Tips for your historical home renovation

Photo: Opal Enterprises

Owning a home with historical value can be more rewarding than investing in new construction, but you may have your work cut out for you if the home has not had regular upgrades throughout the years. As you begin planning renovations to improve the exterior of your older home, keep the following tips in mind for great final results.
Think about resale value

When you think of areas to renovate, you should remember what drew you to the house in the first place. Historic homes tend to do well in the market, because they have their own unique charm capturing an era in the past. Therefore, your goal should be to retain your home’s historical feel while adding modern amenities and energy-efficient features. Not every contractor is capable of performing the specialized work.
Preserve key features and construction

Even in historical home renovations where the electrical and plumbing work must be completely gutted, it is possible to retain the basic construction and features of the house. Areas of natural wood or original molding should ideally not be painted or removed if they can be restored. It is possible to match historical looks with new materials for windows and doors that will optimize the functionality of the home while preserving the aesthetics of the exterior. There are window manufactures that specialize in architectural integrity of days past, Anderson windows for example has an entire line of windows dedicated to architectural excellence.
Know what is necessary

Before you start thinking about the look of your home, you will need to consider the renovations that are necessary to bring your home up to current building codes. Working with a trustworthy contractor will let you effectively plan your renovation with your style and practical needs in mind. Working with a contractor that has experience with historical community guideline, aides you the homeowner in the process.

Opal Enterprises has renovated historical homes throughout the western suburbs, specializing in constructions from the late 1800s and early 1900s. You can begin your renovation project with Opal Enterprises by visiting them online or calling 630-355-6557.

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Spring Decorating: How to Bring Life Back into Your Home

It’s been a long, dreary winter for most of the country, which gives us that much more of a reason to celebrate the return of spring.

Of course, spring is about much more than just changing weather patterns. It represents the annual renewal of hope and life. It is the season of budding leaves,blooming flowers and blossoming love.

And it can’t (or shouldn’t) be contained to just the outdoors. Spring is a great time to brighten up your indoor space: to shake off the cold and gloom of winter and bring new life into your home.

To help you liven up your living quarters, here are some timely decorating tips for spring.

Light & Color

1. DENY Designs | 2. A Beautiful Mess | 3. Better Homes and Gardens | 4. Better Homes and Gardens | 5. ProFlowers | 6. Pinterest | 7. Michael Penney Style | 8. Lara Ferroni

Spring marks the return of sunshine and color to the world. Days get longer, and “spring forward” gives us an additional hour of sunlight in the evenings. Greens, yellows, reds and other warm colors start to brighten up winter’s dreary color palette.

The first and easiest way to bring some spring to your home is to let the sunshine in. Open up the window blinds and replace those heavy winter drapes with something light and airy.

For color, you don’t necessarily have to add a new coat of paint (though spring is an ideal time to do so, and even a single accent wall can drastically upgrade the look of a room). You can quickly and easily add seasonal color by changing your duvet cover, for instance, or throwing in some bright throw pillows. In the dining area, table runners or napkins in yellow, orange or red can add warmth to the room. And, of course, fresh flowers add beautiful splashes of color, such as the radiant orchid that is one ofthis year’s style trends.

Indoor Decor

1. Karin Lidbeck-Brent | 2. The Inspired Room | 3. Martha Stewart Living | 4. Martha Stewart Living | 5. Paperblog | 6. Designer’s Block | 7. Spoonful | 8. Better Homes and Gardens

Besides the color provided by fresh bouquets, floral patterns and accents are obviously a big part of spring décor.

For wall hangings, consider framing pressed flowers—especially if they are sentimental favorites, such as the first rose you ever received. You can also make pressed flower coasters, or swap out your winter candles for more cheerful flower or grass versions.

As symbols of new life, eggs are strongly associated with spring. There are seemingly endless options for Easter eggs, which can be arranged in baskets, bowls, faux nests or birdcages. You can even incorporate live birds by hanging a hummingbird feeder or bird bath directly outside a window.

