Tag: roses

May Bloom – Roses

Come rain or shine the last week of April and first few weeks of May are when the roses in my garden start their spring show. Even though we are a few weeks behind because of cooler than usual weather, the roses are right on schedule. This is good because Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium is coming for a visit in just a few days.

Mike is an expert on heritage roses so I thought it would be appropriate to invite him to speak on the subject when the roses are at their peak. To make the event even rosier Mike’s talk is at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion where heritage roses abound in the gardens.

I know not everyone can make it to the lecture and not everyone has roses blooming yet so I’m giving away a copy of Mike’s book Empress of the Garden. It’s a big, coffee table-sized book that defines rose varieties by their personalities, which makes it easy to decide if a rose is right for you. Mike introduces us “Balloon-skirted Ladies” and “Petite Party-goers” as well as “Mysterious Ladies.” And let me tell you it’s always good to know you’ve fallen for a “Petulant Diva” before you bring her into the garden.

If you’d like to win a copy of Empress of the Garden tell me what you love most about roses – fragrance, color, rose hips? Just post a comment below. I’ll select a winner at random on May 8th, 2013.

Congrats to Nancy Olig! She’s the winner of this month’s giveaway. Check your inbox Nancy for an email explaining how to get your copy of Mike’s book. Thank you to everyone who participated!

 'Star of the Republic' is a variety in the Pioneer Series developed by Mike and the Antique Rose Emporium.

I grow a hedge of 'Sarah van Fleet' roses at the Moss Mountain Farm Garden Home.

Mike classifies 'Mutabilis' as a &"Big-hearted Homebody." The blooms open yellow and mature to pink and then red.

'Sombreuil' is a climber that produces very fragrant blooms. In his book, Mike writes that she is obedient, pure, and enchanting.

'Ballerina' is one of the more carefree roses that I grow in my city Garden Home. She's planted in the front garden in high shade and seems quite happy.

Why Isn’t ‘New Dawn’ Rose Reblooming?

Does the New Dawn climbing rose actually re-bloom? Am I pruning inappropriately? I do not seem to get good re-blooming. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Roses are categorized in many ways including whether or not they bloom more than once in a growing season. Many of my favorite old-fashioned roses only flower in spring, but the lack of continuous bloom is made up for by their stellar, "one night only" performance.

‘New Dawn’ is classified as a repeat bloomer, but does not behave in the same way as say a hybrid tea. ‘New Dawn’ is a "sport" or genetic mutation of a rose called ‘Dr. van Fleet’. Most sports have a heavy spring bloom followed by scattered blooms the rest of the season. My ‘New Dawn’ puts on a spectacular show in late spring and then throws off the occasional bloom over the course of the summer.

Repeat flowering roses like ‘New Dawn’ bloom on second year canes for the spring flush and then repeat flower on new wood. I’ve never been very disciplined about deadheading my ‘New Dawn’, but many gardeners have good results getting ‘New Dawn’ to bloom again when they deadhead or remove the spent flowers to encourage new growth.

If you are deadheading your rose and still not seeing additional blossoms, there are some environmental conditions that might reduce production such as too much summer shade, intense heat or drought.

And then there is the question of whether the rose is really ‘New Dawn’ or its parent ‘Dr. van Fleet’. ‘Dr. van Fleet’ is a once blooming rose. Because ‘New Dawn’ is a genetic mutation of ‘Dr. van Fleet’ it is possible, but not common, that some plants reverted to ‘Dr. van Fleet’ when they were developed and then mistakenly sold as ‘New Dawn’.

When it comes to pruning your ‘New Dawn’ there are some distinct practices that apply to climbing roses that you should be aware of. If you are pruning your climber as you would a hybrid tea or cutting it back to the ground every year, you could be losing flowers.

Repeat-blooming climbing roses such as ‘New Dawn’ can bloom for many years on the same older canes. Eventually, if the roses decline in vigor, allow new canes to grow and replace the old ones. Prune in late winter or early spring. Remove all suckers coming from below the bud union, dead growth or twiggy growth from the bud union. Cut all flowering laterals back to 2 or 3 leaf buds. Leaf buds appear as red, nodes on the stem.

A once-blooming climbing rose such as ‘Dr. van Fleet’ flower on the previous year’s wood. Prune these roses right after flowering is finished. If there are too many canes cut the oldest and weakest canes back to the bud union. Remove any suckers from below the bud union, dead wood, and twiggy growth from the bud union. Thin unwanted growth to promote air circulation.

Transplanting Roses

I am moving and I want to take my rose bush with me. I planted it 5 years ago and it is big. I need to know how and when the best time to dig it up and replant it. Springfield, MA

I’ve gotten quite a few emails lately from people on the move that want to take their roses with them. Unfortunately, this late in the season is not an ideal time to dig up a rose and move it. The best time to move a rose is when it is dormant. However, we cannot always schedule our lives around our gardens.

