Monday, July 1, 2013

Survivors of the Heat

We are going through a heat wave now with recent highs of  95F (35C). The heat is set to continue through the middle of this week, but its effects are already obvious. I decided to take my camera for a walk in the garden one late afternoon to record how my roses are handling this weather.

William Shakespeare 2000

 The first observation was that most of my hybrid teas and Austins are toast, some of them before they even get a chance to fully open :(.

Dame Edith Helen

The prize for the most thoroughly burnt rose indisputably goes to one of my rarest early hybrid teas, Hermann Lindecke. Collecting rare roses is all good and well, but this sight just might be enough to persuade me to finally get rid of it :).

Second place probably goes to Crépuscule which is having a very generous flush but whose blooms crisp in a matter of minutes and persist in displaying themselves immodestly on this rather large climber.  My two plants are at the back of a planting bed and the only way I can deadhead them now is with a spray from a hose (not at all an efficient way to deadhead as you can see).

Fortunately, there are still a number of roses that have come through the trial relatively unscathed. One of my very favorite ones is Shön Ingeborg. It is situated in all day sun but shrugs it off with apparent ease. Lots of buds, well formed blooms of a good size, lovely color and clean foliage. After days of relentless heat, it looks just as fresh and cool as on a nice spring morning.

Penelope is equally undeterred by the hot sun. Facing full west, the blooms are still lovely in the evening, only the color fades a little.

Julia Child, in full flush, looks and smells wonderful despite a fully western exposure, sporadic watering and reflected heat from a retaining wall. There is honestly not much more one can demand from a plant.

I often overlook Trumpeter because my camera does not like red (neither do I), and its lack of fragrance makes it unexciting. Unloved and forgotten, it persists in pumping out an amazing bounty of cheerful blooms all year undeterred either by heat or by cold. The foliage is completely clean and plentiful. I appreciate its exuberance and it has earned a permanent place in my garden (if not in my heart).

I am amazed at how tough and resilient Secret Garden Musk Climber is despite the deceptive fragility of its blooms. The blooms last a day and drop off cleanly in the evening, with many more to look forward to next morning.

Below are the runners-up. Many of my other roses have sensibly shut down and are hopefully saving their energy until the heat goes down.

Général Barthelot does not look bad at all for a young rose facing full west. I would have expected those red petals to crisp much more.

Prinzessin Marie von Arenberg has very lovely delicate blooms. It gets only morning sun. Thrips love it.

Imagine. Southern exposure, lots of blooms and really beautifully clean foliage. Not much fragrance.

Tina Marie. The blooms are tiny in the heat, but hold up pretty well. Great fragrance. The spotty leaves are those of Golden Celebration :).

Edina looks so cool and fresh. Not much damage to its delicate blooms at all. Clean foliage and good vigor.

September Morn. Those strawberry ice cream swirls only begin to brown a little after a few days. It handles the heat very well. 

An honorable mention goes to my rugosa roses which are not blooming but whose colorful hips add a welcome (and as yet unshriveled) touch to the garden.

Purple Pavement

Among companion plants, my small collection of lavenders, ornamental oreganos, penstemons, hardy geraniums, salvias and agastache all handle the heat very well. Tomatoes seem to ripen in a matter of minutes, and peaches and plums are getting sweeter and sweeter. There are good sides to a heat wave too :).

Hopley's Purple ornamental oregano


  1. Smutny jest widok przekwitłych róż. Modłyby kwitnąć cały czas, tak by było cudowne. Dobrze, że są jednak inne pieknie kwitnące i cieszące oczy. Pozdrawiam.
    Sad is the view the faded roses. Modłyby bloom all the time, so that was wonderful. Well, they are, however, other beautifully blooming and enjoying eyes. Yours.

  2. So many beautiful roses you have and most of them are heat resistant I see. A pity of Crepiscule fot that is such a beauty too.

  3. Masha, I'm sorry about Hermann Lindecke, so nice rose. But I think the damage was not big, other roses survived as nothing happened. I love Edina, beautiful!
    We had (and will have) too hot days as well, 28-30 C. The plants began to grow as crazy, many roses opened their buds.
    Have a nice week!

  4. Yes, we are baking in the heat here and many of my plants are NOT happy! Especially the hydrangeas. Currently it's in the mid-90's but should start to cool down tomorrow. Thank goodness we're not usually so hot. Good luck deadheading the living 'dried flower arrangements' at the back of your border!

  5. Welcome to my world Masha! However, this is an odd summer; we're only highs in the 80's and lows in the 50's and 60's here....which is entirely weird for July; usually by now, I've brushed up against 100's and within a week, I'll have a solid month of 100's....forecast 10 days out show only 90's.

    But it looks like I need to put a Shön Ingeborg on my list to own!

  6. Thank you!

    VW, I loved your calling my roses the living dried flower arrangements :). Who knows maybe I will come to like them...

    Professor, it is a great rose for me, the only thing is I honestly don't know how resistant it is to blackspot. But trying is half the fun (at least).

  7. Phew... while our roses are becoming webbed, yours getting toasted. Well at least you could pick them immediately from the shrub into a bowl for a pot-pourri without having to dry them before. Always look on the bright side of life :o).
    Hope that the weather is getting cooler at your part of the world and here a bit warmer.
    Take care

  8. Alex, thank you for the idea :)

  9. I think most of your Roses still look absolutely fabulous! This post illustrates to me that during a "normal" year, you have the perfect climate for Roses! Here in the Midwest, we are too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer, and the spring is too short. Still, people manage to grow some spectacular Roses here--they just don't last very long. :( I will appreciate the California Roses more next time I travel there!

  10. Beth, thank you for giving me another perspective... I will try not to complain so much :)

  11. Hi Masha, great to read which roses do well for you in the heat! I am surprised that Tina Marie's blooms can withstand the heat, since the flowers of 'Grandmother's Hat' shrivel very quickly in hot weather in my garden. Out of my Austins 'Charles Darwin' is doing the best in the summer. I have two planted in terracotta pots placed on our terrace and there it is getting amazingly hot and the flowers of this rose don't fry. I really love it!

  12. You have some tough survivors there, so many roses looking beautiful despite the difficult conditions. Up north we have not been so hot yet, but the endless heavy rain has also been causing difficulties for my new roses. Hope they will all make it through this summer.

  13. Many beauties in your garden despite the heat! Let us hope for a cool down soon.

  14. Masha, in spite of the heat you still have many Roses which cope well. I think every garden should have at least one red Rose, fragrance would be a bonus though. Our roses are just starting to bloom now.

  15. This seems to be such an odd summer for lots of gardeners with wild crazy weather just doing as it pleases ! Here in the uk we have had hot SUN! Unheard of I know ! I am amazed that ANY of your roses can cope with the heat you are experiencing, let alone still look gorgeous !


I am so glad you have stopped by!