Wednesday, April 25

Spring Arrival: Dortmund

I had a surprise waiting on my porch this afternoon. The tagline, "Maplehurst: A Specialty Bakery," on the side of the box threw me for a little bit of a loop, but one look at the return address renewed my excitement: The package was a shipment from Mary's Plant Farm. My climbing rose 'Dortmund' had arrived!

Kudos to Mary's for reusing boxes... and an enthusiastic round of applause as well for great packaging. The roots are bagged up, the sturdy string that stretches through the bag around the neck of the rose keeps it from bouncing around, and the wads of newspaper keep the rootball from sliding back and forth.

I found Mary's Plant Farm a few months ago via the garden retail review site Garden Watchdog. I went there in search of a closer place to buy old roses than the venerable Antique Rose Emporium. Mary's is still a good 4 hour drive from my house, but it's closer than Texas.

When I finally placed my order last week, I had a nice chat (own root vs. grafted roses, the crazy weather we've had this year, etc.) with Sherri, Mary's daughter. During the discussion, I told Sherri that I have also been looking for two other roses: the yellow climber 'Leverkusen' and 'Buff Beauty,' a noisette hybrid. Might they offer either one some day? Sherri replied that no, they only offer roses that her mother has grown and evaluated over a number of years. I liked that idea, that there are still nurseries that offer only plants with which they have had personal experience.

Sherri also warned me that they would be digging out my 'Dortmund' over the weekend, and since it had been outside I might see some slight freeze damage on the leaves. After I freed the branches, I carefully inspected the rose. It looks perfectly healthy, and the branches stretch out nicely. I can't wait to get it in the ground, and watch as it grows. I hope it eventually covers the entire side of my porch... even if that means chancing an encounter or two with its infamous thorns.

'Dortmund' will be planted on Friday night, and I do believe that I will be drinking a bottle of my favorite local brew shortly thereafter. See, my family has a secret to success when reseeding a lawn: Have the whole family over to drink Coronas and "watch the grass grow." It works every time!

If the lowly Corona works for grass... well, then, what better way to get my new rose off to a great start than toasting it with a few sips of Great Lakes' Dortmunder Gold?

22 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

Congrats on your new "baby." I look forward to seeing photos of it in bloom.

Entangled said...

Mary's Plant Farm sounds like a great resource - I just spent a few minutes browsing there. And I'm going to file your planting technique under Truly Useful Garden Tips. It might be fun to keep a list of effective beverages for each plant ;-) Alas, one of our local breweries sold out to Anheuser Busch, of all things.

Susan said...

I'm glad you found a closer source for roses than the Rose Emporium. I forget how lucky I am to live within driving distance of the Emporium, not to mention that garden stores in Austin sell roses from the ARE.

Good luck with your rose toasting.

— Susan from South of the River

meresy_g said...

A lovely selection. I love climbing roses. Thorns and all. THat will look spectacular trained up a structure. Is it fragrant?

Marc said...

You make me want to grow more roses. Good luck with this one. It sounds like a winner!

Annie in Austin said...

The color looks perfect for your dramatic garden, Kim - and it's a rebloomer, too! Once you've "baptized" the Dortmund, you'll grow a beautiful rose with a heartwarming story about how you found it.

Annie

Anthony said...

I like your theories on drinking alcohol and gardening. I'll have to do some extensive testing on this and get back to you.
:)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Pam, thanks! Me too!

Entangled, ugh. That's too bad about your local brewpub--I hate to hear that. (I don't drink much beer, so I try to get maximum enjoyment out of it when I do!) Let me know if you find any other effective beer/plant partnerships! :)

Susan, lucky you, to have them so close! I did have to stretch my definition of "buying locally" there, but it was a nice find. I will probably be purchasing Leverkusen and maybe even Buff Beauty from ARE, though.

meresy_g, that's the one downfall: no fragrance. The Kordes roses are known for hardiness, disease resistence, and good foliage, though. That's what sold me. (Okay, and the name!) Leverkusen is a Kordes rose, too.

Marc, how funny... because your latest post has me wanting to grow more tomatoes. lol.

Annie, I'm flattered that you called my garden "dramatic!" There's actually more to the great Dortmund story--it involves meeting my boyfriend. I think I'll save that until I have some of those red blooms to share on the blog, though. :)

anthony, lol... please do! (Maybe we should ask Elizabeth over at Gardening While Intoxicated to see if she's ahead of us with any testing?!)

ellipsisknits said...

