Wednesday, March 8, 2017

February Roses

As expected there weren't many roses blooming in my garden in the month of February, as a matter of fact, this is the month where I have the least blooms for seasonal reasons. And that is OK since even the roses need a break once a year to regain their strength to produce their wonderful spring flush. But the garden had already plenty of rose buds to offer, which I really enjoyed looking at. Even though they are all rose buds, they appear in so many different shapes and forms depending on the rose variety, which I find quite fascinating.

We had plenty of rain in February which after the five years of drought in California is absolutely delightful. But with the all the rain accompanied by plenty of gray days powdery mildew and rose rust, the for our area most common rose diseases, were on the rise. In my no-spray rose garden I don't do anything about them just observe the roses closely and in the long run ruthlessly get rid of the rose varieties that are disease prone in my climate.

Rosa 'Belinda's Dream' produced beautiful roses despite the weather, but through all the rain the outer rose petals became brown and mushy. So I cut some rose flowers at an early stage and brought them indoors to enjoy up close.

Here is one example of the little informal plonks that I get so much joy from. The roses are 'Belinda's Dream', the dainty small pink flowers are from hardy geranium 'Biokovo' and the little sprig of green filler is from a store bought bouquet that I posted about here

I noticed that usually the green fillers last much longer in florist bouquets then the flowers themselves and I think it is a good idea to reuse them in arrangements consisting out of flowers cut from my own garden again. That comes especially handy in my case since I don't have so many plants growing in my garden whose foliage can be used as filler greens in garden bouquets.  

Rosa 'Marie Pavie' had set the most buds already and I am sure she will be my first rose this year to break out into her spring flush. The fresh light green buds together with all the healthy new foliage of this rose are a joy to look at. 

I love how the buds of 'Marie Pavie' stand out against the gray backdrop of my Queen Palm trunk. 

Bud of rosa 'Bewitched' revealing already its saturated clear pink color. 

Another shot of rosa 'Bewitched' caught in the moment when the sepals of the bud peel back already. Now it won't take long anymore until the rose bloom will fully open. 

This is one of the new rose babies from last year, rosa 'Gruss an Aachen'. It also seems to be wanting to be an early bloomer, but unfortunately, the rose has suffered from powdery mildew quite a bit last month. 

The rose that was blooming the most already is 'Madame Alfred Carriere'. I am just so in love with this one. And the fact that she is able to bloom in the winter time makes her even more precious.

I find the cream-white blooms with the blush pink shading are simply irresistible. There is just one catch in my garden. The rose is planted in quite a bit of shade and therefore is turning her blooms to face the sunlight, which is away from the garden. So what I get to see mostly are their backs. But even in this perspective, they are very beautiful.

To me, the flowers of 'Madame Alfred Carriere' have a very old fashioned feel. They are a little informal and appear almost translucent. They are also wonderful as cut flowers (see my New Year's bouquet of 'Madame Alfred Carriere' here) but they don't last all that long in the vase. That can be forgiven though since I get so many blooms that I can replenish my vases easily.

Rosa 'Pope John Paul II' is also producing new buds already. This rose was always one of the healthiest in my garden, but it is not responding well to all the rain. Unfortunately, for the first time, it has some rose rust. So I guess if you are living a wetter humid climate this rose might not be the one for you.

Next up is rosa 'Grandmother's Hat'. Do you notice the exceptionally long and big sepals? I think they give the rose buds a very elegant appearance. 

This is rosa 'Souvenir de la Malmaison'. I want to grow this rose so badly, because I have seen absolutely wonderful photos of its blooms, but it doesn't look very promising. Also new to my garden from last year so far it is a very puny little plant to begin with and it is suffering from black spot, which is a little unusual for my area. When I got the plant as a rose band there were two cutting that had rooted in the pot. By now one seems to have died and the other one seems to be a weak one, too.

In addition to all that is being said before, I would like to share that this is already my second trial with this rose. This first rose band died after a short time. Even though in general Bourbon roses, the rose class this rose belongs to, should thrive in my climate, but 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' does not seem to follow this rule.

I am curious, dear readers, what is your experience with growing rosa 'Souvenir de la Malmaison'? Is this rose doing well for you or does it give you trouble, too?

