Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Roses

Well, the year 2011 is coming to a close and I am happy to report that I achieved my goal and made it to have roses blooming year round even in December. However, I have to admit that this month was a difficult one for my roses. They have been plagued by any rose disease possible: powdery mildew, downy mildew, rust, and even blackspot, which is rarely seen here in Southern California. Interestingly some roses have been healthy or at least relatively healthy despite the strong disease pressure. This observation got me thinking.

I am an organic, no-spray rose gardener, but I also want beautiful, healthy roses. Since obviously some rose varieties are much more disease resistant than others, in my garden good rose selection seems to be the key for success in growing roses organically. I am afraid that next year my roses have to go through a tough rose evaluation process and only the ones that are healthy or reasonable healthy will be allowed to stay in the garden no matter how seducing their blooms might be.  

Despite the disease problems that I mentioned above some of my roses still made it to produce lovely blooms. Hope you enjoy my last roses of 2011!

'White Meidiland' was able to gift me with this beautiful bloom. It is not all that white as the name indicates, but I like the subtle coloration of the apricot blush petals in the center of the flower. As the bloom got older the rose was whitening up so to speak and took on a pure creme white color.

'Our Lady of Guadalupe', a rose workhorse in my garden even in December. All my three bushes of this variety were suffering from powdery mildew this month, but the ability of the rose to bloom is unaffected by that. This bush in particular almost looks as good as in spring.

What I really like about 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' besides the fact that it is so bloomiferous is that it is also still able to produce a reliable decent flower shape even in the low light conditions of December, which I certainly cannot say of all of my roses.

I think there is no dispute, 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' is simply a very lovely rose! One last photo to prove my point.

'Sweetness' also has been a very reliable, disease resistant bloomer for me this year. The rose smells fantastic even in winter.

One of my 'Pierre de Ronsard' roses was able to give me this cluster of blooms, whereas the other bush is not blooming at all anymore. I think it receives less light.

Another flower of 'Pierre de Ronsard' caught in the perfect moment of beauty.

A bloom of 'Vi's Violet' is a rare sight in my yard. I almost killed this little Miniature rose twice, but it always made a comeback, even though it is still tiny. But if it flowers it is so pretty. I only hope that next year it really starts to grow.  


'Zephirine Drouhin' was not flowering in autumn but has completely surprised me by producing a small flush in winter. The rose just smells divine. This photo was taken by my husband.

After being potted up from a two gallon container to a five gallon one, 'Moonstone' decided to show again how beautiful it can be and teased me with just one flower. The foliage is horrible diseased at this time of the year, though, and therefore I don't know if I will keep the rose despite its lovely blooms. One reason for the disease problem could be that the rose is "container stressed", which means it is sitting too long in a too small container and when it is planted into the ground it might be healthier. I think because of the beauty of the flowers I will give 'Moonstone' a chance and try to plant into the ground as soon as possible and see what happens.  

In any case, overall 2011 was a delightful rose year in my garden and I am very thankful for the beauty and pleasure that my roses have given to me.

I am wishing all of you, my dear readers, a very Happy New Year 2012, with lots of joy, love, and good health!

See you in the garden!



  1. Your roses are beauties. And such prolific bloomers even in December! You must be doing something right! Best wishes to you for much happiness in the new year!

  2. Hallo Christina,
    It must be beautiful to have all this gorgeous roses flower in the garden at this time of the year. I hardly can wait untill they are starting to flower overhere. I have to be patient, haha.
    I wish you a lovely day and hope you share a lot of your garden this year.
    gr. Marijke

  3. Your roses always touch my heart, make me smile and love roses even more than I already do.

    Thank you for sharing your love and learning experiences of the roses that grow in your lovely gardens.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  4. Dorothy, thanks for your nice compliment! I am wishing you a Happy New Year 2012 as well!

    Marijke, it is indeed wonderful to be able to have some roses blooming at this time of the year here in Southern California. I am born in Germany, so not that far away from you, and I remember very well the long winters there. I for sure intend to continue to share my garden on my blog. It is so much fun!

    FlowerLady, thanks for your lovely comment. It makes me so happy that my rose tough your heart. What a greater reward could I get for blogging about my roses in the garden?


  5. Wow !!! I am amazed, Christina !!!
    Great roses, especially " Our Lady of Guadalupe ".
    Have a wonderful New Year !!! Can't wait to see more of your garden ...

  6. Wow - Your 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' does look like it's spring! What a beautiful rose. It's so impressive, I may have to find a spot for it in my garden. Enjoy your blooms!

  7. Dani, thanks for your compliment regarding my roses. 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' has outdone herself this winter. Wishing you a lovely New Year as well!

    Holley, 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' is lovely, but have in mind, if you are serious about getting her for yourself, that you may have to tolerate a certain amount of powdery mildew depending on the season, if you don't spray her. If you can live with that she is a great rose and as I stated in my post her ability to bloom is not affected by the PM. I sure enjoy each and any rose bloom at this time of the year :-).

  8. W nowy rok wstąpić z takimi pięknym różami to cudowne. Życzę ci samych radości w 2012 roku i pozdrawiam.

    In the new year to join with such beautiful roses are wonderful. I wish you the same joy in 2012 and greet.

  9. I love your roses. I have a particular fondness for them myself.

  10. I really like the Pierre de Ronsard. Beautiful! It's so frsutrating when you love a flower so much but the plants problems overwhelm its beauty. I've had to pull out some roses for the same reason. It took me abut 4 months to convince myself my Betty Prior shrub roses had to go several years ago. I still miss it!

  11. How lucky to have roses blooming all year. They are all so pretty. I was just looking at your winter solstice post and it looks so warm and pretty there!

  12. Giga, thanks for your comment! You are right it is very nice to start the new year with some roses blooming. I hope your garden will flourish in 2012 as well!

    Annie, welcome to my blog! I am happy to meet another rose lover :-)!

    Casa Mariposa, thanks for commenting. Pierre de Ronsard is one of my absolute favorite roses in my garden. I completely agree with you. It is very hard if you love a rose bloom, but the plant is just a disease ridden mess. I console myself that there are more roses out there anyway than I can ever grow in my small garden, so I might as well search for the ones that are reasonably healthy in my yard. But still it has never been easy for my to part with any rose :-(!

    Catherine, thanks for your comment! It is indeed very nice to have roses blooming year round. I am glad you like them. It has been very warm here lately, which was lovely especially over the holidays, but we need rain, rain, rain...


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