't very large, died off. I carefully cut out all of the dead section, and the next year it seemed fine, but was a little sparse from the pruning.  This year seems to be the summer it's going to take off and do some major growing.


This bloom is from a large climbing rose that was here when we bought our house eight years ago.  It wasn't attached to a trellis or any type of structure, and was in pretty bad shape that summer.  I cut it to the ground, and the next year it came back. I don't know what type of rose it is, but I do know it's  very susceptible to mildew.  The Japanese beetles also seem to devour it each year. It's full of blooms now, and the munching seems to be minimum.

I have two more roses that haven't bloomed yet, a pink miniature rose and another rose I planted a few years ago.  I lost the tag along the way, and I only remember getting it on clearance for just over two dollars. Since I was new to growing rose, I wanted to start with inexpensive plants.  It's been trial and error, and surprising at times.  The miniature rose was a gift, and I didn't expect it to do well once I planted it outside.  It turned out to be extremely hardy and blooms from June until the first heavy frost in the fall.

The first day of summer was humid and hot, but with roses in bloom it was still a lovely day.


The Last of the Roses in Autumn

The milkweed pods are breaking,   And the bits of silken down   Float off upon the autumn breeze   Across the meadows brown. ~C...