Saturday, February 11, 2017

January Roses

Rose pickings were unusually slim this January and as most gardeners would do I was trying to understand what the causes were for that. One reason was pretty clear: Normally I push the roses still growing in containers to continue to produce blooms throughout the winter by fertilizing very late in the year. I also don't prune them in January, which is the proper winter pruning time for roses here in Southern California. Last year I didn't get around to give the potted roses a late fertilizer application and I paid the price for it since they mostly stopped blooming because of that.

I was very disappointed, baffled and surprised though that 'Georgetown Tea', a Tea Rose and 'Madame Alfred Carriere', a Tea Noisette Rose were not flowering this January. Genetically these roses have the potential to bloom through the winter in our climate and neither of them did this year. That is quite puzzling to me and the only reason I can think of is that they didn't have enough fertilizer either even though these roses I did fertilize in December the last time. I believe that the root competition with the palm trees which are growing nearby is simply too strong and that I didn't put down enough organic fertilizer for them to be able to bloom.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed each rose flower that I got from my garden last month and I hope you do vicariously through the photos, too.

My best bloomer was rosa 'Pope John Paul II'. In the winter time because of the cooler temperatures the rose produces light green buds, that later turn into pure white flowers.

I am completely crazy for these light green shades in the bud stage of this rose. I think they look so elegant.

I only have seen this coveted green tint in florist roses, but not in roses that you can grow in your own garden. There is only one exception and that is rosa 'John F. Kennedy', which I had in my previous garden in Menlo Park, California. Unfortunately, it was such a weak and sickly rose that I hardly got any blooms from it and for that reason, I didn't acquire this rose for my new garden in San Diego again. 

If you know of any garden roses that have this green tint in the bud stage or even in an open flower, please share the name of the variety with me. I am more than happy to try it out in my garden.

This bloom is a little further open and you see that it has almost lost the green shimmer on its petals and it is turning into a white rose.

Here is one fully open bloom. 'Pope John Paul II' is a very healthy and floriferous Hybrid Tea rose in my climate. And if this weren't enough he smells heavenly of citrus.

Rosa 'Belinda's Dream' seen from the side.

A bud of rosa 'Bewitched'. I love that the tips of the sepals are red picking up the color of the bud and that they curl down in this noble way. 

The last bloom of rosa 'Auckland Metro' from the winter flush.

A little pale in the face: Rosa 'Mary Rose', a rose bred by the famous English rose breeder David Austin. She is also growing in a container and ran out of food, which I believe contributed to the uncommon very light pink color. 

This is rosa 'Neptune' a mauve, lavender colored Hybrid Tea rose. I have a soft spot for lavender colored roses. To me, they are the real rose divas, not because they are especially difficult to grow, but because this color simply wants to stand out and doesn't blend well with other rose colors except white in my opinion.

I grow many soft pink roses in my garden and think the lavender looks awful together with them. So I guess in the future I have to devote an extra rose bed to the lavender roses only filled with companions that they are willing to tolerate at their side.

'Neptune' had trouble to open properly in the low light intensity conditions in January, a problem which I also have observed in others of my roses. 

Same bloom a little bit more open, but still lopsided.

But finally, he got his act together and opened up more regularly. I recall cutting two of the blooms of this rose before heavy rainfall set in and they looked so lovely on our dining room table and smelled divine.

We truly had plenty of rain in January, which is absolutely wonderful after so many years of drought. It continued into February so far and more is in the forecast, which all calls for a fabulous rose spring flush. As for the February roses, however, I guess there might be even less than there have been in January, but you never know, the roses might surprise me. Find out when I blog about the roses that have bloomed in February in the beginning of next month.

See you in the garden!

Warm regards,



  1. Me encanta las rosas, sobre todo Juan Pablo II. ¿ No vistes mis rosas ? Besitos.

    1. Teresa, I love roses, too, and no matter how many I grow or how many rose photos I have seen, they never get old for me. 'Pope John Paul II' is a really special one. It does well in a warm climate, so maybe it would be great for you in Spain as well. I don't know, though, if it is available in your country.

  2. So much water, that will help your roses thrive! I am looking at them enviously. Yesterday we have had some snow. So no roses for me, not for months! Groetjes,

  3. Lovely roses once again. This is the time of year I start thinking about getting new roses. :-) Seeing your photos only makes me want them even more.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

    1. Lorraine, thanks for your kind words about my roses.
      Yes, this is the time to think about getting new roses! Well, I think about that all year round ;-), but each year in the winter time I order a few new ones, which is a really nice tradition for me. I placed my order already and will share soon on the blog, which new rose babies I have chosen for this year. I think even if one gets only one new rose a year it is such a big source of joy. I am curious to follow your blog and see if you get a new rose/roses and which one/ones it will be. Happy choosing!

  4. You may not have as many roses blooming in January but you still have a lot more than I do! I've pruned the small number of shrubs I have but I still need to get around to fertilizing them. I do have a few blooms on Rosa mutabilis, which never seems to pay any attention to seasonal changes here, although it's not a robust plant to begin with.

