Sunday, January 25, 2015

December Roses

There weren't that many roses blooming in my garden in December 2014 in comparison to the years before. I think, the ongoing drought, that we are having since a couple of years here in California, is taking a toll on my rose bushes. In general many don't seem to be so vigorous anymore and some, that bloomed in December in the previous years, were not able to produce a single flower this year.

Contributing to the stress that the drought is causing to the roses is the fact, that we have pretty tough mandatory water use restrictions effective since November 2014 in San Diego.

For time reasons, I have only been able to fertilize part of my roses a third time in autumn last year, which is another limiting factor in my poor soil in terms of the ability of the roses to bloom.

That being said, I guess it is understandable that the blooms that I got last month were even more precious to me. I would like to share the best ones them with you.

This photo of 'The Prince' is my favorite picture from those that I have taken last month. It was shot on a very chilly morning (for California circumstances that is!) and the air was humid with fog and the light was pale and grey, like you only find it in the winter time here. I think, this particular light shows off the deep saturated, sumptuous burgundy red colors of 'The Prince' the best. They remind me of a very good old red vine.

'Frederic Mistral' also gave me some flowers. The fragrance of this rose is wonderful!

Another rose that came up with some perfect blooms was 'Sweetness'.

On this photo you can see a bush shot of 'Pope John Paul II'. It is not the very best picture, but I hope you can make out how many buds the rose was still producing at that time of the year. It was enough to cut a Christmas and a New Years bouquet and enjoy the blooms indoors. That was such a treat!

This rose was fertilized in October and I gave it some extra grey water from the kitchen and the bathroom and these two things together made all the difference. In comparison to my other roses it was the most floriferous bloomer in December.

To my surprise, one rose that also produced quite a few exquisite flowers in its unique smoky, brown, russet shades was 'Nimbus'.

This rose is still growing in a two gallon container and therefore I could move the pot around to photograph the blooms with the pool providing a blue/turquoise background.

Here you can see a bloom that is more open. I love this image as it has captured the subtle shades of the coloration of 'Nimbus' very well. 

Same bloom as in the photo above, but hit by the winter sunlight and with the pool as a background. It is fascinating to me how much light and background colors can change the overall appearance of a rose.

One last shot of 'Nimbus'. I just love its color! It makes me forgive that this rose suffers from powdery mildew from time to time in my organic, no-spray rose garden. It is not too bad though, so far.

Because of the drought I have drastically reduced my new rose purchases. As a matter of fact, last year I bought only one rose. I tried to order a second own root specimen of 'Pope John Paul II' from Jackson & Perkins. They delivered a healthy looking rose and I didn't realize it in the very beginning, but soon the leaves seemed to be too small and the leave form also didn't seem right for belonging to 'Pope John Paul II'.

Then, as the rose bloomed the first time, it became evident that it this is a mislabeled rose. To me the blooms and the bush, even though still small, look much more like a Floribunda than a Hybrid Tea rose.

The flowers have a light yellow center, which 'Pope John Paul II' doesn't possess and they are smaller in size and different in shape. Nonetheless, they are really pretty and the rose has been very healthy so far, which is very important to me.

I assume, that this is the variety 'Moondance', a Floribunda bred by Keith Zary (USA, 2007), which I believe Jackson & Perkins was also carrying last year. I am aware that it is very hard to identify roses, but if you have any opinions which variety this rose might be, supporting mine or differ from it, please let me know. 

I finish with a last photo of the my mislabeled rose. It is the same bloom like in the photo above, but again with the pool as a background. The dark blue background adds so much drama to this shot, I really like it. It never occurred to me before, but I think, it might be interesting to experiment with different background colors in the future, when I photograph my roses.

Last but not least I would like to thank you for all the very nice comments that you left on my last post about Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens, it feels so wonderful to know when a post is well received!

Wishing you all a great week!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mottisfont Abbey - a Rose Lover's Paradise IV

For me a nice way to celebrate my fourth blog anniversary, which was on January, 1st this year, is to post about one of the most famous and beautiful rose gardens in the world, again: Mottisfont Abbey. This garden is very dear to my heart and maybe you develop a soft spot for it, too.

