At first I was afraid I was petrified
I kept thinking I could never live without them by my side
Westerland and Night Owl climbing roses in late spring 2013 before the black spot plague
But then I spent so many nights
thinking how they did me wrong, I grew strong
and I learned how to get along
William Shakespeare 2000 (red) and Jude the Obscure (yellow) in better days. Jude is still in the garden but William went in the trash.
And now you're back from dormancy
I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your leaf
I should have changed that stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I'd known for just one second you'd be back to bother me
David Austin's William Shakespeare 2000 is a goner. I should have known when I saw mosaic virus as well as black spot in its leaves in May that nothing good lie ahead. It's growth was weak and slow to develop and the organic fungicide I'd used had little effect. As soon as I pulled off new leaves, spotted ones replaced them. I sprayed, I encouraged, I held its little leaves and whispered sweet nothings. When nothing changed I kicked its ass out.
Early June 2014
William (little blob in the middle) should have been as big as the yellow yarrow by June. A healthy but significantly smaller Night Owl grows along the fence.
Do you think I'd crumble? Do you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh no, not I! I will survive
Oh as long as I know how to love I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my love to give and all my life to live, I will survive
As for the other roses, they're healthy although much smaller than they were last year after being pruned so drastically. The fungicide (Organocide) and organic foliage sprays (Actinovate and Serenade) are working well. This sprayer has a cup that pivots, allowing me to spray the bottom of the leaves, which is where the fungus lands first.
So William came out, blue mist flower went in and all's well that ended well.
Blue Mist flower (Eupatorium coelestinum) is a southeastern native that attracts pollinators. It self-seeds everywhere in my garden but I don't mind.