The roses are in bloom for autumn

Last month, after the summer heat-waves seemed to have left for another year, I gave the rosebushes in the front garden a "haircut".  Trimming during the hot summer months makes the roses thirsty for water (not good), but if I leave them alone and don't cut them, they are quite drought tolerant.

By September, the roses are always looking a bit shaggy. Some of them are vigorous growers that need neatening up every 6 months while others can be left to only get shaped once a year. I don't do a hard prune on my roses because with our mild some-night-frost-but-no-snow winters, it isn't necessary. If I time my pruning just right, I can get a big beautiful display in the spring (April to May), again in the fall (October to November) and then again around Christmas day.

This year I seemed to have timed the pruning perfectly because I'm getting a lovely October bloom from several of the varieties including 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' (below), 'Ronald Reagan', 'Janice Kellogg' and the infamous mislabeled rose that was supposed to be a 'Sterling' but turned out to be what I think is a 'Queen Elizabeth' (above).

There's something magical about having the roses in bloom while everything else is going through the changes of autumn. It reminds me that I don't live in a place where snow will envelope my world for months on end (something I lived with for a large slice of my younger years that has left me traumatized when it comes to snow). And I am happy.

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  1. I seem to appreciate fall roses so much more than the ones of spring. In spring, there are so many, and more and more come every day. In fall, each rose could be the last one, as the threat of frost and freeze forces me to pay attention to each flower individually.

    My grandmother gardened in southern California, where rose growing was a year-round activity ... and flowering roses were pruned hard and stripped of leaves every January.

    We all have a mystery mis-labeled rose or two. Some of them turn out to be real treasures.

  2. Roses in December... only in vases here, I'm afraid.

  3. Beautiful. I have a few roses still blooming but it's starting to get frosty at night here, so they won't be here for long.


  4. I love looking out the kitchen window at the blooms, but I was surprised by these pink ones blossoming the other day, what a surprise!

  5. I'm reading this with a little more than a touch of envy. So lovely at any time of year.


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