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!