Angel Face Roses in Flower and in Bud!

It’s been about a month since I rescued four Angel Face rose plants from the clearance bin, and I am so pleased that each of these plants is covered in flowers and/or buds. What a short wait to be graced with these blissfully lovely flowers in my yard! The scent is very sweet and the color is wonderful. Sometimes when I take a chance on clearance bin plants, it may take a year or more to see the potential of the plants realized, mostly because of some rehabilitation that’s needed to restore them to good health. But these roses were clearly in tip-top health, only needing a permanent place to call home. A dream come true!IMG_3364


Rescued: Angel Face Roses and Thornless Raspberry Bushes

My local home improvement store has a gardening center with an outstanding clearance section, with plants of all sorts at amazing discounted prices. Their inventory of clearance plants has recently increased so, in the foreseeable future, I will be visiting at least once a week. Yesterday, I was very fortunate to have made my weekly visit and came away with 4 Angel Face rose plants, a floribunda that I’ve wanted for my home for the past several years, but finally got around to doing something about.IMG_3354IMG_3355
I also am the caregiver of 3 thornless raspberry bushes. I love to make homemade raspberry jam and now I have a wonderful resource to do it! The plants were all in reasonably good condition, although I will have to do some light pruning of a small bit of dead vegetation. Easy. One of the raspberry bushes has some young fruits on it – very encouraging!

I replanted them in larger containers (saved from years of gardening projects) and will be looking forward to many happy years with these wonderful new plants. What is seen as refuse by the store (and most people) represents a great opportunity to bring new (sometimes unexpected) plants into the garden, for a modest price. These plants have already uplifted the energy of my entire garden!

More information on Angel Face roses:

More information on thornless raspberry bushes:

White Iceberg Roses!

This lovely girl is often a solid garden workhorse and quite understated, but the way it has been described (e.g., easiest rose to grow, you see it everywhere), one would think that, given many other roses to choose from, it is not worth planting in the garden. But yet that is simply not true.

Certainly there are flashier, more colorful roses to choose from, but really, the white iceberg rose is so graceful and sweet, indeed easy to grow and maintain, and a reliable, heavy flower producer. When my other roses have long faded out, this lovely rose continues to perform. I am contemplating getting more white iceberg roses to fill out the bare areas of my backyard garden. I love white iceberg roses!

White Iceberg Rose: Blushing!

When I first started my rose garden, I would look down or look face-to-face (face-to-rose?), but didn’t bother to look from any other vantage points. Ah, my early days of gardening! img_1431

I’m fortunate that my garden is sufficiently large and spaced so that I can view my flowers from all angles.  Looking underneath and behind, I see that the lower petals of my white iceberg roses, near the stem, have a lovely pink blush when they are nearly in full bloom. I don’t recall seeing this blush when they are actually in full bloom. There is such a thing as pink iceberg roses, but these are not. The photo is a bit blurry, but if you click on it, you can get a better view of the color contrast.

Does anyone else with white iceberg roses notice the same in their blooms? If it’s indeed a short-lived color phenomenon, it’s additional reason to pay close attention to roses so you don’t miss out.

I highly recommend that, if possible and if safe to do so (to avoid being impaled by thorns!), try to view your roses from all angles.  Roses are not only beautiful, but also a source of delightful surprise! Sweet and lovely!

Four New Roses and Fuchsia Plant!

I just returned from a very successful trip from Lowe’s! I went to their gardening clearance rack and found four new rose plants, pictured from left to right: (1) an unknown dark pink, very fragrant hybrid tea, img_1373(2) Spartan floribunda – orange red rose, (3) Just Joey hybrid tea – orange rose, and (4) Proud Land hybrid tea – dark red rose. Notice the very helpful convertible hand truck, assembled in a flatbed configuration! They all go in one trip to the backyard!  My guess was that they were on clearance (50% off!) because they had few or no rose buds. These very lovely plants will replace some defunct plants in my backyard garden. What’s helpful is that the soil of the defunct plants is quite soft, so it will be easy to dig out the old and plant the new.

In terms of garden design, when I first envisioned my “dream garden,” I would have a formal English rose collection, adjacent to that would be a less formal non-English rose garden, and opposite that an aromatherapy garden. That was years ago, when visions of a tidy garden danced in my head. What folly! My garden has, over the years, become less planned, and more lovely! It’s so laden with roses, more than I’d ever imagined, and I would have it no other way. Some of the best things are unplanned!