Quite the opposite to the previous rose, 'Rhodologue Jules Gravereaux' is doing excellent in my garden. The flowers of this Tea rose are always exquisite and I am looking forward to seeing this bud fully open.

The last rose that I am featuring in today's post is 'Captain Christy', one of the rare old Hybrid Tea roses. 

And here you see the rose in the bud stage. I love how the rain droplets are lining up on the edge of the biggest sepal. 

'Captain Christy' also has a more informal bloom form which I think is very charming and its light pink color is one of my favorites in the rose kingdom. Sadly, the plant itself is a weak grower, which I tried to nurse along in a container for a long time, but the vigor doesn't improve. Mine is an own-root rose and I think to cultivate this one successfully it needs to be grafted on a more vigorous root stock.

I am sure that next month I will have already quite a few roses blooming and I am looking very much forward to that. We are expecting a very warm week with highest temperatures reaching 83 degrees Fahrenheit/28 degrees Celsius, which will push the rose buds to open up very quickly.

Thanks for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed my monthly rose report and read it with interest.

See you in the garden!

Warm regards,


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  1. OOOOh how lovely it is to see your roses Christina. I special love the rosebuds. I have many photo's of the rosebuds too. It's so great that the thearoses are doing so well in your garden. In my garden they don't. After 3 years in my garden there is only one cane left. But it has everything to do with your warmer climat I think. The historical ones are doing so much better overhere. 28C? I wish I had it overhere (lol). We've had a great amount of rain yesterday. I think it's time for me to learn my roses how to swim. Enjoy a beautiful springtime Christina. Your roses will open up very quick with your warm weather.
    Warm wishes
    Rosehugs Marijke.

  2. How nice to see your lovely photos once again, not only of full blown roses, but of their sweet buds.

    I look for roses that are hardy and pretty much disease resistant for my sub-tropical humid area.

    Your roses are always a joy to behold ~ FlowerLady

  3. I have just finished pruning my roses here. so it was lovely to look at your photos of all those roses in bud. I grow some of the same ones, so especially good to see those. A 'no spray' garden can be hard to maintain when there is disease or infestation around, and it is hard to ditch the roses which don't cope well. I think in time, the garden will be full of the vigorous, healthy varieties which can cope with anything - that's what I tell myself anyway! My healthiest roses are Charles de Mills, and nothing seems to affect them.

    1. Jane, congrats to finishing your rose pruning! It always feels so good to me when this job is done in my garden.
      I am dying to know which of the roses that I grow in my garden you grow in yours as well! It is really fascinating to me that roses are so adaptable that the same varieties can grow in so different climates.
      Over time with careful selection I do believe it is possible to have a very disease resistant rose garden without spraying. But it does require to get rid of the disease magnets because, as I seem to have observed in my garden, they infect the healthier varieties. I certainly have a hard time to discard roses, especially when I love the variety, but have decided that in the long run that is the only way to go, when I want an overall more disease resistant rose garden. Trying to reach this goal is very motivating to me, which helps me to actually part with roses that are not doing well here. As a matter of fact, I just took out another rose plagued by powdery mildew yesterday!
      So interesting to hear that Charles de Mills is so healthy in your garden. It is one of my favorite gallicas, but unfortunately gallica roses seem to be the one rose class that is not made for our warm climate.

  4. Dear Christina,
    looking forward to seeing your roses bloom. The buds seem very promising!
    Best wishes,

  5. Liebe Christina, das sind herrliche Rosenbilder. Hier hat noch nicht einmal der Frühling begonnen. Es ist eine Katastrophe. Heute auch nur wieder Regen. Es ist so nass, dass schön langsam meine Schneeglöckchen absaufen.

    lg kathrin

  6. And next month they will all be flowering! You lucky one! groetjes,

  7. Your images of roses take my breath away, as always. :) I have happy memories of roses blooming and happy plants from our trip to your part of the country last year at this time. I must say, the buds are as pretty as the full blooms (maybe more so, in some cases). Thanks for sharing!

  8. All those buds spell such promise for March, Christina! I love the combination of 'Belinda's Dream' and 'Biokovo' in your vase. I used 'Biokovo' extensively in my former, mostly shade, garden and tried it here as well but it just burnt to a crisp in the second year.

