A Tale of Six Roses: SoS October 27

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This morning I stepped out over the dew dampened grass luxuriating in the early sun and relishing the peace of the neighbourhood before the lawn-mowing leaf-blowing brigade began their Saturday labours, before the dogs began to bark and the next door pool began its irritating whine.  A garden is enchanting at that early hour of the morning when the sunshine is just beginning to gild petals and leaves and the remnants of the night's dew are still fresh.

My story this week is that of six roses which have begun their first flowering of the season.  The avalanche of aphids has been somewhat halted thanks to detergent-in-water spray which has been applied several times- and I learnt the hard way not to use too much detergent.  None of my roses are unusual or particularly different, but they seem to like our climate: for such elegant, classic blooms they are remarkably hardy.


One: Rosa 'Madame A Meilland'.  The much-loved 'Peace' rose, complete with small passenger. Look at those blushes at the edges of the petals.  She knows she's gorgeous! I've discovered that this rose, developed in France,  had different names in different European countries and was  given the name 'Peace' at the end of WW2.


Two: Rosa 'Pierre de Ronsard' who has a habit of hanging his head, although he has nothing to be ashamed of. I was lucky to find this bolder flower.  Look at those petals: like the layers in a mille fueille cake!

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Three: Rosa 'The Prince'.  I've not been able to capture the rich velvety colour of this rose as well as I would like but I think in real life it's almost the colour of a good Mudgee Shiraz!


Four: Rosa 'Climbing Pinkie' which perhaps could be called 'Prolific Pinkie' hasn't quite got into its stride yet and has had a dreadful case of aphids to contend with.  It's quite irrepressible and will be covered with these blushing pink flowers before too long.


Five: Truly, I don't think this 'Calypso' rose is one for the purists, but it flowers happily all Summer- I have two in pots- and is almost disease and pest free.  Mine weren't affected by the recent aphid attack.  I like the way the petals change from this orangey-red to pink as they age.


Six: Last, but certainly not least, 'Julia's Rose', (slightly overblown),  a new addition to my garden: so new it hasn't actually been planted yet. Starting as a peachy-pink in bud, it fades to a pale caramel as it ages.  Such an arresting and unusual colour, I can't stop gazing upon it with great admiration.

Each day for the last week the maximum temperatures have been in excess of 26 degrees, and Summer is almost upon us, even though we'd like to have a lot more Spring- meaning a continuation of the rain we've had at quite regular intervals. Soon we'll be getting out the hoses, but in the meantime, there is much enjoyment to be had in the Spring garden.

As always, to see what other gardeners are doing, go to the Propagator's blog and enjoy gardens from all over the world.

Happy gardening everyone!

66 Comments Add yours

  1. Lis says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous – I’m struggling to choose a favourite, they all have such beauty and charm! All looking wonderfully healthy, too, despite your recent aphid infestation. So glad you could enjoy your lovely garden in peace too, Jane – why do people feel the need for all those machines (and dogs) and noise? 🙁

    1. Jane says:

      I shouldn’t really complain Lis, as we mow our lawns too, it’s just that early in the morning is so peaceful- I should get out there even earlier than I do! The first flush of roses always seems to me to be the most healthy: after a while there are problems like black spot to deal with, so I’m enjoying it while I can.

  2. Fred says:

    Superb! My preference goes to the first (Madame A Meilland ‘). The bonus with the spider on the picture. Enjoy your warm weather, it’s cold here .. each in turn

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Fred, my favourite is the same. I believe it’s one of the most commonly grown roses, and it’s easy to understand why.

  3. Beautiful roses and delightful text

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Derrick.

  4. I love your Climbing Pinkie! I bet that is a beauty as a climber and pink is my favorite color when it comes to any flower. Must be fun just starting summer instead of heading into winter. I will enjoy your blooms to ease the pain and dullness of winter.

    1. Jane says:

      Climbing pinkie is certainly, well, pink Cindy! And there’s quite a lot of it too. It really needs a pergola built to support all the growing it wants to do rather than the trellis I have it on now. I’ll do my best to find cheerful photos!

  5. Jo says:

    Your rose photos are amazing! Are you using a camera phone? special lense? tripod? I’d like to improve my own photo quality. Any tips are greatly appreciated.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Jo. I’m no expert when it comes to taking photos and I use a Nikon digital camera with a zoom lens, which is usually set to auto mode, because I don’t really understand any of the other settings. I take quite a lot of photos and if one turns out well, I consider myself fortunate!

  6. Peace is definitely one of my favourites and has been flowering well in late summer. I think the last of the flowers just dropped its petals. Lovely Six.

    1. Jane says:

      It’s such a gorgeous rose and deserving of its popularity. Thank you Katharine.

