Thursday, October 30, 2014

September Roses

Yikes, I better get this post out before the end of this month, because otherwise I have to skip it and blog about the roses that were blooming in October already!

So here it is: We had miserable heat waves throughout September only interrupted by a few slightly cooler days in between. Of course, that has put a lot of stress on the roses, but some have been soldering on and continued to flower. Altogether though I don't recall having as few rose flowers as I had this September in comparison with previous years. I guess the ongoing heat combined with the severe drought is really taking a toll on my rose bushes. It really makes me a little sad.

One rose that really stood out, was 'Mary Rose', a shrub rose bred by David Austin (United Kingdom, 1983). 

I really love the light pink, big, cupped blooms,...

...which appeared in abundance on my rose bush even during the heat. 

The foliage of this rose is a nice matte medium green, which goes so well with the light pink flowers and seems to even enhance their beauty.

'Mary Rose' is growing in a big container on my terrace, so that I could observe her disease resistance, growth habit, flower shape and color over a couple of months. So far the rose has been relatively healthy, just a speck of powdery mildew at times. The bush seems to want to grow in a compact and bushy way, which I really like. The rose has past the test and will stay in my garden. I hope to plant her into the ground soon. 

'Moonlight Scentsation' is a little bit of an iffy rose for me, but every now and then I get one of these outstandingly pretty blooms like the one above. 

Another rose, that has earned its permanent place in my garden, is 'Sweet Chariot' especially after its performance this September. I am also trying to find it a spot in the ground.

'Heritage' blooms just barely opening...

...and later on. After some initial hick-ups I have come to like the color and the bloom form, but the flowers only last a very short time on the bush, before they drop. The rose also gets powdery mildew very easily when the conditions are right. I am not sure if it will stay in the long run.

'Charles Darwin' on the other hand is a fairly healthy rose, one getting mildew once in a while. 

It flowers freely...

and the blooms are always a delight. 

I rarely report about 'White Meidiland', a shrub rose bred by Marie-Louise Meilland (France, 1987). That is by no means the fault of the rose. I have planted it in an absolut impossible location for a rose. It is in a lot of shade in severe root competition with a cycad and an evergreen hedge, so the rose is not able to show its full potential, but is doing very well considering these difficult growing conditions.

Not surprisingly the rose is still small, maybe three feet wide by two feet tall (approximately 90 cm x 60 cm), but the dark green glossy foliage is completely healthy. I am hoping, that next spring it will become considerably bigger and will have more blooms. 

'Lavender Crystal' continued to present its unusual bluish-lilac blooms. 

A rose that also bloomed quite well in the heat was 'Frederic Mistral'. The blooms are incredible fragrant and I like the color, but I am not too keen on the form. 

'Auckland Metro' has a special glow in the center of the blooms that I find quite fascinating.

It also has bloomed very generously for me last month. 

I finish with another favorite of mine, 'The Prince'. The shot of the bloom above is taken in full sunlight and is pretty,...

..., but this last picture of an just opening flower has been taken in the soft early morning light and makes my knees weak. I think the color is just mindbogglingly beautiful and the strong old rose fragrance matches the beauty of the bloom perfectly.

Wishing everyone who celebrates it a Happy Halloween! 

See you in the garden!


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mottisfont Abbey - a Rose Lover's Paradise III

As my own garden is struggling with yet another heat wave and everything seems to look more and more dried out and yellow despite my ongoing efforts to keep things watered, I find myself longing for the lush gardens of England. It occurred to me, that I promised a third part of my series about the Rose Gardens at Mottisfont Abbey a long, long time ago.

So I thought treating myself by writing another post about this extraordinary rose garden and browsing through the literally hundreds of photos that I took there at our visit, now already two years ago. I would be very glad, if this post would bring some joy to you, my dear readers, as well.

We had just entered the second walled garden, when I spotted this incredible pretty gray-leaved humongous plant, which I was completely fascinated with. I assume, it is a cardoon.
Mottisfont Abbey contains three walled rose gardens. I wrote about the first walled garden in two previous posts already. You can find the links to them at the end of this one.

Unfortunately, many roses were not labeled in this part of the garden or the label was so grown in that you couldn't see it without stepping into the border, which, of course, I didn't do. That is a pity, because in the second walled garden, there were many Old Garden Roses, which are in general not so well known by a lot of people and some of the ones, which are growing in Mottisfont Abbey, are quite rare. As a matter of fact in this whole post I could only identify one rose for sure.

I loved the combination of this yellow rose, the white peony and the 'Lady's Mantle'.

At the time when we were visiting many peonies were in bloom and I was blown away by their beauty. 

The silver-gray leaves of the surrounding plants go particularly well with the white flowers of the peony.

This is another dazzling variety, which seem to glow from within.

So lovely!

The long vistas in the garden were quite impressive...

...and the huge borders simply absolutely stunning.

The plant combinations at Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens are so skillfully done. It is truly outstanding! Everywhere you look you find fascinating scenes to enjoy.

Another peony variety, that I found especially charming. I also like the combination with the delicate small white flowering plant very much. Does anyone of you know it?

The layering of the plants is so well done in this border. Mottisfont really made me fall in love with catmint (blue flowering plant in the middle of the foreground), which I grow now in my own garden. It is doing very well in Southern California, too.

A lovely rose, that I don't know the name of.

The climbing roses in this part of the garden were often of extraordinary beauty. Here they are spilling into the borders with abundance.

This white flowering clematis was also exquisite!

Many peony blooms were huge and...

...the plants were flowering generously.