I posted about this garden already three times (for your convenience, please find the links to the previous posts attached at the end of this entry), but we are still in the second walled garden, which contains a lot of mature climbing roses fanned out artfully on the old brick walls. For many roses I couldn't find a name tag, but when I did, of course, I let you know.

The photo above shows a well grown specimen of 'Celine Forestier', a light yellow Noisette, bred by Victor Trouillard (France, 1842). The rose collection at Mottisfont Abbey holds a lot of roses, that I have never seen in person, like this one. Besides the extraordinary beauty of the garden itself, this is part of the special appeal that it has for me.

Another unknown to me beautifully grown climbing rose. Some of the climbing roses there were huge, like the one above. They really seem to like the sheltered conditions in the walled gardens that they are growing in. I always wonder, if the gardeners at Mottisfont Abbey do special stuff to improve the quality of the soil, to be able to grow such magnificent roses.

But not only outstanding roses are grown in Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens. There are also many fascinating perennials to be admired like this light yellow, almost chartreuse colored scabiosa variety, which I liked very much.

Here is a shot of the whole plant. It is unusual tall for a scabiosa and needed to be staked, but it is such a lovely addition to the border.

I liked this garden scene containing a tall pruned yew, yellow phlomis, lady's mantle and a cerise opulently flowering peony.

This is 'Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison', a Bourbon, that was discovered by Charles Bennett (United Kingdom, 1893). I always have been fascinated by this light, soft pink rose with the double, flat, quartered blooms and hope it is in my future to grow at least the shrub form by myself.

Yet another shot along one of the walled rose borders. I love that at Mottisfont Abbey roses are not just grown by themselves, but they are shown off by beautiful perennials surrounding them.

And the view is as lovely looking into the other direction.

This climbing rose shows well, how professionally they are pruned and trained at Mottisfont so that the roses can show off their full potential when they bloom.

I loved this color combination of the violet rose, the pink and white columbine (aquilegia) and the unknown to me blue flowering plant.

This beauty is called 'Oeillet Parfait', a lilac Damask, from an unknown breeder from 1841. Now, this is a rose that I hadn't even heard of before I saw it at Mottisfont. So exciting! I just love the color and form of the blooms.

This rose seemed to want to bloom much later than the others that I am showing in this post and was full of hundreds of little cute buds. It must have been a great joy to see it in full bloom!

Again, no identity for this one, but I love the burgundy stripes.

Another brick wall with climbing roses trained on it. As you can see many roses do fabulous in Mottisfont Abbey, but even there not all of them do equally well, just like in everyone else's garden. It is almost a relieve, isn't it?

'Mme. Isaac Pereire', a Bourbon, bred by Armand Garcon, is one of my most favorite roses. Its deep pink colored, sumptuous, large and very full blooms have an irresistible charm to me. But the real astonishing thing about this rose is its exquisite fragrance. If you have ever smelled the very strong, pleasing, raspberry fragrance of a bloom of this rose warmed by the sun, you will never be able to forget it. It is just one of the joys in live!

One plant combination that I find particularly charming: white foxgloves, cerise peonies, and blue irises. Just wonderful!

This rose, 'Souvenir du Docteur Jamain', a Hybrid Perpetual, bred by Francois Lacharme (France, 1865) was one of the roses that didn't thrive at Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens, but, oh my gosh, the color! One of the most exquisite shades of a violet dark red that I have ever seen. Completely captivating! My photo does not do this rose justice, it was so much more lovely in person.

Another of the many beautiful peonies blooming in the garden.

I really would love to know what the name of this rose is. To me it looks very much like 'Cl. Devoniensis', a Tea rose that I grow in a container in my own garden.

Here is a close-up of the blooms. Do you have any guesses?

Not only roses were thriving at Mottisfont Abbey, foxgloves loved it there as well.

