Welcome Spring, A Time of Renewal

 

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I love living in the South where spring comes early. While NY where I came from is still having freezing weather and snow storm is still the norm in March, here in Charleston, the days are getting longer and warm air is creeping in. As I walk the dog this morning, I heard birds singing and frolicking in the lake.  There are so much colors around me. The azaleas are in full bloom. Pansies are smiling with their happy face. The tulips are practically done. Daffodils are still in bloom and this year, my hyacinths are just glorious. I had them once in New York but mine usually grew so tall there, then plopped down so I gave up on them. Last fall, I decided to plant some here and I really love it. They are gorgeous and very fragrant. I can smell the wonderful scent as I open my front door.

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Since we had some icy weather last winter, I lost some of my plants to ice. I replaced some of them and tried some new ones. I miss Shima-Nishiki peony that I had in NY with its stunning striped blooms so when I saw it in a catalog on sale, I bought two.

Shima-Nishiki Peony

 

I have always wanted to plant grapes but never did until this year. I bought RazzMatazz, a breakthrough in grape breeding. It tastes like Muscadines yet has a tender-crisp texture of a regular table grape and it is seedless. It also bears continuously and it does not have to be sprayed for diseases and insects. We’ll see how it grows. I wish I have a bigger yard so I can really go to town with my gardening.

 

Some of the roses are showing some buds already and some of the old garden roses have started to bloom. I hope to have plenty of blooms in May because I’m doing a rose display at Johns Island Public Library for the whole month and I need a fresh bouquet of roses twice a week for the whole month. I have done most of my spring cleaning in the garden and now am delighted to see new growth coming up.

 

Inside the house, spring cleaning is a rite of passage. Winter clothes have to go up in the attic for storage and spring and summer clothes come down. You feel tired looking at those dreary dark-colored drapery. There is this urge to change the look to spring with light flowery curtains. I must admit, I did not change my curtains last winter. I like my yellow curtains with roses on them so I kept it year round.

 

I kept staring at my wall. My husband looked at me askance. I said, “I’m thinking.” He said, “So I see. I smell something burning.” Funny, ha? I wanted to paint the wall but could not decide whether to stay with the “developer’s” boring beige or go for light green. Green is my favorite color, the color of nature. That is a no-brainer. I am a gardener.

 

Regarding my writing, I’m determined to publish my nonfiction this spring, most likely early May. I’ve been doing a lot of blogging lately trying to sharpen my writing skills. I still have a lot to learn. After I publish my nonfiction, I want to edit my next fiction about a white-collar crime. I’ve never written a mystery/thriller before but I love to challenge myself. I like historical novel but as an accountant, I love the plot on this book. So things are looking up again in my writing journey. In the meantime, check some of my blogs. I have several blogs going on. I will try to reblog some of my posts from the other blogs into my website – www.rosalindarmorgan.com so check it out.

 

After a slow winter, there is that energy that invigorate us to spring forward. There is the spiritual renewal in spring too. With Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. For a practicing Catholic, it is the most sacred of Holidays and it means a lot to me. On Easter, we renew our baptismal promise. The church always looks splendid with Easter lilies and spring flowers, giving us a sense of rebirth.

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Happy Spring. Enjoy the warming weather.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

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Rose Day of Remembrance – September 11

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“Firefighter” – Photo Credit – Edmunds Roses

“To remember, lest we forget.”

There isn’t an American who is not affected by that tragedy at the New York Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. Everyone who died in that tragedy left someone behind who loved them. Rose is a flower of love. To honor and pay tribute to all the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Sue Casey of Portland, Oregon formed an organization called Remember Me” Rose Gardens to create three rose gardens on or near the sites of the terrorist attacks in New York, at the Pentagon and at a field in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County in Pennsylvania.

The intent of “Remember Me” Rose Garden” is to affirm love and life year after year with the blooming of each rose bush. It is a national opportunity for us to remember the fallen and celebrate life, liberty and freedom through roses.

There will be 11 roses to be selected for the “Remember Me” Rose Garden”. So far the following roses have been chosen:

