Friday, June 6, 2008

Of Cups and Roses

About four years ago, I planted cupflower (Nierembergia) under the forsythia. Since then, it has hardly ever bloomed. Last year, I don't think it bloomed at all. It has not exactly manifested as "rapidly spreading low plants, smothered in upward facing, cup shaped white flowers all season long," as promised. I'm not sure if the problem has been too much or too little, or of what. Sun? Water? Nutrients? Working in organic fertilizer didn't help last year. Doing nothing seems to have done the trick this year. (And cutting back the forsythia.)

Cupflower in its proper glory (just the beginning, one hopes).

[Click on any image for a magnified view.]

Meanwhile, the roses are starting to do their thing. (In truth, these photos were taken almost a week ago, at the end of May, and their thing has since come along a bit.)

I always like to document the First Rose of Summer. It's always on this bush, which has particular meaning to me. When we bought this house five years ago, we closed on October 30, right before Halloween (and a week before my 40th birthday). When we got back from the closing, even though it was very late I went over to the house with the key to take a proprietary look around. After taking lots of photos of the fake-wood-paneled, shag-carpeted, suspended-ceiling-hung interior, I switched on the backyard light, waded through the chest-high weeds, and came to this rose bush -- or tree, since it was almost ten feet tall. I was amazed to see (and smell) a number of pink blooms and some buds as well. In fact, it bloomed into December. (Then it abruptly stopped, as one of the coldest winters in a long time settled in. With all those old, drafty windows, it wasn't only the roses that shivered that winter.)

Of the original eight rose bushes we inherited with the house, we now have only two, the pink and this yellow one. It blooms later and less, but the scent is so lovely. Here, it needs another five days or so to start opening.

Our neighbor's roses are already going gangbusters.
But we're not envious. Not a bit.

On the other side, our neighbors have a stunning fig tree. It produces more figs than the bunch of us can keep up with. However, the squirrels are happy to do their part.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, you've got some lovely roses and even better being scented too,pity we can't have sratch n sniff pcs. Love the photos.

    Mab :)