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Rain for a week.

So I had no choice but to cut those flowers off Princess Alexandra of Kent, along with a big bloom from Paloma Blanca, which I don't believe I've ever photographed. AUSmerchant has two more medium-sized buds on deck and another flush in the making. Such a beautiful, prolific rose! The only points it received low marks for from the ARS were for its size (it's small) and its fragrance (pleasant and fruity, but not particularly strong). I like strong-smelling roses, but as someone with allergies sometimes I wonder if it'd be better to grow some roses that don't waft like a perfume factory.

I brought the little potted Alchymist and Belle de Crecy inside when it really started to pour. BdC looks like she's going to open very soon. What a crazy, gorgeous color she is! Alchymist has begun to unfurl, and looks like a less-pastel version of Marianne. I cannot believe that Alchymist will someday be a twelve-foot climber. Right now she's about six inches tall, and I hear she's a very slow grower.

Sometimes I feel weird about assigning genders to my roses. I just figure that unless the rose has an obvious male name like Paul Ricault or William Shakespeare 2000 I'm calling it female. Speaking of which, Paul Ricault definitely seems like the kind of rose that would need to be pegged. He's growing clusters of buds from the tops of his canes, and that's it!

We ended up planting Reine Victoria in the front yard with a fan trellis. She's grown pretty big over the past six weeks; I wish I could say the same of Reine des Violettes! We also planted Charlotte #2 and Paloma Blanca near Simon Estes. After we do Marianne #2 and Claire Austin we'll probably break for awhile. The rest of the roses are too small to be planted and making those cages is a huge pain in the ass.

I'm really charmed to see the two main canes of Chapeau de Napoleon covered with tiny, embryonic tricorns. Last year he was too young to do the hats and I was worried I had received another mislabeled rose. I also found an official bud on Duchesse de Montebello, and another on Madame Hardy. The other roses seem like they're later. Oh well. Quietness is putting out seven flowers for her first flush of the season, and I've barely been paying attention to her.