  7. Tracy says:

    I enjoyed your rose tale very much, Jane. You write so beautifully, giving your garden a personality such that I almost expect Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, or the rose equivalent, to appear at any moment. That last rose is very intriguing. I hope it performs well for you.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you for your kind comment, Tracy. It isn’t hard to find things to say when so much is happening. ‘Julia’s Rose’ is still waiting in her pot for me to find the best place, and I’d better plant her soon to get a good performance.

  8. Jude says:

    Such a shame you can’t enjoy your garden in peace and quiet, but you most likely capture better photographs of your flowers at this time of day. My dad used to grow the ‘Peace’ roses and I have been meaning to buy ‘Julia’s Rose’ for some time, not least because it is the name of my new daughter in law. Such a lovely coffee / cream / peachy / apricot colouring.

    1. Jane says:

      In all honesty Jude, we contribute to the noise as well as we have to mow our lawn, it’s just that a lot of it happens on the weekend. Early in the morning is absolutely the best time to enjoy the garden, and you’re right abut the photos being better at that time, especially with the strong sunlight we have later in the day.

  9. Marcelo says:

    Jane, your roses are gorgeous! I didn’t know ‘Climbing Pinkie’ and ‘Calypso’, I have Peace/Madame Meilland but it is so susceptible to mildew, rust and blackspot , most Meilland roses fare poorly here in my very humid and rainy area, they are bred in the drier mediterranean climate of south France . David Austin roses on contrary bred in the rainy England fare better here. Happy weekend and gardening!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Marcelo. Do you remember, I bought ‘Julia’s Rose’ because I saw it on your blog? It took me a while to find one, and I’m very pleased I did. Now, where shall I plant it….? Happy weekend to you too.

  10. Gill Heavens says:

    I totally agree about that moment of stillness early on spring morning. Perfect. Your roses are beautiful, I love Rosa ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ and Julia so unusual, in a good way! I feel warmer just thinking about your garden.

    1. Jane says:

      Always happy to provide some warmth, Gill. (We’ll be very warm before too long!)

  11. Lora Hughes says:

    It’s heartening to see such blooming from potted roses. Any secrets to keeping them in bloom?

    1. Jane says:

      Hi Lora, I asked a friend to take the bottom out of terracotta pots using an angle grinder, so the roots of my two potted roses aren’t as restricted as they might otherwise be. Other than that, the usual feeding and deadheading seem to suffice.

  12. A beautiful SoS. Rather nice and cheering to see on a cold damp day in the UK.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you. I’m glad to help!

  13. Kris P says:

    The spring onslaught of aphids, while to be expected, is nonetheless always frustrating! I hope you get them under control and can spend more of your time enjoying your luscious roses. ‘Peace’ is a sentimental favorite of mine, although I don’t have one in my current garden. I love the peachy-colored roses too.

    1. Jane says:

      I think I’m nearly on top of the aphids, Kris. They were, perhaps, the worst I’ve ever seen and must have occurred because of the rain we had. I feel rather sentimental about ‘Peace’ too as it’s such a wonderful performer and to me seems to go through quite a transformation from bud to fully open.

  14. Wonderful roses. I wish all gardeners could enjoy their garden in quiet and not spoil it all with noisy machines!

    1. Jane says:

      It’s a shame we have to use a machine in our garden sometimes, Cathy. It’s a fact of life in the suburbs! I probably shouldn’t complain.

      1. I really like the robot lawn mowers that are silent! I think Ill save up for one.

        1. Jane says:

          That sounds interesting. I didn’t know there was such a thing, so I’ll have to check it out.

  15. Chris Muller says:

    Roses are such elegant flowers. I don’t have a single rose in my garden but I do have lots of colourful,potted Bougainvillea which are thriving.

    1. Jane says:

      I think Bougainvilleas are wonderful plants but the few I have noticed around here have usually been badly burnt by frost. Yours must look lovely Chris.

  16. Barbara says:

    What gorgeous roses!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Barbara.

  17. @cavershamjj says:

    Beautiful roses Jane. I just ordered another three climbing roses. I’m expecting big things from my existing roses next year, hoping that they have established well this year. We shall see.

    1. Jane says:

      Well, I think you have a perfect climate for growing roses..decent amounts of rain usually, and not too hot. I’ll look forward to seeing your roses on SOS when the time comes.

  18. Christel Dewar says:

    Wish you weren’t 3 1/2 hours away, the garden must look a treat

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, Christel, it would be really nice to sit in the garden and enjoy a coffee -or something stronger- together.

  19. Alys Milner says:

    Such a lovely collection of roses! And I agree, that early morning quiet it the perfect time to be in the garden. I’m glad you were able to enjoy it.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Alys.

  20. gerard says:

    Early mornings are the best. It’s a pity that for some people gardening can’t be done without using noisy equipment. I noticed our next door neighbours have a new whipper snipper…
    The roses are beautiful, Jane.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Gerard. I’m feeling a bit guilty because of course we use a lawn mower too! We’ve removed quite a lot of lawn and turned it over to garden, but we still need to keep what’s left neat. Around where we live people have expansive lawns, so consequently a lot of tidying needs to occur, and it’s really ramped up now the warm weather is here. That’s why it’s best to get out in the garden in the early, peaceful part of the day.