Also found on the clearance rack was a relatively large fuchsia plant. I’d grown a fuchsia plant years ago, unsuccessfully, but decided to give it another try! And the price was right img_1372– 75% off! It has evidence of spent flowers, which I will lightly prune. I will keep it in its original container, close to my front door, in the shade.

Shopping Tip: A discounted plant is no bargain if it is ill, such as afflicted with mildew. Before purchasing, I recommend very close inspection of the plant. If you’re confident that the plant is healthy, look for full-price plants and compare side by side. The rose plants only have a few dried leaves and few or no rose buds, currently – these qualities are not defects, just part of the natural cycle of roses! The fuchsia is not currently flowering – also not a defect in an otherwise healthy plant. With time and proper care, flowers will return.

Support Your Non-Climber Roses

Supporting a non-climber roseMy pruning calendar or schedule has me doing my heavy rose pruning in January, followed by a lighter pruning in August, to stimulate a longer flowering season. However, with regard to my shrub (non-climber) roses, despite following the advice from experts to prune my rose plants to have a vase shape, inevitably, I find that some of the fresh new canes that emerge from the pruned roses grow out from the side anyway and stay low, and nearly to the ground. In other words, despite human intervention, canes can still sometimes grow outside of the vase shape naturally! What to do? You could always remove these low-growing canes, but then all of the flowers that would have been produced from these canes will be gone forever.

Another strategy, if they’re not being attacked by pests or disease or proving a safety hazard, is to do nothing. Two canes of one of my floribunda rose plants, City of San Francisco, grow low to the ground. These low canes have produced abundant flowers but not posed any problems for me so I let them be. They provide good visual interest at the height of flowering season, from top to bottom!

HOW TO: Another strategy, pictured above with my Helmut Schmidt hybrid tea rose, is to use twine (mine is white plastic twine) or other durable material and tie the low-growing cane very carefully and securely to another part of the rose plant to give it support so that the cane does not snap or break off from the stress of the added weight of this cane (and inevitable flowers growing from it). When I got this plant, it already had a low growing cane (pictured) that was under heavy stress from breaking. In fact, another of its low-growing canes, with many flowers, had already broken, but not completely. The cause of the break was obvious. I tied the “surviving” low-growing cane to another part of the plant and it continued to flower uninterrupted.

If this is not possible, you may try a strategy that I’ve used successfully with my heavy-flowering cymbidium orchids: put a stake securely in the ground (or potting soil of the container if that’s where your rose plant is growing) right next to the low-growing cane and tie the twine-wrapped cane to the stake. You’d want to do this when the canes are still young and more pliable, when training low-growing canes would be easier. There’s no single “right” way to do this since each rose plant is unique.

If you go this route, be sure the stake is thick enough and tall enough for your rose plant. You don’t want a weak stake that breaks from the stress of being a support device for your growing rose plant, or a stake that’s too short that it cannot accommodate a growing plant, possibly stunting the growth of that plant.

Roses in the Springtime

Perfect Moment, hybrid tea roseJanice Kellogg, hybrid tea roseYves Piaget, hybrid tea roseJames Galway, David Austin English roseI love roses, though in my early days, was concerned about their maintenance. In particular, I’d always hold my breath after pruning them, just hoping that this time, I didn’t deliver a fatal cut. But they’ve soldiered on, thriving and rewarding these efforts with reliable and gorgeous flowers. I took these photos earlier this afternoon. Clockwise, from left to right:

(1) Yves Piaget -a hybrid tea rose. It is also known as a “romantica” rose, a French hybrid. It has a very strong fragrance and the color is very deep pink. The flowers are moderate in number, but they bloom each year and the flowers are fairly large.

(2) Janice Kellogg – a floribunda rose. A gorgeous crimson rose with lovely form and nice fragrance. There’s an interesting but unknown green spider lurking in the upper left of the rose itself!

(3) Perfect Moment – a hybrid tea rose. What is very interesting about this rose is that the colors of the flower change over the course of its brief life. The color in the photo are of a young flower, when the colors are most intense, described by a friend as reminiscent of a sunset. As the flower matures, the colors lighten. Because the plant has roses that bloom at different times, I’ll find flowers with different-colored intensities on the same plant, making for a truly unique presentation. A knock-out!

(4) James Galway – this is a climbing David Austin English rose. It appears to be relatively young and has reliably bloomed each year, getting taller each year. I love the number of petals tightly packed into each flower, a thing of great beauty.

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