Tuesday, March 24, 2015

February Roses

February seems to be already such a long time ago, but I still want to post a recap of what happened in my garden in terms of the roses, as I do for each month. As usual for that time of the year rose blooms were sparse, but I still got some nice flowers from the roses living in containers and one rose planted into the ground, my 'Climbing Iceberg', decided February was the new spring and produced a whole, albeit mediocre rose flush.

This year I was particularly late pruning and fertilizing my roses. Normally I start these tasks in the beginning of December and I am done with them by the end of January. And even though this year I also started pruning in December, I only finished it by the end of February (our new dog takes up a lot of garden time, you know...). To be honest with you, I didn't even get to all of the roses in containers, some are still untouched, which is a shame.

In prior years I pruned a rose and immediately fertilized it with organic fertilizer, but this year I gave some roses a longer time to rest before I put fertilizer down. The idea behind it was to allow the roses to rejuvenate instead of encouraging them immediately to leave out and produce new buds again, after a very tough year 2014 with all the heat and drought that the roses were going through.

I think that was a very serious mistake, since to me it looks like the organic fertilizer was not broken down by microorganisms and available to the roses when they started to leave out at their own leisure. I have the impression that in my poor soil this way the roses were starving, when they needed food to be able to produce new leaves and set buds properly. Lesson learned: Next year I am going back to my old way, again!

Let's have a look at some photos that I took last month.

As it is common each month, there was one rose that stood out with its beauty in February in my garden, was kind of the star of the crowd, and that was 'Captain Christy'.

This is a relatively rare early Hybrid Tea rose, bred by Francois Lacharme (France, 1873).

The parents of this rose are 'Victor Verdier', a Hybrid Perpetual, also bred by Lacharme in 1859 and 'Safrano', a lovely Tea rose, bred by Beauregard in 1839. Considering his parents 'Captain Christy' is a first generation Hybrid Tea rose. It is kind of exciting to me to own a rose of that era in rose breeding history.

'Captain Christy' looks very different in comparison to the modern Hybrid Tea rose from nowadays and for me certainly radiates a very special charm.

The light pink delicate large flowers with the darker pink center are of exquisite beauty. I am so happy that this rose is blooming for me again, since I almost lost it last year due to the very hot summer.

Many roses planted in the ground where already setting buds in February, which is kind of early in my garden, like for example this very healthy 'Chandos Beauty' Hybrid Tea rose.

As I mentioned in my intro to this post, 'Climbing Iceberg' was the first rose in my garden that started to produce a spring flush. The rose didn't leave out fully and the flush wasn't a profuse one, though. On top of that unfortunately the 'Climbing Iceberg' was already plagued by powdery mildew. So altogether not the most prettiest sight and I prefer to just show you one bloom and leave it at that!

Another rose growing in a container that delighted me with its blooms was 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh', an English Rose bred by David Austin, United Kingdom 1988.

I just love the cupped, old-fashioned bloom form and how the color fades to a lilac pink as the blooms gets older. This is the only rose that I know off, that does that to this extend.

'Rhodolugue Jules Gravereaux' in my eyes is an incredible beautiful Tea rose,...

...that was giving me some early blooms in February as well.

I love this rose also in the faded stage, shortly before the petals drop. 

The picture above was taken during the time when I was fertilizing my roses. The rose to the right of the pygmy date palm is 'Pierre de Ronsard' and to the very left, partly hidden by the dolly with the fertilizer bag, is 'Belinda's Dream'. The gray, yellow stuff at the feet of the roses is the fertilizer, a combination of biostart and alfalfa meal. You can see that 'Pierre de Ronsard' is leaving out sparsely, which unfortunately seems to be an ongoing theme with almost all my roses this spring.

The flower bed above, for some unknown reasons, I think I have never shown on my blog so far. It was originally inhabited by a pygmy date palm, which grew so big, that it is was obstructing the view from our family living room into the garden. The palm was removed and the stump was grinded and then I planted the shell pink 'Heritage' there, another David Austin rose. In the background I have placed some calla lilies, zantedeschia aethiopica, which have grown in nicely, but haven't bloomed much this winter. As evident on the photo, 'Heritage' also has some trouble to leave out properly.

This image shows my Hybrid Perpetual Bed, containing from the left to the right 'Yolande d'Aragon', 'Reine des Violettes' and 'Grandmother's Hat'. Obviously the first two roses have problems to leave out fully as well, only 'Grandmother's Hat looks pretty decent, almost completely clothed in new leaves.

Here I am presenting a close-up of 'Grandmother's Hat's foliage. The leaves are so healthy, for me it is a joy just to look at the foliage itself. Many roses had problems with powdery mildew and rose rust already last month, but 'Grandmother's Hat' could successful fight of the ugly fungi with bravery.

