6:30am, Sunday. I go out to check on yesterday’s cuttings – a very exciting find: a bright yellow tricolour variegation on an azalea. I managed to take three cuttings from the little branch. Stock-standard sized cuttings, at the best time of the year for azalea cuttings. They aught to grow away happily. I also transplanted 11 seedlings of the double flowered but supposedly ‘species’ Rosa rugosa. I planted the seeds in August. For the last six weeks they’ve shown no new growth, for the past two started looking yellowed and unhappy. But each little rose, less than 5cm high, had at least 30cm of healthy looking root growing down into the stones at the bottom of the pot. Fresh soil in individual pots and grow-stix should do the trick. You can see a few in the background beyond what turned out to be the excitement of the morn: my ‘Cascade’ rose (read more about it here), which yesterday showed colour in the bud, had opened overnight!
Serious photography followed. For almost the first time I really started getting into the new SLR-D Canon 1000D. With the camera on a tripod I captured the opening by the minute. 12 minutes between the first photos, and 40 minutes later the shot below, with a sheet of white paper slipped in behind to form a neutral backdrop.
I fetched a sprig of ‘Ballerina’ in order to compare them. ‘Ballerina’ has fuller heads with slightly smaller flowers – although my rose is very young still and this might in time change. The freshly opened flower is a deeper pink, a very satisfying shade. It has 9 petals, as opposed to the almost constant 5 of ‘Ballerina’. But my reading indicates that a rose must have 15-20 petals to be classified as semi-double. So this is still a single.
The photo below shows how ‘Ballerina’ fades as it matures. Time will tell if ‘Cascade’ does the same…
I re-arranged the buds to get the two young flowers – within hours of each other – closer together… So far my rose has spotless foliage – although it has been under cover during the last two weeks of constant wet!
Not too much in it, judging by the above shot…
By now it is lunch time – would you say I have started a love affair with this rose…?
Oh – and almost forgotten in the focus on the flower: my very exciting variegated azalea cuttings. Let’s hope that the variegation proves consistent, for it could prove to be a valuable find!