Meet Dr. Huey

The rose bush when I first bought my house, nearly overgrown with weeds.

Remember when I first bought my house, I was super excited about the rose bush, but didn’t know what variety it was?  I’ve finally solved the mystery, and indeed it is interesting.  I’ve been reading more about roses recently, primarily to learn about when and how to prune them, since by the fall last year it’s long rambling canes and sharp thorns were growing over both my outside spigot and my gas meter.

Last fall, before the first freeze.

In the process of learning about pruning and how to train it to a trellis, I also learned it’s variety.  He is ‘Dr. Huey,’ which is commonly used throughout the United States, and especially in Ohio as rootstock for various types of grafted roses.  In all likelihood, the previous owners planted an entirely different variety of rose, which has since died or was taken over by the rootstock, leaving only Dr. Huey.  To many rose enthusiasts, Dr. Huey is a nuisance and it was recommended by several people that I dig him up and get rid of him so I could start “real roses” instead.  But the truth is, I’ve become quite fond of my rose and I want to keep him.

The more I read about Dr. Huey’s history, the more I became enamored with him.  He was originally bred by Captain George C. Thomas in 1914, so Dr. Huey celebrated his 100th birthday the year I bought my house.  Dr. Huey was first introduced in the United States in 1920.  It is also sometimes known as ‘Shafter‘.  Like some other old-fashioned roses, Dr. Huey only blooms once in late spring/early summer.  His blooms are dark red, semi-doubles with bright yellow stamens, which fade to magenta.  He blooms off of old wood, so should be pruned after blooming.  The reason his long, rambling canes have grown over my spigot and gas meter are that he is a Hybrid Wichurana climber.  Hopefully if I give him a trellis of his own to climb and prune him away from these he will behave!

The few blooms my Dr. Huey had last year.
The few blooms my Dr. Huey had last year.

The biggest problem with Dr. Huey is that he is very susceptible to black spot and powdery mildew – both of which I encountered last year.  I was actually afraid that my poor rose was dying between the black spot and powdery mildew covering the leaves and the thistles and bindweed trying to choke it out.  Fortunately, Dr. Huey is known for it’s toughness, which is what has managed to get it through the years of minimal care by the house’s caretakers prior to my purchase.  And I’m now reading up on how to control bindweed as well as how to deal with and prevent blackspot and powdery mildew in order to give Dr. Huey the best fighting chance!

Poor Dr. Huey’s leaves were nearly covered in either black spot or powdery mildew last year.


One bit of Dr. Huey’s history that I haven’t been able to find much information about is who the rose itself was named after.  Though a few reference the rose as Dr. Robert Huey, none give specific reference to any particular person who goes by this name.  A mystery to be uncovered in the future perhaps?

At least I’m not alone in my love for Dr. Huey, I found another blogger over at Hedgerow Rose who writes that she can’t imagine her garden without Dr. Huey – and now neither can I!



County Fair

Each year, I look forward to the start of fall, which is signaled by the county fair.  I love our fair, it is a favorite time of the year – better than Christmas!  I love to enter things in the fair and this year, I was excited to enter some things from my new house – things that were all mine.

I have entered the flower show in the past, but most of the entries have been flowers grown by my mom and myself.  This year, I only had a few flowers, but they were flowers that belonged to me alone.  I entered a hosta bloom in the Any Other Cut Flower category.  I didn’t get a placement, but the judge told me afterward that I had done a nice job picking the flower, but it just wasn’t as eye-catching as some of the larger entries.

I also entered the Sedum category, where I also didn’t get an award, but I once again was able to talk to the judges after the show and find out what it was they were looking for and I hope to do better next year!

My very first eggplant was ripe just in time for the fair, so I entered it in the Any Other Color Eggplant category.  There were quite a few eggplants and the judge of the Farm Products division said that there were a lot of very nice eggplants with a lot of hard competition – so I was shocked when I saw I won 3rd place!

I also entered one of my yellow squash in the Crookneck Squash class, where I was very please to find I also had won 3rd place!

In the second flower show, I entered a floral arrangement.  Because I didn’t have many flowers around my house to work with, and I couldn’t afford to buy any, I only entered one class, Bright Foliage, which was a class for horizontal designs with no flowers.  I used the hosta leaves from my yard as the main focal point and the leaves from the arborvitae as the filler.  I was very surprised, but pleased when I found I won first place!

I also entered my African Violet that I got from my grandmother.  It is large and healthy looking but uncentered.  I had hoped to repot it before the fair, but ran out of time.  It got second, because it was off-center and because it was not blooming (there were only two entered).

And finally, I entered my huge scented geranium (middle row, far right) in the geranium class, only to discover that it should have been in the herb class instead.  The judges liked it and thought it looked healthy, but couldn’t place it since it was in the wrong class.