Sunday, June 1, 2014

Monticello Wine and Roses Open House

Charles de Mills, quarter rose, petals open quartered so many
Yesterday I went to the annual Monticello Wine and Roses Open House. It was PEAK rose bloom time at Tufton Farm, the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, and if you like roses this is an event not to miss. My friend Sue who has been gardening since the age of 4 met me there and it was fun trying to jointly identify the plants at Tufton. She has collected roses for years and acquired another shrub at the event.

Rose Garden at Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants
I was late for the lecture on antique roses held by Rosarian Connie Hilker of Hartwood Roses but I did get to smell the many rose cuttings she had on display. Sue and I agreed that the Portland from Glendora Rose was our favorite. Roses vary in scent from Spicy to Musk to Deeply Floral. I tend to like the deeply floral because I am on the hunt for the best rose to add to my tea. The stronger the scent, the stronger the flavor. Connie has a wonderful website and I was especially interested in the proper way to grow your own roses from cuttings. Many historic roses have been lost but it was interesting to know that Rose Rustlers are on the hunt for interesting and rare plants. I wanna be one of them!

HATS, a required gardening implement
What I like most about Tufton is their commitment to historic plants. Curator, Peggy Cornett is a walking encyclopedia on plants and she took a group of hardcore gardeners (I have no idea why they say we all look alike) on a tour of the gardens.

Curator Peggy Cornett with a Double Swamp Rose
This was my second tour with Peggy and it's amazing to hear her rattle off plant names and share their history. Rare rose cuttings have been rooted and plants preserved at Tufton. Several roses came from the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. A place I must, must, must visit.

Bee Apiary at Tufton Farm
Monticello Beekeeper Paul Legrand shared his hands on experience giving many great tips. Did you know there are 2400 different bee species and the bees you buy are not native. In the winter the hive is 91 degrees because of the wing beating from the bees. A queen lays around 15,000 eggs A DAY.

For some time I have wanted a few hives but it's not as easy as it sounds and you must be committed to protecting the hive year around from disease and predators. Bears, skunks, and mites all love bees. Paul gave some great tips as to how to best do this and have long lasting hives. Animals under your care require attention and time so not unlike Chickens you need to have time to look out for their welfare. There is a wonderful local group, Central Virginia Beekeepers that is a must to join if you are going to keep bees. They meet monthly just down the road from Forsythia Hill at Ivy Creek Nature Center.

Blue Morning Glory Vine
Fushia Clematis

Old Fashioned Banshee Rose like my Grandmothers
I don't believe I've smelled so many roses in one place. It was "the thing" to do. There were a few other plant highlights, the Sweet Shrub was intoxicating, permeating the air, even stronger than the roses. A large blue Morning Glory and a Fushia Clematis were trying terribly hard to invade the roses.

Get out and about and smell the roses!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...