Sunday, April 22, 2012

From Rain To Heat - Part I

The recent vagaries of our spring weather made me wonder why I grow roses at all. In one week the temperatures went from 57 and rain to 90. Many of my first rose blooms balled and rotted in the rain, and most of those that opened later fried in the heat :(. There won't be many glamour shots of my spring garden this year....

Only a few roses stood their ground, and Dame Edith Helen is one of them. The huge petal-packed blooms take my breath away (but not before I inhale their wonderful fragrance), and I have not seen a badly shaped bloom yet. It is not particularly shy of bloom either. Mine is own root in a big pot.

Souvenir de la Malmaison balled every spring for me, but not this year. Could it be that it outgrew its awkward teenage years? I don't know, we'll see what next year brings.

Regensberg is pretty much perfect all the time, and it is the reason why I have three of them in my small garden.

The blooms on Francis Dubreuil/Barcelona were ruined by both rain and heat. Oh well, a few did manage to open in between, and the fragrance was amazing.

Marechal Niel has perfect foliage year round. The outer petals on the buds do show rain damage, but not really badly. The first blooms are opening well and they seem to last a few days in the heat.

Mrs. Wakefield Christie-Miller is a charming little rose. Mine is in a bit of filtered shade, and looks perfect. The blooms do not last a long time, but they show no rain damage at all, and the foliage is good too.

I can find no fault with Secret Garden Musk Climber. Despite the fragile look of its flowers they hold up well to the weather, are incredibly fragrant, and last a fair time in a vase too.

This one is Nancy Lee, which may also be 'Huntington Pink Tea'. I have been meaning to throw it out for three years now, and somehow it is still here. It mildews badly all the time, and I have yet to see a fully open bloom. The buds have a zillion paper thin petals and feel really heavy. I keep thinking that if they ever open, they might look exquisite, but so far they are all in my imagination.

Sunsprite, in all day filtered shade, looks pretty good. I can't say I love its neon yellow color, but there is a lot to say for clean leaves and a strong fragrance.

Mme Caroline Testout balled and mildewed.... This year, the rains happened right when most of the buds were opening, and that took care of most of its spring flush.

Lyda Rose at least had the sense to wait out the rains. It is only just beginning to bloom. I love its simple beauty.

Here is Crown Princess Margareta looking dreamily over the fence. It is a very good rose for me, with clean foliage and consistently good blooms. I can't detect any fragrance from them.

Z├ęphirine Drouhin is not known for great disease resistance, but I can say, with gratitude, that most of what the weather throws at it shows up in the foliage, not in the blooms. The blooms don't last long, but they don't ball or fry for me, so I put up with imperfect foliage (it mildews most of the time).

Even though its blooms are delicate and have almost see-through petals, Lady Hilligdon gives a wonderful display of color. However fast the petals fall from old blooms, new ones are always coming.

Most of my perennials were much less bothered by the changing weather. I think I need more of them in my garden :).


  1. Beautiful Masha, I'd take your rain, I am in a frost warning tonight.

  2. They all look lovely ! My roses are still closed for the most part , so the heat was not an issue.But the black spot--ai yi-yi.

    I am on a mission to plant Lady Hilligdon.Just need to find her.

  3. We deal with that kind of weather regularly this time of year, and I know how you feel...sometimes the mega thunderstorms come at just the critical moment to ruin all kinds of stuff. That happened to me last year. There's no two ways about it, it sucks.

  4. Masha, great roses Dame Edith Helen and Crown Princess Margareta! We need some more heat here, so if the wind blow west, your heat will come to us and our rain to your place. All will be satisfied with weather!!!

  5. Im so sorry that you lost some roses, Masha. Thanks for the lovely introduction to all the ladies in your garden.

  6. It has been an odd spring this year. But you've got some beautiful shots there, and I'm sure your garden looks beautiful. You just know its potential.

  7. Your roses look great. Really exquisite!

  8. You may be thinking that the weather has ruined your roses, but you've got far more perfect blossoms here than you've shown damaged. I'm thinking that things may not really be as bad as you feel.

  9. Your roses are gorgeous despite the vagaries of weather. I must say, Zepherine Drouin gets my vote every time. I spray her with a solution of baking soda and water ( 2 heaping T to a quart) and that keeps the mildew under control. We won a Best in Show award - our first fragrance) with Zepherine last year, so she has a special place in our hearts!

  10. Is this weather not the worst yet? We have gone from 75° a couple of days ago to snow now until Wednesday. My roses are all budded out and I am guessing not too happy right about now. I would love to have roses like you even with the problems they are experiencing because they look better than ours in the best of conditions.

  11. I'm sorry the weather is not playing nice with the roses, but the ones that came through are gorgeous. I can understand your frustration with roses. We had to take Mermaid out last weekend due to RRD. I love your photo of Lyda Rose. So beautiful.

  12. Souvenir de la Malmaison is stunning indeed. Love the soft colors of this wonderful rose. My wife has taken a liking to Sunsprite.

  13. Hermosas y bellas fotografias.
    Un saludo afectuoso.

  14. I've been looking forward to see your roses again after winter! Secret Garden Musk Climber is simply beautiful, I like almost every musk rose though.
    weather is very strange also this year, so I guess we only have to take what it gives.


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