You can further bring the outdoors in with garden elements, such as watering cans (as vases) or an old garden gate (as a headboard, or as a framing element for a collection of photos).

Spring Greenery

1. Justina Blakeney | 2. From Ezter with Love | 3. Craftberry Bush | 4. Ruffled | 5. Tidbits & Twine | 6. HomeMade Modern | 7. ProFlowers

Spring is largely about new life, and a great way to decorate for spring is to bring living elements into your home.

It is possible to garden indoors, and in more creative ways than your standard terra cotta potted plant. Vertical gardens, for instance, allow you to incorporate a lot of greenery in a very visible way, and while taking up almost no floor space. Likewise, terrariums can be stacked, wall-mounted or even hung from the ceiling.

If you have the room, a planter box can grow a variety of flowers and greens together. And an indoor tree, such as afiddle-leaf fig, can give even a high-rise apartment the feel of a country courtyard.

Overall, just be creative and have fun with your spring decorating. You can’t go wrong if you make it uniquely you.

The Brief Kiss of Bliss: White Roses

Gently and sweetly did he place the large bouquet of luscious roses in my arms. I held them and stared, mesmerized, as if they were a newborn child. Somehow, I was injected with a youthfulness that astounded me…for the expansion within my heart was like the beginning of the most wondrous feeling in the world. For a moment, I saw myself standing at the other end of the long hall, by the window, as my own true self – the image that is purer than that of a mirror.

All this, inspired by an ivory bouquet that relaxed my heart with the serenity and  peacefulness that belongs to divinity itself. The power within the the roots of my soul stretched and rumbled as if awakened for the first time in centuries, the static state banished from my insides – from my being.

With these roses, I felt more alive than ever, I felt his heart beating with mine. It was at that moment I knew…in a way that surpasses imitating what I had been told, no, I actually knew that the only acceptable thing is to grasp for the exceptional. That is why he placed these blooms in my arms, to remind me of the precious nature of exceptionality.

The Farmer and The { Florist } Interview: Sue Prutting of White Magnolia Designs

sue123
I’m sooooo incredibly excited to introduce you to my dear friend and phenomenal floral designer, Sue Prutting of White Magnolia Floral Designs. Sue truly is one of the kindest, most giving women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on this wild and wonderful flower journey. From the moment we first met at the Ariella Chezar Workshop in 2013, we bonded almost instantly. Soon after, we were inseparable. Sue and I started as “flower friends,” and have become “real-life” friends as well. Sue was right there beside me, lending a patient, supportive and encouraging hand at last year’s wildly popular Seasonal Bouquet Project workshops and again at all of our on-farm workshop this year. She and I are going to team up again on a road trip this fall to do the floral designs for a fellow farmer florist’s wedding in North Carolina. It is going to be epic! Sue is a fantastic floral designer and every time we’re together I learn so much. Sue’s beautiful, abundant designs have brought graceful elegance to weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, book signings and big events in the Washington D.C.-area and in select venues across the country.

sue1212
Erin: Sue, can you share a little bit more about your business and your design style?

Sue: Sure! I guess I would describe my design style as garden inspired. It has a formality…or maybe an elegance to it because of the product I love to use, but also has a bit of a natural and wind blown look. Layers and layers of texture, branches, berries and vines, are some of my favorite elements. I primarily design weddings and events and my proximity to Capitol Hill has lead to some pretty cool assignments: really meaningful fundraisers, photo shoots, events for dignitaries etc.

sue
Sue: One of the things I love about owning a business is that I have been free to morph my business model and reinvent myself as my responsibilities at home have shifted. As my kids have grown, I’ve been able to travel more and help other designers behind the scenes at their workshops. Teaching is a real passion of mine – sharing what I have learned and helping others grow is the best! Also, getting to hang out with some ridiculously talented people and continuing to learn from them, isn’t too shabby either. Working with you on the Farmer Florist and the Floral Intensive Workshops, meeting all of the attendees and getting to see them spread their wings has been a real highlight for me. Plus, I never laugh as hard as when I am with you Sister!

