Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thinking of roses

It's that time of year when we rose growers (rosarians) put on our rose warrior gloves and have a gay old time with our ancient but trusty Felco secateurs.
(Don't neglect to sharpen them for clean healthy cuts.)
Pruning roses does require some expertise...
cutting wildly and willy nilly just does not cut it, pardon the pun.
Slim Paley recently posted an image on facebook of one of her roses after it was pruned...she is a hard pruner.
Many of my gardener friends prune hard, I am timid.

I follow the 3 D rules for rose pruning:
Prune for DESIGN (shape)
DEAD wood must go as well as any DISEASED stalks.
that's the basics and of course one needs to cut on the correct angles which you can read about more here.

Jude The Obscure
a David Austin variety rose
my all time favourite
apricot turning to blush
repeat bloomer 
heavy fragrance
grows quite large
prolific bloomer

Growing roses rather gets under ones skin
its starts out quite innocently and then before you know it you are ordering catalogues
seeking out the finest varieties
some old, some new
and are always on the look out for more.
More is more when it comes to roses.

I have always got a space in The Humble Bungalow garden for another rose!
I asked Slim for her favourite rose and she gave me three 
Yves Piaget
Golden Mustard

I googled these roses and funny thing...Golden Mustard images were Slim's own!

I've ordered my David Austin catalogue and hope to choose a new rose.
I have specific requirements when I buy a rose...
it must be a repeat bloomer
be heavily scented
 have deep cups of multiple petals
and grow in a garden which has clay soil.

Abraham Darby
reliable and such an intoxicating fragrance

an old rose
(I forget it's name)
thorny stems compact shallow cups 
bourbon scent

Jacob's coat
a climbing variety
masses of blooms
and the rose turns many colours!

Constance Spry
a stalwart among roses
give her a structure to grow upon and she will ingratiate herself

Climbing Royal Sunset
another fabulous rose
this one is a hearty variety that is not deterred by the salty ocean breezes.

If you grow roses 
you must bring them inside to admire and enjoy.

I couldn't resist showing you another image of Jude!
Is this not a beauty?
I am smitten.

Gertrude Jekyll Rose
Did you know that roses love epsom salts?
Sprinkle a handfull around their roots once a month and water well
 from spring through summer and they will reward you with their blooms.

This rose was new last year and is getting established...
our clay soil has been mulched heavily by my garden helper Bobby
and I am hoping that this will make it easier for roses to get their roots well and truly stuck in.

what's nicer in the home than a vase of roses ?

name escapes me and there is no tag on the rose
this one is better left in the garden as it wilts so quickly after picking
the bees just love it!

If you have never grown roses please do not be intimidated
they are reliable provided you give them the basics
they are heavy feeders so give them some quality soil and compost
and water them well
avoid watering at night as black spot likes it when the foliage is damp
early morning is best.

I received my first rose back in the 1980's
The Peace rose was a gift from a Victoria Rosarian who took all the awards and trophy's at the annual show.
Vi said if you want to grow a rose plant it, feed and water it...nurture and tend it like a child.
That Peace rose flourished and I won my only trophy for best bloom in show the year I entered it.

Rose growers are always happy to share their knowledge and love to show off their plants.
Join a garden club and you'll find the most interesting people!
Their garden sales are full of garden cuttings and plants for next to nothing.
The VHS motto is share what you know and show what you grow.

I hope that I have inspired you to think about roses today.
Take care and thank you for stopping by!


  1. I loved this, Hostess. I haven't had much experience with roses but would love to learn. As we make our way around Open Houses and appointments with realtors I find myself paying just as much attention to the garden orientation and possibilities as to anything else. May I call you for advice when the time comes to choose roses?

    1. Of course! In May or June when my roses are in their glory you must come by for a walk around the garden and a cup of freshly brewed tea. Happy house hunting...you are very wise to notice the garden when buying a home. I feel it is an extension of one's home.

  2. Hostess, your roses are just lovely. I've been wanting to replace a couple of my more boring varieties and you've pushed me over the edge. Will be off to the nursery this weekend to peruse the choices!

    1. Your weekend sounds like it is shaping up into one of my favourites!

    2. I've heard there is an amazing nursery in Santa Barbara for roses. Tempted to drive up soon.

  3. Your favorite flower is - the rose! Definitely. I admire the very first one too.
    If ever I am into roses, I know to whom I´ll turn for help : ).

  4. If you decide to get into roses I don't think you'll regret it mette.

  5. Oh dear I have just chopped willy nilly with the kitchen scissors - fingers crossed.
    Rosarians is such a beautiful word, I have never heard it before.

  6. Epsom salts? Mine get blood and bone - I bet Janet's don't!

  7. As I told you, I just planted my first garden of David Austin roses and of course feel like I made mistakes not researching some of my choices more thoroughly. They are still getting situated, so probably won't replace any just yet. If they were planted about 4 months ago, is it too early for them to be pruned? Must learn more.
    Thanks for the tip about the Epsom salts.

    1. We prune here when the danger of frost is over...February and March are the usual months but you are in LA which makes it a completely different scenario...
      I think you might skip pruning altogether as you have newbie roses and want to let them get established first.
      BTW if you are not totally in love with your choices of roses you can always replace them in the future.

  8. Oh, and yours are truly magnificent.

  9. I inherited a vast yard...and potential garden. Have never grown anything in my life (unless you count the mold that has arisen on the backs on uneaten produce in the fridge). Are roses too bold a start? Should I dapple in something less finicky? Poison ivy comes to mind... :)

    1. If you have a place with full sun, and ample ventilation, do roses. They will not be finicky. Spray with neem oil if they start to look weird:).