    1. Kris, if you are interested in more prolific blooming roses I would suggest trying to fertilizing them more, just as an experiment. I learned over the years that roses are truly heavy feeders. If I want plenty of blooms I need to fertilize a lot, without over fertilizing, of course.
      I am not surprised that your rosa 'Mutablis' is blooming through the winter, since she is a China Rose, which like my Tea Roses have this ability. But I am surprised that you say it is not a robust plant. I was assuming that this rose grows like gangbusters in our Southern California climate.

  5. Dear Christina,
    what a pity that your roses don´t bloom as much as usually. However, the ones that do bloom look very beautiful! Hopefully the roses will have a great spring flush due to the rain! In Vienna we have an unusually cold winter and the ground is still frozen. I hope it won´t take too long till spring comes. I can´t wait for my plants to thrive again. Beautiful rose pictures such as yours help me pass these freezing cold winter months.
    Best wishes,

  6. Beautiful roses. Glad you have gotten rain. It was getting scary for your area.

  7. Christina,
    What beautiful roses and helpful tips for how to care for them. My favorite is the Mary Rosa. I love that pale pink color. Fortunately for me, you didn't fertilize it as much as you wished.

    My sister lived in San Diego for many years and is a professional florist. She laments not being able to grow all the beautiful flowers she had in her CA garden.

    Welcome to Botanic Bleu and Monday Social. Looking forward to seeing more your beautiful garden.


  8. I live vicariously through your roses (and your puppies!). I dream of a cottage smothered in roses. I am amazed that your roses have done so well, despite the drought you have endured - a testament to your care. I am glad you are getting rain!

  9. I like that first rose you highlighted, but especially 'Auckland Metro'! I'm so glad you've had plenty of rain recently. I remember last March when we were there, the concerns were high for drought conditions and potential fires. Thanks for sharing your roses. :)

  10. Hello, and thank you for your rose blog. I am a fellow san diego rose gardener. I have been desperately trying to find the rose Yolande d'aragon. Can you remember where you found her?
    thank you,
    Meadow Gist

    1. Meadow Gist, welcome to my blog! How nice to see a comment from a San Diego rose gardener.
      I believe I got my 'Yolande d'Aragon' as an own-root rose either from Heirloom Roses or from Vintage Gardens many years ago. Unfortunately, Vintage Gardens went out of business and I just checked Heirloom Roses, they don't carry it on their website right now. But you may want to give them a call and ask if they carry it in their propagation repertoire , even though it is out of stock momentarily.
      Also, you may want to contact the San Diego rose society. They might know a source were to obtain it. Hope this helps and you can get 'Yolande d'Aragon'. She is a very lovely rose with an absolutely amazing Old Garden Rose fragrance. I don't know if you did it already, but when you search my blog you can find some photos of her there.

  11. Lovely roses....Isn't it great to have so much rain now? We so appreciate you sharing your beautiful roses at DI&DI.

  12. We just had a snow storm here. Your pictures are so lovely to see. They are a reminder that Winter will end and Spring will arrive.

    1. Barbara, a warm welcome to my blog, so nice to see you commenting here! Yikes, a snow storm that is not so much fun, but as you said winter will inevitably cease and spring will come. Hope it doesn't take to long in your neck of the woods.

  13. How appropriate as well that Valentine's day is just around the corner....tomorrow actually!

  14. Gorgeous roses! Mine are looking really sad because of the winter but at least we still have a few camellias blooming.
    Thanks for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  15. Thanks for sharing, Christina. Your beautiful roses will be the only roses that I get to enjoy for Valentine's Day. HA!

  16. Beautiful as always Christina. For your commentor Meadow Gist, Rogue Valley Roses in Oregon carries it, but may or may not have stock. I find that Heirloom does not carry as many of the old roses as they did years ago, I think in favor of their own breeding programs.

    1. ks, thanks! That is very nice of you to point out for Meadow Gist that Rogue Valley Roses may carry 'Yolande d'Aragon'.
      Yeah, I think that Heirloom Roses has changed very much over the years, especially under the new ownership. It makes me sad that there are less and less nurseries that are carrying Old Garden Roses. Many of them are real gems which are tried and true by time and do well in gardens without being too finicky or requiring too much care.

  17. Christina, Mary Rose is gorgeous! And I love the Bewitched bud. I'll want to see a photo of it when it opens. I, too, think that very light green tint on some white roses is very elegant.

  18. Each one is just delightful! I do love the green roses, but pink always take my breath away!! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  19. Liebe Christina,
    der Dünger wird sicher helfen und bald werden wieder alle richtig blühen.
    Herrlich deine Rosenblüten!
    Bei uns ist alles noch ganz grau und verfroren und alles voller Schneereste im Garten. Aber die Schneeglöckchen schieben sich langsam durch und die kleinen Winterlinge blühen schon. Ich freu mich schon auf die Rosen. :-)
    Ganz viele liebe sonnige Grüße
    sendet dir die Urte

  20. Liebe Christina, das sind herrliche Rosenbilder! In ein paar Monaten ist es hier dann auch wieder so weit ;) Die Rosen im Garten benötigen heuer auch meine Aufmerksamkeit ;)

    LG kathrin

  21. So pretty! Not much blooming for me at the moment.

  22. All the roses truly breathtaking. I love them and have some. Nothing to compare to yours.