Roses of Memory

Zepherine Droughin and Cl. Old Blush
Cl. 'Old Blush' (background) and 'Zephirine Droughin' (foreground)

Jim from Buffalo pointed out in my fences and arbors post that I didn’t have any pictures of arbors. I then realized I’d only shown a closeup of the gated French arbor. I apologize. I’ve posted the arbors in winter before, but I’ve never shown them festooned in roses.

I don’t know about the picture quality. I had to go back to 2005 to find a spring photograph. This is from my oldest digital camera, an Olympus Camedia with 3.2 megapixels. I remember when 3.2 was a lot. For those who aren’t into digital cameras, my baby point and shoot Sony has six megapixels, and my new Nikon has ten.

The rose on the arbor in the foreground is ‘Zephirine Drouhin’, a bourbon, dating from 1868. Like many bourbons, it can be grown as either a large shrub or as a climber. I often see it listed in magazines as blackspot resistant. It is a beautiful, gloriously scented rose, but it is not blackspot resistant in central Oklahoma. In the spring, I start with picking off the affected leaves. By mid-summer, I am spraying. As many other bloggers say, I’m keeping it real, so I’m not going to tell you I never spray. I use different disease control sprays, from fully organic to chemical, which I can outline in a later post if you want. I do wear a mask and long sleeves for some protection, and I only spray if I must.

Another interesting fact about this rose is that Agatha Christie featured Z.D. as part of the plot in Sad Cypress. Does anyone know how? I’m not going to give it away.

Jackmanii Clematis
'Jackmanii' Clematis

The rose on the arbor in the back is ‘Cl. Old Blush,’ a china. The climbing form is a sport of the old garden rose, ‘Old Blush.’ ‘Old Blush’ was a very popular rose in the south, and made its way across the country with the pioneers. Because of this, it is also known by other names including Common Monthly and Parson’s Pink China. Like all china roses, as the blooms fade, they become darker instead of lighter. The blossoms on ‘Old Blush’ look like crumpled up, light pink tissues. It doesn’t have the form of Z.D., but it does bloom more than any of my other climbing roses. This photo was probably taken in late April or early May because the arbors are completely covered. I have two bushes of ‘Old Blush,’ and it blooms so frequently that I hardly notice it after the first month or two. They are my first two roses to bloom in spring and the last to close out the season in fall. The arbor in the back was the entrance to my garden when it was a kitchen garden and the doorway to the original footprint. When we doubled the size of the garden by making a mirror image, we added the second arbor and another one in the center at the end. It is the one encased by ‘New Dawn‘.  The first two arbors were made by our welder friend. They were sprayed with black paint upon arrival. Maybe you can see the color in this photograph taken in May, 2006. It is a closeup of ‘Jackmanii’ clematis, which is very beautiful, but prone to verticillium and fusarium wilt. I spray it too. Good thing it clambers up into the Z.D. rose.


  1. gardengater says:

    What a beautiful garden. I’ve just started several roses. Social Climber by Jackson Perkins. I want a big glorious display as yours is. How do you prune climbers as they grow? and how often do you fertilize?


    Hi GG,

    Thank you so much for your comment and questions. I was on vacation, and I’m just getting back to work. I prune climbers after they bloom in the spring once the large amount of growth really starts. I don’t prune them heavy for several years.

    I do the large fertilizing in the spring. This year I tried alfalfa and Bayer Select. I’ll use Bayer All in One on the ones which are most blackspot prone once a month. Otherwise, I just lay down mulch and don’t fertilize that much.

    Hope I answered some of your questions.~~Dee

  2. jessicab says:

    Beautiful garden.

    How do you like our wind this week? 🙂

    I didn’t like it at all and then I reminded myself that it will blow all spring. Yikes! Thanks for the compliment.~~Dee

  3. Pam says:

    Your garden is beautiful!
    Thanks for stopping by! I was just being silly about my entry on PW’s site, I am not nearly that arrogant most days… really! I responded to your comment on my page as well. Stop back anytime!

    Pam, I didn’t think you were being arrogant at all. Thanks for the kind words about my garden. I do love it so.~~Dee

  4. Dee,

    The roses on your arbors are beautiful and inspiring. I’d love to grow Old Blush, but it is not hardy in my region.

    -Heirloom Gardener

    HG, I’m sorry to hear that you can’t grow ‘Old Blush.’ Are there any roses you can grow?~~Dee

  5. mss @ Zanthan Gardens says:

    Whoa, baby! Your roses are just gorgeous. Scrumptious. Wonderful. They look like something out of a rose catalog.

    MSS, thanks, but wait until late spring when they look terrible. You’ll see the difference.~~Dee

  6. dlyn says:

    What a lovely blog – combining two of my favorite things – gardening & taking photos of my gardening. It will be a long time here in Upstate NY until I see anything like this in my yard, but I love looking at what has been/will be this time of year. I will be back to check you out some more!

    Dlyn, thank you so much. I’m glad you like the photos. I can’t wait to see yours once spring breaks through. Then, we gardeners will have some real fun with our photos.~~Dee

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Hi Dee, I just found your blog via Mr McGregor’s Daughter. You have some spread! I will be back often to see what you are up to. AND…you have a friend that
    welds. My gosh how fortunate you are. I wish your welder friend and I were acquaintances. I would have some winter work for him/her. 🙂

    My jackamanii clematis doesn’t get sick. It is the only one I have good luck with. Isn’t that odd with you having trouble with it. I have tried several others and
    jack and a blue one named…. ugh I hate that when i can’t think of something right on the tip of my brain. Sorry… anyway they are the only ones I can depend on.

  8. Daly says:

    Do you think if I visited your blog regularly some of your love of gardening would rub off on me? I love the buying of the flowers and the enjoying of the flowers, but unfortunately it’s up to my dear husband to keep the little things alive.

    Your photos are beautiful! very inspirational!

    Gosh, thanks. Maybe you will want to grow things too, but gardeners like people who appreciate their work too.~~Dee

  9. Hi Dee,

    I have two of the New Dawn roses that I got from the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas. They grow like weeds!!! I struggle to figure out how to support them. I actually saw an idea at the Memphis Botanical Garden that I think might to the trick. All I need is some 8″ x 8″ treated wood, some 1″ steel cable and a construction crew. Beautiful rose. Needs structure!

    –Robin (Bumblebee)

    Hey Robin, aren’t those New Dawn roses something else? If only I’d known. Now the darn things are so large and brutal, that I dream about them attacking me. Just kidding on the dreaming part, but they do attack me anytime I go near. No one wants to mow around them either. Let me know if you ever get your structure going.~~Dee

  10. Ang in TX says:

    Hi Dee, I was wondering if you had the rose “Mutabalis”, it’s one of my ol time favorites.

    The cattle panel arbor is back at my old home in Woodville.

    Take a look at these two sites it will give you an idea of the construction. I used the timbers to make my arch higher than these two.

    Feel free to e-mail me if you need some help.

    Thanks for the info., Ang. I just don’t know where I’d put another one unless I expand the garden again, and I don’t my back can handle that.~~Dee

  11. jim says:

    I am a much happier man now, like most men, I need visuals. Thank you.

    You’re so welcome. Thanks for the idea.~~Dee

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