Sunday, June 30, 2013

Souvenir de la Malmaison - Old Garden Rose

I would like to spend the next few blogs on the roses themselves, sharing with you my experience in growing certain class and varieties. For the true lover of roses, I think it would be more interesting to read and to see the roses rather than all my gardening chores. The first one is one of my all time favorites - I do have many favorites - Souvenir de la Malmaison.

This is a rose of quiet beauty.  When you first come upon it, it seems like a very plain pink rose with lots of little petals.  A closer look reveals a very delicate pink color at first blush that fade into a light pale pink to almost ivory color. It is heavily scented with a tea like fragrance.  It's blooms can be as large as 5" across, cupped to flat, quartered form. It blooms all year round. I have four of these gems, planted quite close together.  They intertwine around each other and give continuous bloom throughout the year. A truly delightful rose to have in your garden.

The rose is Bourbon class and is officially considered an OGR - Old Garden Rose. It was first brought into commerce in 1843.

This close-up photograph won a Best of Class award at the California Coastal Society rose show recently.

The rose does not like wet weather and the blooms will tend to ball up, and mildew will easily set in. Plant them in a very sunny and somewhat arid location of your garden. They do much better in this type of environment where they produce beautiful blooms and healthy leaves. Next blog will be about Duchess de Rohan - another one of my OGRs however, little known rose.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Working the Rose Garden

Ambridge Rose - English Rose
This rose recently won Best of Show at the Desert Rose Show in November 2012

Hello Everyone,
I have been remiss in blogging - so sorry. So many things happening during the holidays - too much to tell don't you think? I know everyone has the same busyness.
The garden in November and December was quiet but still some blooming a bloom or two and this weekend I was able to get a vase full of flowers. I was pruning so bushes had to be lopped off and any bud/bloom were saved in a vase.

So for those of you who do not have the routine down yet, let me give you a few steps on what must happen in January in order to get the roses ready for Spring blooms. If you have only a few roses and don't think that you will enjoy them that much in Spring, you are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!
A few healthy rose bushes will give you such delight with blooms coming for months on end.

Step 1

  • Prune the rose bush to the height of an average sized person's knees.  At 5'2" I prune all my roses to about knee high as a rule. Most books say to prune a third to 2/3  of the bush, but if you are new to pruning roses, go to the internet, and you will find plenty of information on how to prune.
  • After pruning, pull all the leaves off and clean up each bush so that no leaves or debris remain in the soil.
  • Spray pruned bushes with a dormant spray to kill all the bugs and diseases lingering on the bush.
Step 2
  • Amend the soil with good organic amendments and scratch in lightly. I have a certain formula that I put in every January. Again check out the internet for various types of amendments that people use.
  • Put a good compost material around each bush to let the soil do it's work while roses are dormant and by Spring time or even in March, you will see such beautiful young leaves growing on the stems.
It is really that easy - well not too easy, else everyone would be growing roses. This is what I do every January. My one advice is to pay attention to the soil and give it lots of rich, organic materials, and you will never be sorry. Many believe that good soil management is the key to great gardening whether it be roses, vegetables, or any type of garden.

Paul Neyron - Hybrid Perpetual
A close up of this beautiful pink rose that reminds me of an abstract picture.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

American Rose Society Fall National Convention 2012

Hello Again,
Just back from the American Rose Society Fall National Convention in San Ramon, California. San Ramon is a beautiful area about an hour from the Napa Valley where we also went after the convention to do some sightseeing and wine tasting, but of course!
I did not get Best of Show in this year's rose photo contest, boo hoo! It might have been too much to expect receiving it two years in a row. I did get a Best of Class award for my photo of Hansa, a Hybrid Rugosa. This means that in one category of the photo contest, I received the best award in that particular category. When you receive a Best of Class, it is then up for the running for Best of Show. Soooo, not too bad.

