Monday, March 29, 2010

EVERY LADY SHOULD HAVE HER MOMENT

and this is the moment for Lady Banks, Rosa banksiae 'lutea' She is more spectacular this year than any before.

Trusses of yellow blossoms.

Not content with wowing us inside our entry garden she is putting on a similar display on the other side of the wall.

Now, what could this western scene have to do with Lady Banks rose? In January, on our way back to Austin from Phoenix, we took a short detour from Intestate 10 to visit the town of Tombstone, Arizona. We were not there to see a reenactment of the Gunfight at OK Corral. We were there to visit the Rose Museum. To see the largest rose in the world, the Lady Banks rose, Rosa banksiae 'banksiae'
This rose was brought as a cutting from Scotland in 1885. A gift brought from Scotland by a visitor to her homesick friend. It was planted in her garden and lives to this day.

Unfortunately we weren't there at bloom time, but nevertheless, we were wowed by the sheer size of this rose, supported by a multitude of pillars.

Looking at the size of the trunk I was beginning to get a little worried about my Lady Banks, as yet only about 14 years old. Imagine over a hundred years from now. Somebody else's problem!
There is one difference between this rose and mine. This rose is from an original cutting brought back from China by a student of Sir Joseph Banks. It is the white variety and carries with it a delicate fragrance. How could I resist buying a cutting of this wonderfully historic rose.

Today the first flower opened.

Now, bearing in mind just how big this rose is going to get, I have to decide where I am going to plant it.

18 comments:

  1. She's very pretty on your wall. And wow, the size of that one rose in Tombstone is incredible!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jenny, that original rose is astonishing! I can only imagine that in bloom, oh my gosh. Your Ladybanks is in wonderful showoff form, isn't she? I had one that large where part of it had died, and I cut the whole thing back at the stump, thinking it was dead. Now shooters are coming up from part of that stump - do you think they will ultimately become a strong plant again? I do miss mine.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your Lady Banks is amazing. I thought mine was loaded with blooms, but not as heavy as yours.

    I can't get over the size of the trunk on the AZ Lady Banks. The fragrance is an added bonus. I always say there is always room in the garden for one more plant...Hope you find the perfect spot for her.

    ReplyDelete
  4. WOW. I think maybe I should have picked a better spot for my Lady Banks. Like Zilker Park, perhaps! I planted mine in the late fall, in the really poor, rocky soil on the east side of my house, bathed in full sun for most of the day. She's settled in nicely and is already starting to bloom.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I simply cannot believe how big that one is!! What foresight to keep that thing alive. I hope yours does the same. Your yellow one is looking mighty magnificent as well. I was in Austin last weekend and noticed them blooming all over town.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Whoa...I didn't even know a single rose plant would live that long. That's amazing.

    Your Ladies are amazing, as well. Do the deer leave it alone, along the outside wall?

    So pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for a fantastic education! I knew about Lady Banks but had no idea of what a gal she might turn into in her older years.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, that's one big Lady Banks. I love that you stopped in Tombstone to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That reminds me, I need to get to Liberty Hill to get pictures of the one that is covering a house by the railroad tracks. It literally covers the house.

    The rose in Arizona is truely a monster. I had no idea they would get that big.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jenny, your Lady Banks is spectacular.
    I have one small but I hope that, in a future grows beautifully.

    The photo of the Lady banks of Rose Museum, has made me really surprised, is incredible. A precious trunk and structure.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Just gorgeous! This one obviously doesn't mind drought at all. I have the white too, but mine hasn't opened yet.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Amazing. I have a crotchety neighbor who sneaks over and prunes my Lady Banks when it get too unruly.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! That lady sure is having her moment.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Aha! I wonder if that's the name of the plant I'm about to post in pictures in a moment. I saw two this weekend around Austin! You'll have to check for me. Simply gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very, very pretty she is. We can grow her as far north as Norman, but that is an hour south of my little homestead. Love her at your place.~~Dee

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your yellow Lady Banks is beautiful -- absolutely covered with flowers.

    I have heard of the Lady Banks in Tombstone. It's hard to believe a rose can grow that big, but Lady Banks sure can!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I actually live in Sierra Vista, AZ- About 15 minutes from Tombstone. I go there 2 or 3 times a year still, after 20 years-And it's NOT to see the gunfight! I still get an incredible feeling of astonishment every time I see the rose bush. It is amazing any time of year, but truly remarkable while it is in bloom. Today, I just planted my first Lady Banks rose!! I'm so excited, and have been wanting to plant one for a long time now. With luck, it will do well...Maybe AZ has something in the soil (Hopefully)?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Tiffany- Thanks for dropping by. The rose really is unbelievable and I'm glad we had the chance to visit even though it wasn't in bloom. This is a big rose in any garden but worth having for its exuberant bloom. Just around the corner I hope! Good luck with yours.

    ReplyDelete