Old Garden Roses: The Gallicas

Continuing my Youtube series on the old garden roses, this on covers the Gallicas. This class of roses was so dominant in Europe in the middle ages, there were literally hundreds of cultivars. Treasured for its close-to-red color, breeding focused on high petal counts, deep shades of pink and purple, and novelty traits like stripes and mottling.

I also mention in the video that the Gallica roses are of a low, suckering habit. Some, like R. gallica officinalis can form a bit of a thicket in the garden if left to wander. A few gardeners have come to me in distress when their gallica “takes over” a perennial bed. I’m sympathetic, of course, but I assure you the rose didn’t dominate that landscape in a single year –  if attended to, the suckering can be managed (or wisely relocated to a more appropriate location).

This video runs a bit longer then the others, just because there’s a lot of material to cover. Next up: the Albas.

 

When my Bare Root Roses Arrive in Fall

It is truly one of my favorite things to add roses to my collection. If this were a big commercial nursery, it would be a different story. I’d want to focus on a few of the best sellers – propagate them in large, uniform crops – sell out early in the season, and spend the rest of the summer kayaking! Instead, I bog myself down with the slow process of establishing hundreds of “mother” plants – learning their individual eccentricities, and then bringing them to market a few at a time, because seriously, there’s a limited demand for specialty roses.

But I love it. This is not a business with a rose inventory attached, but rather a rose collection with a little backyard nursery to grow along with it.

So, in the video below, I take delivery of my fall order of bare root roses – 5 more that I’ve never grown before: Variegata di Bologna, Sempervirens spectabilis, Jacques Cartier, Alba suaveolens, and Kazanlik.

It caps off a year where I’ve added probably a dozen others, some from local nursery finds (‘Konigen von Danemark’ comes to mind), some ordered in spring from another bare root supplier… but my favorites of all came to me from other gardeners: ‘Souv. de la Malmaison’, ‘Narrow Water’ (thanks Elaine), ‘Etoile de Hollande’ (thanks Bob!) and ‘Maigold’ (thanks Sanjoy).

All this means that in the next few weeks, I’ll be updating my list on Helpmefind

I’ll also be posting here with a current inventory of winter carryover, ready to be claimed for spring sale (or sooner, if you’re a real die hard!).

 

Portable Sprinkler Project

See what I do when I have a little time on my hands? I start cementing PVC into funny shapes to move water around!

Here’s the video:

I’ll completely understand if you conclude this to be an eccentricity related to off-season idleness (actually, pretty busy winterizing roses right now, but whatever). The need for this kind of a portable stand actually arose with my employer, where we grow acres of perennials, and sometimes I just need to have one crop watered rather than scheduling a whole bed or house. Before we fashioned these portable sprinklers – which I think are rather stylish, by the way, like an Ikea chair or something – we had to lug around some rather heavy stands.

Why heavy? Well, it comes down to the water pressure coming from the impact sprinkler head. Once you install the sprinkler head onto a riser (at say 36″ high, for consistent coverage and tall crops) the pressure of the spray makes the riser sway back, and can even topple a riser with too little support. This all PVC design is great because it has a wide base, and the pipes fill with water for stability. When the job is done, unhook the hose, and when the water drains, the sprinkler is quite light and manageable.

We still have some of the old, hideous contraptions hanging around the nursery – but they never get used!

Now, I may have to do something about the color. Any suggestions?

It’s already 2019 here…

It might be jumping the gun a bit to wish you a happy new year, with a couple more calendar months still left in 2018 and all. But that’s the way it goes in horticulture – by the time the spring is over, and you have time to catch your breath, you’re already planning for the next season.