  21. Gerrie Mackey says:

    Like you, I absolutely love the quiet of the early morning. Your roses are lovely…. Madame A Meilland, the Peace rose, is in the Rose Garden here in Canberra. If you are ever in Canberra, it is a lovely place to have a picnic in November.
    My favourite, though, is Julia’s Rose, those soft apricot colours really appeal.

    1. Jane says:

      I’ll have to have a look at that rose garden next time we’re in Canberra. We haven’t been there for a long time, so we must be due a visit. Thank you for the suggestion, Gerrie.

  22. Granny says:

    A few people have suggested Peace for that rose. I like it very much. I downloaded a “recipe” for a garlic and mint spray for green fly , black fly etc. I aim to try it next year and will report back. Your Six-on-Saturday are lovely, as usual. I am happy about the onset of colder weather here, for a while anyway, although the novelty wears off by the end of November! Thank you your comment.

    1. Jane says:

      I will be very interested to hear how well your spray does!

  23. I do love the parchment colours of Julia’s Rose. Mine keeled over a couple of years ago. I must get another one this summer. Would you please share your recipe for the aphid spray?

    1. Jane says:

      The spray isn’t anything scientific at all. I used Down to Earth dishwashing detergent in water and sprayed it on. I probably used about 50ml of detergent to 5 L of water, but you need to be careful…too much detergent seems to burn. I applied a couple of times in the space of a week. Afterwards I hosed the dead bodies off. Down to Earth is a vegetable based detergent, so is reasonably mild. I also tried the same recipe with Sunlight soap, but it didn’t work as well. I have also read that you can add garlic juice to the spray. I hope that helps. Good luck!

  24. hb says:

    The first roses of Spring are so joyful. Your ‘Peace’ is perfection. Here predators take care of the green aphids, but we have other pests to make up for that.

    1. Jane says:

      I’ve been watching the roses with much anticipation, and so it’s wonderful to see them finally out. We have predators that eat aphids here too, there just aren’t enough of them to keep up with the glut!

  25. Chloris says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely roses. What a treat as we are facing a long winter here with all its gloom.

    1. Jane says:

      It’s been such a delight to watch them begin to bloom, Chloris. I’ve noticed you’ve already had some quite cold temps over there- time to snuggle down with a good book!

  26. Jane Munro says:

    Jane, I enjoyed your post, especially learning about the different personalities of each of the beautiful roses. Can you give me an idea of how much detergent you use in the spray? I’ve had the same aphid onslaught and have used the squashing method (too many to be practical), white oil (failed) and poison (prefer to avoid if possible).

    1. Jane says:

      The spray wasn’t an exact science Jane, but I think used about 50ml to 5L. Perhaps try it with less, and see how you go with it so as to reduce the risk of burn. I had to spray at least twice, but it did work in the end. Good luck.

  27. Jim Stephens says:

    Sue came back with a rose bush a few days back, the first we’ve had for many years. ‘Hanky Panky’. Your comment about ‘Calypso’, “not for the purists” would definitely apply. I look at beautiful pictures like yours and think I’d really fancy a rose if I could only decide which one. Black spot is often very bad here, even on supposedly resistant varieties.

    1. Jane says:

      We get black spot here too Jim, and in fact I noticed a bit earlier this week. Now I need to find an organic way of treating that if possible…..

  28. patch405 says:

    All are lovely , but my favorite is Rosa ‘Madame A Meilland’ – including the passenger!

    1. Jane says:

      My favourite too, Patch!

  29. John Corden says:

    I really like the ‘calypso’ but that is probably because I have never been a purist. As for Pierre de Ronsard I s’pose he hangs his head, not from shame, but because he is so very heavy with all those packed petals.

    1. Jane says:

      I’m sure that’s the real reason Pierre is hanging his head! Calypso has many flowers now and is looking particularly fetching.

  30. Anna K Kullgren says:

    I remember having a Peace rose in our front garden where I grew up. That last one is quite the stunner. About the aphids – I discovered something by accident you might want to try if they get too bad. Be careful, though – it’s a little crazy… Wrote about it here: https://flutterandhum.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/my-big-weed/

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Anna, it was very interesting reading about the teasels. I don’t recall ever seeing them here, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have them. What industrious creatures those ants are.

  31. Beautiful roses. The last one is my favourite. I grow some climbing English Roses but they have suffered with aphids this year and always get black spot, despite supposed resistance.

  32. AWESOME!

  33. Peggy Bright says:

    I love roses and have more than 10 in my garden. Aphids haven’t been a problem this year.

    1. Jane says:

      I’ve got rid of the aphids now! A combination of spray and drier weather, but now into black spot territory. Never a dull moment!

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