    2. Roses are a great option! Like Lisa mentions they do love sun and they need air to circulate around them so don't plant them too closely together as some grow very large.
      Some roses are finicky, but in my humble experience the David Austin varieties are not.
      Check out their website and order a catalogue and start with one or two...you may be surprised how addictive roses can become!

  10. I've got a few roses in my garden...I admit I do nothing to them and they grow like wildfire!

    1. You are lucky SP... I have clay soil and salty ocean breezes to contend with.
      I dead head in the summer as it encourages the second and third flush of blooms.

  11. I had about 30 antique and David Austin roses at my old house. This new place has too much shade, so my gardening has changed radically, and I do miss the ability to cut piles of flowers for arrangements. My mom volunteered to years with the Minnesota arboretum, helping to breed new stock, so I was taught the history early and how to identify and classify early. I do love them. Try Zepherine Drouhin as a good climber in a semi shady spot. The canes are low in the thorn count and the color is spectacular, especially when paired with a beautiful stock or hosta at its feet!

    1. Gretchen if you have a bit of sun you might still be able to have some roses. Perhaps some climber that could rise above your shady patch? Rosa Kiftsgate comes to mind.

  12. Hostess! I do all white roses, but I was just wondering if I should prune now. Thank you so much for the expert opinion.

    1. I do not think you will get frost at this time of year so you should be safe...if your weather conditions are such that a deep frost is expected based on annual statistics I'd wait until after that date.
      White roses are so elegant, I love all white bouquets.

  13. So lovely to look at. Big grin on my face looking at these beauties. Thanks,

  14. Fantin-Latour? (the unknown pink). I've just checked one of my rose books and it looks right. Don't recognise the single white/blush. You neglected to mention the other collecting that is inevitable with roses - rose books! Particularly fatal as there are new varieties every year....

    I had over 80 varieties at my old home - then moved at the beginning of a 10 year drought, so only just starting to think about expanding the 25 or so that I currently have. Much the same requirements as you - but also quite exposed and we're having our hottest January on record - over 14 days over 33 celsius (so far!). Well worth searching out the roses bred by Alister Clark, who use R. gigantea for a lot of his stock. I have Mrs Fred Danks by the back ramp and it is the first and last rose, also repeats reliably, smells lovely and makes wonderful potpourri.

    Love, love, love your rose photos!

    1. Yes Fantin-Latour I remember now! Thank you!
      I have only a couple of books on roses...
      Oh that heat would wreak havoc on my roses. You do have a challenge with a drought and high temperatures. 80 varieties must have been like living a dream!

  15. Growing up with a G/mother who was an expert rose grower mostly of the old English varieties I disliked them for many years!

    Living in ancient period houses with cottage gardens or maybe getting aged has brought back a mild interest.

    HB replanted 10 mostly DA from our previous garden which are doing well,mulch with well rotted stable manure keeps them flowering well,and helps prevent black spot.
    My favourite is the climber Zepherine Dorouhin thornless,divine scent.
    William Shakespeare a shrub rose would meet your criteria if you want a red one.
    No pruning here until end of February/March then only a light one as suited to Floribunda & shrub roses.Ramblers in September.

    What about a 'blue'rose? did a garden tour of a village and a manic rose grower had this fabulous one growing up a tree,have forgotten the name.
    Love the way you arrange them around your home.Ida

    1. You have the right idea about feeding to fend off ailments.
      Enriching the soil as roses are heavy feeders is probably as important as watering them.
      I have Charles Rennie MacIntosh which is very like William Shakespeare.
      I had a lavender rose at our rental home over 30 years ago and it was a lovely shade of mauve blue.
      When my David Austin catalogue arrives I'll be eager to see if they have any in blue.

  16. Congratulations on your Best Bloom award. It is very impressive especially in a rose town like Victoria. Peace was my first favorite rose. The colors remind me of a sunrise or a softly colored sunset.

    I love the little metal tags on roses just in case I forget the name.

  17. Sheree do you live in Victoria by any chance?
    I had metal tags on all my roses at one time but they have disappeared!
    I do need to keep a record of them though...perhaps there is an app for that!

    1. No, but I love it. I live in the Pacific Northwest in the U.S.A.

  18. Your roses are stunning and you love for them evident. I always wanted to grow some but never had a garden with the right exposure (hello, hostas!) You are right, nothing is as captivating- and I look forward to hearing how you welcome your new specimens.

  19. What a treat to see your beautiful roses on this -2F morning! Your garden must be gorgeous and ,with the David Austins, gloriously scented. I grew some in southern New England, but now up here I stick to the rugosa clan which is much hardier. I do have an old rose called " Madame Hardy" I love , but it is not a repeat bloomer like the DAustins. She is a vision though with white blossoms, quartered, and a green eye.

  20. I am exploding with poorly-contained envy over your Jude. They're just *breathtaking*.

    I've just started with my roses here in Baja California, Mexico. We live in a little beach-side cottage, and I thought the only thing better than a little beach-side cottage in a rose-covered beach-side cottage.

    It's a bit of a struggle because I've got The Best Soil Ever (natural volcanic) combined with the absolute worst (sand, plain and simple). I very nearly bought a climbing Joseph's Coat but went with the very similar Pinata instead because I heard it was more tolerant of coastal breezes.

    Do you have any advice for coastal rose growing? I've got three climbers (America, Pinata, Lord Byron) and two floribunda bushes (Marmalade Skies and Walking on Sunshine). We're doing our own compost and amending the soil as much as we can, but quality pesticide-free garden products are thin on the ground in Mexico, and it's illegal to take agricultural matter across international lines (found that out the hard way.)

    Incidentally, I'm new to your blog and I just love it. Now I'm off to make a Victoria sponge and dream longingly of Jude the Obscure.