Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just Joey (I think)

We moved into our present house a little over 4 years ago. Before us, the house used to belong to an elderly couple who long abandoned any thought of gardening, and then, briefly, to a remodeler whose sole purpose was to spruce up the house a bit to make some quick money. Obviously, the remodeler didn't give much thought to gardening either. Consequently, by the time I took a look around, I saw a courtyard full of spray-painted camellias (they happened to find themselves inconveniently placed between the remodeler and the outside house wall which he was painting), tree stumps, bermuda grass and a dozen dead and dying rose bushes.

I have recounted  the story of reviving our Cecille Brunner here. We also had a row of Hybrid Teas planted in a narrow strip along our driveway (a very common sight around here). The roses had no irrigation for a year (and no proper care for much longer), and were mostly a collection of dead gnarled stumps with a few thin live branches here and there coming up through the bermuda grass. Despite my best efforts only two of the seven original roses still remain. One of these two is, I am pretty sure, Just Joey, a Hybrid Tea bred in England in 1972, and, in my opinion, a really good rose.

I am very glad I kept mine because it is such a beautiful plant. I realize, however, that it will perhaps have to go soon.

Its bud union is completely wooded over. Most of the canes coming from it (basal canes) were dead and had to be removed. No more basal canes will be produced from such an old graft. In fact, all growth on this rose comes from just two remaining old canes.

They are still pretty vigorous and productive. I try to keep as much live cane as I can and don't prune it hard in winter, as there are few points at which new growth will start.

The rose rewards me handsomely. The picture below is of a fall flush.

It gives me a nice range of color, too, starting out quite orange in spring...

... and changing to a gentler orangey apricot in the fall.

I hope it lasts a while longer for me...


  1. You have a beautiful garden. I have enjoyed reading through past posts and getting to see all your lovely photos. I learned something from your camellia posting. I didn't know not to fertilize during blooming. My laziness has paid off in this case and now I don't have to feel guilty about it:)

  2. Thank you, NanaK. Being laid-back about gardening is the way to do it! I am glad you liked my camellia post.

  3. Wow! I'm impressed with the flush you get from such an old rose. Looking at the base, I wouldn't have expected anything so grand. I've always admired 'Just Joey', but have not grown her (yet).

  4. Thank you, HolleyGarden. I am amazed too at how well it is doing, I am just thinking not for long:-(.

  5. Quite impressive restoration project, involving revival of more than just Just Joey. Brava!

  6. Masha, it's amazing to see what you have coaxed out of those two old canes. Beautiful! I am now thinking that Just Joey may be worth trying in my garden.
    You really take such lovely photos. May I ask, what camera do you use? I have just been using a very inexpensive point and shoot, but I am longing to upgrade.
    I do enjoy your blog. It's so informative and enjoyable. Such a bright spot in my winter world!

  7. Thank you very much, Sandra. I am so happy to hear from you again!

  8. I grew 'just joey' in san antonio and oklahoma. did great if both cities and my wife loved the fragrance. However the graft succumbed to some crown disease or freeze damage and I lost the last one in oklahoma.

  9. I am sorry to hear that. I hope you will grow it again, especially since your wife likes it so much.

  10. try adding some epsom salts to it, usually it helps even old roses to break new basal canes on old grafts! :)


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