    1. Kris, I love geranium 'Biokovo' as well and just discovered how nice it looks in a vase. Even though the flowers are very dainty they lasted surprisingly long when cut. I have two patches of 'Biokovo' and the one in more shade is definitively doing much better than the other, but both are blooming nicely right now.
      I am so sorry to read that yours burnt up, since it is such a lovely plant. I often wonder if your garden in general is a tat hotter than mine...

  9. Son todas muy lindas. ¿ no vistes algunas de las mías ? Un beso.

  10. You really have roses all year long. Bravo ! 'Captain Christy' is just gorgeous !

  11. Thank you Christina! Lovely! I especially loved 'Madame Alfred Carriere'!

  12. Christina, every time I visit your blog is such a treat. It feels as though I've had a wonderful outing to a famous garden. Very inspiring, and one of these days I expect to be telling you you've inspired me to take up rose gardening.

    1. Jean, thank you very much for your nice comment, it made my day! You are writing a very lovely cooking and baking blog yourself, so you know how much work blogging is. Sometimes it is hard to set aside the time to blog and sometimes the motivation is down, but comments like yours keep me going. So again thank you sooo... much!
      Of course, my biggest pleasure would be if you start to plant your own rose garden. It is so rewarding and brings so much joy! I am sure you won't regret it as long as you choose the right rose varieties for your climate. And maybe, just maybe you decorate one of your baking goods with your own homegrown organic roses in the future. How about that :-)?

  13. Love your roses! I just noticed the first few buds on mine this week - so excited!

    1. Roseann, welcome to my blog, I am glad you love my roses! Yes, seeing the first new buds is so exhilarating, isn't it? Now it won't take long until your roses bloom again! Yay!

  14. Hi Christina!
    So many lovely roses you get to see in bloom soon. I only have a few, and Rhapsody in Blue was the star last year. It does not have many competitors. I´m still thinking where to make a new rosebed. Meanwhile I´m trying to protect it from the deer.
    Have a lovely day / Best wishes Marika

  15. Good evening Christina, Roses are my favourite garden flower. I love planting roses with clematis as I love how the clematis scribbles through the roses.
    I live in England, and whilst walking in the garden today, I noticed tiny leaves appearing on my roses.
    I love spring time, because it is so exciting to see the garden to start to come alive again.
    I have enjoyed my visit so I have become a new follower.
    Best Wishes.

    1. Daphne, what a beautiful name, I am happy to have you won as new follower :-)! I love, love, love England and I am excited that you are visiting from over there.
      Roses are simply wonderful, aren't they? Even though I like almost all flowers they are definitive my favorites as well.
      I have seen clematis growing through roses on my trips to England. I haven't seen it so often done here in the US. Maybe I should give this a try in my own garden, since I think it is a very enchanting combination as well.

  16. Your roses are beautiful. I would love to have a rose garden. I would like to invite you to bring your beautiful roses over to the Fabulous Party.
    The link is over here:
    Happy Spring

  17. Your budding roses are so pretty! This is the first time that I've heard of "rose rust". Can you tell that I'm not a gardener? HA!

  18. I especially like both 'Madame Alfred Carriere' and 'Captain Christy.' I have never grown 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' but it is one I have wanted to try, as it is gorgeous and I have read it does well in the Deep South.

  19. Wow! Christina! Gorgeous images of your roses and a real rose education!

  20. Your roses are truly beautiful. I know who I will turn too if I am ever able to finish my backyard and put in a rose garden!

  21. The first few rose flowers are opening in my garden as well.

    I have both own-root and multiflora-grafted SDLM; the grafted one is more vigorous but given time the own-root is a consistent bloomer. Pampering when it is small will help it get going.

  22. You have some stunning roses! Thank you for sharing this beautiful post at Monday Social!

  23. Divine roses and photos of them ~ I somehow find the bud stage the most beautiful in its look of simplicity and beauty ~ thanks,

    Wishing you a Happy Week ~ ^_^

  24. Promise of Spring photographs. Good job!

  25. Thanks for sharing at Monday Social. Gorgeous roses.

  26. I love seeing your gorgeous roses! I do think the buds are lovely as well. I will be trimming my roses for spring in the next couple of weeks. Looking forward to having roses to bring indoors. Thanks for sharing with SYC.