Sunday, June 10

Pralinage + Good Beer = Good Roses

It caused a bit of a stir a few weeks back when I mentioned my family's secret recipe for planting grass. To review: Plant grass seed and apply straw as usual. Then sit around in lawn chairs drinking Corona. They swear that the grass grows so fast this way that you can watch it... but admittedly the more Coronas you drink the more likely you are to see the supposed growth in action.

I applied this basic idea when planting my 'Dortmund' rose this spring. First, I planted the rose as usual: Wash any shipping dirt off the roots, dip the roots in a mudbath, plant at the proper depth in regular dirt with a healthy dose of composted cow manure mixed in. (The French call this mudbath "pralinage," and it's supposed to help when planting bareroot plants because it keeps them from drying out, ensures contact between the roots and the ground, etc.)

After the planting was complete, I went outside and puttered around that front yard garden with a Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold in hand. I figured it was a fitting way to get this particular rose started... and I was right!

The rose is already blooming even though the canes have not grown a whole lot this year. In fact, the flower with which I posed the unopened bottle of "Dort," as we affectionally call it, was a mere 3 inches off of the ground. Horizontal branches supposedly flower more, so this makes sense. After seeing just this first flower, I can understand why the brilliance of Dortmund's blooms caused Henry Miller some consternation in regards to combining them with other things in his garden. (I admit, I dig that kind of challenge.)

More importantly, though, check out that gorgeous foliage. As Barrie noted in a Gardenmob review last year, Dortmund has rosa kordesii in its lineage and thus inherited some good disease resistance. I'm absolutely enamored of its dark green, glossy leaves. Even if it never blooms again--and even though its thorns are legendary--it's a definitely keeper in my garden!

*Edited on Monday to add the picture of a Dortmund bloom in the sun. It glows!

16 comments:

kris said...

Hey Kim - the rose is gorgeous! I like the beer traditions you have going - think I'll have to start doing that here too!

Stuart said...

Kim, I've been following your Dortmund rose since it turned up in your shipping box so to finally see it flower is great news. And what better way to celebrate the ocassion with a good beer!

I think they're a great fit actually - beer and gardening. Maybe that's where the idea for beer gardens came from?

Colleen said...

I am totally with you on that foliage! It kind of reminds me a bit of holly leaves...not in shape, but in its color and sheen. Beautiful. I may have to look into Dortmund. The blooms are very vibrant, but I love that color. Your planting method seems to have worked perfectly :-)

Layanee said...

Okay, how timely...I was craving a Corona last night but, alas, not in the fridge. Must put on list right after rose! Salude!

meresy_g said...

Beer and yardwork are one of the things I most look forward too in about summer. Thinking about being hot and dirty and drinking a cold beer in a lawn chair in the backyard gets me through many a frigid winter's day.

Kylee said...

I don't care for beer, but that rose is lovely!

lisa said...

Your technique is excellent! I knew there was a sensible reason to drink beer whilst gardening (aside from the fact that I just want to)...and look at that flower! Isn't 'Dortmund' supposed to get hips, too? If so, the wildlife/birds will be liking that! (Unless you pick them to make tea or preserves first.)

lisa said...

Wow! Thanks for that additional picture-wow!

Gotta Garden said...

Hmmm, this technique might get me some help in the garden! And, beer gardens...who knew! Looking good, that's for sure! Hey, I'm for whatever works!

Lisa Blair said...

Stuart - "Beer garden" - LOL!

Kim, your rose *is* gorgeous. The center is just a pleasure to look at. And I love your attitude! Sometimes a mid-day beer really hits the spot when the sun is beating down.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Oh beer... I can't drink the stuff (gluten issues) but it sounds good. As for the rose, I love those simple blooms! I have trouble combining my maltese cross but have decided that its jarring colour smack in the middle of a purple butterfly bush, clear blue bellflower, and pink cranesbill is interesting...

EAL said...

I find that a nice midafternoon beer or two considerably improves the appearance of all my flowers. Great Lakes is a good choice.

I'm looking to get a nice rugosa or other sturdy single-bloom climber.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Kris, thanks for stopping by! I will admit that I am more likely to enjoy a ginger beer in the garden than a "real" one, but every once in a while... :)

Stuart, beer and gardens DO seem to go together somehow, don't they? Maybe because of the ingredients? (If there was a way to keep the golden hop vine in line, I'd have one, by the way.)

Colleen, you're brilliant--I was wondering what its foliage reminded me of, and "holly" is dead on! They really are that glossy, too... I can't get over it.

layanee, lol... the Corona may be easier to find than the old 'Dortmund' rose, FYI. And it has lots less thorns. ;)

meresy_g, I think I'm going to have to try that this winter. Reminding myself that I'm hale and hearty enough to deal with the cold just isn't cutting it anymore.

kylee, thanks! In two years when you and your Mom come back up for the Botanical Garden flower show, it will hopefully be larger and in flower--and you'll have to stop by and see it. :)

Lisa, I'm not sure about the hips part, but I think that I need to find a trouble-free rose that makes good hips just so I can enjoy some tea and such. (Barrie, if you're reading this... any suggestions?)

GG, that's what I say, too. Whatever works, I'm not going to argue with! *grin*

lisa, thanks for stopping by--and leading me to your beautiful blog! Now I have all kinds of ideas on what to do with my cannas...lol.

ottawa gardener, funny that you mentioned that. We have the maltese cross at the garden center, and I've often wondered where you would put that--it stands out from across the large perennials area! Sounds like a lovely combination you have... I'll have to go to your blog and look for pictures.

eal, good point! lol. Does it blur the weeds a little bit? If so, I need to have one before I go out back to look at the grapevine bed. Egads. :-P

You know, I used to love the big double flowers on everything: roses, peonies, you name it. But between 'Dortmund' and the quiet grace of the single peonies vs. my big floozy of a double pink, I may have been converted to the simple life...

Salix Tree said...

What a lovely rose! Fantastic color.
I love all types of roses, from the simple to so full, it hangs its head down with the weight! I'll have to try that beer method next time I plant a rose.

Molly said...

I'm a sucker for any rose that has those dark green, glossy, disease-resistant foliage. My personal favorite in that regard is 'Just Joey'. I've been noting roses in my garden that are failing to thrive. I think a Dortmund will be coming in to replace one of them within the year.

Cricket said...

Hi....I work for a brewery in NC and our brew master said to open the beer for a few days and let the alcohol get out of it. It only works for beer with yeast. The yeast is the component that grows the plant. It combines with the nitrogen in the soil to enhance the plant. Our beer only have 4 ingredients and is not pastuerized.

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