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Beautiful roses everywhere...and what to do now

The roses are in full peak bloom about now...everywhere! They have rested, well actually gone into a nice hibernating sleep over the winter. The longer days, warmer weather, and Spring rains have awakened them and they are displaying in their colorful and fragrant glory.

This David Austin Heirloom variety is one of my favorites. A heavy and fragrant bloomer...

but my perennial favorite is this Abraham Darby....a better repeat bloomer and in my book more is better when it comes to roses and how often they bloom.

There's nothing like a French or English climbing rose that makes my heart go pitter patter. Those pretty petaled ruffles resembling small cabbages just sing to me!

Books have been written about good plant combinations and pairings...but the ultimate plant pairing is planting a clematis at the base of every climbing rose...double your pleasure! The clematis and rose will bloom at the same time and the rose actually provides a perfect trellis and shaded base which the clematis vines love.

I prefer a contrasting or complimentary color clematis to the rose color....but hey doesn't matter....whatever color they are they are just more beautiful together.

Roses need a little TLC now and then and please heed the will be rewarded.

In the last week, I have had a few messages from clients with "yellow' leaves on their roses they lovingly refer to them as looking "puny"....a perfect description. This usually means a diagnosis called chlorosis, which is the term for yellowing of leaves - when they exhibit a pale green or yellow color they suffer from chlorophyll insufficiency. The insufficiency can be due to high pH levels in the soil, low iron or lack of oxygen due to overwatering or poorly drained soil. If your rose looks like this it is suffering and needs help!

This or similar copper sulfate product will help if not eliminate the chlorosis.

Epsom Salt may be good for sore joints...but it's an amazing supplement for plants. I pour the salts into my Miracle Grow feeder attached to a hose...and water away...this helps with aphids, black spot, rust...and is a great fertilizer. Although the the thought of putting salt on a plant just doesn't jive ... it's actually not salt...but Magnesium Sulphate!

Roses are actually one of the easiest and most rewarding plants to grow. Now is a great time to plant a potted rose bush available at all the garden centers. You might consider some climbers like this...and call David Austin Roses in Tyler, Texas. Best time to plant English or French climbers is in February or early March as a bare root plant. I planted these Abraham Darby's 5 years ago - the fragrant approach up these stone steps is intoxicating!

Happy gardening!


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