Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Organically Grown Roses at Bliss

Rosa Sombreuil

Even as a very young girl I liked roses, my dad grew them in his garden and so did his mum, my paternal grandmother. And what's not to like about roses? They look great and smell great too. For me a real rose is one that has a scent. A rose without a nice fragrance is like an apple pie without the apples, not much fun at all.
I enjoy coming home and walking underneath my pergola that's covered with Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere and Guirlande d'Amour. The scent is unbelievable and being showered with rose petals, well, that's just a bonus, isn't it?
Close up of Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere, a scented climber.

Many roses are also long flowering. My roses have been flowering from the end of April and are still going strong now. Sure, their blooms are not as prolific anymore as earlier in the year but there are still more than enough blooms to gladden the heart.

Rosa Guirlande d'Amour in full glory earlier this year.
Rosa Moonlight

Many people like roses but many a gardener is afraid to grow them, thinking that roses need to be pampered and require being sprayed every other week or so. Fortunately that's not the case at all. Let me tell you how I bought and grow my roses and how little trouble they actually are.
Rosa Calypso, a climber.

Last year in June I bought my roses at a very reputable rose nursery to be sure to get healthy and strong roses. When I got my roses home I put them in a bucket of water and started digging the holes. I garden on heavy clay so I dug big holes and put lots of organic material in them. Then I planted my roses and gave them a good watering in. After that I sat on my garden bench to enjoy the view.

Rosa Magenta, a standard rose.

The roses I bought were: Madame Alfred Carriere, Guirlande d'Amour, Sombreuil (all scented climbers) and Rosa Blanc Double de Coubert, not a real climber but one that still grows to quite a respectable height.
Rosa Blanc Double de Coubert

In early July I gave all my climbers a very light trim and that was pretty much all I did that first year. Well, except for enjoying them and cutting blooms for the vase.
Rosa Guirlande d'Amour flowering like there's no tomorrow!

This year in early March I gave them all a light trim again, removed dead wood and very thin and straggly branches. Then I gave them a good feed with an organic rose fertilizer and that was that. As I said before they started flowering in April (Moonlight) and all the others in May. They flowered their little hearts out with gay abandon and all I did was admire my roses and drink in their lovely scent. In July I gave them another very light prune and another helping of organic fertilizer and that was all that was needed to have them flower even now at the end of October.
Rosa Magenta

So no spraying, not even with water, was needed to keep my roses healthy and happy. If you buy healthy and strong roses that are disease resistant you don't have to spray at all. Just make sure that the air can circulate around them, give them a good feed twice a year and give climbers a light trim twice yearly too in March and July and you're home and dry.
A close up of Rosa Guirlande d'Amour

But, but, but don't you have any pests, I hear you sputter? Sure, take a look at these babies. Yikes!
But they're not really a problem at all. Why not? Well, because I have good garden friends who like to munch on them. Here's one of them and see, no aphids left! Birds are also very keen on eating the aphids, especially the blue tits.
So there you have it, growing roses in a blissful way, with hardly any maintenance and enormous enjoyment.

Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere flowering on the pergola, trying to climb the roof as well.
copyright 2007: Y.E.W. Heuzen

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown,
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
Emily Dickinson

The rose is most certainly not out of town at Bliss!


karin a said...

Thank you for sharing both lovely roses and your own experiences! I more or less grow them the same way and I also prefer roses with scent. We have had frost now but some roses are still going strong. My Madame Alfred Carriere (new this year) is starting to flower all over again. :)

Birgit said...

Wunderschöne gesunde Rosen bei Dir! Wenn ich alles richtig verstanden habe, ohne Spritzen, nur mit ein wenig Dünger und ein wenig Auslichten. Leider funktioniert das bei mir nicht so ganz ohne Spritzen. Der Sternrußtau macht sich sonst zu schnell breit. Sie stehen bei uns einfach zu dicht und können nicht so schnell abtrocken nach dem Regen etc. Als ich vor einigen Jahren anfing sie zu pflanzen, wollte ich auch ohne Chemie auskommen. Alle Rosen von guten Züchtern gekauft und kerngesund.

Ich beneide Dich um Deine gesunden Pflanzen, Yolanda. LG Birgit

Barbara said...

