Thursday, April 23, 2009

Desert Rose Ramblings

Rosa 'Mr. Lincoln'


'Mr. Lincoln' is in its second year in my garden, and doing well. So far, I haven't had any of the diseases or infestations that seem to plague rose growers. I hate to even mention it, as such statements seem to bring it on problems! To date, my rose problems have been climate related. I've tried to find the best watering frequency for the location of my rose bushes, and it's been trial and error. Winds, unseasonably hot weather, lack of moisture and low humidity have taken their toll on the roses in the last couple of months. Both flowers and new growth have been repeatedly shredded. With temperatures soon to be consistently above 100 degrees, I won't see really nice roses again until probably October.


Rosa 'Queen Elizabeth'


'Queen Elizabeth' is such a pretty rose. It has grown a lot taller than I expected, and it has very long stems, making this rose my best one for cutting. In my rose garden, 'Queen Elizabeth' is second only to 'Red Intrepid' for growth fullness and vigor. Once I made the decision to add roses to my desert garden, I made myself a rule that I would not plant more than ten roses. I now have that. Taking care of these ten rose bushes takes some effort, including carrying buckets of water in between the regular irrigation schedule as temperatures climb. This will continue until October. Although I love the color and fragrance of the roses, I've come to the conclusion that roses really look better in gardens where there is plenty of grass and other greenery, rather than in desert landscapes, where they just don't seem to fit in with their surroundings. However, the bright green foliage and spots of color add welcome relief to my predominately tan, brown, and yellow landscape.

Rosa 'Don Juan'

'Don Juan' is a climbing rose I picked up as a bare root late last year. Bare root roses don't establish as well in Arizona as do container roses, so this purchase was an experiment on my part. Growth has been slow, but I was slow at getting it in the ground. I still don't have a support for it, so until I make a decision as to what to use, its production will be hindered since climbing roses really need support and training to to their best.


'Don Juan' rose was at one time the leading dark red crimson flowered climber in the United States, doing well in Zones 6-11. Since it thrives in hot climates, it is recommended for Arizona gardens. This rose has a strong sweet-spicy fragrance and large double blooms. The dark red petals have a velvety quality, and from what I've read, it will produce orange hips in the fall.

12 comments:

Claude said...

I used to have a Don Juan here, and when they establish they're truly magnificent. Unfortunately, a drought killed it off a few years ago.

Your roses look great to me... and that reminds me, I need to get out there and dead-head my Blue Girl...

Claude said...

I forgot to ask...

Has the Agave lophantha bloomed yet?

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hello Aiyana
It is remarkable that you can grow such beautiful roses .. I have to say my favorite is the beautiful soft pink one .. it is a girlie thing I think ? : )
But your description of the scent from Don Jaun .. it made me think "why did I pass on that one ?" .. I have Blossom and Orange Velvet for climbers .. I have yet to wait patiently and see how they will turn out.
Roses .. do take a certain amount of patience : )

Aiyana said...

Hey Claude,
That was quick--I just posted! The A.lophantha has started blooming. I was going to do a post on it along with some other stuff on Sunday, or Tuesday next week.

keewee said...

You have some very beautiful roses there.

Lythrum said...

Beautiful roses. :) Mine just started opening up and they already have black spot on them. We've had an extremely wet spring so far.

Julie said...

I really like the Don Juan!

Tatyana said...

Hi Aiyana! Very good post. Also, it's interesting how different the same roses look in different regions. I mean Mr.Linkoln and Don Juan. I have both of them. Maybe, it's just a picture/camera/light thing, but it might be a result of temperature, moisture, etc. Yours look beautiful! Good job!

verobirdie said...

When I saw Mr. Lincoln, I thought, that is beautiful. Then came Queen Elisabeth, and I said this one is better, and again whan I saw Don Juan. In short, I love the three!

Pudgeduck said...

Ok, I guess I will have to plant a few roses somwhere in my garden again! Oh and a few vegetables..and find a place for a bridge... and then next week my AZ bottle tree will be planted..Everything is so beautiful..perfect!

Dee said...

your roses are gorgeous! Heres hoping we get less heat and more rain this summer! I am already starting to countdown to the monsoon! My poor hydrangea (my AZ experiment) was wilting big time yesterday before I got a chance to water. It is all budded out but it doesn't look good for withstanding even one afternoon of heat.

Barbara said...

I understand your decision not to have more than ten roses in your desert garden. But aren't they worth being planted just for their beauty, fragrance and bouquets you can have indoors? I have some Queen Elizabeth roses too and they are now more than 25 years old (and they do not get a special care).