Hansa - Hybrid Rugosa

The rest of the photos here were also entered in the contest and received various awards. I wanted to show you this one - I call it my artsy photo. I was playing around with photoshop and used the curve adjustment tool and happened on this color combo and liked it so I saved it. I took another duplicate photo and tried to replicate the photo to see if I could do it again. Alas, no can do! I tried and tried to reproduce the effect and could not come up with anything close. So I think I have one of a kind and no other. It did not do well in the category - it received an Honorable Mention. I felt it deserved more than that. Try to color a photo with vibrant magenta and neon lime green color and see how far you get!!

Sophy's Rose (close up) - English Rose

This photo of Ambridge Rose is my absolute favorite of the bunch. It did get a First Place. Click on the picture and get a larger view of this very fine, delicate rose petals. It is one of the best in my rose garden.

This is a Tahitian Rose. The judge told me that it was a beautiful picture of the rose; however, the orientation he felt was off putting. I told him the rose was not upright but looking downwards, and I shot the photo from below the rose. He did not like the orientation nevertheless.

Tahitian Sunset - Hybrid Tea

The close up of French Lace also received a First Place. It is one of my most beautiful photos in my collection. It is soft and serene and gives a different dimension to the rose. It makes into a beautiful notecard with a cream-colored card and envelope. Want One?

French Lace ( close up) - Floribunda Rose

Hope you enjoyed the photographs. It was fun entering the photo contest. The next contest is at Roger's Garden in Newport Beach, California. Wish me luck!
The garden is beautiful with some new fall blooms that are large and beautiful. Not all the roses are performing now. The old garden roses just a few blooms - Gertrude Jekyll, Yolande de Aragon, Isaac Pereiere are putting on just a few blooms whereas Sidonie and Rose de Rescht have continual blooms. Souvenir de la Malmaison is also putting out some large blooms - just beautiful. See you next time.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer Roses and Garden

It's SUMMER in Orange County, California and it is hot!!!!
Rose gardening has come to a halt during the day. I am watering am and pm with the temperature at 90 degrees plus in the last two weeks or so. The weather report states that it will cool off soon. Can't wait.
The roses are faring well under the heat with only a few rose blooms burned.
It was time in mid-August to do the summer pruning in the garden. I was not able to do all the roses -  only the ones that were not doing well that had lots of legs showing with few leaves around them. They received a nice trim. The weather really prevented my addressing all the roses so they may not be producing well in October.
I have noticed though how diseases free most of the roses were this season. I do have black spot here and there, but not as much as in previous years. Could it be the weather? A bit drier this year. Not as much rain in winter. Or is it the organic garden that is protecting the roses? I am picking the organic garden helping the roses to be healthy. I have religiously followed the organic way in the garden and have not allowed any chemicals to be used. I used Neem"s Oil concentrate early in Spring but not overly so, and I fertilize with organic materials.  I am surprised this year. Let's hope next year will yield the same results.

Chicago Peace
Bright yellow in the center and pink on the outer petals
Sophy's Rose
The summer roses are in bloom. This is a picture of Sophy's Rose (English rose)  ready to bloom throughout the bush. It is a lovely color - a vivid magenta when it first opens and with a multitude of petals - chrysanthemum like. It is susceptible to mildew quite a bit but has lovely blooms. I battle the mildew early in Spring and in Summer it is fairly mildew free.

French Lace - Floribunda
Another favorite is French Lace - a Floribunda. Opens in a slightly pink tone and finishes in a beautiful light cream tone. I do photograph my roses and place them on blank notecards. I sell these photos and notecards to mostly friends.
Heading out to the rose convention this year in Oakland end of September. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More Roses in the Garden

Some roses that I planted last year have finally yielded some beautiful blooms. The two Zephirine Drouhin climbers, Old Garden Rose of 1868 vintage, have beautiful deep pink small blooms. They are still a little slow in producing blooms but I expect that they will be stronger next year. This year they have been sending loads of stems that shoot up into the air. I plan to wrap them around old lampposts that we have in the garden, but for now I am trying to train the shooting stems on a tomato type cage so the stems are not in the dirt.  They are having trouble with mildew, and I am having to spray them quite a bit.

Zephirini Drouhin

I have one Lilian Austin in the English section of the garden (I planned one area for the English roses but now they have escaped and are growing in other areas.) I think the English roses are taking over my rose garden. How did that happen? Back to Lilian - she produces beautiful orange, pink blooms and quite large - more than 3 inches across on occasion. The petals look like a flamenco dancer's skirt - ruffled and furled.

