A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Small Miracle

Besides fragrance and hardiness, I love growing heirloom roses for their history. Who wouldn’t want a rose named for the mistress of a king (Rosa Mundi)? Or a rose so ancient that paintings of it appear on the walls of the palace at Knossos on Crete (Apothecary Rose)? Or how about a rose celebrated in song as The Yellow Rose of Texas (Harrison’s Yellow)? It was bred in Philadelphia and carried across the continent by pioneer women.

Harrison’s Yellow was one of the first heirloom roses that I planted. An extremely tough rose, it did well for years even though it wasn’t in the best site.

This is how it looked in 2005. The shade from my neighbor’s maple tree had expanded over the years so it kept reaching for the sun along the fence. Last year, disaster struck. It barely survived the winter.

Only one branch had any leaves. I trimmed away all the dead wood and crossed my fingers. Three months later, it looked like this:

I was so happy that it had survived that I wasn’t disappointed that it didn’t bloom. I crossed my fingers again this winter and cold spring. It made it and this morning I saw this:

If I were about to uproot my family and journey across the continent in a wagon, I would definitely make room for this rose. Once we had arrived at our new home, I would plant it right outside my door so that every time I came in or out, especially if I were having a bad day, it would remind me that if it could survive the journey and flourish in its new home, then so could I.


At 9:19 AM, Blogger Sylvana said...

I love them! This last picture looks like moon glow. Are they normally that light?

What zone are you?

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Opal: Vegan Momma said...

I love them also. I have a few growing in my flower garden.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Love the yellow rose! I'd certainly take it with me too!

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Tricia said...

Beautiful rose. I've had a few roses kind of struggle in my garden too. It's so nice when they finally start to take and produce lovely blooms like this one isn't it?

Here for Green Thumb Sunday.

At 7:42 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Syl, they are more of a bright yellow than light yellow. And it's usually the first rose to bloom in my yard. I'm in zone 6 but it is hardy to Zone 3 so you should be able to grow it.

At 7:52 PM, Blogger kerry said...

I have this rose too. Just picked it up semi-locally this spring after searching for it for some time. I think it is a beautiful rose. I'm glad to see it is a tough one too.

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

A lovely rose and very interesting history, too!


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