2014_Flowerwild_Pippin_Hill_0152_2
Erin: Garden and yard space is at a premium in D.C. With limited space, what flowers and foliage get prime real estate in your cutting garden?

Sue: It is really hard to get the foliage and flowering branches I love to use, so lately I’ve been focused on planting all sorts of bushes and even a few trees. I have about an acre to play on and have planted crab apples, viburnum, two types of nine bark, way too much spriea (if there is such a thing), mock orange, winterberry…all sorts of goodies. Developers in my neighborhood have been great about letting me dig up plants before they raise a house and clear the lot. I have lots of peony, hydrangea, grasses and some mixed perennial beds. Also, living in the DC area means you must have cherry trees and azaleas in your garden. The first week of May is an absolute color explosion in this area, and both do surprisingly well in arrangements. Next up on the planting wish list…garden roses.

sue33
Erin: I know that no floral designer likes being asked their favorite flower, because we all have at least 40 favorites. (Plus, our favorites change depending on the season–or the day, for that matter!) So, instead, tell me about a few of flowers and foliage that you’re smitten with this summer.

Sue: This summer, I have gotten a ton of use out of my ornamental plum tree. It has been great to cut the sweetness of the blushes and pinks that have been so popular. Some other favorites are beach tree foliage, thornless blackberry and this crazy wild rose that grows in my area. After an unfortunate poison ivy incident, I now look like a hazmat worker when foraging it. Finally, I’d say that my little shade garden has been a real workhorse for me this year. I’ve been loving Solomon’s Seal and especially Epimedium. It’s foliage lasts forever when cut and those little heart shaped leaves are soooo good in bouquets.

sue2
Erin: Like so many great floral designers, you switched careers to pursue this “creative operation,” as you describe it. I would imagine your background as a Clinical Social Worker helps in working with (shall we say) “discerning” bridal clients. How has this training influenced your business?

Sue: I think more than anything, I have empathy for the brides and the amount of work it is to plan a wedding. If things get a little crazy, I try to hear them through that filter and help them manage their stress. I think one of the most frustrating things you can ask a bride is “What is the vision you have for your wedding?” It really helps to break that question down into smaller bites – “How do you want your guests to feel when the enter the reception; like they are coming home? Blown away? Pumped up? Peaceful and serene?” It is my job to translate, and put to words what they are picturing in their mind. I think my training has also helped me to separate other peoples stress from my own and most importantly, I can keep a straight face no matter what someone says to me. 😉

000021200013
Erin: You’ve traveled all over the country as a freelance designer. Can you share a favorite memory (or two)?

Sue: I worked on a wedding in Tennessee with Kate Holt of Flowerwild this summer. Climbing through the woods foraging with Kate and her team (which included Kim Sanders and Janelle Wylie) was a hoot! One night we went out to catch fireflies because they don’t have them in California. It was pretty magical. Noticing the beauty and the gifts that are right there in front of us each day is key.

IMG_4527
Sue: A few years ago, I started traveling to train and work with other designers after I had what felt like a huge setback. I started to doubt what I saw as beautiful and needed to see my work through a different lens. Learning from designers I admire and trust, and then working with them has allowed me to do that. It has been so empowering. I think the climate in our industry has changed dramatically in the last few years. Professionals like you, Erin and Ariella Chezar, Sara Rhyanan and Nicolette Owen, Kate Holt, Françoise Weeks, Jennie Love and Holly Chapple, to name a few, have been so generous with their experience and information. That willingness to share what they know, be transparent and to connect growers and designers around the world through their workshops and social media has changed the face of what we do, and how we do it. This is a tough job and can be a little isolating, but now thanks to these women and others, it doesn’t have to be.

sue22
Erin: This column has become the place to confess floral foraging “adventures.” Any you’d care to confess?

