April has been cool, warm, cool. We are probably within a week or so of summer's entrance; yet over the past week the winds have been rushing across the desert, apparently signalling the changing season, only to blow in still cooler temperatures this evening. Although it has been very dry, it has not yet turned really hot. More than ever, the garden is a mix of cool season and warm season bloom at the end of April.
And above all, it has been the month of roses.
They have bloomed with abandon. The initial flush was half lost because I did not increase the water enough to sustain the heavy bloom. It all happened rather quickly, and petals crisped and browned.
Since then I have been working to ensure they have enough moisture to bloom on. All was not lost! So here is a look at my April roses in the Rose Border. (No photos of "Graham Thomas", which is a pity since it bloomed its best yet this spring.)
Among the most floriferous are the miniature roses; the red "Daniela" is a mass of bloom straight from a fairy tale.
Another red is this still-small scarlet in the North Border.
There are classic roses of various kinds: favorites from David Austin and mid-century teas, but thus far only one antique rose, the old moss "Communis". The sole survivor from last year's small experiment in old roses, it is still very young and looks unlikely to bloom this year. At any rate, if it is going to do so, it had better hurry up a bit as it is naturally only once-blooming. I do look forward to having its fragrance-drenched, gently pink blooms in my garden once more.
Meantime, the more recent classics include a robust flowering from "Sterling Silver".
...and a particularly magnificent showing from The Alnwick Rose.
...as well as a glorious mass of bloom on William Shakespeare 2000.
As you can see from the photos, I am no longer deadheading at this point. I don't know whether this is proper procedure. Like last year, I am trying to ensure that the plants go into a sort of semi-dormancy to protect them through the hottest summer months. So I am letting them taper down their bloom since May will almost certainly bring full summer in all its intensity of naked sunlight and heat-laden winds. Then hopefully the roses will wake and bloom again in autumn. Though, to be honest, I haven't gotten the knack of that part of the schedule yet. Perhaps this year...!
As this post is celebrating April's favorites for the Friday Favs theme with Loree at The Danger Garden, I want to add a few other plants which have been particular treasures this month. First, Salvia farinacea, blue flowers, blue stems and lush green leaves...
...also the white-flowering Gaura (Oenothera lindheimeri) "Belleza White".
And lastly, a tree that has become hugely popular and widely planted here in recent years. With good reason, I might add; despite the drawback of brittle branches, Palo Verde "Desert Museum" has earned its place in the list of desirable trees for growing in the Sonoran Desert. Likes others of its family, it creates a bright mist of yellow bloom above and among its green branches, and it has the advantage of being nearly thornless. Please pardon the poor photo; I was experimenting with camera settings as the sunlight grows more direct.
It remains to be seen what May weather brings, but April has been good to the garden!
Weather Diary: Sunny with light haze and very windy (gusts to 41 mph/66kph); High: 86 F (30 C)/Low: 62 F (17 C); Humidity: 4%-44%
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Loree (Saturday, 29 April 2017 11:56)
I am not even a fan of roses and those had me swooning, gorgeous! It does make me laugh though, that Portland is the "City of Roses" and yet you (and others I know) grow them so well in Arizona. Could there be two more different climates?
Thanks for participating with your favorites!
Kris P (Saturday, 29 April 2017 18:47)
I admire your roses, miniature and otherwise. Mine are shriveling in the relentless winds here, which is a pity because I don't generally get many blooms outside the spring flush. Like you, we're experiencing alternating periods of cool (70s) and hot (upper 80s-low 90s) temperatures. Dare we hope for a cooler than usual summer?!
Cathy Thompson (Sunday, 30 April 2017 02:10)
Your roses are superb Amy! Thanks so much for sharing (and many are personal friends of mine, as well!) But I do like that Alnwick Rose. It all had me champing at the bit for our roses to start blooming - strangely, just as you are saying goodbye to yours.
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 30 April 2017 14:02)
Thanks so much, Loree - For the last couple of months I've been on the verge of swearing off most memes, but then I had to do this one... ;-) I agree it's funny about the roses! Till we moved here, I had no idea Phoenix had been a large wholesale growing region. I think the funniest thing is that anyone who grows roses knows all about their many problems... in that particular climate! And so we lose sight of how incredibly versatile they actually are, with various types able to grow from almost the Arctic all the way to parts of the tropics - not too bad!
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 30 April 2017 14:07)
Kris - We are definitely gonna hope! ;-) I think the weather owes it to us after last summer... I've come to the conclusion that I can try for two flowerings from the roses: one in spring and one in fall. But I have yet to get a really good showing in fall from the shrub roses. I think it takes more to get all those flower buds formed. Still trying to figure out how to do it... I'm finding that the old hybrid teas cycle into bloom a lot more easily, but then one doesn't get the really lush look from them...
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 30 April 2017 14:13)
Cathy Thompson - I blame it on the latitudes... ;-) Spring begins here in February, really; and now we are set to go into something a bit beyond summer...! You can only imagine how I enjoy looking at everyone else's summer roses during our hottest months! Will be sighing over yours in June and July, I don't doubt.
The Alnwick Rose was love at first sight when I first saw it in my cousin's garden. I had to get one for mine, and I haven't been disappointed. Just gorgeous, and very free-flowering and healthy! Do I sound like an advertisement...? ;-)
Diana Studer (Friday, 29 December 2017 16:06)
Came to admire your Parkinsonia
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Friday, 29 December 2017 19:42)
Diana - Glad you found one photo at any rate! I've not figured out the tagging on this site, so things are hard to find. The best Parkinsonia pictures are back at my old blog (link on the sidebar), and they should be easy to get to there!