Monday, October 26, 2015

Beautiful Roses... Patio Perfection

Potted annuals on the table on the patio.
Our patio garden is thriving.  We have pots and pots of annuals -- I just replanted the window boxes with chrysanthemums and pansies in and amongst the calibrachoa and coleus which continue to thrive.

Our Meyer lemon tree will have a generous crop of lemons for us in another month or two and around the bottom of the lemon tree, spearmint is growing enthusiastically and will be a welcome addition to tabbouleh salad over the winter.

The mauve blend floribunda Koko Loco.
We continue to harvest thyme and oregano but I've fought a losing battle with the slugs over the basil.  And our succulents are doing equally well.  In fact, they've grown so much, they need to be repotted again.

But the stars of the patio are, without a doubt, the roses.  Neptune and Strawberry Hill just finished a bloom cycle; Neptune has a single bud remaining after a beautiful display of deep mauve-purple  blossoms. But Koko Loco and Sugar Moon picked up where the others have left off.

Koko Loco is a mauve blend floribunda bred by Christian Bedard in 2010 and introduced in the US in 2012 by Weeks Roses. We bought it for our garden in Newburyport as soon as it was available and I had it growing with Hot Cocoa where the pair made a fabulous combination.

Bud, barely opened, of Koko Loco
Here in California, the roses are much more enthusiastic growers and bloomers than the same roses grown in New England, with its much shorter growing season and variable weather. 

Here, we can really appreciate the color changes in Koko Loco. Considered a "mauve blend", the buds have a dark peachy color, open up as a buff that is close to the color of creamy hot chocolate, and gradually evolve to a true mauve. Having all of the different colorations present in different blooms at the same time on the shrub is a treat! 

It's coloration reminds me a lot of Bella'roma, a hybrid tea bred by Dr. Keith Zary in 2003. It was one of the first roses we planted in our garden in Newburyport and was one of my long time favorites, not just for its color but for its wonderful fragrance. Bella'roma is a peach-yellow blend, but in our New England garden, the colors were more subtle and before it turned brighter yellow, it was the same buff colored tinged in peach that I love in the Koko Loco.

The hybrid tea, Sugar Moon, crisp white and wonderfully fragrant.
The white bloom, one of the purest white roses we have ever grown, is Sugar Moon, another wonderful hybrid tea hybridized by Christian Bedard (2012). I was attracted to Sugar Moon not only because of the large blossoms and bright white coloring but because of the fragrance - a perfect blend of citrus and rose.

Although not as prolific a bloomer as the floribunda Koko Loco, the blooms are amazing and the rose usually has at least one blossom open and perfuming the patio at any given time. It's a wonderful cut rose for the vase as well, and I frequently clip buds to finish opening indoors.

Koko Loco,showing hints of peach and mauve.
The opening blossom of Koko Loco shows more of its peachy tones.
Koco Loco, bloom gradually shifts from peach to mauve
Early bloom is more peach in color.
Side of our patio, the coleus have thrived!

Front of our patio, with newly replanted window boxes; the snapdragon we planted in spring is still blooming vigorously.  In the background, the Meyer lemon displays fruit from several bloom periods.
Some of the smallest baby lemons from the last bloom a few weeks ago.
One of the earliest lemons is started to ripen but it will be weeks yet before it's ready to be picked.
This morning I discovered new buds - meaning yet another crop of lemons.  With at least four different crops from four different blossoming times, we should have fresh lemons over the winter and into the spring.
These were from the second crop and won't ripen for at least a couple of months.
This bud of Neptune will be open in the next day or so.  While the buds are a deep rosy mauve, the mature blooms are a lavender mauve and the roses has the strong citrus notes in the fragrance that I've come to associate with lavender roses.


  1. Good to see that your new garden is blooming lovely, long may it continue

    love Helen

  2. Thank you so much Helen. Looking forward to the day when we can have a "real" garden in a "real" yard again.


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