If time allows, you can root prune your rose to help ease the move. You should begin this process three or four months before you transplant and repeat it once a month.

Take a sharpshooter (a very narrow, elongated shovel) and drive it into the ground in a circle around the crown of the rose. To determine the size of the circle take a look at the main canes of the rose. You want to make your circle nine inches in diameter for every inch of cane. Let’s say you have a rose with (2) one inch canes. Your circle should be eighteen inches in diameter. Root pruning will cause the rose to create more roots in the soil area that will be moved with the rose. This will help the rose to become established in its new location.

When moving any plant, always try to keep as much of the root system as you can. Use a sharp, narrow shovel to cut around the parameter of the shrub and remove as much of the root ball as possible. Often the soil may fall away from the roots, but that is okay. The plant will be fine.

It is handy to have a piece of this burlap around to use as a sling. Just put the plant in it and transport it to its new location. When placing a plant in the new hole make sure that the soil level is the same that it was in the previous location. Planting too deep can actually kill many plants.

Fill in with some good soil and compost and apply a root stimulator supplement around the roots and mulch it in.

Once the rose is in it’s new location, it needs to be pruned back about fifty percent. Any large canes will need to be sealed. You can buy sealer at your local garden center.

The key to survival is keeping the plant consistently moist. Be sure to give it plenty of water but don’t let it get soggy. I like to apply root stimulator monthly for the rest of the growing season.

Don’t be alarmed if the plant wilts on you. This should subside within about days. Keep your fingers crossed and with a little luck and blessings from Mother Nature your rose just might make it.

How to Train a Climbing Rose to a Wall

I purchased a climbing New Dawn rose like you featured in your show. I would like to train it to grow up around my front door. Unfortunately my home is made of brick. Is there any way to do this without attaching a trellis?

An important part of gardening is to make the most of all your efforts. What I mean by this is if you’re going to all the trouble of growing something, you should give it the support that it needs.

For instance, the ‘New Dawn’ rose I have growing in my garden. It covers itself with so many blooms you can hardly count them and it is a very vigorous grower. It’s not uncommon for the canes of this rose and other climbing roses to reach lengths of 20 feet or more. So supporting such a robust plant is important.

About four years ago I planted my ‘New Dawn’ and every season it gets out of control. My intention was to grow it against the wall, and up the side of the house. But of course supporting anything against brick or masonry is difficult. But I’ve come up with a little system to handle just his type of situation.

First, find the appropriate place on the wall and drill a hole into the mortar joint with a 1/4 inch drill bit. Then place a lead anchor into the hole and tap it in to make sure that it is secure. To hold the canes use a number 8 screw hook and twist it into the lead of the anchor. As you do this, the lead will expand to fill the hole. For the last step take a 6 to 8 inch piece of medium gauge wire and run it through a 3/4 inch diameter piece of clear vinyl tubing. Depending on the diameter of your rose’s canes, about 4 inches long will do. Then just wrap the tubing around the cane and attach it to the hook. This tubing will keep the wire from cutting into the canes and the hooks will allow you to remove it from time to time if needed.

How to Train a Climbing Rose to a Trellis

I recently bought a climbing rose bush and was curious about how to train it to climb or weave itself onto a trellis.

An important part of gardening is to make the most of all your efforts. If you’re going to all the trouble of growing something, you should give it the support that it needs. And climbing roses definitely need support! It’s not uncommon for the canes of these rampant growers to reach lengths of 20 feet or more.

A trellis is an excellent way to provide support for your rose. I attached a trellis on either side of the door to my tool shed and have trained a pair of roses to grow up and over the door frame. This arrangement provides a beautiful embellishment to the somewhat utilitarian facade of the building.

Training roses to grow on a trellis couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is tie the canes to the rungs. Choose the sturdiest of the canes and use a soft material that won’t cut into the stems such as panty hose or twine.

If you are planting a new climbing rose, forego pruning for a year or two except to remove dead or damaged stems and continue to attach the main canes as the rose grows.

Once the rose reaches a mature size you can maintain its form by selectively cutting back weak canes to the base and pruning lateral, flower producing stems back to within 2 or 3 leaf nodes from the main canes. This should be done in late winter or early spring before the rose comes out of dormancy.

For these larger roses, I use an old leather belts to attach the canes to the trellis. I encircle several canes, slip the belt end through the trellis and then just buckle the belt! You made need more than one belt to attach it securely.

Reasons Why Your Rose Isn’t Blooming

I have beautiful rose bushes but no roses, the bushes have no bugs or spots that look like disease. Why don’t I have any roses?