Sue: Ok, here goes. My mom swears that I have been picking “roadsideia” since I could first walk, and she is probably right. I was forever coming home with a little bunch of wild violets, or black eyed Susan’s. Walking home late one night in college, I stopped to admire some bearded iris and made the mistake of picking one. I swear a woman must have been hiding in the bushes two feet from me, because as soon as I made that cut, I heard “Do you always take what you want” in a old craggy southern drawl. She seriously scared the crud out of me. I ran so hard and fast that I crushed the poor iris. Serves me right. I avoided that part of campus for the rest of my time at school.

sueee
Erin: I am counting down the days until we get to meet up in D.C. and then make the drive down to North Carolina to Sassafras Fork Farm, foraging along the way. We are going to create the biggest, baddest bouquets ever for Stephanie Hall’s wedding. I can’t wait! While we don’t want to spoil tooo many of the surprises we have in store for sweet Stephanie, would you like to share perhaps a little preview of what we’ll be doing down there?

Sue: It is going to be epic! Stephanie is building the most beautiful reclaimed wood, post and beam barn on her family farm. It will be an amazing venue for events in the future, and we get to decorate the heck out of it for her wedding. She is a sweet and trusting soul, because she has given us carte blanche to “do what we do best”. With 350 guests expected, dinner will be served family style on long vintage farm tables. Lots of platters and bowls on the tables means not a lot of real estate for flowers, so we are going vertical! We will be using all American grown flowers – from our own gardens, from Stephanie’s farm and from a number of flower farmers we will pass on our drive down to North Carolina. Plus, we will get to use tons of foliage from her farm, and maybe even a little roadsideia. I’ll be sure to pack you a hazmat suit.

film_bride_editorial_michael_carina_photography_(306)
Erin: I seriously cannot wait! It’s going to be absolutely amazing! Sue, from the bottom of my heart: thank you. Thank you for your kindness, generosity and for all that you do. I so treasure your friendship.

Sue: Right back at you Erin. I just love getting to live this life with you!

The Farmer and The { Florist } Interview: Sue Prutting of White Magnolia Designs

sue123
I’m sooooo incredibly excited to introduce you to my dear friend and phenomenal floral designer, Sue Prutting of White Magnolia Floral Designs. Sue truly is one of the kindest, most giving women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on this wild and wonderful flower journey. From the moment we first met at the Ariella Chezar Workshop in 2013, we bonded almost instantly. Soon after, we were inseparable. Sue and I started as “flower friends,” and have become “real-life” friends as well. Sue was right there beside me, lending a patient, supportive and encouraging hand at last year’s wildly popular Seasonal Bouquet Project workshops and again at all of our on-farm workshop this year. She and I are going to team up again on a road trip this fall to do the floral designs for a fellow farmer florist’s wedding in North Carolina. It is going to be epic! Sue is a fantastic floral designer and every time we’re together I learn so much. Sue’s beautiful, abundant designs have brought graceful elegance to weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, book signings and big events in the Washington D.C.-area and in select venues across the country.

sue1212
Erin: Sue, can you share a little bit more about your business and your design style?

Sue: Sure! I guess I would describe my design style as garden inspired. It has a formality…or maybe an elegance to it because of the product I love to use, but also has a bit of a natural and wind blown look. Layers and layers of texture, branches, berries and vines, are some of my favorite elements. I primarily design weddings and events and my proximity to Capitol Hill has lead to some pretty cool assignments: really meaningful fundraisers, photo shoots, events for dignitaries etc.

sue
Sue: One of the things I love about owning a business is that I have been free to morph my business model and reinvent myself as my responsibilities at home have shifted. As my kids have grown, I’ve been able to travel more and help other designers behind the scenes at their workshops. Teaching is a real passion of mine – sharing what I have learned and helping others grow is the best! Also, getting to hang out with some ridiculously talented people and continuing to learn from them, isn’t too shabby either. Working with you on the Farmer Florist and the Floral Intensive Workshops, meeting all of the attendees and getting to see them spread their wings has been a real highlight for me. Plus, I never laugh as hard as when I am with you Sister!

