Thursday, February 14, 2013
Just in case a future Valentine happens upon this page today, please know that if you plan to send me red roses next year (too late for this year; I haven't met you yet), let them be in the form of a shrub or a climber like this one at Giverny.
Yes, it would be a thrill to receive one of those long boxes tied in ribbon. But, in my heart of hearts (forgive the Valentine's Day language), I would greatly prefer the gift of a rose bush I could grow and enjoy. And, make that a double, please, meaning a rose with lots of petals.
As much as I like the climber 'Dortmund', that rose has single flowers. And, it's probably a matter of time until they come out with a climbing 'Knock Out', but don't be tempted. The red color just isn't right. The climber 'Dublin Bay' is only semi-double, and the flowers of 'Red Cascade' are too small. I like the form of 'Red Eden', but the color has too much of a burgundy tint.
So, as much as I am not crazy about the name, I may have to settle for climbing 'Don Juan'. Several years ago in the absolute middle of summer, I was at one of the big box stores. For what reason I can't imagine, they had a perfectly beautiful climbing 'Don Juan' for sale. I picked it up and carried it about, thinking I could plant it for my elderly mother. I had actually put up an arch (although not a very stable one) over her back sidewalk. It might hold the rose for a while, as long as any strong winds would hold off.
I ended up not buying the plant. Mother lived some 40 miles away from my house, and even though I was down there often, planting a rose in July in middle Georgia is foolhardy. It's probably well that I didn't get the rose, because that trellis fell over in a matter of weeks, and not a drop of rain fell the rest of the summer.
When I was trolling about for red roses, I came upon this description. It seems a bit much, but I guess it's okay since it's Valentine's Day: "The Romantic 'Don Juan' Rose': The 10' tall, red and handsome 'Don Juan' rose will capture your heart. The stiffly upright canes .... culminate in heavily fragrant, voluptuous blossoms."
I'll have to wait until next February 14th to see if one of these lands on my doorstep. If it does, I hope it's because my Don Juan has sent it. I think it will be more likely, however, that I will have placed the order myself. But that's okay. I'm content just as long as I can have flowers that I can enjoy over a long period of time.