I can think of 4 reasons why your rose may not bloom: winterkill, improper pruning, lack of sunlight, or a reversion to the understock.

Winterkill – If you live in a region where winters are severe and your roses are not given proper protection they could die back to the root. In such a case the plant may be not able to return the following growing season with enough vigor to produce roses.

Improper Pruning – Old-fashioned roses should be pruned with a light hand. Severe pruning or waiting too late in spring can diminish bloom production. This is especially true of roses that flower once each growing season, such as Damasks and Mosses. These types should be pruned in the summer after they have flowered.

Lack of Sunlight – For good bloom production roses need at least 6 hours of sunlight. Now there are varieties that will flower in partial shade to light shade. I’ve had luck with ‘Gruss an Aachen’, ‘White Meidiland’ and ‘Marie Pavie’.

Reversion to Understock – Some roses are grafted while others are grown on their own root stock. A grafted rose is created by attaching a bud of the desired variety onto to a more vigorous root stock. The problem arises if the root stock starts putting out growth and overpowers the grafted on variety. This growth can be very healthy and yet not produce any blooms or if you do get roses they can be an unexpected color. Such was the case with a ‘White Dawn’ I had planted in my garden that suddenly started blooming red.

Pruning Climbing Roses

I planted two climbing roses last summer, and not sure if I should cut them back, and if so when? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Climbing roses are a great way to accent your garden. To keep them in tip-top shape I prune my climbing roses once a year. This helps stimulate lots of new growth, which makes them produce larger flowers and a lot more of them. Plus, a good pruning helps them to keep their shape.

In most regions of the country mid to late February is the ideal time to shape up your plants, even if you live in a mild area where roses never go dormant. If you live in a cold climate, pruning should be done when you remove winter protection and the danger of a hard freeze has passed, which may be as late as April in very cold zones. Once blooming roses should not be pruned until after they flower.

To prune a climbing rose all you’ll need is a good pair of sharp pruners and some gloves.

When I prune, I always take out all dead and diseased wood, then I take out any stems that are smaller than the diameter of a pencil. When I make each cut, I try to make them as clean as possible and about a quarter of an inch above a bud. It’s important to know that the position of the bud on the stem is the direction the new growth will head once it’s starts growing, so I always try to cut just above a bud that’s going to grow up and over the arbor.

What are the Best Climbing Old-Fashioned Roses?

I need an antique climber that is a repeat bloomer, of any color, fragrant and one that preferably blooms in clusters. However, although we live in Zone 6B, we are on a high hill and have a slightly colder "microclimate." Which rose do you suggest?

Old-fashioned roses are one of my favorite subjects. Their beauty and ease of care make them ideal for any garden.

Climbing old-fashioned roses are excellent accents for growing over entry arbors, around doorframes and across fences. I have a friend who has trained climbing ‘New Dawn’ around her kitchen window. The pale pink, fragrant flowers appear continuously from spring through fall framing her view out into the garden. The effect is enchanting. Whenever I am there I half expect to see Snow White smiling at me through the open window.

Here is a list of a few of my favorite old-fashioned climbing roses. One of these is sure to suit your garden needs.

  • Climbing ‘Cecile Brunner’- 1894, Polyantha
    This delightful rose bears pale pink clusters of blooms throughout the growing season. Grows 20 – 30 feet. Fragrant. Hardiness zones: 6 – 9.
  • Climbing ‘Clotilde Soupert’ – 1902, Polyantha
    White clusters of blooms adorn this garden beauty from spring until late fall in my garden. Grows 12 – 15 feet. Fragrant. Hardiness zones: 6 – 9.
  • Yellow ‘Lady Banks’ – 1807, Species
    This rose only blooms once but what a display! Cascades of tightly clustered yellow blooms cover the plant for as long as 6 weeks and perfume the air with a sweet violet scent. The canes are nearly thornless, which makes this a perfect rose for accenting an entryway. The only downside to this rose is that it is susceptible to temperatures below 15 degrees F. Grows 12 – 20 feet. Fragrant. Deer resistant. Hardiness zones: 8 – 9.
  • ‘Lamarque’ – 1830, Noisette
    This is one of my favorite climbing roses, so I had to include it on the list. However, it is only cold hardy to zone 7 so it might not be suitable for a zone 6 garden. I have this rose planted so that it grows up and over the door to my chicken house. It blooms repeatedly throughout the summer and often as late as December. The large flowers are fully double, creamy white. Grows 12 – 20 feet. Fragrant. Hardiness zones: 7 -9.
  • ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’ – 1879, Noisette
    The hefty blooms of this rose are highly fragrant, making it a favorite for planting over an entry arbor. The continuously blooming flowers open a pale pink and fade to cream. The canes produce a minimal amount of thorns – always plus when selecting roses for training to grow up arbors and trellises. Grows 15 – 20 feet. Fragrant. Hardiness zones: 6 – 9.
  • ‘New Dawn’ – 1930, Large Flowering Climber
    Although not a true old-fashioned rose, my list would not be complete without ‘New Dawn’. I have this rose planted in several locations in my garden. Requiring little effort on my part, this rose rewards me throughout the growing season with large, pale pink blooms and lustrous, dark green foliage. Grows 12 – 20 feet. Fragrant. Hardiness zones: 5 – 9.
  • Climbing ‘Old Blush’ – Unknown Date, China
    I have ‘Old Blush’ situated along the front fence in my garden. The lilac pink blooms blend nicely with the maroon barberry and violet roses of my ‘Russell’s Cottage’ planted nearby. The flowers form in loose clusters and are produced with such abandon that they fade quickly to make room for more. Grows 12- 20 feet. Fragrant. Hardiness zones: 7 – 9.
  • Climbing ‘The Fairy’ – Unknown Date, Polyantha
    As the name implies, ‘The Fairy’ is dainty in stature but robust in bloom. Petite, deep pink blooms cover this rose in tight clusters from spring through fall. Grows 8 – 12 feet. Not fragrant. Hardiness zones: 5 – 9.

