Roses in July

Our unusually cold spring is over, and an unusually cold (so far) summer has begun.  My roses are just hitting their stride, with the first flush of blooms opening.  June is the customary month for first blooms, with the exception of my precocious Frau Dagmar Hastrup who often pops a bud or two in late May.

Frau Dagmar Hastrup

I love roses, they are one of my favourite plants, but I have to be choosy about the roses I grow, because our climate is conducive to fungal diseases like black spot, rust and powdery mildew.  I’m much too busy (lazy) to spray, even with low toxicity sprays like Safer’s Defender, baking soda, neem oil, or seaweed fertilizers, and not so good at removing diseased leaves promptly either.

My strategy is to try to plant disease resistant varieties, keep them well fertilized, and take my glasses off when it gets ugly!

My Frau Dagmar Hastrup is a rugosa type rose, and seems immune to disease, so I forgive her abundant thorns.  After a summer of large, fragrant, soft pink, single blooms she carries abundant large red hips through autumn, and her leaves turn bright gold before dropping.

Frau Dagmar Hastrup

Another favourite is Livin’ Easy, a glowing orange which is very resistant to blackspot, and whose flowers are so bright against the dark green shiny leaves that they cheer me up.

Livin' Easy

New Zealand is an exquisite soft pink with huge flowers of exceptional form and a fragrance to die for!  Her foliage is lush and glossy.

New Zealand - a little weather-beaten, but still lovely

Another super fragrant rose I have is the venerable Portland rose –De Rescht.  This compact beauty produces masses of very full, bright fuchsia pink blooms which nestle closely to the matte, grey-green foliage.

Rose de Rescht - I love the chubby buds!

Last year I brought Julia Child into my garden (the rose, of course) and fell in love with her masses of golden-yellow blooms on a sturdy, clean, shiny-leaved plant.  I’m afraid that this year she is carrying rather a lot of black spot; I hope that this isn’t a trend – she is supposed to be quite disease resistant…

Julia Child

I have a climbing Westerland rose on my pergola – so far it hasn’t climbed very far, despite regular lashings of epsom salts, which provides the magnesium supposedly needed to produce long canes.  The glowing orange blend flowers have a wonderful citrusy scent.

Westerland climbing rose

There is one rose standard in my garden, a top-grafted Yellow Flower Carpet that I  scooped at the end of the season from a local box store for a measly $10.  It’s covered in black spot but I just take off my glasses and it’s beautiful!

Top-grafted Yellow Flower Carpet Rose

I have a few mini roses, the best ones are:

  • Debut – a stunning red and white bicolour that is always in bloom.

    mini rose Debut

  • An unnamed dark red mini that my husband gave me for Valentines Day a couple of years ago, which has surprised me with it’s toughness.  Usually the roses bought from florists or supermarkets lack the hardiness to survive the winter outside in our climate, but this one has, maybe because it was given with love!

    red mini rose

  • Fairy Moss – a baby pink moss rose with a lovely fragrance, and lovely, fuzzy, mossy flower buds.

    Fairy Moss mini rose

This year I have a new rose that was given to me by my boss at the garden centre.  It’s one of a group of new roses provided by our rose supplier (Weeks) for us to trial in our gardens (one of the perks of my job).  We received four roses this year, and all were tagged but one – it must have gotten lost in shipping.  So when Shauna asked me to choose which one I would like, I took a chance on the untagged plant!

It looked healthy, and none of the other colours really appealed to me, so I took the no-name home and planted it in my garden.  It grew into a lovely, healthy looking plant and began to set flower buds a few weeks ago.

Around this time Shauna mentioned to me that she thought she had figured out who my rose was – based on the new roses that Weeks will release next year, she thought my rose was a variety called Ketchup and Mustard.

Well, that made us both laugh, because everyone I work with knows that I dislike planting red and yellow together!  I find the combination of bright red and bright yellow jarring and garish, ugh!

That evening I went home and researched the variety, and tried to convince myself that it wasn’t nasty.  Surely that was a soft yellow that wouldn’t scream against the red.  I decided that I would keep an open mind – maybe I wouldn’t hate it!