2014_Flowerwild_Pippin_Hill_0152_2
Erin: Garden and yard space is at a premium in D.C. With limited space, what flowers and foliage get prime real estate in your cutting garden?

Sue: It is really hard to get the foliage and flowering branches I love to use, so lately I’ve been focused on planting all sorts of bushes and even a few trees. I have about an acre to play on and have planted crab apples, viburnum, two types of nine bark, way too much spriea (if there is such a thing), mock orange, winterberry…all sorts of goodies. Developers in my neighborhood have been great about letting me dig up plants before they raise a house and clear the lot. I have lots of peony, hydrangea, grasses and some mixed perennial beds. Also, living in the DC area means you must have cherry trees and azaleas in your garden. The first week of May is an absolute color explosion in this area, and both do surprisingly well in arrangements. Next up on the planting wish list…garden roses.

sue33
Erin: I know that no floral designer likes being asked their favorite flower, because we all have at least 40 favorites. (Plus, our favorites change depending on the season–or the day, for that matter!) So, instead, tell me about a few of flowers and foliage that you’re smitten with this summer.

Sue: This summer, I have gotten a ton of use out of my ornamental plum tree. It has been great to cut the sweetness of the blushes and pinks that have been so popular. Some other favorites are beach tree foliage, thornless blackberry and this crazy wild rose that grows in my area. After an unfortunate poison ivy incident, I now look like a hazmat worker when foraging it. Finally, I’d say that my little shade garden has been a real workhorse for me this year. I’ve been loving Solomon’s Seal and especially Epimedium. It’s foliage lasts forever when cut and those little heart shaped leaves are soooo good in bouquets.

sue2
Erin: Like so many great floral designers, you switched careers to pursue this “creative operation,” as you describe it. I would imagine your background as a Clinical Social Worker helps in working with (shall we say) “discerning” bridal clients. How has this training influenced your business?

Sue: I think more than anything, I have empathy for the brides and the amount of work it is to plan a wedding. If things get a little crazy, I try to hear them through that filter and help them manage their stress. I think one of the most frustrating things you can ask a bride is “What is the vision you have for your wedding?” It really helps to break that question down into smaller bites – “How do you want your guests to feel when the enter the reception; like they are coming home? Blown away? Pumped up? Peaceful and serene?” It is my job to translate, and put to words what they are picturing in their mind. I think my training has also helped me to separate other peoples stress from my own and most importantly, I can keep a straight face no matter what someone says to me. 😉

000021200013
Erin: You’ve traveled all over the country as a freelance designer. Can you share a favorite memory (or two)?

Sue: I worked on a wedding in Tennessee with Kate Holt of Flowerwild this summer. Climbing through the woods foraging with Kate and her team (which included Kim Sanders and Janelle Wylie) was a hoot! One night we went out to catch fireflies because they don’t have them in California. It was pretty magical. Noticing the beauty and the gifts that are right there in front of us each day is key.

IMG_4527
Sue: A few years ago, I started traveling to train and work with other designers after I had what felt like a huge setback. I started to doubt what I saw as beautiful and needed to see my work through a different lens. Learning from designers I admire and trust, and then working with them has allowed me to do that. It has been so empowering. I think the climate in our industry has changed dramatically in the last few years. Professionals like you, Erin and Ariella Chezar, Sara Rhyanan and Nicolette Owen, Kate Holt, Françoise Weeks, Jennie Love and Holly Chapple, to name a few, have been so generous with their experience and information. That willingness to share what they know, be transparent and to connect growers and designers around the world through their workshops and social media has changed the face of what we do, and how we do it. This is a tough job and can be a little isolating, but now thanks to these women and others, it doesn’t have to be.

sue22
Erin: This column has become the place to confess floral foraging “adventures.” Any you’d care to confess?

