Simple Arrangement of Short-Stemmed Roses

Some of my roses are blooming, but none of them are long-stemmed. But that does not preclude the creation of simple flower arrangements! These short-stemmed beauties required that I use a long and shallow container, which I happened to have: the almighty cover of a butter dish that I turned upside down, filled with a little granulated sugar, white vinegar, and water. The yellow ones are the Sunblest rose; the pink ones on the ends are Mary Rose; the peachy one in the center is the Grace rose; and the dIMG_3346ark red-pink one toward the right is the (hard-to-keep-down) Dr. Huey rose. This very simple flower arrangement has already made quite a difference in my bathroom (house!) and I am looking forward to days and nights of admiring their loveliness!


Sunblest Rose: Unexpected Flower Bud

I was watering my backyard garden this early autumn evening and was delightedly surprised to find a flower bud along the middle of one of the older canes of my Sunblest rose plant. A very hardy and reliable hybrid tea, this particular cane has not had the easiest time and has been pruned back several times but it fights back as if to say, “I’m still here!” in glorious defiance. A good lesson in life: don’t give up!IMG_3270

This rose plant has thrived in this location, and while most of the roses have dotted the furthermost and newest-growth parts of their canes, it’s when rose buds show up in these rather unexpected places that stir up new interest and excitement for me. The plant is now also taller than I am, which makes me very happy!

The flowers are large and vibrant yellow. More information on this fantastic rose can be found here:


Roses Can Grow Tall When Left Unpruned!

When I first started growing roses, I followed a twice-yearly pruning schedule, in January and then a hard pruning in August. I now only have 3 rose plants growing in the ground; the other in-ground rose plants fell victim to gophers. The slower-growing James Galway English rose is not as prominent (yet) but has lovely flower buds that already reveal their eventual pink splendor. The one in the background against the wall in the shaded area is my white iceberg rose. The one in the foreground looking very tall is the Sunblest rose (hybrid tea).

IMG_3214These rose plants are also covered in flower buds, all the way to their tallest point. It’s been not too many years when I bought them in 5-gallon containers. Now, these rose plants are taller than I am, and I love it! Also against type (and probably advice), I don’t do anything special with these roses other than to water them a couple of times a week and deadhead when needed. I don’t feed them plant food. The rest is sunshine, suitable climate, and strong specimens.

Sometimes, people shy away from gardening because of the anticipated effort involved. Certainly, some projects are quite involved and require a significant time and resource commitment. But if you’re starting modestly, sometimes with a few plants that you care for on a semi-regular basis, you may find that these plants survive and thrive. Unless you are dealing with plants that have highly specific needs that must be tended to lest they perish, you’ll probably have a reasonable chance of getting your plant to live for many years.

Given the results of my in-ground roses, I will continue to leave them to grow unpruned. They seem to be happy with that decision!

More information on the James Galway English rose can be found here:

Sunblest Rose: New Flower Bud

Once a week, I deadhead my Sunblest rose plant to keep it looking neat but also to spur new growth. Happily, there are already signs of new growth, as shown here.

In addition to the green flower bud, there are also new red leaves, which will turn green with time.

The three  black-tipped stems are where the old flowers were, i.e., where I did the deadheading.

Quince Aplenty!

Wow! It’s been only a few short years since I have had these two lovely fruit trees. They are dwarf 3-in-1 pear trees, which means that they were grafted onto quince rootstock to keep the trees small.

In the beginning, both of these trees were producing pears. Now, they are awash with quince! I am not sure if or when pears will return. The quinces seem to have suppressed the production of pears. A similar circumstance is playing out right now with my hybrid tea rose, Sunblest. It is a yellow rose that was grafted onto the red Dr. Huey rose rootstock. Dr. Huey has  appeared this year on my Sunblest rose, but not overtaken it. Very interesting.

This year has been the most abundant ever, in terms of fruit production for these pear trees. Last year, the trees produced just a handful of quince fruits. From modest to bounty, indeed!

In the second photo, on the right-hand side, you will see bright green plastic gardening ties. I am using them to hold up some branches that are weighed down with fruit. Some branches are hanging low, near the soil, so I will have to keep adding supports to alleviate the stress on the branches and to keep hungry ground-dwelling critters at bay.