Zooming in even closer, here are the first of the many buds of 'Grandmother's Hat', showing a nice color at the time I took the photo, even though it was only February. I can already give away that 'Grandmother's Hat was the second rose to produce a spring flush in my garden. I didn't get disappointed with her like with the above mentioned 'Climbing Iceberg' rose, but this is something for another post.

A rose that also showed great promise last month was 'Auckland Metro'. Here is a cane with a bud. You can see for yourself how healthy and robust the new leaves are.

Lastly a bud of 'Neptune', a lavender Hybrid Tea rose, even though it doesn't look much lavender in the bud stage.

Here is the same bloom of 'Neptune', just a little bit further in the opening process. It continued to develop into a huge beautiful lavender colored bloom in the beginning of March, which I intend to show you when I blog next time about my March roses.

I am wishing everyone a happy spring!

See you in the garden!



  1. With all those roses in bloom in your garden last month it's easy to think that spring has arrived extra early in your area :) great selection as always!

  2. Los rosales están preciosos. Besos y linda primavera.

  3. Thank you! This is what I needed today--being back in a cold place after being in a warm place for so long. Your roses always warm my heart. :)

  4. I totally missed your puppy post friend! I knew you were looking but I don't think I remember seeing your new addition!! How is the pup in your garden?? Which by the way is blooming so lovely! I know you said that you wish you would have fertilized earlier but your blooms show such strong plants! Beautiful garden!!! I look forward to seeing more shots this spring friend! Happy week to you! Nicole xo

  5. Your roses still look good to my eyes, Christina. Even pre-heatwave, the warmer weather we've been experiencing probably takes its toll. I was late in cutting back my roses too (even though I have relatively few by comparison) and, although I hate to admit it, I still haven't gotten around with the fertilizer.

    I hope the new puppy is doing well!

  6. Das ist sicher toll, wenn sie alle blühen. Du erinnerst mich daran, dass ich noch düngen muss! Besonders die Kletterer.


  7. Beautiful Christina. I am jelaouse to see your roses make so many new canes. Most of my roses are standing on two legs and thats it. We have to wait untill the end of may to see roses blooming.
    Have a wonderful day.

  8. Beautiful roses! I really love it. The colors are so striking.

  9. Roses only just coming into leaf here Christina, it's been a pleasure enjoying yours meanwhile. I love the crisp white of your climbing Iceberg. All very beautiful and a real credit to your devotion to them :)

  10. Lovely flowers! They will get around to leafing out soon, don't you think? My 'Laguna' and 'Sombreuil' are very slow this year.

  11. Dear Christina, You have a lot of roses flowering in Februari! Do you cal that rose blooms are sparce? They look fantastic and the leaves...... We have to wait for a month to see that I guess. Groetjes,


  12. Olá, Christina,

    Parabéns pelo seu cuidado e dedicação com suas flores.


    Tenha um lindo final de semana,


    Lígia e =ˆ.ˆ=

  13. Wspaniałe zdjęcia! - podziwiam i jestem w nich zakochana - pozdrawiam serdecznie

  14. Your September roses are lovely! So different from how it looked here in February, when we had snow. I always especially love the pictures of your white and cream-colored roses.

  15. C'est un bonheur de pouvoir observer des roses à cette époque de l'année. Je remarque tes nouveaux rosiers dont héritage qu va te donner une profusion de corolles dans un coloris tendre très féminin. Les bons soins que tu as prodigués sur toutes tes variétés seront profitables dans les mois à venir. Le rosier est un arbuste facile mais gourmand.
    Belle journée, bonne semaine. Jocelyne

  16. Such beautiful roses !! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos !!

  17. Christina, as always it is a joy to see your roses. I am smitten with your 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh.' Like you, I love its old-fashioned form and its color. We are putting in a new decorative fence/divider between our patio and the kitchen garden. I am so excited because this area gets full sun, and I can plant a climbing rose on the new fence. But which one? There are so many possibilities. But it must be disease resistant and reblooming.Do you have any favorites?

    1. Deb, my personal favorite is 'Pierre de Ronsard', a climbing rose with really large blooms that come in a white/cream color with pink edges. In my garden this rose is reasonable healthy, but can get rust if the conditions are right.
      Another rose that I completely adore is 'Climbing Crimson Glory'. The large dark crimson colored flowers of this rose are very sumptuous looking and as an added bonus strongly fragrant. I have seen this rose in England and I believe also growing on a house in my neighborhood (there was no id tag), both specimen were healthy.
      If you want to see photos of these two roses on my blog, please use the search function on my sidebar, located on the right side of the blog, and type in the names, you should find them easily.
      That being said, please have in mind that I am growing roses in a completely different climate than you and it is really unpredictable for me to say how their disease resistance would be in your garden.
      Hope this helps!

    2. Thank you, Christina! I will check these out!

    3. Great! I am curious to hear for which rose you will go at the end. Any rose is good ;-)!

  18. Ach wenn erst unsere Rosen erst soweit wären :-)
    Liebste Grüße ins Warme zu dir!