Rose Hip Wreath


What’s not to love about rose hips? They are striking in the fall garden, provide food for wildlife, and make a tasty jam that’s loaded with vitamin C.

Here’s a project for a simple rose hip wreath using a grapevine form. It’s easy to put together and you can hang it inside or outdoors. The shelf life outdoors is a little shorter because birds will snack on it, but what’s wrong with that?

Materials for a Rose Hip Wreath

  • 12 inch grapevine wreath
  • Rose hips
  • Fine gauge wire
  • Floral tape
  • Gloves
  • Green velvet bow

Directions for Making a Rose Hip Wreath

  1. Collect rose hips from the garden. Try to gather hips on both short stems and long stems. Wear gloves to protect against thorns.

  2. Start by taking the long stems of rose hips and weaving them into the form, overlapping as you go.

  3. Next take the shorter stems and create small bundles by binding them together with floral tape. Attach the bundles to the wreath with the wire.

  4. To finish it off, just add a green velvet bow.

Roses that Produce Hips:

  • ‘Ballerina’
  • ‘Frau Karl Druschki’
  • ‘Iceberg’
  • ‘Mutabilis’
  • ‘Old Blush’
  • ‘Lady Banks’
  • ‘Rugosa’
  • ‘Russell’s Cottage’
  • ‘Seven Sisters’
  • ‘Sarah van Fleet’

Rustic Rose Trellis

An essential part of developing the style of your garden is adding hardscape structures, which include everything from gazebos and teahouses to trellises and plant supports. The architectural style you choose will influence the overall feel of your garden. For example, a split rail fence will project a different image than a brick wall. It’s best to select structures that match the architectural style of your home.

Adding a garden structure doesn’t always have to be complicated. During my tours of English gardens one of the things I found so charming was the use of twigs and branches to build simple garden features. These rustic structures create an old world look that adds character to the youngest of gardens.

You can add a touch of England to your garden with this simple twig trellis. Climbing roses and annual vines will love to scurry up this rustic support and it is a wonderful addition to container gardens.

Rose Trellis

It is so easy to do; you can put one together in an afternoon.

Materials:
tree limbs approximately 3 to 4 inches in diameter
hatchet or pruning saw
10 penny galvanized nails
12 gauge copper wire
drill
24" terra cotta or other container

Sketch of TrellisDirections:
Select tree limbs of the appropriate diameter. I used cedar but any sturdy wood is suitable. If you don’t have limbs available in your yard try using bamboo which you can purchase at your local garden center.

Cut two limbs approximately four feet long.

Cut smaller limbs approximately 20 inches wide to serve as braces.

Remove small twigs and debris from limbs with hatchet or pruning saw to make them smooth.

Lay out braces in a decorative pattern. I used a vertical brace across the top and bottom and then placed two in an "X" shape across the center.

Pre-drill holes where each joint meets.

Drive nails through holes. Use a 8 to 16 penny galvanized nail depending on the size of the wood – a 10 penny would probably work nicely for a small trellis.

Wrap the joints of the rose support together with 12 gage copper wire or other sturdy wire.

Carve the ends of the support into points using a hatchet or pruning saw.

Do not treat the wood, let it weather naturally.

Fill your container almost to the rim with soil. Plant your rose.

Position the trellis at the back of the container and push the legs into the soil until it is stable. Weave the branches of the rose between the braces of the trellis.

Add companion plants.