The second photo is what I see from my home office. Lovely! This particular tree is very popular with sparrows, bushtits, and hummingbirds, who enjoy hanging out on the branches. Mourning doves particularly enjoy sitting in the shade that the tree provides.

These wonderful trees have brought great happiness to my garden and home!

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE:  The quince is related to apples and pears, whose seeds are highly toxic if ingested.  For this reason, do not ingest the seeds of the quince. More information on toxic plants can be found here:

Dr. Huey Rose on My Sunblest Rose Plant!

One of the best parts of gardening is that I always stumble upon something that I did not yet know about my garden, really great learning opportunities! The latest has involved my gorgeous, healthy Sunblest rose plant. This yellow hybrid tea rose has been an absolute pleasure to grow: many large flowers in flushes during the growing season, requiring modest care. This plant has been in my garden for nearly four years.

Over the past few weeks, I noticed that this plant was producing what looked to be unusual red flowers that were growing from a cane near the base of this plant. A bit of investigation indicated that the red flowers are Dr. Huey roses.

Dr. Huey, a climbing, hybrid wichurana rose, is a rather polarizing figure: great love or great dread.  Most varieties of roses with less vigorous root systems, including Sunblest,  are grafted onto roses with more vigorous root systems. Sunblest uses Dr. Huey as a rootstock plant. The top of the rootstock rose (Dr. Huey) is then to be removed, allowing the desired rose (Sunblest) to grow. The resulting plant, ideally, supports just the desired rose alone.

This presents an interesting situation:  try to find all parts of the Dr. Huey plant and cut them out, or risk it overtaking an possibly killing the Sunblest rose by doing nothing. I will likely attempt to cut out the Dr. Huey parts of the plant and attempt to propagate it through cuttings.

This apparently is no small feat as some gardeners have remarked that even a small piece of Dr. Huey inadvertently left in the soil may be all that it takes for it to re-emerge in the garden (among those who dread Dr. Huey roses).

This has been a really interesting development, and I hope to learn more about this. For more information about the kinds of rootstocks used for rose plants (it’s not just Dr. Huey!), please visit:

Sunblest Rose in the Winter!

My Sunblest rose is showing quite a bit of activity. I did not prune my rose plants this season so am anxious to see how they fare. Check out one of the Sunblest’s very impressive rose hips!

The Sunblest rose is one of the most prolific rose plants in my garden. The flowers are big and beautiful yellow. Currently, new rose canes are growing free-form and they are dotted with new leaves.

This hybrid tea rose can get tall and I am inclined to let it grow wild in whichever direction(s) it chooses!

Rose Hips

My Sunblest rose is producing an impressive amount of rose hips! IMG_1616Here is one example. I’m hopeful that it will ripen into a shade of red or orange because I’m curious about using them in tea and possibly making jam (if I have enough for the latter, that is!).  An added benefit is that rose hips are very high in vitamin C.  More information on rose hips and their uses can be found here:

This particular rose plant is very prolific so I’ve decided to not deadhead this plant for the time being to build up my (hopefully) usable rose hip supply. I’m excited! What a lovely additional use for roses!

CONSUMER  ALERT UPDATE: I’ve not used any pesticides on any of my roses or other plants, so no worries about poisoning or toxic issues if I use rose hips for my consumption.

I Support Roses!

img_15131Two canes of my Sunblest Rose plant have grown very tall, very quickly. It’s been windy here for the past few days also, so to reduce the likelihood of  canes snapping in half from the frequent swaying, I tied each tall cane to a bamboo support, using green plastic tape. It just takes a few careful minutes to do this. Be careful of the thorns when wrapping!

Sunblest Rosebuds!

I took this photo within the half-hour. The sunlight cast on this plant make this look like a golden triangle of Sunblest rosebuds! I must say that this rose has certainly exceeded my expectations. I’ve deadheaded all of my rose plants, but this one alone, as of this date, remains stunningly prolific. There are at least 8 rosebuds in various stages of maturity. And there are even more rosebuds on the lower parts of this plant not seen in this photo. My garden really is “blessed!”

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