Opal Brunner rose
I don't really stay up at night thinking up crazy places to plant
roses. (see planting spot) I don't have to, as this property lends itself to creative
foolishness. Well, you don't know what might work til you try. So when
I was unable to move any of the three big, close-set rocks to allow for
a rose hole, I decided that the crevice between the boulders was going
to have to be good enough.
For a very long time, it clearly wasn't. Both roses planted in this
slot between the boulders languished and nearly died. Opal Brunner is
supposed to be a Climbing Floribunda, with something of a Hybrid Musk
look to it. In my garden it wasn't climbing, it wasn't florabunda-ing,
it was pretty much on its way to dying. But it didn't quite make it
there, which suggests that it is a Rose Which Can Survive Severe
Neglect. My garden tends to select for these. Opal Brunner was a
plant which never died, but it didn't exactly love life.
This year two things have changed. For one, a nearby tree is dying of
old age, possibly reducing root competition. For another, I have
reduced the water to this area of the garden. Now both slot roses
(Melody Parfumée and Opal Brunner) are looking better with every passing
week. Opal Brunner is now 5 feet across and about two feet tall, with
light and lithe canes, widely spaced, each bearing panicles of delicate,
lovely bloom. Its delicacy contrasts beautifully with the 3 foot
boulders surrounding it. If this rate of improvement continues year by
year, it will develop into a star in my garden.
Once an insignificant rose, a dismal failure, it is now one of this
year's surprise success stories, rescued form the dead, and full of promise.
Comment and photography by Christine, June 2009
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