I second the quality of goods from Mary's Plant farm. We (unintentionally) tried very hard to kill one of the roses we ordered from there, and it came back from disaster twice in the first month. No coddling needed for these transplants! I wasn't aware that they were so selective with their stock too.
-C

UKBob said...

That looks a good sized Rose Kim, the ones I've seen for sale here aren't half that size. You asked me a while ago if the Swingtime Fuchsia I posted a picture of was tied to the stake. Well yes it is, the twine I used matched very well with the trunk of the plant. I trained it up the stake as you would if you were training a standard except I left the side shoots on the main stem. I have another one bigger than the one you saw unfortunately some of the branches got broken off during the move here so there is a bit of a gap half way up it but it's slowly filling in again.I will post a picture of it where there is something to see. Bob.

lisa said...

Nice looking rose! I always drank the same beverage while planting (Milwaukee's Best Light-only the best for me ;), but now I think variety may be in order! I'll test this theory out and let you know...

Jane M. said...

Great post. I thought the punchline was going to be "Dortmunder Union." You had me fooled there for a minute with the Corona!

Kylee said...

I seldom drink while gardening, but if and when the blue poppies bloom, I will definitely toast that success! Any suggestions for what we'll use for that toast? ;-)

Ottawa Gardener said...

I love climbing roses too but I think folk around here do thinks like carefully lay them down and mulch them and so on and I just can't be bothered to treat my plants like sleeping beauty so I just go for the stout and sturdy kind. All that to say, I think I'm a teensy bit jealous! Thanks for the plant resource!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

ellipsisknits, thank you for stopping by my blog. I visited yours, too, and must say that you do some beautiful work! That's good to know re: Mary's plant quality. I just went off of the Garden Watchdog recommendations so this is my first experience with them.

UKBob, I was kind of surprised that it was as large and well-branched as it was, too. Thanks for the info on that fucshia standard--it looks lovely, and you did indeed do a great job of hiding the ties!

Lisa, your comment has me giggling. At the Univ. of Dayton, "The Beast" was our campus beer... I can't say I've been tempted to drink it since, though, even for the sake of nostalgia! *grin* Please report back on your findings...

Jane, I'd not heard of Dortmunder Union before... maybe I'd better see if I can find msyelf some to test just in case my rose needs a midseason boost! ;)

Kylee, that would definitely be cause for celebration! I did a little research, and I'm not too sure that Himalayan drinks sound all that appealing. (Tongba is a "heady millet brew" sucked through a bamboo straw with filters. hmm.) So instead, go with the "blue" association and crack open a Blue Moon--but add an orange slice or two!

Ottawa Gardener, that's what most people in Ohio have to do if they want real climbers, because they get too much dieback otherwise for the roses to get tall. It was always too fussy for me, too, but apparently I can get away with not doing that this close to the lake--I figured it was worth a try. :)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi Kim, what a lovely new addition to your garden and how nice to find a good rose nursery closer to where you live. Can't wait to see the pics of Dortmund flowering it's little heart out!

Most of my climbing roses are in flower already, which is ridiculous as they normally start flowering at the end of May at the earliest.

Ki said...

What a nice surprise Mary baked for you. Wish we had that kind of bakery here. You should give the rose a sip of your corona as a tonic. Might do wonders for the transplant. ;)

vonlafin said...

I have grown Dortmund roses for years. They are a wonderful addition to the garden, are very hardy, and when they bloom, the are gorgeous. I have a 90 year old women that I help in her garden who has three of them on her chain link fence surrounding her lawn, she started one for me, and I have been hooked ever since. Good luck with it.

snappy said...

Blackswamp girl what a gorgeous rose!I hope after the dortmunder gold that the rose grows and you take lots of photos.The packaging is ingenious, and i like the family run nursery stocking plants they have used before.Its like a standard that it will grow on :)

Kate said...

What a fun delivery! I hope you've christened the new rose well! I like the idea that Mary's only sells roses that they have personal experience with.

A wildlife gardener said...

Fabulous rose...happy planting!

Gotta Garden said...

It sounds like a delightful place...good conversation and well tested and well grown plants! You did good! Doesn't it just make your day when you open something up and you know someone has taken such care! I think, although I'm sure you would anyway, it makes one want to do right by the plant!

Can't wait for the rest of the story!

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