Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's just a trial friendship, really

It all started eight years ago when I was walking with Hubby in the gorgeous Victoria BC when we were still newlyweds. I spied a silvery lavender rose in someone’s fenced front yard and felt my breathe intake sharply. I was dazzled. Hubby finally pried me away from their gate, but the rose haunted me ever since.


A few weeks ago at the nursery I saw the hybrid tea, the Rosa 'Sterling Silver'. My heart raced, “This might be it!” it cried out. So in a blur I found myself carrying it out to the car.

Of course, we have had the strangest summer, with storms threatening us on a regular basis, but little actual rain (excepting the odd wild storm). That all means that a week after I got this rose, my first ever hybrid tea, and planted it in an urn with some moss and trailing plants - determined I wouldn’t get attached to it and would treat it as an annual!- it got powdery mildew – which I am still battling. But still, it was elegant with long arching canes and clusters of beautifully formed promising buds.

So I babied it, moving it around to find the very sunniest spot in the garden and plucking off any leaves that looked even a little limp.



And now it has gone and bloomed on me. When I was so trying not to like it very much. Darn you Miss Sterling Silver, I already have a two-year-old son and two cats to pamper – nevermind a Hubby who needs care and feeding as well. You will have to earn your keep you know. And I don’t expect to see you next year. That is, unless of course, you want to come back…then, um, maybe we could work something out…

6 comments:

tlc illustration said...

Why do you not expect it to come back? (does it get too cold in the winter?). I have one of those - lovely, highly fragrant blossoms. I feed it nicely and make sure it gets enough water, but that's all beyond deadheading - and it is the most vigorous rose I own. (There are some great organic or nearly so copper-based sprays that you can use to prevent powdery mildew).

HomeBugGardener said...

Hi Garden Ms S - In theory, you could pamper the rose through the winter indoors in a cool spot or in a somewhat heated garage. I think the trick is to keep its metabolism low enough that the rose doesn't use up all its reserves and starve before the light levels are high enough for photosynthesis to resume. Jim Hole put out some suggestions in his newsletter last year - if you want to give it a go, you might try sending him an email.

The Garden Ms. S said...

TLC: Hi Tara, I wish they were hardy here, but they aren't. I did go the nursery and get the copper spray they recommended. I think it is helping. To me, this rose is the "platonic ideal" of a rose. Can you tell it's winning me over *grin*

HBG: We do have an insulated, not heated, garage that may be suitable. I will also check Jim Hole's website archives for info. Thanks!

zone3b said...

What an odd colour for a rose! Odd, but nice;)

iowa gardening woman said...

Sterling Siler is a older hybrid tea rose, I remember growing it years ago, it is indeed beautiful! Good Luck with it.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Zone3b: It jumped out at me that day in Victoria - the colour seemed almost ethereal.

IowaGW: A whole flush of blooms have opened in the day two days. I cannot believe how gorgeous they are. The powdery mildew is settling down. So this rose may just become my first 'overwintering' experiment. :)