Garden Open Day and Beyond
We celebrated the garden on May 12 with an open day and record-breaking heat, which followed weeks of intense weeding, pruning, and weather worries. The poppies were not in bloom, but roses stole the show. Not only were they covered with flowers, but they perfumed the garden in a delightful way. There were sections where the flowers were not very showy but the fragrance made us stop to “smell the roses”, which seemed a trite statement until we actually did it. The star of the day was Rosa ‘Hippolyte’, a shrub Gallica that had grown out into the path and was covered with double, dark mauve flowers. Although this rose blooms but once a year, we are always thrilled to see it. Other roses covered the fences and lath house and we were amazed at the sight of R. ‘Dr. W. Van Fleet’ climbing through a large Chamaecyparis. Three plants of this rose grew along the cedar post and wire fence at the north end of the kitchen garden when we moved to Montrose in 1977. We left them there, replaced the fence, and they have never failed to please us with their profusion of double flowers, fragrance, and delicate pink color once a year. Their more famous sport, ‘New Dawn’ is similar but a little less exuberant possibly because it blooms throughout the summer. Several days of wonderful rains brought forth flowers on nigella, larkspur, and poppies and transformed the sunny gardens into fields of color. We emptied the greenhouses and set many agaves into their usual urns and rain that evening began to change them from anemic-looking specimens to healthier looking plants. We began cutting back asters, chrysanthemums, and teucriums in the hope of controlling their naturally lax habit and welcomed the first flowers on Yucca rostrata, at the entrance to the circle garden. Seeds are rapidly ripening so we collected cyclamen, Delphinium tricorne, and Enemion biternatum and planted them right away. We said goodbye to spring and welcome to summer.