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My first Austin rose. ::sniffs::

This morning I ran down to the bottom-of-the-hill garden, (which I've dubbed the Long Garden) to bear witness to "Jude the Obscure"'s first bloom. This flower was being molested by at least five different members of the insect kingdom, most of which I've never seen before in my life. I cried, "Hell naw!" and beat the bugs off the blossom with a plant stake. The only one I managed to kill was the Japanese beetle.

So here it is, bruised and beaten but not destroyed. It smells like grapefruit. I think that if the bugs ever let up on this one it's going to be fabulous.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
merrycalliope
Jul. 8th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
Beautiful! All your roses are lovely but you know I've already developed a weakness for the Austin's. Even bug-bitten this one is still lovely!

I need to take a photo of Jessica. I took your advice and trimmed some buds but she sprouted more. I left them be and with this current streak of warm weather she's about to explode all over. There are some bug bitten and/or yellowed leaves I need to take a closer look at to determine the cause but it seems that, in general, my resident spiders are keeping things largely in check.

Oh yes, the two sort of half-arsed blooms she's had so far I've clipped and dried the petals in my dehydrator. So fragrant! I'm mixing it with the French lavender that I pick out front and dry which is only very lightly scented.
leene_chan
Jul. 9th, 2012 01:56 am (UTC)
Thank you! XD I'm so mad that the beetles have their eyes on this rose. It started out with four buds for its first flush and only ended up with one. Still, it has to say something for the rose if the flower is still nice to look at after being gnawed on.

I think that Pretty Jessica must be a heavy bloomer! Some of the Austins are stingy, but others aren't. I try to pick out the heavy bloomers only, but I still couldn't say no to Evelyn. I guess you have to consider the rose to be like a hybrid tea and pinch out some buds only to allow the remaining buds to become larger and more beautiful. I know what you mean by some blooms turning out half-arsed! Once the plant gets older, it'll be more consistent.

Are you seeing big pieces of leaves missing? Or tiny dots? Beetles can do a lot of damage to roses at night, and they usually do big bites. Skeletonized leaves or little circles bitten out of the leaves could be rose slugs or sawflies.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )