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. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought it read, "Planting rose bare FOOT is the best way..." and I was like, "gee...that sounds like it might hurt, and wow, Becky is super dedicated!" Ha ha ha!