It would be interesting to see, how your lovely roses that you showed, look like in about 3, 4 years. A. Carrière is indeed an rose but Sombreuil is a bit more delicate. I have them several years already and I'm happy with them too (they do not get any chemical treatment, just organic feed, deadheading, and pruning). But from time to time (it depends on the weather) some of my roses also have diseases....if it is very bad, I cut them down and make a new start the following year. Enjoy your roses !

gintoino said...

lovely roses! I'm one of those gardens that are affraid of growing roses. I always thought they were too high maintenance. Maybe I will try it now...

Bob said...

Some very beautiful roses. I'm a big advocate of organic gardening when possible. I use a lot of alfalfa mean. I's great on roses and perennials. Do you have that their?

Angela (Cottage Magpie) said...

Your roses are just lovely! I am in a wet climate (Pacific Northwest USA) and struggle with blackspot for even the most disease resistant roses--any suggestions? ~A :-)

Angelina said...

Madam Alfred is an old favorite of mine, I had her in my last garden and loved her delicate flowers and pretty scent. I think I must have her in my new garden too.

Between you and my friend Angela (the commenter above who is also a neighbor) saying such good things about Blanc Double De Coubert-I'm convinced, I will plant this one too. Your picture of it is wonderful.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Enjoyed seeing your roses. I love scented roses but don't have good luck growing them. I don't know if it is the soil (sandy) or just me. I have a couple of carpet roses that do ok and a Rugosa that is trying to take over a flower bed out front but other than that no luck.

Now my Sister grows nice roses and she has clay soil. I don't know if that is a plus but she has good luck with roses. I just enjoy her roses. Not nearly as frustrating as trying to grow them myself.

Flighty said...

I love roses, especially white ones. Yesterday was my 60th birthday and reading this entry was an extra treat for me! Thanks!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

@ Karin: I know what you mean. Last year my Madame Alfred was still flowering in December! A great rose, don't you think? I had 2 of them in my previous garden for 15 years and never any problems.

@ Birgit: perhaps you could try to fight the Sternrusstau with something biological. There's more and more of that available and it's much better for the environment than the chemical stuff. Good luck!

@ Barbara: I use plants in my garden that do well with very little help from me. If Sombreuil starts to get ill, out it comes and it will be replaced with a rose that is stronger. For the time being my Sombreuil is doing great. ;-)

@ Gintoino: yes, do try growing a few roses in your garden. If you are looking for a very strong and healthy climbing rose, why not try Guirlande d'Amour. This rose is the favorite one of all the people that work in one of the Dutch rose nurseries. It was on their recommendation that I bought this rose and I am very, very happy with it.

@ Bob: I don't think we have alfalfa mean here. Do you make it yourself or do you buy that stuff and how is it applied to the roses and perennials?

@ Angela: well, if you need a strong climbing rose go for either Madame Alfred Carriere or Guirlande d'Amour. Madame Alfred even does well on a north facing wall in deep shade.

@ Angelina: have you ever seen a pic of the Madame Alfred that grows in Sissinghurst England? It was Vita Sackville West who recommended MAC to me in one of her books. I've never regretted planting MAC, on the contrary I adore this rose!

The Blanc Double de Coubert has very pretty foliage too, a very fresh light green. It has lots of thorns but the roses are very beautiful and their scent is very nice, a bit lemon-y.

@ Lisa: roses need lots of food that is why they do well on clay and less well on sandy soil. But if you would improve your soil with loads of organic material (compost, manure) you could grow roses succesfully too. Why not call a local rose nursery and ask which roses them recommend for your kind of soil?

Green thumb said...

Charming roses, dear Yolanda! It's true that the roses thrive very well in organic setups. I too have pruned my roses a few days back and applied lots of organic manure around them. In case pests strike, one can go for organic pesicides like tobacco leaf decoction or neem oil spray.

lenie said...

pracht die pergola voor de voordeur ...en een ros die niet reukt ?? hmmmmm na je luizeninfo , zit ik er toch sterk aan te denken maar weer aan rozen te beginnen ;))
want ooooooow wat ben ik gék op die rozengeur ;))

stadtgarten said...

When I see your lovely roses I forget that it is already autumn outside.
Thanks for sharing memories of summer.
Groetjes, Monika

Brimstone said...

Prachtige rozen in je tuin!

En je hebt gelijk, rozen mooi houden is lang zo'n heisa niet als steeds wordt gesuggereerd.

Diana said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful roses. I was forced to pull out my only climbing rose last year because of some construction we were doing and I miss it terribly. I enjoyed wandering through your garden -- I makes me want to plant another rose (or maybe more). I just need to find a good place to put one.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Welcome to Bliss!