Sue: Ok, here goes. My mom swears that I have been picking “roadsideia” since I could first walk, and she is probably right. I was forever coming home with a little bunch of wild violets, or black eyed Susan’s. Walking home late one night in college, I stopped to admire some bearded iris and made the mistake of picking one. I swear a woman must have been hiding in the bushes two feet from me, because as soon as I made that cut, I heard “Do you always take what you want” in a old craggy southern drawl. She seriously scared the crud out of me. I ran so hard and fast that I crushed the poor iris. Serves me right. I avoided that part of campus for the rest of my time at school.

sueee
Erin: I am counting down the days until we get to meet up in D.C. and then make the drive down to North Carolina to Sassafras Fork Farm, foraging along the way. We are going to create the biggest, baddest bouquets ever for Stephanie Hall’s wedding. I can’t wait! While we don’t want to spoil tooo many of the surprises we have in store for sweet Stephanie, would you like to share perhaps a little preview of what we’ll be doing down there?

Sue: It is going to be epic! Stephanie is building the most beautiful reclaimed wood, post and beam barn on her family farm. It will be an amazing venue for events in the future, and we get to decorate the heck out of it for her wedding. She is a sweet and trusting soul, because she has given us carte blanche to “do what we do best”. With 350 guests expected, dinner will be served family style on long vintage farm tables. Lots of platters and bowls on the tables means not a lot of real estate for flowers, so we are going vertical! We will be using all American grown flowers – from our own gardens, from Stephanie’s farm and from a number of flower farmers we will pass on our drive down to North Carolina. Plus, we will get to use tons of foliage from her farm, and maybe even a little roadsideia. I’ll be sure to pack you a hazmat suit.

film_bride_editorial_michael_carina_photography_(306)

Autumn at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Autumn is once again a receding memory, growing dimmer everyday as we continue the inexorable slide into the darkest depths of winter… But try hard enough and it’s still possible to cast our minds back to a time when the trees still had leaves; when warm shades of gold, orange and red coloured the landscape; when the mercury didn’t sit so low in the thermometer.

I moved up to Edinburgh from Sheffield at the end of September. (I lived here for the best part of four years previously, while I studied ecological science at the University of Edinburgh.) My flat is no more than a ten minute walk from the outstanding botanic gardens, which are one of my favourite things about living here. I paid the gardens three visits with my camera in one week soon after I moved in. How about some autumnal photographs then?

 

This towering deodar (Cedrus deodara) grows close to the East Gate. It is a beautiful and imposing tree, one of the finest in the gardens.

Looking up into the hefty crown of the deodar – how many branches? How many growth points? What tonnage of timber?

A neighbouring big, old sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) seems sadly to be in serious decline. The tree was rather sparsely foliated at the time of this visit, but at that point in the autumn natural leaf loss would have been premature. It’s a shame because it’s another fine tree. A major branch has a few old wounds on it, one of which sported a nice bit of fungus. It’ll be interesting to see how the tree looks in spring.

I came across these Pholiota squarrosa mushrooms growing at the base of a big European beech (Fagus sylvatica). They were also growing around the base of a nearby heartnut, a variant of the Japanese walnut (Juglans ailantifolia var. cordiformis). P. squarrosa is a parasitic white-rot fungus that attacks a wide range of host trees.

This mushroom was growing under a pine tree… …along with its wee pal.

This dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) in the Chinese Hillside part of the gardens was positively radiant. The needles – here so vibrantly illuminated – are now long gone, this being a deciduous species.

29th September 2013

This oak really stood out from the crowd!

A nice cider gum (Eucalyptus gunnii) growing in front of the 1960s glasshouses. At least this tree will keep its leaves all winter long.

3rd October 2013

Autumnal maple leaves.

On this visit I was quite keen to get some photos of the mushroom population. There weren’t so many of a big enough size to stand out as I strolled along, but if I just stopped for a moment to study the mulch that surrounds the base of every tree, there were far more mushrooms to be seen than most people would have realised. Perhaps these are waxcaps of some sort?

