Tea Roses, Deer and dependable rainfall
My true tea rose bushes have never looked better. They all still have their late fall and winter foliage and it's healthy. No blooms, but I can handle that; it's the great foliage going into February that may not have happened before. We've had consistant rainfall of an inch a week and temps that bottoms out in the low teens.
Today the noon deer herd at the bottom of the hill numbered six; boy, does that herd grow when I'm not looking. And it's so nice to see the elders of the herd showing the youngsters how to climb through the fence around our species rose garden.
That dependable rainfall had positives: some of our big trees appear to be five to ten feet taller. Their offspring, that I overlooked when weeding last spring are now three to four feet tall and need shovel treatment to get them out of the rose gardens. I've lost two chinas that were on the north side of slightly larger roses; except the slightly larger roses (White Pet) are now much larger and just shaded White Pearl in Red Dragon's Mouth out. One of my Safranos was also shaded out by Arcata Pink Globe.
With the not-frigid temps we've had there is no way to slow down growth. The one thing I've got to do is get on top of some cankers that are active on some of the more modern roses. The mild that I like to work in the garden is the same mild that stimulates the fungi that are my rose cankers AND the red-magenta rims around those cankers are expanding (response to fungi-making ethylene gases.)