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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 6, 13 at 20:39

Not the best of times for me this year. Spring was late and cold and the roses didn't like it much. We had a lot of damp gray days too. They struggled early on to get going. It wasn't until mid June that I had anything I could call a "spring flush" and that was wimpy at best. It did warm up and clear up some going into July and I had some nicer bloom then. Unfortunately by that time most everything had black spot pretty bad already. It stayed with me most of the season so I never had very nice leaves or plants. Oh well, they bloomed pretty and that is, after all, what I grow them for!

There were a few notable exceptions. Home Run was bullet proof. Nary a spot to be found. Julia Child did great and didn't succumb to the BS until way late into September. My newest one, Love Song, was surprisingly resistant too. And totally gorgeous! Another new one, New Zealand, although not particularly resistant was a trooper and bloomed and grew very well. My third newbie, New Day, on the other hand was HORRID! Not with BS but with powdery mildew. I don't think it was clean for a single day the whole season. Very disappointing and may be cause for shovel pruning if it doesn't improve with maturity. Why is it I can accept the black spot and not the mildew? Oh, I guess it might be because the black spot doesn't seem to affect the blooms as much as the mildew seems to. I guess I can a live with spotty leaves but not yucky blooms.

On the experimental front my rooted cutting of Mutabilis wintered very well last year in the little greenhouse. It grew and bloomed with gusto! It's potted up to a full size pot now and will winter out with the others this year so we'll see how it does. I've also added another China, Archduke Charles and a Tea, Duchesse de Brabant, to my experiment with wintering cold tender roses. They were both new bands this spring but grew very well for me so I'm hoping they'll winter well too. I like to push the envelope.

I still have a few blooms out there even though it's getting very late in the season and it's been quite cold. We've had several frosts now but the ground hasn't frozen yet. It's only a matter of time though and I'll be putting them all to bed for the next 5 months at least.

Looking forward to next April and a bright new season!

How was your season?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

I don't consider this to have been a good year for us, either -- tho surely, there were successes. But the continuing drought has meant that our roses are living on irrigation -- and this is NOT water you want to make coffee or tea with. The minerals build up, and build up, and you can see it in foliage.

So, out here, we're praying that the series of East Wind events that are featured through this Fall mean that we may have normal winter rain ahead.

Jeri


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

It was a good summer in Texas (for a change!), with rain every once in a while, and not near the heat we had in 2011. I've found that my tea and china roses, along with our Texas "found roses" are able to handle it all much better than I do! Quite a bit of rain this fall has helped, although still in drought condition.


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

Weird here too this growing season...
All we can do is hope next year is better! :-)


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

Summer and Fall were a bust. All my plans got set aside and variety of things kept me from enjoying my garden like I wanted. However after reading your post I had to stop and think about the year in smaller segments. True none of my big plans happened, but many of my smaller ones did. I got three roses planted that I had wanted. "Rambling Rector" made it in and after a slow start seems to finally be growing. I got "Lady Emma Hamilton" in as well as "Astrid Grafin von Hardenburg" both of which I had been wanting for several years. As a whole the year was discouraging on several areas though. I didn't spray anything this year, never got to mulch and only got to fertlize once. Not spraying revealed alot to me about my climate however. Spring I believe is the source of all my blackspot issues, the perfect temperature and abundant rainfall all lead to blackspot. The pressure of which is so bad I have even seen...gasp....knockouts afflicted here. Some roses still held their own for the most part. The stars were "Sharifa Asma" and "Crown Princess Margereta", there were others but those are the ones that consistently showed off all year long. So I have realized that if I want to have a picture perfect garden I better spray at least in the spring.

After all the disappointments of the year, after looking back at my pictures from the spring I can honestly say it wasn't all bad. I got to experience the excitement of my first "Spring flush", since my garden is still very new most of my plants are only 2 1/2 years old so this was the first year they put on a show. Looking back at the pictures has re-inspired me for next year. Here's to more gardening in 2014!!!!

Anticipation!!
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The first rose of the spring
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Miss Gertrude was a wonderful lady to have in the yard, not particularly healthy, but flush after flush of heavenly scented blooms
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As a whole it wasn't such a bad year after all, now I can't wait for 2014!

Grace e


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

I agree with ogrose - anything had to be better than the summer of 2011 - 3+ months of 105 degrees every single day and no rain - horrible! I lost a bunch of roses just from the awful heat. The last 2 summers, I breezed through, never even noticed the heat. Funny how an extreme year can make what you used to think intolerable not so bad after all! My roses are now going through a lovely flush - here is a bouquet I brought into my office of Graham Thomas and About Face. Once we survive summer here, the rest of the year is a bed of roses! Hope to never see another one like 2011.
Judith


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

Grace and Judith you both have some lovely roses.

This has been a starting over year for me and it has been a good one. 2011 and 2012 would not have been good years to try and start over again. We had been in such a horrible drought and I knew I was taking a chance, but decided to risk it. There was a time during part of June and July it quit raining and it wasn't looking so good, but by August things started to change again and over all it's been good. I know it can get really challenging around here, even when we're in a normal year, but I am determined not to let that get me down. I enjoy my roses too much to allow that to happen. I hope everyone has a good 2014 season and every season to come.