Lilian Austin - English Rose

White Out, a landscape shrub rose is a new rose just this year. It is a single to double pure white blooms. The shrub is a prolific bloomer against dark green leaves. It would be a wonderful hedge of white, alas, I have no more room for a hedge or maybe I do in the from yard, hmmmmm?

White Out - Landscape Shrub
More new roses to share next time.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Best of Show

April and May are jammed packed with rose contests in horticulture and photography. Also their are rose garden tours everywhere, including my own garden. "Paws in the Garden" garden tour is a fund raiser for the animal shelter in San Juan Capistrano, California. My rose garden will be one of the gardens in the tour next week. It will take much preparation to ready the garden for public viewing but excited to have people see the garden.
Well, I have some good news to share about  the rose photography contest I entered this month. California Coast Rose Society in Carlsbad, California has an annual rose horticulture and photography contest. I entered for the first time this year and won four second places, three Best of Class, and won the Best of Show with my rose abstract photo!!!!  This will be my second Best of Show award for rose photography.
After winning the first Best of Show, I did think that it would be a long time until I would win another. NOT SO!

Winner Best of Show: Baron Girod de l'Ain, Hybrid Perpetual 1897
This is the winner of Best of Show. The rose is considered an Old Garden Rose. It is a deep red, almost burgundy in color with serrated petal edges dipped in white. A very unusual rose.
The other Best of Class winners were French Lace and Mary Rose, Garden View.

French Lace, Floribunda
French Lace is one of the most delicate-looking flower of all of my roses and is very photogenic. It has a pristine appearance and makes a wonderful fragrant bouquet. Absolutely lovely and charming.  It is live art!

Mary Rose, English Rose
There are five Mary Rose shrub surrounding the birdbath. They were in the first flush and absolutely in the Pink, if you know my meaning. Bright Pink everywhere with luscious, full blooms. It has been a real show for about a month now since they first started blooming in April.
Well, enough about the photography event. More on the rose garden in the next blog.

Monday, April 30, 2012

New Roses in the Garden: Can you have too many roses?????

First flush of Spring - Madam Isaac Pereire (1881)

I don't think that you can have too many of what you truly love. It's a question worth asking but for now my answer is NO!
I might change my mind some day, but not today.

I have planted the following roses this year:
Julia Childs - 17 bushes, providing a runway of yellow in my front driveway.
Eglantyne - 3 bushes planted together in the English area and one climber to cover up a white block wall.
Marchesa Bocella - 2 bushes (aka Jacques Cartier) My $3.99 Marchesa bit the dust last year. This time I bought a nicer bare root from David Austin.
Easy Does It - 2 bushes added to the three planted last year.
Sexy Rexy - 3 bushes planted together in a new area of the garden which is getting filled - up.
Kosmos, Johann Strauss, Passionate Kisses, Lions-Rose  - all from EuroDesert Rose from Cliff.
All American Beauty - 2 Hybrid Teas for the cutting garden.

I am planning on a few more plantings this year like Louise Odier, Glendora, Aloha climbers.

Do you have any suggestions of your most favorite rose climbing roses? I have room for quite a few to cover my block walls. They will get nice sun and warmth.

Even though I believe I have about 300 roses now, I still have plenty of space in the backyard. I do overcrowd my roses, planting them too close to one another. I like masses of roses together and don't like singular bushes by themselves. I have sort of a cottage garden with favorite plants that can be companions to roses strewn all over the place. I now have to do some transplanting because some bushes like Paul Nyron are not doing well being overcrowded by Sidonie ( a lush grower) and Yolande de Aragon (another great grower).
I am apologizing again for not being more consistent on the blog. I have been spending loads of time on the photography forum, getting help from the forum on shooting issues.  They are great help as I experiment more and more with rose photos. If you like taking pictures and want excellent discussions go to Plus, I am also getting ready for rose and photography contests in May.
More rose photos next blog. See you then and hopefully I have more to report on some contests that I have entered.