Bloom Tuesday, No. 5

According to my neighbor’s rain gauge, we had a hair under 2 inches of rain over the past week. This has not promoted much blooming this week, but it has encouraged growth, particularly of weeds! I spent part of last night roving the yard, pulling up some of the interlopers. We do have plenty of blooms, too, however. The dogwoods (red twig and Pagoda) are still blooming, as are the highbush cranberry, salvia in the front-yard garden, and many of the annuals. (I’m thrilled how good the pansies still look.) The lilacs are fading fast, however.

Two new bloomers emerged this week. In the front yard, the Charles Albanel roses (Rosa rugosa ‘Charles Albanel’) started blooming. These are extremely hardy, low-growing roses that flower repeatedly throughout the summer. They are part of the Canadian Explorer series of roses, which were developed in Canada to survive winters on the Canadian plains. If you are not up on your Canadian explorers, Charles Albanel was a French Jesuit missionary who was involved in explorations of areas around Hudson Bay in the 1600s. Like his rose, Albanel is described as “stubborn and energetic.”

The other new bloom is the lovely Wine and Roses® weigela. (Photo at top of post.) This is one of several new weigela shrubs that have been developed by Proven Winners, one of the big plant wholesalers. It is planted in my front foundation bed, facing south, on a hill, and it has been great from the moment I planted it. It’s about 4 feet tall now and bursts into these trumpet shaped flowers in early summer. The burgundy foliage is eye-catching all year long. Proven Winners has been promoting its My Monet® weigela heavily the past two years, but that plant did not preform well for me. I was given three trial plants in 2006 and they all died within days of being put in my garden. Last year, I got more trial plants, but figuring I was cursed, gave them to a friend in Northfield who is an excellent gardener. Her My Monet plants are alive and looking good as of last week. I prefer wine and roses.

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