Here I’m finishing up dividing perennials and potting up for spring sales:

I’m also on a bit of a mad buying spree on all the seed sites, so we’ll have lots of exciting new plants to bring to market next year. We’ve also added a small order of roses from Weeks to fill out our assortment – don’t worry, we don’t plan to stop our own propagation, but I’d like to add some of the patented and/or grafted varieties to what we can offer our customers. So, lots to sell…

That’s actually where I could use your help a bit! I’m trying to get our plants out in front of as many enthusiastic gardeners as possible – and I could use some suggestions. Of course, we’re planning to return to the events that have worked well for us in the past: opening weekend for the Mission Farmers Market, the Gwynne Vaughan park plant sale, and out to see the rose societies if we fit into their plans. Do you know of any other great venues/events/clubs/markets that would benefit from some roses and other cool plants? Let me know here or on Instagram, and I’ll be grateful for your suggestions.

In the meantime, we’ve continued to make a few more Youtube videos, which I’ll link below. If you’d like to see them in future, you could also subscribe:

Updated inventory, July 15 2018

It’s time to update our inventory of roses – for the full list of what we have available for sale or trade, scroll down! First, a few notes from the farmers:

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We’ve had a great season, and it’s incredibly encouraging to find so many garden enthusiasts who are looking for my kind of rose: older, garden-tested, rare, interesting, species, tough, unique. A very special thanks to those groups who helped us to get our message out there. It was my privilege to speak to the North Surrey Horticultural Society, the Aggasiz Harrison Garden Club, the Fraser Pacific Rose Society, and the West Vancouver Garden Club so far this season. My deepest appreciation to those who invited me out to sell roses at their events: the Chilliwack Garden Club, the Gwynne Vaughan Park Society, the Fraser Pacific Rose Society, and the Vancouver Rose Society. I couldn’t get my message (or my roses!) out there without your support.
  2. I would love to give a full write-up on the roses listed below. Maybe as time permits, I’ll do so. In the meantime, your best resource is the HelpMeFind rose site. It’s like the Wikipedia of roses – user contributed, not excessively commercial, and sooooo much information (including pictures) about all the roses I carry (and many, many more). Open a tab on your browser to the link above, and copy and paste the name of any rose listed below into the search feature on HelpMeFind.
  3. If you see roses listed below with weird names (denominations), like “MEIbrinpay” – it’s not my fault. I really want to give you the most commonly used name. The company that introduced the rose engaged in the despicable practice of trademarking or copyrighting the common/exhibition name of the rose. In my opinion, it’s an ugly commercial ploy that abuses both the rose enthusiast and does a disservice to the rose itself. If you’re at all interested, you can read my summary on the practice here. In the meantime, plug the denomination into the HelpMeFind site listed above, and you’ll get all the names (including the “protected” exhibition name).
  4. Availability and quantities will vary after this snapshot of our inventory is posted. If you’re interested in buying, let me know by e-mail and I’ll arrange to bring your rose along to one of our remaining 2018 selling events.
  5. Pictured below is ‘Complicata’. I can’t quite do justice to the luminous nature of its bloom color here, but when trained as a climber, there are very few plants with as much impact as ‘Complicata’. I do have some in stock, but mainly I add it here because no posting is complete without a rose picture…

MEIbrinpay   1

DELmur   1

Amadis   1

America   4

Ballerina   8

Belinda’s Dream   5

Betty Prior   3

Betty Will   3

Blanc Double de Coubert   1

MEIdomonac   5

Buff Beauty   1

Cardinal de Richelieu   8

Chapeau de Napoleon   1

Charisma   1

Chloris   12

Commandant Beaurepaire   1

Copper Kettle   1

Complicata   5

Delany Sisters   5

Darlow’s Enigma   6

Don Juan   9

Duchess of Portland   4

Dublin Bay   8

MEIviolin   9   (currently my favorite climbing rose!)

