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This gardening blog is written in Bathurst, NSW, Australia.





Monday, March 19, 2012

A Perfect Couple

I can see it from two windows, the front porch, the driveway, anywhere in the front garden and the street. And every time I see it, sheer delight is stopping me in my tracks. It's the combination of the Mr Lincoln rose, grown from 30 cm to over 2 metres this season and now topped with a bouquet of  the most intense crimson flowers, with the old common Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Chinensis) that has been trying to swallow its small green metal arch every summer for the past ten years.



The rose is lovely;



the Honeysuckle is pretty;



 together they are a knockout.


And not only to the eye - both are perfumed.  The rose works the day shift and the honeysuckle takes over at sunset.

It wasn't an arranged marriage; both were planted in the days when I just bought plants I liked and put them where I had garden space. Actually, that still sometimes happens. :)

Then for years they were separated by a Hazelnut tree. The rose grew up through the tree to try to get some light and usually produced two or three huge flowers at about three metres from the ground. In the winter picture below, you can't even see the poor rose.


The honeysuckle, behind this tree, could only be seen from the porch and inside the arch itself. Now that the tree is gone, both plants have had the chance to shine. And it is my pure good fortune that they make such a perfect couple.

25 comments:

  1. Beautiful pairing! I can see why they put a smile on your face. Both would be impressive on their own, but together they really shine!

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    1. The best view of the roses is from the kitchen window, and I stop every time I go past.

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  2. Hi Lyn, this is indeed a very nice couple! Mr. Lincoln is one of my favorite red roses, because of the perfection of the blooms, its vigor, and the strong fragrance of the flower. It is amazing to me how much the rose has recovered since you have removed the Hazelnut tree. I don't think that roses are divas at all anymore, instead I consider them to be very tough plants. I enjoyed looking at this very lovely plant combination in your garden!
    Christina

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    1. It's amazing to me too, especially since it has had a traumatic season. After we removed hte Hazelnut, in winter, I cut the rose back hard to about 30cm from the ground, because it was so leggy. It grew lots of vigorous branches really quickly, and was over a metre high when we had another tree removed form the front garden and a big branch fell on the rose, breaking all but two new branches cleanly off. This only encouraged it, and it now has lots more branches, including the huge watershoot that is carrying these flowers. I can only imagine what it will do next season. I think it may be equal in size and strength to "Queen Elizabeth", which I just cut back to 1 metre tall every winter and then stand back!

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  3. A marriage made in heaven. They must have been looking at one another through the tree, hoping that one day they would be together. Some of the best combinations are the unexpected ones.

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  4. Serendipity! The two plants, the opening up of the space after the hazelnut was gone, it all worked so well for you. That rose really is intensely rich.

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    1. I am so glad we got rid of the tree, even though I am normally against this in principle. But it was too big for the spot and the roots were getting into our pipes. It wasn't a good choice in the first place. Cutting down the other tree in this garden, too, (it suffered badly from borer and was in the power lines - another wrong choice)has opened up the space and allowed me to experiment with lots of new plant combinations in this end of the front yard. This rose is an incredible colour that changes in every light, but it's always beautiful.

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  5. Wonderful combination - love that color harmony! Your rose is beautiful - I love tall, large roses.

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    1. On a warm day, there's also a late afternoon scent harmony that is out of this world. I was nearly overpowered when I was working here yesterday!

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  6. Sometimes the best combinations are by accident - glad the removal of the tree had a happy outcome

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    1. It really did. I'm so happy with this area now, just have to do something with the house and garden strip in the background!

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  7. Sometimes just random planting looks lovelier than pre-planned ideas. And you're right these 2 do look just perfect together...like your rosy blog header too xx

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    1. You probably guessed, the header is this same rose, just photographed from the side so the blooms are against the sky. And it's been so nice to see blue sky again after our grey summer, that I just had to change the header.

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  8. How nice! I would have never thought of this combination, but it truly is beautiful.

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    1. I would never have thought of it either, but I think it would look even better as a planned combination. I mean, a wide background of the honeysuckle covering flat trellis or a fence, with several of these roses in front. This would look so much better than the awkward shape of the honeysuckle on the arch. I just don't have anywhere to do it!

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  9. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am getting me Mr Lincoln this winter. You deserve a cut in future sales...and would you believe I have no honeysuckle, now where can I fit it in?

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    1. I highly recommend him, and would love a commission on future sales! Honeysuckles do take up a lot of room, but they're so romantic. There are lots that are more spectacular than this common one, but I have a sentimental attachment, as not much else that I planted in the front garden 10 years ago is still here, apart from the trees. But I would recommend a larger arch, pergola, arbour or trellis!

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  10. Thanks for commenting on my blog about how you started blogging, and I am so glad I "found" you!. I cant grow roses here in the tropics, so enjoy looking at everyone else's. That looks like such a healthy plant - what a lovely combination that makes. I have such trouble finding (affordable) arches for climbing plants - everything I use rusts out within a year.

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    1. You're so welcome! I'm always happy to find fellow Aussie bloggers, but it's just a shame so many seem to be in the tropics and therefore a bit far away from me for a get-together. I thought about suggesting you make arches from coppiced wood (we have Hazel here, that works really well, but I'm sure there are lots of trees that could be used) then I realised that you would probably have the same problems with rot as you do with rust. Maybe you'll have to forego arches, in the same way that I have to forego all those beautiful tropical palms and ferns and Gingers and Heliconias and Orchids and... :)

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  11. What a superb combination, they are really beautiful together and the perfume must be divine!! The best planting combinations seem to be happy accidents, reading about your rose, it must have a very strong constitution after everything that has happened to it! Never easy to decide to fell a tree but in this case its been an obvious success with both plants responding so well.

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    1. Thank you, Pauline. I think roses are very tough, but this one is tough even for a rose! So is the Honeysuckle, by the way, as we cut it right back to the arch every winter, leaving only twisted, bare trunks, and it explodes with growth every spring and summer, needing several hacking backs to keep it reasonably in bounds.

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  12. Here you go Lyn...an award for you for being so darned 'inspiring'. You'll need a posh new frock and a prepared acceptance speech...enjoy!

    http://www.tidygardensbyjane.co.uk/2012/03/someones-been-on-sherry.html

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    1. Thank you, Jane! A speech, eh? Firstly, I'd like to thank my garden, without which I wouldn't be gardening or blogging...

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  13. I love when serendipity works its magic in the garden! They look gorgeous together!

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