I was so smitten by this white variety. It fits in everywhere and simply lighten things up in such an easy going way.

I think 'Climbing Lady Hillingdon', a Tea rose with large saturated yellow blooms, discovered by Elisha J. Hicks (United Kingdom, 1917) was one of the most elegant and impressive roses that we saw at Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens.

Here is a close-up of the blooms of  'Cl. Lady Hillingdon'. You can clearly recognize the typical drooping bloom form of Tea roses with the edges of the petals curling backwards. Unfortunately this flower shape is currently very much out of fashion, because many people prefer the upright Hybrid Tea flower shape as the ideal rose bloom form, but I truly hope, that Tea roses will have a comeback. Teas certainly have their very unique charm and beauty that deserves to be preserved and survive.

One more shot of this gorgeous specimen of  'Cl. Lady Hillingdon'. Same rose as above, but photographed from the other side.

Another rose that I had never hear off before I visited Mottisfont Abbey is 'Mrs. Paul', a light pink climbing Bourbon, bred by George Paul (United Kingdom, 1891). Not a vigorous rose in comparison to others at Mottisfont Abbey,..

...but the stunning large pale pink scalloped blooms make it totally worth growing.

If you are interested and want to view the previous posts that I have published about this garden, here are the links:

Mottisfont Abbey - a rose lover's paradise III
Mottisfont Abbey - a rose lover's paradise II
Mottisfont Abbey - a rose lover's paradise I

Since, as I said in the introduction to this post, my blog has just celebrated its fourth anniversary, I would like to take the chance and thank all of you my dear readers for visiting and also for all the kind comments that you have been leaving. They always make my day! I hope you will join me for another year of blogging. I am really looking forward to it!

See you in the garden!


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

November Roses

Dear Readers, with these photos of roses that have bloomed in my garden in November, I would like to wish all of you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year 2015! I hope you enjoy seeing these images and I am glad, that I was able to get this post out literally in the very last minutes of the old year!

To my delight the mild warm weather of November this year brought out almost as beautiful roses as you can find in spring.

Here is a scene from the front yard. On the left side from the front to the back you can see 'Old Fashioned Girl', 'Pink Pet' and 'Climbing Iceberg'. From the right, there are peaking a few branches of 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' into the photo.

'Pink Pet' outdid itself this autumn. 

The 'Climbing Iceberg' roses to the right and left side of the garage were very lovely, too. Here you can see the one growing on the right side...

...and these blooms are the top of the 'Climbing Iceberg' growing on the left side of the garage. 

Iceberg roses, no matter if it is the climbing or the shrub rose are always so cheerful. It just makes me happy to look at them. 

In the front yard another 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' rose was strutting her stuff. To the right side of the rose I planted a new perennial that I am quite fond of. With its lavender colored delicate flowers it compliments 'Our Lady of Guadalupe quite nicely, I think. The name of the plant is plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'. We will see how it will fair in the long run in my garden. If you wonder what the piles of dirt do on the walkway, well, that was the work of racoons. They were "beautifying" my front yard every night for quite some time last month, grrr....

'The Prince', also growing in my front yard continued to delight me with its incredible colored blooms.

'Sweetness', the last rose for today from my front yard, also let you believe that it was spring.

Moving on to the backyard, 'Moonstone' was the indisputable star there.

The flowers of 'Moonstone' can be sheer perfection when it is good!

And the rose was certainly in top shape last month.

One rose flower was more beautiful then the other... these photos document.

The faithful 'Pope John Paul II' never ceases to amaze.

'Stephen's Big Purple' came out with some more blooms, too.

I still don't know what to make out of the bold dark pink color. To me this rose doesn't look purple at all. The name seems to be a little misleading at least in terms of the way the roses turn out in my climate. 

 'Irresistible' had some nice flowers, too.

'Nimbus' continued to fascinate me with its exquisite colors.

The combination of rose, mauve and brown tones are quite fascinating in this rose.

Thanks for stopping by today!

See you in the garden in the brand New Year 2015!