Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Beginning of the Rose Spring Flush

The last two weeks I was out of town and only returned yesterday. When I did my garden tour this morning, I couldn't believe how much the roses had changed in this short period of time. While I was gone, they started their spring flush! I was giddy with joy and excitement and simply have to share some photos with you!

'Pierre de Ronsard' is almost in full bloom already.

Each flower of this rose is a masterpiece.

'Pierre de Ronsard', also called 'Eden', truly blooms in abundance.

An immaculate flower of 'Pope John Paul II'.

'Yolande d'Aragon' has wonderful blooms...

...and is one of the roses with the most intoxicating fragrance in my garden.

We planted 'Auckland Metro' into the ground the weekend before I left and the rose has churned out these big lovely blooms already. 

'Grandmother's Hat' has never bloomed as opulent as this year.

The flowers have a beautiful subtle coloration ranging from a darker pink in the center to a lighter pink in the outer petals of the bloom, that usually is only found in Old Garden Roses. She has a lovely and intense perfume as well.

One more close-up of 'Grandmother's Hat'.

Somehow I still can't believe, that it is happening. Each year the rose spring flush is a magical experience for me. I am so looking forward to the following weeks. And the best thing is, that I don't have to travel anywhere anymore and will be able to enjoy the roses to the fullest.

Wishing all of you all a wonderful week!

See you in the garden!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

February Roses

Since my last post the weeks have flown by as usual. I wanted to blog about what has happened in the garden in general this winter, but now it is already more than time for my traditional monthly post about which roses have been blooming in the previous month.

February was an odd month for my roses. Hardly any were flowering, because I didn't take good care of most the ones in containers and the ones in the ground were all freshly pruned. I had started to prune the roses around the 15th of December last year and was done with it by the 15th of February.

Normally in February I get the majority of my rose blooms from roses growing in containers. The soil in a container is much warmer than the soil in the ground, especially when the rose is growing in a black plastic pot. That promotes it to grow faster and bloom even in the middle of winter, when they are taken good care of, which means being fertilized and watered.

As I said already, this winter I wasn't able to look after all my roses in containers properly, especially the ones waiting in the pot ghetto to be planted, but the few roses growing in containers that I was able to look after and that were growing well got pruned a second time by a rat. To my big surprise the new canes, leaves, buds, and flowers have been irresistible to the rat as well as new basal growth on the roses planted in the ground. The damage it did was quite substantial. I didn't know up to this point that rats are rose connoisseurs. Do you ever had rats eating your roses, too? So frustrating! Normally, February is the month with the least rose blooms in the cycle of a year, but for the reasons mentioned above there were even less than usual roses flowering last month.

Anyway, here are a few photos from roses that despite all the odds that were against them, still made it to flower in my garden in February.

First up is 'Chandos Beauty', a Hybrid Tea rose, which is a new one for me. Although I have her quite a while growing from a band to a size that fits into a two gallon container this rose had never flowered for me so far. So I was anxiously waiting to see the first bloom. It was planted into the ground last January and the flower on the photo above is the very first that it ever gave to me. Isn't it beautiful? I am completely smitten!

Here is the bloom at an earlier stage.

And here is another one of 'Chandos Beauty' in the bud stage. The photo was taken after it finally rained last week on Friday.

This is a shot of the whole rose bush. You can see how small it still is, but it is healthy and has started to actively grow. It also has set quite a few buds already. I have a gut feeling that this could become a very good rose in my garden. 

Above is pictured a bloom of 'Madame Alfred Carriere', a Tea-Noisette rose, that just starts to open. I love the subtle coloration of it.

Here is another flower of the same rose that is a little more open. We planted 'Madame Alfred Carriere' into the ground last July. She is growing vigorously and decided to start to flower in December and has continued ever since. There are not many blooms on this rose, yet, but I believe that she is still settling in and probably putting her main energy into producing roots.

One last shot of the same rose. Even though it is supposed to be a tough drought tolerant rose, the blooms are very delicate and have an ethereal beauty, which really speaks to me.

My most floriferous rose in February was 'Georgetown Tea, a Tea rose.

She has a tendency to hide her flowers in the foliage, which I find quite charming.

No bloom is the same and they can vary quite a bit in color from very pale light pink to a more intense cool pink mainly depending on the temperatures.

Unfortunately this rose gets powdery mildew on and off in my garden and at times it is really bothersome.

I have tried a few other Tea roses and many of them had this problem in my yard, which is too bad, since this is such a beautiful class of roses. 

'Vi's Violet', a Miniature rose continues to blooms since January. The color of the flowers can be a very clear lavender...

...or fade to a pink lavender. This rose continues to have mild problems with blackspot in my garden. I am always astonished about that, since we don't have high blackspot pressure here in Southern California and only very few roses get it.

'Belinda's Dream', a Shrub rose planted in December last year. The blooms are very full and have a delightful medium pink color.

Unfortunately earwigs like this rose very much, that is why it has a lot of small holes in the petals. I certainly hope that this gets better over time. 

Here is a full bush shot of 'Belinda's Dream'. Since we planted her, the rose has not been growing too much in size, but is rather blooming her heart out. For such a young rose she has set exceptionally many buds.

The next contender is 'Auckland Metro', a Hybrid Tea rose with beautiful cream colored blooms and a pleasant fragrance.

I got my 'Auckland Metro' as a band. Until this morning it was residing in a five gallon container and was big enough to be planted in the ground, which my husband and I did today. It went into the 'White Garden Bed' replacing a 'Climbing Iceberg' rose.

To my surprise I found a cluster of flowers hidden deep in the foliage of 'Grandmother's Hat'. It feels like I just pruned this rose and now it has already started to bloom again. Of course, I am not complaining! 'Grandmother's Hat' is the third year in the ground and has grown very vigorously after pruning and I expect a wonderful spring flush from her. 

The last rose that I would like to show you is 'Pierre de Ronsard' also know under the name 'Eden'. This is the very first flower that I got from it this year. 

The same bloom a little more open...

...and in the fully open state.

This is an image of the full bush. 'Pierre de Ronsard' is a climbing rose, but the canes are sturdy enough that it can be grown as a free standing shrub without any support. My rose is approximately five years in the ground and has put on a good size. It grows in a bed that is ridiculously narrow, but when sufficiently watered and fertilized it does well, as you can see. It is not so apparent in the photo, but the rose is loaded with buds and I think it will produce a glorious spring flush. This was the first rose that I pruned this winter season on the 15th of December. Only three month later it is ready to bloom again. Roses never cease to amaze me here in Southern California!

Hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did putting it together. Can't wait for the spring flush of the roses! I am sure next month many more roses will be blooming and some already in abundance, since the winter has been so warm here and everything is very early this year.

See you in the garden!