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!



  1. Nimbus is a beautiful rose. You're so lucky to have any roses flowering at all in December!
    I do hope this year will be kinder weather wise, with more rain.

  2. Such an elegant selection as always Christina. And the colour of The Prince is sumptuous!

  3. Lovely pinks and whites ! You had plenty of roses in December. Beautiful photos, as always :) Have a nice week, Christina !

  4. Hi Christina ~ 'The Prince' and 'Nimbus' are beautiful, my favorites of the ones shown in this post.

    I hope your drought conditions end soon.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  5. Your Roses are Gorgeous!!
    Wish you a lovely week

  6. Me gustan todas pero especialmente la blanca. Saludos.

  7. Oh friend!!!! Be still my heart!!!! Your roses are so beautiful Christina!!! And how wonderful that you were able to cut a bouquet for the holidays! I know that with your tender loving care that your roses will make it through this drought. You have done an outstanding job with your roses! Wishing you a wonderful week! Nicole xo

  8. Was für tolle Exemplare. Da geht mir das Herz auf bei den Fotos.
    Grüße von Stine

  9. Your mislabeled rose is nonetheless very pretty and 'The Prince' is spectacular Christina. I wish any one of my roses were as impressive. I had remarkably fewer blooms on my roses last year too, even the shrub roses, and for their sake (as well as the rest of the garden), I hope we get rain this week!

  10. So wonderful Roses in December! Here in Northern Germany we can only dream about it and enjoy to your pictures. Thanks a lot for this
    Greetings from Heike

    P.s.: I like the colour of 'Nimbus' very well

  11. I hope the drought has gone by now. Anyway, it looks if your roses are always doing better in your climate than over here. We have to be new growth to be seen yet, sigh.......

  12. Die Nimbus ist ja sensationell! Sieht toll aus. Dass der Pope eine eigene Rose hat, ist mir neu!Man lernt einfach nie aus ;))


  13. Beautiful pictures , I can just smell them from my screen ... .my favorite in terms of color is ... , The Prince .....

  14. Wonderful roses. The Price has an amazing colour.

    Hope you soon will get some rain to your very dry gardens.

  15. Thank you so much for your posts and especially the posts from your travels - I have the goal of visiting England and its great gardens. I wanted to ask briefly about The Prince rose, I'm thinking of ordering one this year for a container. Could you share how often it blooms and if it is very floriferous? Any issues with disease for you with this rose? Thanks for your time and sharing your roses! - Cole

    1. Cole, thanks for your kind words about my blog! I hope you get to see England soon. I always feel that this country is the gardener's heaven on earth :-)! Regarding 'The Prince', honestly this is more off an iffy rose for me. Even in my "easy going" Southern California rose climate, where disease pressure is low, it gets powdery mildew and blackspot. I believe it has made three flushes for me last year, but it is by no means a floriferous rose. Just a few albeit exquisite blooms here and there. Sorry to disappoint, but this is not a rose that I would necessarily recommend, unless you are willing to put up with its flaws.

      I have read that 'Munstead Wood', a rose with a similar color, also bred by David Austin, is much healthier and it is also supposed to smell good. If I had to start over, I think, I would get that one instead of 'The Prince'.

      Hope this helps!

    2. Super helpful - I'm so glad I asked you! Thanks again for all of your insights - your blog is a high light for me every week. Take care!

  16. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your pretties with us!! I needed that! The winter is starting to drag on, and it warms my heart to see beautiful blooms from your winter garden. I hope you're seeing the end of the drought out in California.

  17. It was so nice to see these roses in bloom....all white and cold here. I can't wait to see my precious roses.

  18. You are right, the pool has an excellent backdrop for your roses. I am sorry to hear of the drought . I have noticed, roses need a lot of water to flourish . But the pictures are lovely. An other thing, the content of my blog in your sidebar looks rather odd. Is there something I have done wrong? Please let me know if I can help you. Groetjes,


    1. Hetty, roses do need sufficient water to thrive that is for sure. They get by with less water, but the flowers will be smaller and they will be less floriferous.
      As for the representation of your blog on my sidebar, you are right, it looks rather odd. When I click on it though, it lead me right to your blog and the content appears normal. Unfortunately I have no idea what is causing it and also no clue how to fix it. I guess, you have to ask a more tech savvy person. Sorry for not being able to be more helpful!

  19. It must be a struggle at times in your climate Christina, especially the roses. I'd gladly swap some of our rain for some of your heat :)
    As always, I love all your roses and admire all the effort you put into growing them. Well done!

  20. What a beauty you still have in your garden Christina. While your garden is to dry we had to much rain. Enjoy the beauty your garden is bringing.
    Have a wonderful day.

  21. Malgré la sécheresse qui s'est abattue sur la Californie, je trouve que l'aspect de tes roses est impeccable. Je n'ai pas remarqué une seule trace de maladie sur le feuillage et les roses offrent de charmantes couleurs que tu as bien mises en valeur en prenant les photos avec en fond la piscine. Tu n'as pas d’inquiétude à avoir, tous tes messages ont un réel intérêt pour le lecteur et les amoureux des roses qui découvrent tes photos ravissantes.
    Belle soirée

  22. I think your roses are fantastic! We have read about the drought in California. Here we have rain, rain and rain.

  23. So lovely to see these beautiful roses and I enjoyed seeing them displayed against the different backgrounds to highlight their colors. Gardening is such a challenge and to have to deal with drought is difficult. I hope things improve soon for you and your lovely roses. xo Karen

  24. Today I would love any white rose instead of all the snow outside! But even more the "Nimbus". Wonderful colour!

  25. The photo of 'The Prince' is beathtaking!
    We all have our challenges with the dear roses. Mine are winter surviving and foliage fungus...

  26. Oh wie wunderwunderschön!
    Bei uns hats leider schon wieder geschneit - gemein :-)
    Lieb Grüße
    sendet dir die Urte :-)