Farm Notes January 25, 2023

Maitake mushroom plugs, new roses, comfort food, and lots of gardening clean up have been a part of the first few weeks of the new year.

Our oldest son, Steven, moved here from Indiana and has been such a big help in completing some of the scheduled projects that require muscle. We’ve been moving 80 lb pavers from Rosarium Scoticum, Leonard Heller’s garden to Anne’s Gardens and placing them along the Austin rose beds around the house as well as building a couple of new beds for Leonard Heller’s wonderful spinosissimas.

We are currently preparing to move the sericeas and Finnish roses. IDing them is not straight forward so I take whatever little clues I can and by process of elimination hope to arrive at the correct names. Every now and then we find a tag. There isn’t a location map, but Leonard can remember the general lay-out and his favorites. Sometimes the names come to him a little later, like today, and he emails me to let me know. He told me that two of the Finnish roses are Ristinummi and Paimioneussu. Once in bloom, I’ll be able to tag them. Days like this are so exciting!

Another source I use in my detective work is Leonard’s garden listings and pictures in Help Me Find Roses. However, he has many rare and heritage roses which Help Me Find Roses doesn’t have in their selection choices so he couldn’t list some of those. Five of Anne’s roses (so far) can’t be put in because of this same reason.

Yes. I have begun to put Anne’s Gardens roses on Help Me Find Roses. I think I only have about 200 listed so far. As I go, I am keeping track of where I am in the listings on the About the Garden page. I hope to update the lists and include them on this website as well.

The flamboyant Rosa sericea, are suprisingly not talked about in the literature but then the same could be said of the spinossissimas in general. According to Peter Boyd (2015), in 1840 there were most likely more cultivars of the Scots Rose (a cultivar of R. spinossissma, also called R. pimpinellifolia) than all other garden roses at that time. Because they sucker so easily they quickly went from the gardens of the wealthy to the gardens of the ordinary people, who carried them with them during immigration to all parts of the world. Boyd offers that R. spinosissima (R. pimpinellifolia) are less well known today because nurseries that propagate by budding or grafting find the thin stems and small buds difficult to work with leading to only specialized nurseries carrying them. This is turn, doesn’t allow garden customers to become acquainted with them during routine shopping trips. Boyd also suggests that because they bloom earlier in the season they aren’t available during Rose shows and other events and backs up what I have found, few authors include them in rose books. In Graham Stuart Thomas’, The Old Shrub Roses (1971), Thomas notes that he does not include ancient and less ancient garden forms “because up to now they have not been directly concerned in the evolution of our modern Roses. They have had their day, but so far have not succeeded in establishing a dynasty.”

We know that the human mind seeks the new and unique and what we find aesthetically pleasing fades. Remember the avocado appliances of the 1970s? For whatever reason, I am attracted to simple, fragrant blooms and to those that carry stories. Even thorns, which are anything but simple and common in the R. sericea, are a reminder of roses historical representation of love, and with it pain and pleasure.

The R. sericea thorns caught my attention right away. There are seven in Rosarium Scoticum. Even the Black Thorn glisten with its purple hue as the sunset light shined through. It was one of those moments that everything stopped as I gazed in admiration of such beauty in an otherwise rainy gray day in the Pacific Northwest.

Maitake inoculum…

Rick finally was finally able to find the time to start mushrooms. In Indiana we had a running supply of shitake and oysters on logs and seasonal gifts from the forest. We joined the Snohomish Mycology Society in October, but it was still dry during our first foray. Now in the middle of the winter it is wet enough to start the fungus. Rick made the inoculum from maitake package I purchased from H-Mart, an Asian market in the Seattle area.

First he prepared the maitake inoculum by cutting off the vegetative portions of the maitake at the base, what looks similar to a normal mushroom stipe. These were taken to the garden in a plastic sack. The tops were cut off of several small wild cherry trees earlier. Then depending on the diameter of the cut, between a 5/8ths and 1 inch hole is drilled into the top of the stump. The larger the diameter of the stump, the larger the diameter of the drill bit used. Then 3/8th inch drill bit was drilled into the stumps in various locations. The drill bit was reversed to get out the frass. At this point the inoculum was pushed into the holes with the use of a non-toxic painted wood screw. The inoculum was covered over using parafilm. Clean water was poured into the hole that was made at the top of the wood. This will keep the inoculum moist while it grows and should be repeated before the wood becomes completely dry. Shitake and oyster mushrooms.

Hygge (cozy; wrapped in a hug) food…

January has also brought the need for comfort food. Rick made corn flakes that were very tasty, without the salt and large amounts of sugar that has crept into Kellogg’s recipe. Using corn masa, plain yogurt, a little sugar, oil, and water had made a paste which he smeared in a thin layer on a baking sheet. He put it in the oven (425 degrees F) until it was a very light brown and crumbled in after it was cool.

We celebrated Steven’s arrival with cinnamon rolls which didn’t last very long. Making these rolls reminds me of my mother, sisters, neighbor kids, and 4-H. My mother has taught 4-H cooking for over 50 years beginning when I first joined and then as my sisters and then brother (my little brother is 20 years younger than I am) went through, and now with my nieces and cousins.

Shout out…

Claude Graves wrote a nice piece on pruning and maintenance of Anne’s rambler collection in the most recent issue of the Heritage Rose Foundation’s newsletter. If you are looking for information about efficient ways to manage rambler roses while allowing for their natural form, this is an article that should be very helpful. There are many people who will offer advice on pruning but not all roses should be pruned the same way. It is important to take into consideration the kind of rose and your rose garden goals. I found this article very helpful because Claude took this into consideration.

Time to get outside. It’s a cold one today.


Boyd, P. D. A (2015). Scots roses and related cultivars of Rosa Spinosissima – a review. Proceedings of the VIth International Symposium on Rose Research and Culitvation Hanover, Germany, August 25-30, 2013. Ed(s). : Debener and Linde Acta Hort. 1064, ISHS January 2015.

Thomas, G. S. (1971). The Old Shrub Roses. (4th Ed., p. 72) J. M. Dent & Sons

Published by teddiemower

I oversee Anne's Gardens for my mother-in-law, Anne Belovich. This is a family project to ensure Anne's rose collections, gardens and legacy continue for generations to come. I am a science and environmental educator, researcher, teacher, author, creator of homemades, and traveler. My husband Rick Mower, Anne's only son, is a retired professor of microbiology, former sailor, avid food gardener, and great cook.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: