Flourish Vs. Languish
I'm impatient with 'Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria'. Bearing fragrant ivory flowers, it quickly grew two long basal canes, each about 15'. Then it began to languish. Most of it is bare or nearly bare of foliage. I thought it was insufficient water, and increased the supply. This helped only slightly. This year with our relatively plentiful winter rains I hoped for more improvement. Didn't happen. The canes are green and healthy, no sunburn or disease that I can see. Just no foliage.
My next effort has focused on extra fertilizer. A good hit of Gro-Mor, and periodic applications of fish emulsion. This produced a decent spring flush for a barely foliated climber, but KAV still isn't where it should be. The lavish success of 'Laguna' this year made KAV look all the more pitiful. A couple of weeks ago I got out the big gun: the Blue Juice. Yes, the Blue Juice, aka Miracle Gro Lawn Food, 36-6-6. If that doesn't do it, it can't be done.
So far, a few more leaves have appeared. Another round of Blue Juice today. If extra attention and the Blue Juice doesn't show results by spring, there will be room for a new climber in the yard.
Some roses start fast and never quit, others start slowly but strengthen and flourish. Unfortunately, some languish. I nurse them along, I'm patient and attentive, and they never quite satisfy. In the past I've been too patient. For example, I gave 'Royal Highness' ten years, which is ridiculous. I'll give KAV five. That's fair.
I believe beginning gardeners are either too patient or too impatient. They don't yet know how to tell the difference between a malingerer and a young rose that just needs time to grow a supportive root system. I should know better. Time to be a little more ruthless when it comes to an unsatisfactory rose.
New this year is 'Easy Does It', which has been an impressive bloomer despite being small and young. I think it may deserve a better spot. I gave it a very visible area by a gate, but it's not quite sunny enough there and it will get shadier as its neighbor 'Laguna' gets larger and larger. Better spot for you this winter, honey. You deserve it.
'Easy Does It' is very similar to 'Disneyland', which has gotten better and better over the years. No languisher he. Many of the flowers toasted in our recent hot spell, but there are plenty more just opening, looking fresh and brilliant.
And exasperating 'Abraham Darby' who was full of heat-blasted brown flowers just yesterday, produced a perfect gem of a bloom for the cooler weather. No wonder I keep him. He's laughing at me right now, though. He's fooled me again.
'Lion's Fairy Tale'. Germans have the strangest names for roses. This one has deep green foliage that contrasts dramatically with the white flowers. It hasn't taken off quickly, but I'm hoping. I have a tendency to do that.