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

This year we had the most gracious spring I've seen in ten years. My gigantic white Banksia burst into bloom. It is usually a disappointment as the buds get killed by cold. Other roses grew like I've never seen. Our springs are usually wet and cold early on. Summer was mild and the blooming continued. Of course there is always a down side. There has been no rain during October and November when I like to say goodbye to my summer watering chores. Our pond that we pump out of from July onward is dangerously low. I'm not able to water properly. Such is life. I know spring will be beautiful. I can also say we accomplished a lot in the rambler project with 40 support structures built and 100 ramblers in the ground.


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

Great pics everyone! :-)

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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 7, 13 at 9:03

Looks like this year was a mixed bag of good and bad seasons. From reading all this it's plain to see that the weather is the biggest determining factor in what kind of season we'll have.

Dregae, wow, those roses are gorgeous! And I love the the little ducks. I know they can be a problem sometimes, I live on the lake and we get them too, but they are cute!

Thank you for the lovely bouquet, Alameda!


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

Best and worst for my gardens also. My neighbor and I remarked all spring what fantastic weather we were having and, without a doubt, the best blooming my roses have ever exhibited!

Then summer and fall arrived--no drought like last year, but no sun either. Gray skies and light rain most of the summer and, like Seil, I got rather depressed with all the BS and every other leaf disease you can imagine plaguing my roses for the rest of the season. A couple of my roses died--I'm not sure if that was due to the long drought the previous summer or because it was too damp this summer. Rather upsetting, at any rate.

The roses didn't bloom that well either, although there were a few beauties found here and there. Anyone that doesn't know I fell in love with my new Munstead Wood just hasn't read any of my posts this summer, have they! LOL. And like Seil, my Home Runs turned out to be the toughest, most disease-resistant, and bloomingest roses in the entire garden! Interestingly, my HTs turned out to be the most persistant bloomers--though just a couple blooms per bush--but that is better than nothing, which is what a number of my roses did a good part of the summer. Downer!

Looking back, it seems so strange that I spent the spring cycle praising my roses to the skies for being so floriferous and beautiful. That certainly was not a predictor of the rest of the season. : (

Kate


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 7, 13 at 11:00

The roses were fabulous this year, best of times. No rain = no Rust = best of times AND worst of times. The August water bill was nearly $700, and the tomato crop was pathetic, worst of times. But wonderful, wonderful roses and dahlias this year.


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

$700 water-bill Hoovb... Wow! :-0
I guess I should feel really blessed.... Highest water bill ever here was $70 and I lived here 20+ years...


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 7, 13 at 12:08

No, Kate, I would have never known you loved you MW, lol!

Sounds like a great year hoov! I'm glad because you certainly payed dearly for it. My water bill was a round $300.00. Which is high considering we had so much rain and I didn't water as much. But I knew our rates had gone up.


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

It was an unusual year for me too. Very sparse winter rains, and the spring flush must have lasted all of two weeks, with freakish, searingly hot winds putting an end to everything. It took a long time for the roses to recover, and it wasn't really until cooler autumn weather and some rain in October helped to brighten the picture. Like Jeri we're having hot and drying Santa Ana winds now that suck the moisture out of everything.

Through it all my spirits were (mostly) supported by some stalwart plants like Mutabilis, Souvenir de la Malmaison, La France, Le Vesuve, Romaggi Plot Bourbon, Rosette Delizy and a few others that gave me the illusion that I still had a garden. I'm hoping for a wet winter that will give me the normal, beautiful spring flush that I think most of us regard as the highlight of the rose year. I have six new roses in bands that I hope to plant soon and that will lend added excitement to next spring and fill in some of the empty spaces.

Ingrid


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

My experience almost exactly mirrors Kate's - not surprising since we're only a state away. Glorious spring followed by "meh" ever since. We haven't had the grey gloom, just not much enthusiasm from the roses. And I echo everyone about what a rotten year overall 2012 was for roses. Any amount of disease or lack of bloom is better than that drought all summer.

Hang in there Seil - at least you know next year's weather will be different in some way...you just don't know how - it'll be a surprise.
Cynthia


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

My tomato production was huge and they are still going strong. It is definitely a lot easier to grow roses here in Pasadena than in Connecticut. But the soil here is horrible and it will take years to build it up to what I had in CT and it never rains here. You just can't water enough and the mid-day heat is too much. To me all roses here look stressed and will never compare to what you see that first flush in z6b Connecticut. My first effort is my floribunda garden in the front which had moderate success. It is 35 roses all bare roots from Hortico planted last December. Here is what it looks like.


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 8, 13 at 10:14

Jim, you slipped that pretty red one in on me, lol!

I see there is more of the same ups and downs here. Maybe we just expect a little too much each year, lol.

