Ever-Blooming During the Good, the Bad, and the Bugly: An Aphid Attack

Aphids attack a rose (photo courtesy of GardenTech)

An Aphid Attack

​Spring, in all its glory, has a marvelous way of resurrecting my spirit. A spirit that seemingly had lost all hope in the blustery cold winter months. The hints of life burgeoning in my garden stirs renewed hope and energy within my aching bones. How exciting to see new canes sprawling out as if stretching from an oppressing winter! The new red leaves bursting in color declare, “I’m alive just waiting to bestow glorious blooms!”

​Irritatingly deceptive are the tiny green aphids that blend in perfectly as they cover an unsuspecting rose bud and other areas of the plant. Technically, aphids may appear in your garden as an assortment of colors such as black, brown, red, or even white. Aphids attack worldwide and their different species are in the thousands! Aphids arrive in the Spring, but can reemerge anytime during rose season seeking out the sap within your rose plant. They tend to cover the rose bud or hide under the plant’s foliage. Aphids can even transmit disease to your other roses. Thus far, every Spring when I look closely at my buds anxious for them to bloom, I am horrified to see a cluster of life sucking creatures curling the leaves around her, smothering her, and doing their best to prevent her from blooming!

​Thankfully, there are a few ways to resolve an aphid attack. One such option is to remove them by picking them off and squishing them although this method is quite tedious considering how many aphids typically plague a rose bush at any given time. Another much faster option would be to take a hose with a nozzle and blast off the aphids. This method won’t damage your roses and provides a quick, but temporary solution. Perhaps the best option is to develop an inviting host environment as previously discussed. Various herbs like dill, parsley, and mustard and flowers such as butterfly weed, tansy, Queen Anne’s lace and golden rod will attract ladybugs. Ladybugs thoroughly enjoy a tasty aphid and can devour the colony of pests in no time. You could also purchase ladybugs through an online source and release them into your garden. Follow the directions if you choose this option and understand most of the ladybugs will fly off but some will stay and enjoy the aphid buffet. Considering how aphids will seek out to destroy your burgeoning buds every Spring and into the Summer months, wisdom says to start establishing a welcoming host environment for the good bugs to permanently move in.

‘Peace’, a hybrid-tea

“And now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me; moreover, I have seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.” Exodus 3:9

An aphid attack on glorious roses reminds me of the affliction of the people of Israel, also known as the ancient Israelites and today known as the Jewish people.  It seems quite unfair to notice and delight in a flourishing bud, such as God’s chosen people, only to have them smothered by pest likened to antisemitism!

Nevertheless, the Hebrew Bible repeatedly both warns and encourages the Israelites, whether natural born or grafted-in such as Caleb (Numbers 13:6, 14:24, Joshua 14:13-14/Genesis 15:19) and Ruth (Ruth 1:2,8-18), both grafted-in Jews, for example, to not fret and to even expect affliction, but in the end, God will literally save the Jewish people, collective Israel scattered throughout the world raising them to be victorious (see Isaiah 30, 41-42, 49, 53-56, 60; Ezekiel 34-37; Joel 3; Zephaniah 3; Zechariah 8-12 as a few examples).

‘Diamond Eyes’, a miniature rose

 “Even though you planned evil against me, Elohim (God) planned good to come out of it.” Genesis 50:20

Furthermore, suppose the oppressed rose bud was crying out to you, the master gardener, to rescue her from such bondage. She was unable to free herself of the smothering aphids but her gardener could. What if we learned to cry out to our Abba Father, our Master Gardener, rather than try to fight off the aphids ourselves or worse, choose helplessness and hopelessness by giving in to slavery, depression, or fear. Surely, He hears our cries (see Exodus 2:23 and 3:9). Sometimes though, for the greater good and for the bigger picture that we cannot comprehend, it may feel like God, our Abba, has abandoned us so we cry out like the Israelites did, which David penned about them stating, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” (see Psalm 22:1). But ultimately, they were rescued from the oppression of Egypt. We see from the Psalm in verse 5, “To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.” David also encourages Israel and future readers, to understand the blessings coming to those who trust in the LORD when he scribes, “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” David further encourages the often oppressed and afflicted Israel while prophesizing about future world stating,

“You who fear the Lord, praise Him; all the seed of Jacob, honor Him, and fear Him, all the seed of Israel. For He has neither despised nor abhorred the cry of the poor, neither has He hidden His countenance from him; and when he cried out to Him, He hearkened. The humble shall eat and be sated; they shall praise the Lord, those who seek him; your hearts shall live forever. All the ends of the earth shall remember and return to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall prostrate themselves before You. For the kingship is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations..” Psalm 22:24-29

