It’s July and I’m surrounded by roses! What could be better than to wake up in the morning with sunny yellow Julia Child or see the soft glow of Gourmet Popcorn in the evening? Buds are opening, foliage is still fresh and it’s turning out to be a summer for roses! I sprayed in early spring with a copper soap fungicide to keep black spot at bay, and it seems to be helping, along with our lack of rain and sunny days. Usually by now black spot is creeping up the plants, starting with the lower and interior leaves. This year I’m having just as much fun looking at the beautiful glossy green leaves as at the radiant blooms, they’re so healthy! Here’s a look at some of my roses…
Julia Child Floribunda is the best! I love her butter yellow blooms and all of the flowers that cover this shrub. One year she was blooming into November and I have pictures of her dusted with snow. This rose seems to resist disease well and has a beautiful flower, starting deep rich yellow and fading to a lighter creamy yellow. Although only lightly scented, it’s delicious!
Chicago Peace is another one of my favorites. This hybrid tea rose is multi-colored in yellows and pinks, with a light rose scent. It also changes, fading to lighter colors as the blossoms age. I planted this rose in the spring and it started growing and by May there was lots of foliage, but no buds! I kept waiting and none appeared, so I gave it a heavy pruning. cutting all the stems down by a third. I also re-fertilized with an organic fertilizer. And now, about six weeks later it’s covered in buds, happy day! One of them is just opening today and I think I’ll set up some chairs next to it, invite some friends and celebrate this gorgeous rose. Seriously, I just want to hang out with this rose, I like it so much. I need to get my computer outside, because that’s really where I should be blogging….with the roses!
Gourmet Popcorn Shrub rose has small leaves and flowers, but they open up in big clusters, covering the ends of the stems in a soft white. The yellow centers give it the appearance of buttered popcorn, this is a fun rose, although it has little to no scent. I like the difference in size from the other roses, small little ruffled flowers, upright and bright, make a nice contrast to some of the big heavy blooms of some nearby.
Sheer Magic Hybrid Tea rose is enchanting as it opens, revealing a delicate pink and white flower. My shrub has never had many blooms at once, usually just a handful at a time, then I deadhead and wait for new growth. I”m hoping that now it’s in a new spot it will respond better and produce more flowers. It doesn’t even have much of a scent, but as the bloom opens you’ll forget all about fragrance, because just looking at this flower is enough to fill up all your senses. Like a night in the forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean! Have you ever had something that you just want to stare at for a long time? This rose is delicate and pure, the colors creamy and smooth, it’s enticing.
Twilight Zone grandiflora rose is a fairly new introduction. I love the big ruffled flowers, borne in clusters. The color is a dark purple, described by Weeks Roses as ‘a deep velvet purple overlaid with a wisp of smoke’. I’m not sure that I’ve seen the smoke, but the velvety purple definitely! Like the memorable television show, this rose gives you an unexpected twist with its ruffled deep purple flowers.
Coretta Scott King grandiflora is another new rose, a cross between Moonstone and Hot Cocoa. This is my first year with this beauty, so I haven’t spent as much time with her yet as the others. I love the light colors that fade to dark as the flower opens. Have you guessed that I’m addicted to multi-colored roses? I can’t seem to get enough!
Tangerine Streams floribunda rose is another multi-colored beauty. I’ve only had this one a year, but it seems to be blooming more abundantly this second year. It has those delicious colors of apricot, salmon, pink and yellow that I love.
Oh My! floribunda is a classic deep red (although this picture looks pink…it’s not!). It has clusters of flowers with very mild scent. A rose with an exclamation point, wow! It must be something special! It must have static electricity! Oh My!
Easy Does It floribunda rose is exceptional. I’ve had this one for years and it’s a non-stop bloomer as well as being covered in flowers. It won the AARS award in 2010, well deserved! I also like the disease resistance which is quite good.
Tess of the D’ Urbervilles English Rose is a David Austin climber. This could be one of the best smelling roses in my garden, it’s heavenly. The rich crimson flowers are lovely. I bought it for the name alone, since I have a daughter named Tessa. And since they are both so delightful I thought I would re-read the Thomas Hardy classic book this year, Tess of the D’ Urbervilles. I’m telling you, stick with the rose, because I hate this book. Except for the description of the dairy farm in the summer, it’s so dark and depressing and people die. And Tess is such an idiot. She needs to hang out with Oh My!
And finally, Christopher Marlowe, my friend! This is another David Austin English rose with a dreamy tea rose fragrance. This is a rescue rose from the nursery. It was in the landscaping and was going to be dug out, so I decided to adopt it. At the nursery it was largely ignored, never fertilized and rarely watered. It put out one or two flowers a year and was quite unremarkable. It’s new home is in a half barrel in potting soil and fertilizer and adequate water. It’s going crazy! I counted over 25 buds this month and I love it with the orange impatiens and pink begonias. Christopher Marlowe, I’m glad we became acquainted!