@ Flighty: happy birthday and I'm glad my blog was such a treat for you!

@ Green Thumb: excellent advice! Wish more people would use the organic alternatives.

@ Lenie: wie houdt er nu niet van een heerlijk geurende roos? En ja, ga vooral een roosje planten en jezelf een boel plezier doen.

@ Monika: you're welcome!

@ Brimstone: precies, veel mensen zien er erg tegenop maar er zijn genoeg rozen te koop die maar erg weinig onderhoud vergen.

@ Diana: I can imagine how you miss your climbing rose, they are such an enhancement to the garden and usually quite spectacular too. So yes, go out and buy a nice climbing rose (or two)! ;-)

karin a said...

Just me stopping by again! "Saknad" means missing. I was writing about missing the daylight now... :) Will try to write in english more often. Thank you for commenting anyway!

OldRoses said...

Your roses are wonderful! I will have to try your method and see if I can extend the blooming season of my roses also!

Layanee said...

YE: No doubt about it, your thumb is very green! I can almost smell those lovely roses. Your photos are seductive as always.

Vanillalotus said...

Beautiful roses. Sadly I'm one of those gardeners you speak of scared of roses. I've always heard how hard they are to take care of. After reading your post I look at roses differently now

SchneiderHein said...

Ach ist das ein schöner Rückblick auf ein wundervolles Rosenjahr! Deine Moonlight ist wirklich ein beachtlicher Frühstarter gewesen. Bei uns kämpft sie noch mit ihrem sehr schattigen Standort und hat in diesem Jahr nur wenige Blüten entwickelt. Dafür gibt es zahlreiche neue hohe Triebe Richtung Sonnenlicht, so dass wir auf den nächsten Sommer hoffen. Die Sombreuil braucht bei uns wohl wirklich mehr Aufmerksamkeit, damit sie mehrmals im Sommer blüht. Wir waren der Meinung, dass sie nur eine 1x blühende Rose wäre. Aber das sind halt Erfahrungen, die man im Laufe der Zeit sammelt.
Ich vermute, die Bedenken, dass Rosen so anspruchsvoll sind, kommt noch aus der Zeit der 60- 70iger Jahre, als die Edelrosen in waren. Mit Teehybriden habe ich nie Glück gehabt, und glücklicherweise können sich Wolfgang und ich nicht für diese Rosen begeistern. Unsere Vorlieben liegen da wirklich eher im anspruchsloseren Bereich der Rambler, Wildrosen und Moschata-Hybriden mit ihren vielen kleinen Blüten. Es kommt eben auf die zum Garten passende Auswahl an.
Liebe Grüße Silke & Wolfgang

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome once again!

@ Karin: my Swedish is improving by leaps and bounds. ;-) And yes, I too am missing the daylight.

@ OldRoses: lots of succes!

@ Layanee: I just checked but my thumb is fleshcoloured not green. ;-)

@ Vanillalotus : don't be afraid to grow roses it is really not that difficult.

@ Silke: I do not like the modern roses, most of them don't have a scent and I don't like the shape of the flowers either. I love old-fashioned roses because of their scent and their luscious flowers. The David Austen roses I like too but not all of them as some get very thin and straggly.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Pam/Digging said...

Your roses are delightful. I particularly admire your white ones.

I grow several heirloom roses, and even in hot, humid Austin they do beautifully with no spraying. Just an organic feed a couple of times during the growing season, good watering to get them established, and then stand back and watch the show. Once established, they are drought-tolerant and grow well next to xeric plants like prickly pear and sotol.

Kerri said...

I'm inspired to plant a white rose too! Yours are glorious, especially MAC growing over the pergola. How delightful to walk underneath and smell the scent. Lucky you!
I'm amazed at the amount of growth and blooms for such young plants. They're luxurious indeed!
We use lots of compost and no spray. I'll be anxious to see how our 4 newest ones grow next year.
Thanks for the advise. You make it sound so easy :)

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere... I'm in love!

Carol said...

Yolanda your roses are all beautiful a real treat for the eyes and I like that you count on birds and bugs to eat the aphids! I do so too and when there are too much my fingers help to decimate them. Carol xox

Curtis said...

I love your roses. I am a bit envious of them. Maybe I can grow them too. I stayed away because I wanted to grow them Organically.

lisa said...

Wow, gorgeous roses! I'm glad you posted this, to show other gardener's that you CAN have roses without chemicals! My climate is so cold, the only roses that do very well for me are rugosa, but I love them all just the same.