Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roses Along the Path

After the repeated deep freezes of early 2010, huge, old hibiscus bushes were removed from the garden.  In their places roses were planted.  I've never grown roses before but knew that I wanted fragrance and flowers in this small sunny area just off the back porch.

Mother's Day brought me two new one-gallon size bushes.  'White Out' is about 2'X 2' at this time and blooms non-stop.  The label said this rose would get to be about 3' X 3'.  That would be perfect for the space. 

'Sunny' is another of the Knockout series and was labeled as 3'X 3' in size.  This rose is just now starting to grow and bloom.  It has not been happy all summer.  I am hoping that it will get well established in the cooler weather and that by spring it will be a vigorous rose bush.

The sunny yellow blooms it is named for are worth the wait for this little bush to settle into its spot. 

'Red Cascade' is an old garden rose that was given to me many years before the Path came into existence.  This is a miniature climber and is on its own root.  I have rooted several of these and passed them along to other friends.  This rose just keeps growing and growing. 

Another old garden rose, 'Louis Philippe', was given to me earlier this summer.  It is a rooted cutting and has been doing very well, blooming pretty much non-stop.  I've been told that the blossoms will become more red as the bush matures.  I don't care, I love it just as it is. 

The original Knockout Rose has sulked a little this summer.  It is healthy, just not prolific with the blooms. 

Of course, Belinda's Dream is just that.  My dream rose.  I love, love, love her.  She has bloomed all summer and has grown from an 18" height to over 4 feet.  You can read about the beginning of it all in this post

As important as foliage and flowers are to My Garden Path, butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife are just as important.  Even though I became a little obsessed with the roses, I made a decision early on to not use any pesticides and to use only organic fertilizer.  So far, the foliage of all the roses has been quite healthy and free of the dreaded blackspot.  You can see 'White Out' in the background  of the above photo with 'Belinda's Dream' in the foreground.  'Belinda's Dream' is full of buds but just a couple of blooms are barely visible.  The foliage on both bushes is just perfect as it has been all the hot, humid summer.

Janis, from Graceful Cottage Gardening, recommended that I use Mill's Magic Rose Mix organic fertilizer.  Her roses are so big and beautiful that I knew that was good advice.  My roses are loving the Magic.

I've never grown roses before, but so far, these roses have proven themselves to be easy and well adapted to the Florida climate.  I'm quite happy with my combination of 'Knockout' roses and old garden roses.


  1. Oh, thanks for that rose update, NanaK! I've especially looked forward to your 'Belinda's Dream' update. I must find that rose! Keep us updated on its winter performance too. I've been growing Knockouts for three years now, and am still waiting to be impressed. They honestly do better in cooler months, I think. These bushes are a different animal in Atlanta. HUGE and covered in blooms all spring and summer. Hopefully, mine will come into their own one day. And, oh, Louis Philippe! Love that one, as you probably know. I call that one a dark pink rose, though there is some variation in bloom color and size.

  2. Nana ~ You have a wonderful selection of roses. I'll have to see about Mill's Magic Rose mix. It is always a treat to visit your gardens. The roses are happier with our upcoming cooler weather. My Louis Philippe is darker, but also older than yours. It is a wonderful, easy to grow rose.

    Enjoy all that beauty that is surrounding you.


  3. Ah, Kay, what a pretty walk down your path today seeing all those rose blooms. They are each and every one a treat to see. Imagining the fragrance is easy, too.

    I'm wondering if there is any trick to starting Louis from cuttings. I'm just now giving it a try but they aren't looking too thrilled just yet. I bought another one at the garden center a few weeks ago just to be sure. It is a proven winner... you are going to love it as it grows. I don't use Mill's on my one knockout tree but mix my own with almost the same ingredients. Knockouts definitely have their down time in our humidity but in winter and drier weather they really perk up. They are used en masse further north and look stunning. I've got to figure out a way to add more here. But I need more sunshine for that, too. Dilemma.

    Have a fabulous day,

  4. Hi kay...Your roses are looking very, very happy. I love white out...such a dainty looking bloom. It looks like an antique rose...do you know if it is? Very pretty! my Belinda's Dream has been doing very well, too and is full of buds. The fall weather should get all of our roses blooming again. Just like us...they've made it through another HOT summer!

