Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Roses

The most beautiful time of year for roses is, of course, June (as every gardener knows). But if the weather is right, I've noticed that there can often be two more flushes of bloom (in addition to periodic individual flowers): one in August and one more right before frost. Here are a few photos of some roses in my gardens during August:

Light pink roses in my rose cutting bed. I've moved these around so many times that I can't remember the varieties -- although I did put tags on them and could go find out if I really needed to and could overcome my natural laziness... 

A photo of my rose cutting bed. I've interplanted the roses with four o'clocks, which I've read are poisonous to Japanese beetles, and I hope this will minimize the damage those buggers cause (and at the very least, the annuals will camouflage the defoliated, spindly legs of the roses later in the season when they look their worst).

A single red bloom, with bright yellow four o'clock
(perhaps not the best color combination, but the
mixed seed packet results in random colors, and these
roses are mainly meant for cutting and taking
inside the house.)

More red roses.

These ones look a little nicer with matching four o'clocks behind them, instead of bright yellow.

Yellow 'Happy Child' David Austen rose on the east side of my house.

'Seminole Wind' (aka 'Rosarium Uetersen'), a climbing rose in my front border. I replaced the 'New Dawn' roses that were growing up each side of the arch over my front gate a year and a half ago with these, for two reasons: first, because 'New Dawn' was too pale pink in color to look good against the white wood, and second, because it never repeated bloom for me (I've read that there is a new breeding strain of 'New Dawn' being sold widely that doesn't repeat like the original strain -- or it could just be that it didn't like the full sun, regular watering, and feeding I gave it...) I've moved the 'New Dawn' to the front of the chicken enclosure in our kitchen garden, where it doesn't occupy such a high-profile spot.      

The other side of the arch, with the other 'Seminole Wind' climber, with petunias and snapdragons. I really do like this deeper pink color much better than the pale 'New Dawn,' and I've read that it blooms generously throughout the summer and fall. I'm excited to see it flower in the second year, since many climbing roses don't bloom much at all for 2-3 years (the first year they grow roots, the second year they grow in height and the third year should be full of glorious flowers to reward our patience). 

I've been enjoying this second flush of rose flowering, and I'm also looking forward to the final, late bloom period too. In some years, I've had roses in flower as late as mid-November, even after most other annual and perennial flowers are gone (and in other years, October sees out the last of the roses). Here's to a late and warm winter this year.

Thanks for reading! -Beth


  1. Hi Beth, Your roses are so pretty! I lost 9 roses over the winter and those I have aren't performing as well as usual. I copied down the name 'Zepherine Drouhin' from one of your previous posts, and hope to plant it as a climber in my garden next year. Would you recommend it? Are you getting a lot of rain recently? We had 2" week before last, 4" last week, and 2.5" overnight last night. Wow! Too much. The weeds are having a heyday here and it's too wet to do much about it.

  2. Thanks so much for your kind words! I'm sorry you lost so many roses over our last, terrible winter (and I sympathize, having lost nearly two dozen myself), but I'm glad you're still planning to plant more. Despite their challenges (the Japanese beetles are back this week, I've noticed...), they are so lovely to have in the garden. I've had pretty good luck with 'Zephirine Drouhin' since I moved to my current house and put it in full sun (although it died down to the ground this past winter and I thought I'd lost it, and it still hasn't flowered yet this year after that setback). It seems to flower only once for me, although it is truly glorious in June. And it is not a particularly tall climber either -- I have it growing on a fence, not a tall arch or pergola. I might not count on it getting much taller than 5 ft. here in Iowa. I don't think we've gotten nearly as much rain as you have in DM -- we've had about an inch or so a week for the past several weeks, which is pretty ideal -- although I too have weeds and don't have your very good excuse... :-) Hope the rain slows down for you, Beth. Thanks for reading! -Beth

  3. My roses did not bloom until summer and are blooming still so I am thrilled...yours are very lovely!!

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Donna. I'm glad your roses are still blooming -- they make us think we're still in summer, even though autumn is already here. Thanks for reading! -Beth

  4. This collection is fantastic. I hope that some of them are fragrant. I have a rose that I planted this spring, but I am rather dissapointed wit it, as there are just five petals and no aroma. I must had been sent the wrong variety:(