A couple of days ago the first blossom opened – and it’s PURPLE!!!  A lovely deep purple with a white reverse, white in the centre, and fragrant to boot!  I was so excited I emailed Shauna right away, and then set out to figure out who my lovely rose is.

climbing rose Stormy Weather

A few minutes later I had my answer – it must be a new variety called Stormy Weather.  The only surprise was that it’s a climber, so I’ll need to relocate the plant, but I think I know where to put it.  As a bonus – it’s described as very disease resistant, I hope that’s true.  So far it’s as clean as a whistle, but then, I haven’t been abusing it very long, we’ll see what happens next year…

Livin' Easy


About hortophile

I am a very opinionated, slightly obsessed gardener with decades of experience in the retail nursery industry. A lucky resident of the "Wet Coast" of British Columbia I tread a muddy path between practicality and beauty, with my veggie patch, herb garden and fruits vying for position with the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers that I can't resist. DON'T ask me to choose between them! I believe in environmental responsibility and common sense.
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14 Responses to Roses in July

  1. lexy3587 says:

    beautiful flowers. I’d have to say my favourites here are the living easy and westerland… love those orange hues 🙂

    • hortophile says:

      I think orange is one of those colours that people either love..or hate. I love it, it makes me happy (although I think the colour psychologists maintain it makes people hungry) and so often orange roses are fragrant too!

  2. Your roses are stunning. Love the Livin’ Easy, and I’m not usually an orange fan. But that sort of coral color is an exception for me, and this rose is just beautiful. I’m more of a pink, purple, deep rose color fan, and because of that preference love the Rose de Rescht. My favorite may be your surprise rose, the wonderful purple Stormy Weather. That’s a color I would adore having in my own garden.

    Thanks for sharing these pics! I have come back several times to look at the delphinium/butterfly pics because they are so amazing — please keep taking your pics and posting them! I’m living vicariously through you (until I have my own garden again)! I’m glad you don’t have to be fussy to have roses — I can’t imagine doing all the spraying, etc., one needs to do to keep them healthy and unspotted, and your tatic of taking off the glasses would work just fine for me!!

  3. barb19 says:

    You have some gorgeous roses in your garden, they are one of my favorite flowers too. I love the Westerland, the color is stunning!

  4. OHHHH…the new rose is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!! I love the color of it 🙂 Glad it turned out to be one that wasn’t ketchup and mustard 🙂 hehehehe, see you in the morning!!!

  5. Shauna says:

    Gorgeous photos and your roses are beautiful. I love all those buds on your new climbing Stormy Weather! She looks amazing:)

  6. We have 2 rose gardens and 1 is planted with only sustainable roses that are disease resistant. Since there are so many strains of black spot, what may be disease resistant in some gardens are not in others. We planted Julia Child in our garden and it was doing great for the first two years, then it became infested with black spot. Yet, it grows very successfully in the garden we consult on at the University of Rhode Island.
    In our garden we removed it and replaced it with a very healthy, disease resistant rose called Yellow Brick Rose – an Easy Elegance rose from Bailey Nursery. We find many of the Easy Elegance roses are very disease resistant. Two of our favorites are Super Hero and All the Rage. There’s even one in the series called Yellow Submarine if you’re a Beatles fan!

    • hortophile says:

      Well, that’s useful info! I’m debating a Sunsprite – what’s your opinion on its disease resistance?

      • Sunsprite is disease resistant. It’s a beautiful and very fragrant rose (it won the Gamble Fragrance Award). We used to grow it, but found that it comes and goes quickly in warm weather. In our garden here in RI, a beautiful bloom in the morning would be gone by the evening. Maybe it will perform differently in your garden.


      • hortophile says:

        Hmmm, well we don’t get a lot of warm weather here – I’ll have to keep an eye on the blooms at work to see how they last. Though they probably blow fast when they’re in pots!

  7. Lisa says:

    I have room for exactly one climbing rose and am trying to decide between ‘Stormy Weather’ and ‘Don Juan’. I much prefer the look of ‘Stormy Weather’, but ‘Don Juan’ has such a good track record, especially where disease resistance is concerned (I am not a sprayer, so I NEED disease resistance). How did the rest of the summer go for ‘Stormy Weather’ and have you heard anything from anyone else about it that will help me make up my mind?

    • hortophile says:

      If you prefer the look of Stormy Weather, I would say go for it! My Stormy Weather was clean as a whistle throughout the season last year – and a wet one it was. She is just breaking dormancy now, so I can’t really say much about this year yet. Don Juan is a pretty thing, but here on the coast I’ve seen it covered in black spot (at the garden centre, exposed to the worst possible conditions – pot grown, overhead watering and cheek-by-jowl with a few hundred other roses).

  8. Hi, I had a Julia Child rose in my own zone 4b garden for a few years.
    I treated the leaves in the early season and had no need to repeat the treatment later on.
    I did have to prune the lower branches and mulch to keep mud from splashing on the leaves.
    It is a very lovely rose and I do wished I still had it.

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