  5. Hi, Kay! Your roses are beautiful! I've not tried them down here since my first purchases burned up in the hot summer sun. Your Louis Phillipe is outstanding! I can imagine the lovely fragrance you must enjoy. Delightful!

  6. I never thought I would get into roses, but the Knock Outs made me fall in love. I'm glad to read you're growing them without pesticides, because that was one of my turn-offs. I LOVE Belinda's Dream but I think I better practice with antiques and Knock Outs and work my way up!
    Meems, I got some Louis cuttings from Serendipity. A couple started to leaf than suddenly shriveled. I did some reading on-line, and it sounds like they are very tricky to start. Even once they appear rooted, they won't always thrive when transplanted. So, yes, I'll be buying one when and if I see it!

  7. Floridagirl - You won't be sorry with Belinda's Dream. Mine is on Fortuniana. I purchased her at Hardin's in South Tampa which is where I will go if I need a rose to replace any of my knockouts. Great people, very helpful. They are only open on Saturday. I know it's a drive for you but if you are ever over Tampa way and feel the need to go rose shopping, I recommend it highly.

    FlowerLady - I'm happier with the cooler weather right along with the roses. LP was the only rose I thought I wanted and he ended up being the last rose added to the garden. I don't know quite how I managed to get so many roses going. But, I'm enjoying them.

    Meems - Here's a link on rooting roses:

    The lady who rooted mine did it this way. I have rooted my 'red cascade' in the past just by sticking some clippings in peat and pearlite w/ rooting hormone. My lazy method isn't working for me now though. I'm going to try the method in the link as soon as I get some 2-liter bottles together.

    Susan - I love that White-Out too. It is not an antique rose, it is part of the Knockout series. But, it is doing much better than my other Knockouts. They aren't knocking me out right now.

    Kimberly - Thanks for your kind words. I have been very pleased with my roses so far. South Florida summer is brutal on roses, but I think there are more varieties now that can take it. I do love the fragrance of LP and BD. The Knockouts aren't real fragrant. White-Out has a spicy scent though.

    Penlyn - Really, Belinda's Dream is EASY. I haven't done anything except water and Mills Magic. But, you don't really need another pink rose with that beautiful Bubble Gum Pink Knockout you have. I love seeing that rose!

  8. Ooh, love your new blog head picture! Perfect shot of hummingbird!

    I have been extremely busy and very behind of writing, reading and commenting blogs. I really enjoyed your rose post. When I got some time this fall or early next year, I will be visiting all the local nurseries one by one to find some good rose performers you mentioned in this post! That Belinda's Dream is on the top of my list!

  9. Your roses are stunning.yardBoy uses Mills Magic too,on his roses,and he swears by it! I lust after your Belinda's Dream.I must get him to grow one for me.

  10. The bubblegum Knock Outs really are wonderful - very low maintenance and lots of blooms. The downside is the blooms fade very quickly, so they need lots of dead-heading, both for looks and to keep them blooming. (Not complaining! Just saying!) And mine are now in an overgrown area that require me to nimbly hop over the pond without crushing salvia and thryallis when I land. Tricky!
    Belinda's Dream is still on my list -- I'm betting the blooms are longer lived. I'll take a Louis Philippe, too!
    (Re: Ami's post: Your pix are gorgeous! What camera are you using? Any tips to share?)

  11. Ami - You have a very busy life right now. I truly admire how you seem to balance it all. I think the right type of roses make all the difference in Florida rose gardening. Especially down south where you are. Thanks for noticing my hummingbird picture! I have been chasing that poor thing for over a month :0

    ChrisC - Yardboy could make a lot of points with growing Belinda's Dream for you. She makes beautiful cut flowers that last.

    Penlyn - I can picture you hopping, nimbly of course! Yes BD's blooms last and are longer stemmed so cutting them for bouquets is easy. I rarely do that though because I like them on the bush.

    As far as camera advice - ha ha ha! I take about 1 million pictures and then get lucky. Seriously, look here:

    and here: (Meems gave me this one)


    (I have a Canon Powershot SX20 IS)


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.