Saturday, January 7, 2012


I made my annual trip to Green Thumb Nursery with Victor to view the new selection of bare root roses.  There were many new varieties and some oldies but goodies have been re-introduced.  Previous years I have purchased roses based on color.  The past couple years I have considered fragrance above color.

The visit to the nursery was fun.  I came across a rose called the Queen Mary II.  The fragrance was described as a combination of banana with mild traditional rose.  I found another rose that has a subtle citrus fragrance.

Look at all those amazing roses!  I love roses!

Queen Mary 2 is at the far left in this picture.  It is a very full rose.  Since I already have a full white rose, I decided to select a different white rose:  "White Majesty".  The image of this rose is located in the center of this photo.  This rose is a long stem rose with dark green foilage.  Since I make flower arrangements from the flowers in the yard, I decided that this was a better choice.

I really enjoy the roses from the "sterling" family.  In the past I have planted a "Silver Sterling" and "Blue Girl"  Both of these roses have a fruity bouquet.  I planted these bushes in the backyard.  The dogs destroyed both bushes.  This year I decided to purchase "Barbara Streisand".  This rose bush is a little darker than a "Silver Sterling" and has a fuller bloom.  The image of this rose is located second from the left in this photo.

I have toyed with the idea that a black rose would be fun to have in the yard.  "Black Baccara" is a variety that I have not seen before.  I mentioned to Victor that I was interested in this particular rose.  He promptly placed it in the wagon.  I guess he wants to try a black rose too.  "Black Baccara" is in the center of this photo.

When Victor buys roses for my table he selects roses that have two colors.  When we purchased bushes for the yard we selected roses like "Joseph's Coat" and "Betty Boop".  We found a red rose that will feel right at home in our yard.  We chose this year to add "Fire 'n' Ice".  This rose is located third from the left.

This coming week, the planters on the front yard will be prepared for planting and the new bushes will be added.  Rose bushes are pretty easy to plant and there are only a couple simple rules to follow.  Instructions for planting rose bushes will be provided; along with pictures in my next blog. 

Happy Planting!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


January is the best time to plant roses.  This week and for the next few weeks, gardeners throughout Southern California will be bracing themselves against the cold, hands gloved, planting roses (actually the weather has been beautiful with temperatures in the mid 70's).

This morning I took a cruise through the front yard to assess the condition of the planters.  Before Christmas I had trimmed back the dead rose buds on most of the bushes (helping Evan while he was decorating the yard with Christmas lights and wreaths).  I still have one rose bush with white fragrant roses.  Later this month all rose bushes will be cut back drastically allowing for beautiful spring growth and amazing fragrant blossoms in late May early June.

Fragrant Red Floribunda - cut back right before Christmas - just a bunch of sticks

Joseph's Coat - center of picture - planted last year - continued to offer blossoms through December - cut dead blossoms back a couple weeks ago

Very fragrant white rose - didn't bloom and grow until the fall.  Behind the rose bush is the pink jasmine that has also blossomed during the fall and winter.  Both fragrances combined with the now blossoming navel orange tree invites me to open my front door every morning.

40-year-old hybrid grandiflora.  This bush offers a very fragrant yellow rose.  This bush is something of a mystery.  Originally there were two rose bushes.  One was a deep red and the other a beautiful fragrant bright yellow.  The existing bush begins with bi-colored buds about an inch to an inch and a half in diameter.  When in full bloom the roses are a soft yellow about the size of a large rice bowl.  The blossoms are very fragrant and are often showcased in flower arrangements designed for the Ventura County Fair.

This rose bush is about 20 years old.  It provides a non-fragrant dark pink rose.  I have not been able to identify the type of rose.  I suspect it is a tea rose.  It does not have a full compliment of petals.  At the most each blossom has about 6 or 7 petals.  If I let it grow outside the planter, the branches of the bush spread out like a climber.

This sad little rose bush has had a difficult couple years.  It is a red climber.  I suspect it may be 'Altissimo', one of the more common red climbing roses in Southern California.  At it's best the climber has fifty or more roses.  This year we will be replacing the soil and adding some amendment.  I may also have to dig up the pink jasmine to allow room for growth.

This coming Saturday I willl take a trip to my favorite nursery, Green Thumb, located in Ventura off of Victoria Avenue.  Each year they have an amazing assortment of roses to add to a gardners color pallet.  Each year there are a few new varieties and many of the traditional varieties.  Victor and I usually go together so that he can tell me what he would like to see added to the yard.  We will be selecting varieties from the bare root bins.

Planting roses bare root is the best way because the roots can be positioned naturally in the soil, so they can continue to grow outward.  These thorny, lifeless-looking plants are a lot less expensive than roses sold in nursery containers later in the year.  Roses that cost $17 in a container in spring or summer cost $7 right now, if they are the older, nonpatented varieties.  Patented roses, including this year's newest, cost between $10 and $15.