Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Neighbors' Roses

We have been having a spell of dry warm weather, and I try to walk or ride my bike around the neighborhood whenever I can. It is hard to resist views like this:

Chinese pistache trees (pistacia chinensis) changing color are a lovely sight, but I, as always, am on the lookout for roses.

Dainty Bess?

Here in suburban Bay Area roses are a very common sight. They grow easily in our dry warm climate, and many varieties, from out-of-patent hybrid teas to Lady Banks can be bought cheaply at big home improvement stores.

Mr. Lincoln?

It seems that most roses receive minimal care, and the only treatment doled out with boring regularity is a chopping back of the canes.

A row of multi-colored hybrid teas along the driveway is a ubiquitous sight (I have one too). Here it seems that the neighbor's trees are too close to allow planting in the ground. Even though these half whisky barrels look fine they are rotted on the inside and the potting mix is almost gone. The roses are not too happy and the barrels will probably fall apart soon.

I do sometimes see beautiful displays of rose hips...

...and even an occasional antique, such as this short Mutabilis hedge.

While many roses now are slowing down in preparation for winter, one variety in particular stands out. It is California's landscaping shrub par excellence, the Iceberg.

A neighbor's three year old and 6 foot tall hedge of several Iceberg shrubs. They are cut back hard every year and never fertilized.

No other rose here withstands so much abuse and yet thrives so cheerfully.

 It is planted in sun or shade, by itself or under huge redwoods, it is cut back to knee high or allowed to climb, and it still blooms no matter what.

Properly deadheaded, these Icebergs look as fresh now as they do in the spring. I don't have any in my garden (no more room) but I am very grateful to my neighbors for allowing me to enjoy theirs.


  1. Dobrze, że jeździłaś na rowerze i patrzyłaś na róże u innych. Rosną różne i ładne, ale białymi jestem zachwycona. Widok z pierwszego zdjęcia jest też śliczny. Pozdrawiam cieplutko.
    Well, that jeździłaś a bike and you looked at the roses in the other. Grow different and nice, but white I am delighted. The view from the first picture is too cute. Regards warm.

  2. I wish growing roses here was as easy. They struggle in our humidity and it can be frustrating to find cultivars that thrive. Our winter was too warm this year and blackspot ran rampant through my beds, despite spraying. I'm hoping for a cold winter to kill all the spores. I would love to have a hedge of Iceberg roses!

  3. So beautiful! I have been very happy with my Icebergs this year, but they are not anywhere near as beautiful as the ones there. They are truly lovely, and I can see why they are grow so commonly there. That view is also amazing! What glorious autumn colors!

  4. As always, you exceed my expectations, Masha. That first image makes me want to take a trip out west right now. And then the Roses--sigh...

  5. California must be rose-growing heaven. Here most of those roses would be naked and pitiful from blackspot and other diseases; there, they are glorious!

  6. Again stunning rosemary! why cant i helpmyself from wanting tyou toteach me...I have a canon t4 Itstakegood pictures but I want more..untill then I sigh over yours

  7. Masha, I tried to grow Iceberg here, in North. It blooms and grows well but wintered badly. I had to cover it with spanbond (special covering cloth)and the second winter, the coldest, it didn't survive. You're lucky to live in this paradise climate!

  8. wonderful collection!
    this shots inspired me a lot!

    xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :) | PJ’ Ecoproject

  9. Love the first image of Pistachia Sinensis. We have one in our backyard, beautiful trees.

  10. Masha, your photos are amazing! I love roses and your gift with the camera is very much appreciated. Thank you for sharing and enjoy your weekend. I'm a new follower of your blog.


  11. Masha what a lucky girl not only having beautiful roses yourself but also have neighbourghs with beautiful roses. Overhere the frontgardens are so small that a lot of my neighbourghs have only pavement helas.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Wow, the Iceberg rose behind the white fence looks really gorgeous!
    Have a lovely Weekend!

  13. amazing collection of pictures, the curious whatever camera.. Greetings from Lithuania

  14. 'Dainty Bess' has distinctive red stamens. With views like that no wonder you are out in the neighborhood frequently. Icebergs are putting on a show down south as well. Fabulous photos, as usual.

  15. My elementary science students have been hunting ladybugs throughout our school courtyard. Guess I had to look no further than your beautiful title photo! Greetings and love to the California Queen of Roses, Sally

  16. Bonjour,
    J'écris un livre sur les roses de nos jardins privés, J'aimerais que votre jardin soit dans mon livre, ce serait le seul des U.S.A. Pous cela il faudrait que vous choisissiez 10 rosiers et que vous fassiez un commentaire sur chaque rosier et que vous me donniez l'autorisation de publier les photos..
    Je suis désolé de ne pas écrire en anglais, merci de votre réponse.

  17. Toda la pagina es una belleza, buena tierra debe de ser la tuya.felicidades.

  18. Iceberg is a beauty Masha, it even flourishes in our cool climate.

  19. Even your rose hips are beautiful! We can grow icebergs and they are fairly reliable, but in your climate and location - wow! Thanks for the beautiful photos. Great lighting too! Best to you!


I am so glad you have stopped by!