DICjana   3

Excellenz von Schubert   1

Felicite Parmentier   1

Fellowship   6

Francis E. Lester   1

Geschwinds Orden   6

Ghislaine de Feligonde   1

Hazeldean   3

Heaven’s Eye   9

Golden Showers   2

Iceberg   5

Indian Summer   1

John Davis   4

Leda   1

Madame Hardy   2

Memory (KORzuri)   6

Morden Ruby   6

Nostalgia   2

AUSmum   1

Pink Grootendorst   1

MEItosier   3

Prairie Peace   3

Robin Hood   4

Robusta   7

Rosaraie de l’Hay   3

Rosa eglanteria   5

Rosa gallica officinalis   12

Rosa hugonis   10

Rosa moyesii   2

Rosa rubrifolia   4

Rosa rugosa alba   3

Rosa rugosa rubra   4

Rosa spinosissima   3

Rosarium Uetersen   4

KORruge   3

Scabrosa   4

Schon Ingeborg   1

Seven Sisters   5

Snow Pavement   5

Sophie’s Perpetual   5

Souvenir du Docteur Jamain   6

Stephens Big Purple   1

Super Dorothy   6

Therese Bugnet   5

Topaz Jewel   2

MEIrozrug   10

Vineyard Song   5

Veilchenblau   5

William Lobb   8

2018 Selling Events

Thanks to all the customers who have been in touch to reserve roses from our overwintered crop. I promised to post our 2018 selling events as soon as we finalized the details, so here it is:

  • April 14th – Seedy Saturday @ the Mission City Farmers Market
  • April 28th – Chilliwack Garden Club plant sale – Chilliwack Mall
  • May 5th – Mission City Farmers Market – Opening Day
  • May 12th – Mission City Farmers Market
  • May 26th – Mission City Farmers Market
  • June 2nd – Gwynne Vaughan Park plant sale – Chilliwack
  • June 9th – Mission City Farmers Market
  • June 17th – Vancouver Rose Society Show – VanDusen
  • June 23rd & 24th – Fraser Pacific Rose Society Annual Rose Show- Coquitlam
  • July 14th – Mission City Farmers Market
  • July 28th – Mission City Farmers Market
  • August 11th – Mission City Farmers Market
  • August 18th – Mission City Farmers Market
  • September 8th – Mission City Farmers Market
  • September 15th – Mission City Farmers Market
  • September 29th – Squashfest @ the Mission City Farmers Market

Of course, we sell an awful lot more than just roses. This year, we’ll continue to grow tomatoes – but due to time constraints, we won’t be able to attend the Farmers Market every week. This means that we’ll have possibly 100 to 150lbs of tomatoes available for bulk purchase in our non-market weeks beginning in early July. These are well-grown, no spray, naturally fertilized greenhouse tomatoes, and we’ll be willing to sell them for $1 per lb with a 60lb minimum.

2018: First Crop of Roses

Our first rose crop of 2018 is ready! Actually, this is the overwinter crop from roses potted in 2017 and earlier, all very well rooted in 1 gallon nursery pots (a few larger too). We’re also potting roses right now from cuttings I rooted last summer and fall, so there will be more plants to come…I promise!

You all know that I’m a rose enthusiast, and love to talk to you about how they grow. However, I also work a lot of overtime in spring at my day job (growing perennials). That means I’ll be pretty hard to reach if you have questions. So if you’re interested in the roses listed below, but need more information, I’m going to direct you to this website for pictures and details: https://www.helpmefind.com/roses/

These roses are too large to ship economically, so these are for local sales only. I’ll be posting a list of our selling events shortly, but for those who are looking to get their hands on these ASAP, our first of 2018 is this one: Seedy Saturday at the Mission Farmers Market, Saturday April 14th.

If you e-mail in advance, we’ll be able to confirm whether we still have your request in stock and set an order aside for you until our next selling event. No wholesale requests please – our propagation time is limited, so we can only serve our direct customers. If you have some special and hard-to-find roses in your garden, and are willing to root some cuttings, I’m definitely open to talking about trades: hit me up in this Facebook Group for details.