This was one of my favorite borders planted along the brick walls. I think the color and plant combinations of mainly roses, foxgloves and irises are just perfect. 

Isn't this scene like coming directly out of a dream?

I had never seen an iris that dark blue/purple before. It looked almost black and had a fascinating satiny sheen.

Close-up of the iris from the photo above. The color was absolutely stunning!

Bearded irises and peonies did particularly well at Mottisfont. I wonder, if they treat them in a special way. This light blue bearded iris variety in the foreground was also a total eye-catcher. 

In this photo you can see, that all the evergreens like yew columns, boxwood hedges, green shrubs give the garden a calm backdrop. They also used quite rustic climbing structures for the roses at Mottisfont, which fit perfectly with the style of this garden.

Another light pink rose beauty. I wonder what the blue flowering companion plant is in the foreground. Any ideas?

I loved this delicate white flowering companion plant. Can anyone of you, dear readers, identify it?

The light pink flowering climbing rose at the wall is 'Blairii No. 1' (middle to the right side of the image), a climbing Bourbon rose bred by Blair, (United Kingdom, 1830).

Here is a close-up of the blooms of 'Blairii No. 1'. I think, that this is an outstandingly beautiful rose and the flower form and cool light pink color has a very special charm. It is supposed to have a very strong fragrance as well, which was impossible to verify for me, because I couldn't get close enough to this rose to smell it.

With this beauty I would like to end this post, but want to let you know that I have so many more interesting and rare roses to show from Mottisfont, that I will continue to blog about this great garden hopefully in the near future.

If you are interested in reading the previous parts of this series about Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens, please click on the links below:

Mottisfont Abbey - a Rose Lover's Paradise I
Mottisfont Abbey - a Rose Lover's Paradise II

Thanks for stopping by!

See you in the garden!


Monday, September 22, 2014

August Roses

Again, I am coming in late with my post about the roses that bloomed in the previous month, but I am glad that I am at least able to publish it today.

On average August is the hottest month of the year in San Diego and this year has been no exception. As in July the roses struggled with the heat in my garden and most bushes didn't look that pretty, but some still managed to produce roses of great quality here and there.

Here are some of the beauties, that I captured with my camera last month.

The picture perfect blooms of 'Our Lady of Guadalupe'. After all these years I am still fascinated by the beauty of the flowers of this Floribunda.

'Madame Alfred Carriere' has become a huge bush in the one year that she is planted in the ground, but the rose did rarely bloom. Maybe she is just getting established and is working on building a deep root system. I hope to see more of her lovely flowers in the future.

'Pink Pet' is a very undemanding, tough as nails rose. I have mine planted in brutally hot conditions in the front yard, in a very narrow flower bed between the white wall of our house and a light colored concrete path that radiates the heat even more to the rose.

'Pink Pet' doesn't seem to mind and blooms in nice clusters.

I find the pom pom like flowers quite charming. A great rose for the cottage garden!

'Irresistible' being pretty!

Here is a shot, when the bloom is a little bit more open. This rose keeps a good form until the blooms are spend.

'Auckland Metro' with water droplets from the sprinklers...

...and another bloom in full morning sun.

'The Prince' is a rose that I am never getting tired off.

The color and form is just exceptional and... has the most pleasing and strong fragrance. You just stick your nose in it and for a moment you forget all the sorrows and worries of the world.

A particular pretty cluster of 'Georgetown Tea'. I love the unique and a little unruly blooms of this relatively rare Tea Rose.

No matter what the weather is or the temperatures are, 'Pope John Paul II' is a rose that I can always count on.

The big blooms never fail to impress and also make good cut flowers. 

I don't believe that I have ever shown a photo of the 'Crocus Rose' on my blog. The reason might be, that I almost lost this rose last summer. It has recovered now and even though the blooms are still tiny, I think it shows the potential to be a truly lovely rose.

'Sweet Chariot' is a trooper that blooms right through the heat of summer. The rose is completely healthy.

I really need to find a spot in the ground for this little chap, since he is outgrowing its container.

The Hybrid Tea rose 'Moonstone' is blooming and blooming and blooming.

The beauty of each flower is remarkable and that is the only reason...

...why I put up with this rose that almost constantly suffers from powdery mildew.

'Belinda's Dream' in the warm evening light...

...and in the cool morning light before the sun has completely risen. Isn't it remarkable how much the color of this rose varies from warm to cool pink at different times of the day?

'Sweetness', another Hybrid Tea rose, that grows in my front yard was surprisingly generous with blooms, considering how hot is has been. Unfortunately some fried in the heat, but here I caught a cluster at the peak of its bloom. 

'Pretty Jessica' is one of the older David Austin roses. I like the cool light pink color quite a bit.

Here is the same rose in a fully open stage. Unfortunately I don't get a good rebloom, but that might be my fault, because the rose is planted in quite a bit of shade and dealing with a lot of root competition from a huge Queen Palm.

The grayish brownish tones in the color of 'Moonlight Scentsation' are very fascinating to me. Also a rose that you don't see too often.

The pink center of 'Pierre de Ronsard' becomes quite saturated in the heat in my garden.

I complained about the muddy, almost dirty color of 'Heritage' in my July Roses post from last month (if you want to see photos of 'Heritage' from then, please click here). The rose may have heard that, because since then its color has changed and has become a more clear apricot pink. I have to say that this "new" color has grown on me and the current blooms are an even lighter pink and prettier in my book.

I am closing this post with a lovely bloom of 'Lavender Crystal'. This rose is truly a gem in the lavender color range. I also really fancy the more informal bloom form.

See you in the garden!