The point, sweet sister, is even though Israel or the Jewish people collectively and possibly those who align with them, may be heavily afflicted throughout the centuries, ultimately, God is grooming and preparing a world to come full of victorious overcomers! Whether you need to tediously hand pick those aphids right off of you, blast them off in one clean swoop, develop an environment full of ministering angels, or better yet, cry out to your Master Gardener, then just do it! I’m here to remind you, beloved daughter of God: He hears you. In His strength and His time, you can overcome the attacks of pestilence! ​

“For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

‘Miss All-American Beauty’, a hybrid tea

Walk With Me

In a world consumed with valid concerns of this novel coronavirus and the consequent sadness of loss of life, I invite you to virtually walk with me in a field of roses to remind and encourage you to embrace life and each precious day we are given. These photos were taken at Hershey Gardens in Hershey, Pennsylvania several years ago. I hope you will take the time to “stop and smell the roses” even if they are only online.

‘Michaelangelo’
‘Mardi Gras’
‘Moondance’
‘Scentimental’
‘Melody Perfume’
‘Johann Strauss’

May you and yours be “ever-blooming”!

Another Glorious Texas Rose Garden

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After living in Texas for a few months, one benefit to living here is the roses bloom all year long! As Spring approached, my need to peruse a rose garden blossomed as usual so my husband and I decided to meander our way over to the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas. This charming country emporium is about a 2 hour drive from our sailboat we live aboard (and grow roses on) in Kemah, Texas, just Southeast of Houston towards Galveston. Along the way, we were greeted with the famous Texas bluebonnets and other lovely wildflowers profusely blooming on ranches established along Route 290. We were surprised to see numerous people pull over to take photos in the populated fields of various colors. It became apparent many were planned photography shoots for Easter or Spring in general. What a lovely idea indeed!

Jerry and I were delighted to find bluebonnets and other wildflowers growing on a field adjacent to the Antique Rose Emporium so we too got in on our very own photography shoot!

While browsing the various old garden roses and modern ones alike at the Antique Rose Emporium that mid-April Sunday morning, we took a few moments to stop and smell the roses they had on display.

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‘Savannah’, a highly fragrant and disease resistant shrub rose with an old rose charm.

Out of the roses showcased that glorious Sunday April morning, I think ‘Savannah’ was my favorite (although it was a tough choice for sure!). Savannah’s romantic old rose fragrance and luscious petals of peach and pink welcomed me like the South always does! You can learn more about this Southern beauty, by clicking here.

I also admired the various roses planted throughout the grounds as well as the creative displays and the overall country-like feel of the garden. If you are in the Houston, Texas area, you may want to take an easy drive out to Brenham, which is Northwest of H-Town, to explore the Antique Rose Emporium. To learn more, visit their website: https://antiqueroseemporium.com/ Every rose lover must visit at least once!

A Miniature Mystery

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Rose catalogs recently arrived in the mail.

While confined to my sailboat, which I live aboard full-time, listening to the rain pellet the boat’s roof much like the sounds of rain on a tin-roof, I found myself thumbing through recently received rose catalogs dreaming of spring’s first flush. Upon pondering which roses would best suit this hot, humid climate of Texas while considering the limited space on board my vessel, I decided to preview photographs of rose gardens I’ve visited in days gone by. My cheeks swelled as my eyes remembered luscious petals of pink, apricot, yellow, and red. How I look forward to another year of walking the aisles of nurseries and the splendor of masses of roses growing side-by-side in a rose garden of my choosing!

Admist my smiling and rapturous memories of gardens gone-by, I stumbled upon a photo of a delightful, but unnamed beauty. Discovered and photographed at Portland, Oregon’s International Rose Test Garden in August of 2016, I fondly remembered her deep-pink precious petals beckoning me to capture her appeal.

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The mysterious rose…

Unlike the other plethora of roses throughout the lush, Portland garden surrounded by lording evergreens and art-worthy views, this petite gem’s “name” placard only read, “In Honor of Ingrid Rose, 2012”. Surely this isn’t the name of such a darling delicate rose, I pondered to myself that cooler summer day in Oregon. Each rose I captured behind my lens, I was sure to also photograph it’s placard identifying the rose’s name, species, and class among other listed credentials. Much to my disappointment, I left Portland not knowing whom I had just met. Over the years, I casually wondered if the rose’s name was ‘Ingrid Rose’ and tried to find through the internet a rose like her, but alas, no connection was found.

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International Rose Test Garden, Portland, Oregon, USA

Today, however, while trapped aboard a gently rocking sailboat and experiencing the good fortune of receiving moderate WiFi signal despite the stormy weather, I decided to  attempt to solve her mystery. Initially, I was hopeful the International Rose Test Garden may have a website with a list of all their featured roses, but instead I discovered a generic website with no list and not even an email to contact them along with a photo. Not that I blame the garden-keepers for there, at the top of the City, resides thousands of roses. I imagine keeping a current list available would be a full-time occupation in of itself.