Prices:

1 gallon roses = $15

Larger pots = $20

Here’s the list: (updated 04/29)

Name
  1 Gallon size                Larger
Amadis

4

 
America

2

 
Baron Girod de l’Ain

1

 
Blanc Double de Coubert

2

 
Buff Beauty

0

 
Buttercup 1  
Caramba

8

 
Chapeau de Napoleon

1

 
Charles de Mills

3

 
     
Commandant Beaurepaire  

1

Complicata

7

 
Copper Kettle

6

 
Darlow’s Enigma

5

 
Don Juan

1

 
Duchess of Portland

4

2

Elina

3

 
Emily Gray

2

 
Excellenz von Schubert

7

1

Felicite Parmentier

1

 
Ghislaine de Feligonde

2

 
Hope and Joy

1

 
Intrigue

4

 
Jens Munk

1

 
Jeri Jennings

1

 
Laura Ford

9

 
Liverpool Remembers

1

 
Lovely Fairy

0

 
Madame Hardy

5

 
New Dawn

4

 
Paul Neyron

8

 
Pink Grootendorst

1

 
Prairie Peace

4

 
Purple Pavement

4

1

Robin Hood

0

 
Rosa blanda  

0

Rosa eglanteria

1

 
Rosa gallica off. / Rosa mundi

15

 
Rosa hugonis

3

 
Rosa moyesii  

2

Rosa roxburghii  

1

Rosa rubrifolia

8

 
Rosa rugosa alba

8

 
Rosa spinosissima v. altaica

4

 
Rosarium Uetersen

1

 
Rose de Rescht

5

 
Rugelda

1

 
Sally Holmes

4

 
Scabrosa

6

1

Scarlet Moss

2

 
Seven Sisters

8

 
Snow Pavement

5

 
Sophie’s Perpetual

3

 
Stephen’s Big Purple

1

 
Super Dorothy

7

 
Therese Bugnet

5

1

Topaz Jewel

1

 
Veilchenblau

8

 
Vineyard Song

7

 
Warm Welcome

1

 
William Lobb

7

 
Winnipeg Parks  

1

Electronic Mist Controller for Propagation

I’ll be using an Arduino controller and rain sensors to build an automatic mist controller for my cutting propagation. I couldn’t find anything off-the-shelf that met my needs: I want my mist irrigation to adapt to weather changes by increasing or reducing the frequency of watering cycles. I can use the rain sensors to simulate how quickly water will evaporate from my plant leaves. This is my first attempt at an Arduino project, programming… and I’m not too comfortable with electronics in general, so I’ll happily take advice and feedback from more experienced hobbyists.

Because I was learning as I went, I bought a little more than I needed to (like the whole Arduino starter kit). If I were budgeting this with only the parts I need, it would be in the range of $40 or $50.

Here’s the video of what I put together:

Below is the code I ended up using, which is a little revised from the first version in the video:

/*
* Electronic mist control
*
* This my first attempt at Arduino coding – be kind!
*
* Most of this is just mashed together from the included samples
*
*/

const int waterPin = 2;
const int threshold = 1600;
const int duration = 6000;
const int waterDelay = 10000;

void setup()

{
pinMode(waterPin, OUTPUT);
Serial.begin(9600);

}

void loop()

{

digitalWrite(waterPin, HIGH);
Serial.println(“Pausing…”);
delay(waterDelay);

int valsensor1 = analogRead(A0); // read input from 1st sensor
int valsensor2 = analogRead(A1); // read input from 2nd sensor

Serial.print(“Sensor 1 = “);

Serial.println(valsensor1);

Serial.print(“Sensor 2 = “);

Serial.println(valsensor2);

if (valsensor1+valsensor2>threshold) {

Serial.println(“Watering… “);

digitalWrite(waterPin, LOW);
delay(duration);
digitalWrite(waterPin, HIGH);

} else {
Serial.println(“No water required”);

}

}