Six on Saturday

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Betty Prior Shrub Rose (1937)

Benign neglect in the spring pruning routine has left my rose bushes loaded with pinks and rose reds, a good month earlier than last year. For example, “Betty Prior” cascades of full bloom appeared late yesterday afternoon, following the previous day’s series of downpours.

I pulled on my garden wellies and took Charlie for a stroll through wet gardens fresh as the first spring of Creation. Among my discoveries were “Hermosa” blooming her little heart out.

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Hermosa (1840)

Behind her, the David Austin cultivar “Gertrude Jekyll” had just burst open several buds. This English rose, scented with an old-rose fragrance, produces clusters of large, fully double flowers; but I chose it because of the name of my favorite garden designer and landscape architect, Miss Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932). Her design concepts continue to influence my own gardening style.

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Gertrude Jekyll (introduced 1986)

Luscious dark blue catmint is almost rampant in that area of my English border, but I’ve not the heart to perform a Chelsea Chop operation. I’ll wait until the blooms fade in a month or so, then whack if down at its knees. Then it’ll regrow in its natural upright form.

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Walker’s Low Cat Mint

A dainty pink peony whose name I don’t recall just opened early this morning. I’ll have to look it up in one of my garden journals from several years ago, then let you know what it is. It looks like this:

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Unidentified Pink Peony

Coming along, also a good month early, is “Sarah Bernhardt” whose buds are just showing a bit of color. In full, she’ll look like this:

Sarah Bernhardt (1906) ~ from stock photo

And that concludes this week’s “Six on Saturday” as I’ve run out of time. We have to save the east lane for next time. See you then.


Celebrating just over fifty years of holy matrimony, I am blessed to be a mother of two and grandmother of seven. Much of my writing speaks to the culture and tradition of the Deep South, where I spent the first thirty-five years of my life before relocating to the Pacific Northwest. As a poet and essayist, I’ve published both online and in print media. I launched this INVITATION TO THE GARDEN blog the summer of 2017 on I look forward to hearing your stories, too!

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