After studying her petals, curvatures, and other botanical features, I typed in clues like, “button eye pink rose” and “pompon rose” and even “pink miniature roses” hoping to find her in Google images. Still no such luck. In my next attempt at identifying this attractive deep-pink rose with tiny petals seemingly lined in white edges, I thought perhaps Portland’s Rose Society could introduce me to this rose.

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The gardens @ Pittock Mansion, Portland, Oregon.

After visiting the Pittock Mansion in Portland, I knew such a society has existed for decades, if not nearly a century a by now, for they once met and still do meet at Pittock Mansion, a large once-home now open to visitors that overlooks the “City of Roses”.

Upon my WiFi making acquaintances with Google, my laptop produced the website of the Portland Rose Society. Immediately my eyes and finger-mouse on my laptop were drawn to the Photo Albums link, then the recent Mini Rose Show album. Much to my excitement, while clicking through the pictures, I found my roses’ twin! It even had a label, but the writing was too far away to see her illusive name. I immediately downloaded her photo and zoomed in to hopefully decipher the distant cursive writing on her tag, but still, I could not read it.

M31

Photo Credit: Portland Rose Society

Despite my squinting 42 year old eyes, I could only make out the name started with a “M” and had perhaps a couple of “t’s” in it, but even that I could not say for certain. Nevertheless, my zeal and determination would not give up now!

In the background of my mysterious rose was a certificate with human names like an award of sorts so I used Google once again except this time to research the names of these alleged rosarians hoping their names could link me to the name of the mysterious beautiful rose. While I found a list of the miniature-rose-show’s winners with their names on it, I still could not find an image that matched the numerous roses listed nor any that started with “M” and had a couple of presumed “t’s” in it’s name. But at least now I knew for sure two important clues: 1) The mystery rose is indeed a miniature rose if it was featured in a miniature rose show and 2) the Portland Rose Society would be able to identify the rose if my own results produced unfruitful. Hope is a marvelous motivator!

Now I began researching “pink miniature roses”, “magenta miniature roses”, and the like, which produced photos of a similar looking miniature rose known as ‘Sweet Chariot’. While casually admiring the features of ‘Sweet Chariot’, a photo nearly identical to my own populated in the images results – on Pinterest, of course, another favorite site for dreaming gardeners such as myself! I nearly shouted for joy, in fact, my husband will testify I indeed DID shout for joy! The deep-pink delicate, tiny petals, which captured my heart while I captured her one summer day in Oregon finally had a name and it began with a “M” and had two “t’s” in it afterall.

Ladies and gentlemen, rose-lovers, and readers alike, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the mystifying ‘Marriotta’. A miniature mystery solved!

Marriotta.miniaturerose

 

 

 

 

Fayetteville Rose Garden

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After helping my dad recover from a heart attack and consequent triple bypass surgery in Maryland recently, my husband and I toured the Fayetteville Rose Garden in Fayetteville, North Carolina along our way home to Myrtle Beach. A charming manageable rose garden tucked away near a local technical college, this well-manicured garden greeted several visitors even on a late Sunday afternoon.

I appreciated the bounty of fragrant roses like Dolly Parton, Scentimental, and Fragrant Cloud to name a few. Equally delightful, the miniature rose collection welcomed guests as they entered the garden. Overall, my favorite rose presented was ‘Singin’ In The Rain’, a stunning Floribunda.

Although I didn’t have my good camera, my phone captured a few decent photos to share with my readers. I invite you to scroll down to view some of the roses at Fayetteville Rose Garden. As your eyes perceive each roses’ stunning form, imagine their scent!

If you are in the vicinity, I encourage you to take a few minutes to stop and smell the roses at Fayetteville Rose Garden located on Hull Road.

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Singin’ In The Rain, a Floribunda rose.

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Singin’ In The Rain

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‘Sunset Celebration’, a hybrid tea.

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Me posing with ‘Rio Samba’, a hybrid tea.

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‘Fragrant Cloud’, hybrid tea.

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‘Child’s Play’ Miniature Rose

 

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‘Pride N Joy’, a miniature rose.

Tyler, Texas Rose Garden (video)

Have you ever been to Tyler, Texas’ Municipal Rose Garden? This gem is on my must visit list! In the coming weeks, my husband and I most likely will be going to Texas to help Hurricane Harvey survivors clean up and rebuild. I’m hoping we can visit this gorgeous garden in our travels. Watch the video to learn about how the garden started and how she blooms today.