Henry, my tomatoes, peppers and cukes all did great this year too. Not too hot or sunny and lots of rain. We just stripped them and all my window sills are lined with green tomatoes that will hopefully ripen. That flori bed is lovely!


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

Every year is unique.

Since July we have been hauling and added a big layer of horse manure covered with more hauled wood chips. Because we get no summer rains and have a drip system, I think it will be next spring before we see the true effect of this years labors. But the roses do love the cooled off roots and look happy. Some like Don Juan, Iceberg and Belinda's Dream have been loving life. Here were Iceberg is planted everywhere, it is funny when people stop to ask "what is that big white rose you got growing in there?"

The bad has been the water bill. But in a different way, our water district has been "upgrading" their payment system. So billing has been random at best. Nothing seems to match, I can see a billing for $316 and yet the only bill we can see is for $30. We have been paying extra because who knows when the water district catches up or if we actually owe them $300. Oh and the good news...they will waive the first late fee......


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

Henry, I would say your success is more than moderate if these are roses you bought last December. What a pretty and green neighborhood you live in. Best of all, no more snow shoveling!

The title says it all, and fortunately with roses there's always change and therefore hope springs eternal that next week, next month, next spring things will be better and, often, they are.

Ingrid


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

The roses were nothing to brag about this year. I'm not sure what the problem was. We had a very snowy winter, not cold but with abundant snow on the ground for weeks on end, and then a very rainy spring. The seasons have been running a month late all year. Summer hot and dry, and though I've seen worse, for some reason the roses were particularly distressed about it. Some of the Teas and Chinas in particular may have had root rot from all the wet in their heavy soil. There was a lot of cane damage, cane girdler I think.
Still, at least we didn't have to worry about running out of water. That's about the worst thing I can imagine happening here, as temperatures are as mild as is compatible with a four season climate. And we're having good rains this fall and it has been the warmest autumn I've seen since I came to Italy, so the grass is lush and the plants are able to make up some of the damage of summer. But we've had very little sun, and that may be why the roses have bloomed so little, in spite of the favorable rain and temperatures. All in all this is a period of investment, working today in order to enjoy beauty tomorrow. And I always enjoy seeing happy plants, even if they're not flowering.


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

For me, every year in the rose garden is a good year. I learn something new all the time in my garden. Some stuff I'm not to wild about but most of the time my roses make me smile. Neighbors and visitors have told me I have the finest rose garden in N.E. GA. (yeah, right). I dought that but if they leave happy and I have encoraged them about how easy it is to grow roses, that's another great day in the garden.


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RE: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...?

Melissa, I am happy as long as the plants are thriving as well. Flowers will come and go.

Spring was great....until that awful hot wind came and cut my flush short. But that was amazing having it all inside for a week! I never would have done that if I didn't know the wind was coming so thanks Jeri for the warning this spring. Hoovb escaped it, she was just south enough to be spared. After that, I had some nice blooms and then the heat came and cooked everything. I had a few pots get sunburnt and some leaves were so pale they were almost white when they formed. After the heatwave went by the leaves were beautiful and deep green again.

Fall came in a trumpet of glory. The best fall flush ever. The Bourbons were loaded and DA roses were in their glory. It seemed to go on and on. I had roses like Jack's Beanstalk with giant blooms on top. Now there is a period of nice warm weather with cool nights. Almost every HT and Fl has something and the fragrance is very good. I haven't seen any rain since a teeny weeny sprinkle a few weeks ago so the plants are all clean with no disease except some mildew on SdlM buds from overcast/ coastal foggy mornings. This year's Halloween show Chrysanthemum crop was so good. I had the big pom-pom showy ones. They hid in part shade during the heatwave and watering them twice a day was worth it when the buds finally arrived. Thanks also to my folks who watered bands and other pots in the June-July heat for me while I was in Gettysburg for the 150th.

Just now I am getting mulch and sifting the great soil I got from the neighbor who had some concrete poured. Why do people want to send their best topsoil to the dump? I have enough to make a raised planting and fill in the low spot on my corner where I want to put Perle d'Or (Perle the Great). The bands from Vintage in 1 gal pots now are growing very fast and all need a larger pot or to go in the ground. Actually, everything is still growing fast and I'm trying to keep up. Bulbs are up too early and I have some blloms on the plum tree. But the apple that I nearly lost has grown well and all it's spring grafts survived and are big fat branches full of leaves.

The worst was the brutal heatwave of late summer. It killed many of my delicate plants that have been on the edge of growing here. My Japanese maples had all the leaves fry so that there is nothing left to turn colors but I think the trees themselves are fine and will grow nicely next year. The heat didn't bother my Camellias and fall temps have given me a great bunch of buds. Already, the Sasanquas look good and a few early Japonicas have begun to open. Ingrid, I think you would like Camellias because they can hide in the shade and give you pretty flowers through the winter. While they are small, you can move them around and enjoy them wherever you like and move them into the garage or in deep shade during a heat wave.

If we get some rain in these upcoming months to wash the soil of irrigation deposits, I will call this year a good year for my roses.


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