  1. “Firefighter” – In September, 2003, “Remember Me” Rose Garden announced “Firefighter” the first of the eleven roses to be named. “Firefighter” is a red hybrid tea rose to honor the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
  2. “Soaring Spirits” – In September, 2004 “Remember Me” Rose Garden announced “Soaring Spirits”, the second rose to be named. “Soaring Spirits” is a new cream pink and yellow striped climbing rose to honor the more than 2,000 people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 as they worked in the World Trade Center Towers.
  3. “We Salute You” In September, 2005 “Remember Me” Rose Garden announced “We Salute You”, the third to be named. “We Salute You” is an orange/pink hybrid tea to honor the 125 service members, employees, and contract workers who died in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
  4. “Forty Heroes” On April 27, 2006 “Remember Me” Rose Garden announced in New York City, “Forty Heroes”, a beautiful golden yellow floribunda named for the crew and passengers of United Flight 93. Courageously they fought back forcing hijackers to crash the plane in rural Pennsylvania instead of the intended target in Washington, D.C., changing the course of history.
  5. “The Finest” is a beautiful white hybrid tea rose that honors the 23 NYPD Officers lost in the line of duty on September 11, 2001. These 23 NYPD Officers, in their dedication to protect the lives of fellow citizens, gave the ultimate sacrifice-their lives. “The Finest” honors the NYPD.
  6. “Patriot Dream” honors the 64 people who were the crew and passengers on American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. A family member of the Flight 77 crew suggested the name for this beautiful salmon colored rose. “Patriot Dream” is a shrub rose with a light fruity fragrance. “Patriot Dream” will be planted at the three Washington, D.C. schools who had students and teachers aboard Flight 77.
  7. “Survivor’s Rose” The name “Survivor” was suggested by a group of Survivors’ who worked in the World Trade Center. Lead by JoAnn Pedersen, the group said there could be no other name for the dark pink rose. The survivors who made it out of the World Trade Center helped rescue others, aiding in their escape down the stairwells before the Towers collapsed. At the Pentagon, survivors struggled to reach safety after Flight 77 crashed into the building. Ordinary people became heroes to one another.
  8. “Wings of Courage”, a beautiful butter yellow rose with a halo of white petals. It is mildly scented and can have up to thirty blooms at one time. “Wings of Courage” is named in honor of the crew and passengers of American Airlines Flight 11 which struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001.

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

 

Have you ever grown potatoes?

I like gardening but for an occasional tomato, I never planted any other vegetables or root crops. I’m a flower gardener and I love all kinds of flowers but my favorites are roses. Lately, I’m venturing into new territory. I love learning something new. I’ve been experimenting with container plants. I love “Marguerite”, the sweet potato vine for a spiller in containers.

Last month, I had two baking potatoes that I kept on forgetting to cook and they were getting soft. My son told me that they were getting bad and should be thrown out. I said, “No. I’ll plant them.” I thought I could use them in containers like the sweet potato vine. I thought it has the same growing habit that sweet potato vine has. I could not be more wrong. However, I didn’t have the time to plant them for days. I kept on postponing to do it and then I saw green tiny leaves sprouting from the eyes of the potato. I guessed it was time to do something.

I finally planted them in a shallow container, half in and half out of the soil which had a sedum on it. It was the only container available at the time. Surprisingly, the leaves grew and it really started taking off. It started to grow straight up. It did not look like the sweet potato vine where the leaves start spilling out of the container.  I watched it and watered it everyday.

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It started to have tiny flowers.

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I decided to transfer them in bigger pots. I pulled them out of the shallow pot and I saw a small potato among the roots. “A real potato! A small one but a true potato.” I showed it to my husband and my son. It was about two inches long.

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I cooked them and my husband ate it. He said it was delicious.

I transferred the plants into bigger pots hoping I can get more harvest soon. Here they are now in their new home. I planted one with cilantro.

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And the other one with thyme.

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Until next time. Keep on gardening.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

Peace Rose for United Nations’Day – Oct. 24

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Parentage: (‘George Dickson’ x ‘Souvenir de Claudius Pernet’) x (‘Joanna Hill’ x ‘Chas. P. Kilham’) x ‘Margaret McGredy”.

Hybridized by the French hybridizer Francis Meilland in the late 1930s, and introduced by Conard-Pyle Co., West Grove, PA in 1945.

 

The rose that is called ‘Peace’ in the United States and Great Britain is called ‘Mme Antoine Meilland’ in France, ‘Gioia’ (Joy) in Italy and ‘Gloria Dei” (The Glory of God) in Germany. ‘Peace’ is one of the most famous roses of the century if not of all times. It is one of the few modern roses surrounded by legend and myth. It was bred by Francis Meilland under the code name 3-35-40 and named it Madame A. Meilland, after his mother. Francis Meilland hybridized another lemon yellow rose with ‘Peace’ as the parent and named her ‘Grand’mere Jenny’, after his paternal grandmother.

 

One story goes that it was hybridized in France in the last years before World War II, and escaped as unnamed cuttings in the last American diplomatic bag to leave Paris as World War II began. Recognized as a winner, the rose was propagated by Conard-Pyle Co., a leading American rose nursery and released in 1945. Because it returned in peacetime to a liberated France, ‘Peace’ was the name the rose was given. Later, the ‘Peace’ rose took the world by storm after being the centerpiece on all the tables at the organizational meeting of the United Nations at San Francisco in 1945.

 

Another version of the story of ‘Peace’ is that it began in France when the Nazi invasion forced young Francis Meilland to smuggle three one-pound packages of an experimental rose into other countries. Two of the packages were confiscated, but the third made it to Robert Pyle of Conard-Pyle Co. in the United States. Ten years later, after this rose of outstanding character and quality had been tested throughout the United States, the ARS planned a special name-giving ceremony. At the Pacific Rose Society Exhibition in Pasadena, CA, Robert Pyle declared “We are persuaded that this greatest new rose of our time should be named for the world’s greatest desire – Peace.” Francis Meilland’s rose was given its American and English name ‘Peace’ on April 29, 1945, the day Berlin fell to the allies. Nine years after introduction, an American authority estimated that some thirty million ‘Peace’ were growing in gardens around the world. Nowadays, nobody seems to have kept count. With all the royalties coming from the sale of ‘Peace’, the Meillands were able to build a rose hybridizing empire on the Cap d’Antibes on the Mediterranean shores.
 

