So. Cal roses blooming now? Tell, tell!

carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)January 18, 2012

Having just read the posting about the pruning demos in Ventura and seen the photo, I am galvanized! and yearn to see those beauties in person. If I can get a cheap flight, what gardens can I visit? I know about the Rancho one, the Huntington, and Rancho Chamulos, but are there others in bloom right now?

Here in cold roast Boston, I need a midwinter rose break. Badly. I admit to an old-rose addiction and encourage enablers to steer me to good gardens.


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jerijen(Zone 10)


The Stagecoach Inn will be pruned on 1-21. It DOES need some cleanup, tho they won't prune hard. It will be back in bloom by, oh, some time in March.
The Huntington will, I think, be pruned right after the weekend of the 21st.
Descanso? It too will soon be pruned, tho I have caught it in bloom as late as that weekend.

Best to wait until at least late March, maybe early April?


    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 12:41PM
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Carol, I'm sorry to say that you won't see much in Northern California, from the Bay Area northward. Here rosey people are pruning. Even the roses I have not gotten to yet have finished their flush of last month and just have deadheads. They are pruning at the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden (have been for months); they just started pruning at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden; they pruned this past weekend at the Sacramento Historic Rose Garden; and I (along with many other gardeners) am busy pruning my own garden at home. Perhaps it is different in the Southland. The Stagecoach Inn garden has lots of blooms, but is not in the full glory I would imagine it has in spring. Even there this might not be true for long. After a very long dry spell, the entire state is about to get a winter rainstorm, and anything still blooming is about to become a muddled, rain-soaked mess. I do understand about needing a winter break, but really, all these gardens will look so very much better in April that it is well worth waiting!

Please don't think I am chasing you off. We'd love to have you come admire gardens out here. It's just that you really will not be seeing roses at their best - or even much at all - by coming in January. I would hate to have you make the trip and be disappointed.

I was wondering, since so many of our recovered long-lost teas come from Bermuda (with Bermuda study names), if that might not be an excellent destination for a winter-weary rosarian? A trip to Bermuda to see roses sounds wonderful to me. Does anyone know if there are public rose gardens in Bermuda? Or private gardens with public tours?


    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 12:57PM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Jeri writes:

"The Stagecoach Inn will be pruned on 1-21... It will be back in bloom by, oh, some time in March.
The Huntington will, I think, be pruned right after the weekend of the 21st."

Oh, no! This means that if I want to see those roses, I'd have to fly out there tomorrow, rent a car and drive fast to Ventura from the LA airport. Not gonna happen. And March and April free times are reserved for other trips.

See you guys next year, I guess-- Thanks for the advice, Jeri and Rosefolly.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 3:24PM
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cemeteryrose(USDA 9/Sunset 14)

I just heard from one of the Bermuda rosarians and she said that the roses are in the middle of their season and are looking fantastic. I don't know anything about gardens there but there is a very active group of rosarians.

A friend just emailed me from Nassau and it's 82 degrees there and beautiful. Bermuda would be my choice over anywhere in California right now - even southern Cal is hoping for some rain this weekend and forecast to be in the 60s.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roses in Bermuda

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Carol, if you do decide to go to Bermuda, do please take lots of pictures and post them here. I for one would love to see them. No doubt others feel much the same way.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 5:33PM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Oh, I am torn. But I was shocked to find the fare to Bermuda higher than to LA, the trip length almost the same (and involves a change of planes), and 82 degrees is beyond my comfort zone. That's why I like northern Calif. so much: Bay Area is never really hot and usually non-humid.

So next year I hope to plan a return to the Bay Area to visit the Sacramento Cemetery again, and the San Jose garden, and the Celebration of Old Roses. And a few others (Quarryhill, for example). I tell ya, you northern Californians, you have the best climate.

Meanwhile, I'll (brr-r) sit closer to the woodstove and longingly turn the pages of my rose books.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:28PM
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Carol, the Bay Area is usually non-humid but it is sometimes hot, at least that is true outside the actual city of San Francisco. Down in San Jose we get several 100�+ days every summer, and generally a dozen or two in the 90's. And there are any number of days higher than 82� every summer. It is only on the foggy coast where the temperatures are so cool in the summer.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 10:53PM
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I was curious and had to look up flights to Bermuda from Stockholm and found that I could get a roundtrip tomorrow for 875 USD. A pity I can't go.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 1:04PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Thank you, Rosefolly, for that info. about hot summer temperature in San Jose. No wonder my 3 sisters in California moved closer to the foggy coast. A long time ago I stayed in San Jose for 3 months in the winter and it was great: sunny every day. Here in Chicagoland we don't get much sun, we are among the least-sun cities along with the states of Washington and Michigan.

I don't mind when our winter got down to 20 degrees below zero. It's the strong wind that I mind, which constantly damages my roof. The next thing that I mind are the few days above 90 degrees, which are few here.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 1:29PM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Rosefolly, I try to visit the Bay Area once every year or so. My son lives there, and he has been informing us of the specific monthly weather differences since he went there for college -- and loved the area so much that he never came back! He got married, started a business, and got involved in local community events.

This latest thread was my attempt to see roses in February in California. No such miracle, evidently.

Thanks -- I do know not to visit at the end of summer, those hot September days. Last time there (early May 2010) I drove down to the San Jose Heritage rose garden, not too hot yet, and spent several hours enjoying and examining (incl. photos) the wonderful old roses so carefully laid out, then drove to the nearby Santa Clara University to stroll along their rose-covered fence. (link attached.) That was the visit I timed for the Sacramento Old Cemetery rose festival and got to meet a few of you Bay Area people. Maybe next time (not this year) I'll be able to meet you, Rosefolly? If there's one place I'd like to live (but DH is solidly based here so I am too), it's California's Bay Area, long may it wave -- oops, and sometimes shake!


Here is a link that might be useful: SCU climbing-rose fence

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 10:12AM
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Carol, I do remember that you traveled out our way and was sorry not to meet you last year. I make it to the Sacramento Historic Cemetary event about half the time. I had planned to go last year but a family situation took precedence. Perhaps another year it will work out.

I would be interested in hearing your Massachusetts v California gardening perspective. While I myself was raised in Pennsylvania, my parents were both from Massachusetts from long-time New England families. My Dad was an ardent gardener and gave me a Banshee rose from his mother's family farm in northern Maine. I still grow it.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 12:42PM
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I went to the Huntington just after it was hit by that bad wind in late December that knocked down all the trees and forced the LA Arboretum to close. The poor little roses, just canes and no leaves opening the buds that were small enough to hang on in the wind. It was surreal.. a garden of naked bushes with a few blooms on top. All the Austins and most of the HTs were that way. They probably can't wait to cut them back. Big sections of climbing roses fell through damaged parts of the overhead trellises. Still, the roses survived it all.
A staff member told me they had over 25 men working just on the tree damage and big areas of the gardens were closed. Pasadena streets had big piles of tree debris and leaves everywhere you went as if all the homeowners had tree trimming done on the same day and piled the limbs and cut up trunks in front of the houses.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 1:55AM
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