Love Roses? Now's the Time to Plant. Plus check out SheSez's Faves!
January 31, 2011 - Linda Grasso
A rose garden overlooking the ocean in La Jolla Farms
If you want to add some rose bushes to your garden, now is the time. You can get dirt cheap bare root roses that, if planted now, will blossom like mad in spring and summer. I know it's hard to believe that these ugly, random looking stalks without a leaf in sight will transform into gorgeous plants in just a few months, but that is indeed what happens.
And, don't be intimidated the the whole bare root thing. They're super easy to plant and most have instructions right on the package. Ask someone at the nursery to help you pick out a good one - typically one that has three thick stalks pointed in different directions. Two things to think about before you check out my favorite rose varieties:
- Make sure you have at least 8 hours of full sun - otherwise you will be disappointed with the lack of flowers
- Remember when it comes to choosing varieties - heirloom roses are like heirloom tomatoes - you get a fraction of the yield per season - but the few you do get are mind-blowing.
This has magnificent 5 inch blooms and grows 5-6 feet tall. The blossoms are rounded and compact. This variety of rose looks beautiful when the sunlight catches it. Just a few flowers in a vase make a serious statement.
photo left: Golden Celebration
A gorgeous climber that pops flowers incessantly in spring and summer. Loves the sea air in summer.
A pink climber with large creamy pink blossoms that slightly resemble a peony. They aren't terrific though in a vase. The blossoms tend to hang - which is fine on the plant - but not so great dangling down in a container. Nice fragrance. These do really well in the valley and on the westside, where summers are cooler.
A multi-colored tangerine rose. Super vibrant and an unusual shade that resembles an orange-hued Key West sunrise.
This is a rare butterscotch-colored grandiflora rose by Weeks Roses in Upland, California. The color is exotic and unusual. Creamy butterscotch with an unusual matt finish. You get fewer flowers than a typical garden variety rose, but the ones you do get are show stoppers.
Weeks' Honey Djon rose on left
This is an all around favorite of mine. No matter where I've lived in California, I've always made sure to plant a few Double Delights as soon as I moved in. The base of the flower is cream-colored with hot pink or fuchsia edges and even a hint of soft pink inside. From a distance they can look pink and the color changes as the blossoms age. They wind up sometimes a soft pink. The best feature of Double Delight? The smell. Your house will fill with an intoxicating fragrance when you cut a bouquet.
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