Spring in February

Those of you who follow my blog may have noticed my long absence from posting. There have been a lot of family issues taking up my time. For those who read my posts but don’t actually know me, here’s a quick summary. Our house was built on my husband’s mother’s property, the remnant of her parents property. Having her living next door to us was a blessing for us when the children were growing up, and as she grew old, it was a blessing for her to have us nearby, but the last couple years of her life meant we needed to help her more and more, giving me less and less time for other things during much of 2014. She passed away October 9, aged 96. I then went to Florida, where my brother was dying of cancer. He passed away in early November. Then, the holidays were upon us, including a visit from my older daughter’s in-laws. With all these events, writing my blog hasn’t been a priority, but I’m starting to get in the mood to write again.

As anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows, California is having a serious drought. Wells in the Central Valley are running dry, lakes are low, and if we don’t get a lot more rain this winter, lots of things are going to get much worse this summer. When we have a beautiful warm day, people start grumbling, “We really need rain.” It seems very strange to be complaining about good weather. As I can’t make it rain, I’ve decided to just enjoy the nice weather while we have it. The plants seem to be enjoying it, too. They think spring has arrived, and some roses are blooming a month early. I took pictures of this early spring bloom yesterday, and thought it would be nice to share them with you.

My ‘Rosa gigantea’ normally peaks in late March. You can compare these pictures of it now with those  in the blog post from four years ago-  My Gigantea.

rose

This is the part of the rose that is trying to block entry to the shed

rose

This is the south part between the sheds, which is what my neighbors see when they look at our place.

rose

This is the northwest part of the rose, behind the hothouse.

rose

This is the southwest part behind the hothouse.

rose

Closeup of a newly opened bloom. They’re only this yellow color the day they open.

Each year, this rose grows new shoots out the top, which weighs down the lower parts, so they spread outwards. After bloom, I remove much of the lower parts to try to contain the size of the rose, and make access alongside it possible. This year will require major surgery to reopen the pathway. Last year I left some canes that should have been cut, but they curved back and up toward the center of it, and I didn’t want to have dead wood in the top of the plant where it is inaccessible. Removing canes from within the plant is nearly impossible due to the hooked prickles that grab anything passing by- you can’t just grab the cut end and pull. But those canes are making it very difficult to get by already, and it’s only going to get worse, so this spring they go.

Other roses blooming-

Archduke Joseph. The bloom form and color both change with the weather.

Archduke Joseph. The bloom form and color both change with the weather.

rose

“Keith’s Bourbon-Noisette”, a rose I found at a friend’s Victorian house. The interior of the rose is normally white.

A 'Souvenir d'un Ami candidate. It's a rather sprawling Tea rose I got from Bill Grant. Blooms all year, and actually smells like tea.

A ‘Souvenir d’un Ami’ candidate. It’s a rather sprawling Tea rose I got from Bill Grant. Blooms all year, and actually smells like tea.

Other plants that think it’s Spring-

Our neighbors' flowering cherry-plum. This part hangs over our parking area.

Our neighbors’ flowering cherry-plum. This part hangs over our parking area.

Callas. We have these scattered around the property. This one is under the part of the gigantea that needs major surgery.

Callas. We have these scattered around the property. This one is under the part of the gigantea that needs major surgery.

I hope those of you who are buried in snow this month get some pleasure from these blooms. There is a rumor of another storm late next week, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. In the mean time, I’ll continue to enjoy these sunny 75 degree days.

[In case anyone is interested, my husband created a memorial website for his mother with her biography and photos of her life at http://editheperry.weebly.com/, and I made a memorial page for my brother at http://jamesfredmiller3.weebly.com/. ]

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About Jill Perry

Since 2005, I have been the Curator of the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, a part of Guadalupe River Parks and Gardens near downtown San Jose. I write about the Heritage Rose Garden, my garden and my travels when I feel inspired and have time. Since I have no regular schedule, if you'd like to know when I write a new article, please subscribe to this blog.
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One Response to Spring in February

  1. Lovely pictures! Love the old blooms and especially the stories. The “Keith’s Bourbon-Noisette” is stunning!

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