Another melodramatic story, so often told, is that the budwood of ‘Peace’ was smuggled out of the south of France by a heroic U.S. embassy official in November 1942, just hours before the German invasion. It’s a very good story, but the truth of the matter according to Francis Meilland, is that the budwood was sent to Germany, Italy and the United States via ordinary postal channels in the summer of 1939. Southern France at that time was not yet invaded. It was perfect timing. By receiving a few cuttings in 1939, Conard-Pyle was able to introduce this rose at the San Francisco conference to found the United Nations, the day Berlin fell in 1945. If these cuttings were received in November 1942 they could not have started budding until 1943, and they could not have built up enough stock of this rose in time for nationwide distribution three years later.

 

The day the war with Japan ended, ‘Peace’ was given the All American Rose Selection Award. A month later, the day the peace treaty was signed with Japan, ‘Peace’ received the American Rose Society’s supreme Award, the Gold Medal. ‘Peace’ has won most of the world’s top rose awards: Gold Medal, Portland 1944; All-American Rose Selection 1946; Gold Medal Certificate, American Rose Society 1947; Golden Rose, The Hague 1965; Hall of Fame, World Federation of Rose Societies 1976; and Award of Garden Merit, Royal Horticultural Society 1993. Today, ‘Peace’ is still the world’s favorite rose.

 

‘Peace’ is a vigorous, bushy, upright plant, 4-5 ft. tall with stiff canes covered with large, leathery, beautiful, dark green, glossy foliage with good disease-resistant quality. New growth appears light red. ‘Peace’ resents heavy pruning.

 

Buds are high-centered and cupped at opening. Blooms are double (40 to 45 petals), 5 to 6 inches across, near perfect in form and more or less continuous flowering throughout the season. Colors vary from day to day but are essentially creamy yellow edged in rose pink. It has a slight fragrance. It is a good exhibition rose and an excellent cut flower. It’s rated 8.0 on the 2017 Handbook for Selecting Roses.

 

Flowers were huge in 1940s. Somehow ‘Peace’ planted in the 1940s and still thriving today at well-maintained public gardens, war memorials, or at the homes of veteran gardeners are larger compared to the blooms on the ‘Peace’ plant you will receive from any nursery today. Even if genetic science tells you otherwise, still the ‘Peace’ sold today is just a pale imitation of the old ‘Peace’. Vita Sackville-West hated it and thought it horribly coarse.

 

Hybrid teas bred since the 1950s often have at least a little ‘Peace’ blood in them. Of the many mutations of ‘Peace’ introduced over the years, the most popular is ‘Chicago Peace’. Other sports of ‘Peace’ are ‘Berlin’, ‘Garden Party’, ‘Gold Crown’, ‘Glowing Peace’, ‘Love and Peace’ (2002 AARS Selection), ‘Perfume Delight’, ‘Pink Rose’, ‘Princesse de Monaco’, ‘Royal Highness’, ‘Speaker Sun’, ‘Sterling Silver’, and ‘Tropicana’. A Climbing form was introduced in 1950. ‘Climbing Peace’ is a climbing sport of ‘Peace’. It has shiny, deep green, almost-leathery foliage, and it has a very pleasing color, peachy pink suffused with apricot yellow. Its buds are exquisitely pointed, and they open into large, long-lasting flowers. It is so robust and healthy that you never have to spray it with pesticides. Its one real flaw is a complete lack of fragrance.

 

‘Peace’ is showcased at the following Display Gardens: Sturgeon Memorial Rose Garden, Largo, FL; Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, GA; Julia Davis Rose Garden, Boise, ID; George L. Luthy Memorial Rose Garden, Peoria, IL; Richmond Rose Garden, Richmond, IN; City of Portland Rose Circle, Portland, ME; The Jim Buck Ross Rose Garden, Jackson, MS; and Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, VA.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

 Rosalinda Morgan, The Rose Lady

 Author of “The Wentworth Legacy”

 www.rosalindarmorgan.com

 

Thursday Tips – Summer Care in the Garden

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Keep all plants mulched and watered.  Water first thing in the morning to avoid wetting leaves which can cause fungal diseases.  Use a rain gauge to tell exactly how much rain has fallen on your property.

Deadhead perennials and annuals regularly.  Mow grass as needed.

Keep ahead of weeds; never let them develop seeds.

Look for signs of insects or diseases; control quickly.

Feed annuals and container plants.  Harvest vegetables, herbs, and fruits as they ripen; protect from bird damage.

Trim hedges and prune shrubs that require shaping.

Cut herbs and flowers for drying.

Divide spent perennials if needed.

Roses need weekly attention throughout the summer (water, fertilizer, fungus and insect control).

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

Author and Garden Writer