The distinctive spiny cupules of sweet chestnut. Apparently the nuts can’t attain their full size in the British climate, so the roasting chestnuts that appear in the shops for winter are imported from the continent. I had a bag of roast chestnuts at Edinburgh’s European Christmas Market last week – they were enormous and very tasty!

I’m fairly sure this is a hare’s foot inkcap (Coprinus lagopus). This mushroom is quite interesting; according to Wikipedia, “As the mushroom matures, the shape of the cap becomes more conical or convex, and finally flattens out, with edges curved upward. The veil is initially whitish, then turns to a silvery grey or grey-brown; it eventually splits up, becoming hairy (fibrillose). … In maturity the gill edges dissolve (deliquesce) into a black liquid. These mushrooms are evanescent, lasting only last a few hours before death…”

Busy in the Garden

The weather has been wonderful (it actually rained), and roses are still blooming (pictures coming),  but first, a brief update on a few projects.

William Shakespeare 2000 in its better days

Some of you know I have had a problem this spring with one of my two William Shakespeare 2000 shrubs. It has been in the ground for at least 6 years and growing very well.

This time last year

This year, something seems to have gone wrong. There were several possibilities (a few very scary ones), but I couldn’t put my finger on anything definite.

This spring: very little growth, small leaves going senescent, few and small blooms

My mind kept running in endless unproductive circles, and I decided to post some pictures on the rose forum to see if anyone had any suggestions. I realized it would be even more difficult for people to try to pinpoint the problem just looking at pictures and I appreciated greatly the effort some posters made to come up with ideas. At the end of the day, someone pointed out that my rose had a lot of blind shoots (growth not resulting in flowers), and I should prune harder. I pruned harder. Gulp.

I took out a few old canes, and brought the bush down quite a bit (after cutting out blind growth most remaining canes did not have viable bud eyes until this far down). Gardeners of sound mind do this in winter….

 Having survived the agony of subjecting an innocent rose to such drastic surgery so late in the year, I decided to tackle my next big project, Maréchal Niel. It is a lovely tea-noisette that, unfortunately, does not perform well on its own-roots for most people. Mine was absolutely beautiful for the first two years, with gorgeous blooms and clean, almost evergreen foliage.

In its better days

It actually reached the top of a 7-foot arbor and then started on a slow but relentless decline. The blooms balled all the time, there was almost no foliage and no new growth either. I thought I would dig it out and pot it up. Maybe it will grow for me as a big potted shrub, maybe not. My husband took it out today and, in preparation for potting it up, I washed the soil off the roots. Impressive root ball, isn’t it?

How did it manage to climb 7 feet? I still potted it up 🙂

Another thing that kept me busy today was trying to put together my last order for roses with Vintage Gardens. This nursery has been an amazing source of rare roses and kept my collector’s spirit alive for years. There are so many treasures that I enjoy in my garden solely due to the efforts folks at Vintage made in sharing these roses. Thank you, Vintage.

Mme Bérard, my favorite Vintage rose

Taischa

 

 

Ulrich Brunner, fils

 

Prinzessin Marie von Arenberg

 

Surville
 

 

Mme Plantier

 

Julia Child and Wild Blue Yonder

 

Schön Ingeborg

 

 
Wild Blue Yonder

 

Souvenir de Mme. Boullet

 

Lyda Rose, ‘Benny Lopez’, Penelope, Crépuscule, Rosette Delizy

 

Regensberg

 

Sharifa Asma

 

Penelope and Crépuscule

Pretty Jessica

 

Sharifa Asma

 

Rosette Delizy

 

Climbing Cécille Brunner with a spray of Lyda

 

Pat Austin, Buff Beauty on the fence behind, and ‘Secret Garden Musk Climber’ trying to eat the house

 

Jude the Obscure

 

Memorial Day with Buff Beauty