Sunday, February 17, 2013

Harrison's Yellow

Sometimes I have a very hard time reading descriptions and figuring out what I have in the garden.  This rose took me forever to figure out.  I knew it was one of two roses from the first day I looked for it, but I could not decide which it was.  Was it a Father Hugo or a Harrison's Yellow?  It took a trip to Old Sturbridge Village to find out for sure which it was.  This rose is a real pain in the ass to grow, because it is extremely thorny(Probably related to Scotch Briars or Spinosissimas...the name says it is nearly impossible to get close to.) and it grows in a nasty tangle of vicious branches that are nearly impossible to prune or thin. 
The people of Old Sturbridge solved the problem by training it on an arbor, and not allowing anything else to come up from the ground.  They had probably suffered too many hospital bills in the past. 
This is one of my great treasures.  In good soils, this bush will completely cover itself in roses in a delightful shade of yellow.  It is unfortunate that my soil, no matter what I do, just doesn't measure up.  I built raised beds and back filled with several feet of nice soil, mixed in peat moss, manure...everything I could think of, and still this bush just sneers at me.  In Maine, I had a garden that produced hollyhocks 22 feet high, and this rose was a dream.   Well, I will just have to keep working at it.  Here is another case of waiting too long to get a photo.  One half hidden bloom and two or three buds...I promise to do better sometime.  Of course this may have been all the blooms it had that year.
Thia was bred in 1824 and introduced to the american market at that time.

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