Monday, December 28, 2015

The Last Rose Blooms of the Season

One of my most favorite roses is Koko Loco, a lovely mauve blend floribunda rose hybridized by rose breeder Christian Bedard in 2010.  Weeks Roses introduced it to the market in 2012 and I've been in love with it ever since. 

Although it has been described as having a mild fragrance, ours is fragrant enough to perfume the patio when the shrub is in bloom, which is most of the growing season.  Peach colored pointed buds open to blooms that are the color of milk chocolate latte.  As the blossoms age, the color evolves to an unusual blend of chocolate and lavender.  The blossoms are large - 4.5 to 5 inches in diameter.

Foliage is a pretty, medium green and semi-glossy. And other than the usual problems with snails and aphids on occasion (they are such a plague where we live...  I have to stay on top of our entire little container garden), it's amazingly disease resistant.  We never see any mold or mildew.

The shrub does well in a pot and is our most prolific bloomer.  It continued blossoming right up through the first week of December when I finally nipped off the remaining buds to force it into dormancy.  I stopped dead-heading in November to encourage it to set hips, which it does quite willingly. 

I previously posted about this rose in October.  Check out that post to see  the variations in color as the blossoms open and age.

I stopped dead-heading to encourage it to set hips.
Sugar Moon, photographed on December 6th
Sugar Moon is a beautiful pure white hybrid tea, also bred by Christian Bedard and introduced by Weeks Roses in 2012.  The blooms are large but ours almost always exceeded the average of 5 inches in diameter.  

With canes that can stretch to 6 feet or taller, we treat it like a short climber and let it trail along the railing on our patio wall.  Our last bloom of the year was an enormous white beauty that measured 6 inches across and was so fragrant, I sat next to it to read one afternoon, just so I could enjoy its heady citrus perfume.

Roses are still well-represented on our patio, however.   In November, I was gifted with several miniature red roses that were fully budded and just beginning to bloom.

Not sure what to do with them, for the winter, I planted them in the herb box in the area where the basil usually grows.  I moved the planter box closer to the apartment so it would get some radiant warmth from the building and more sun exposure.

Here we are approaching New Year's Eve and these little babies are still blooming cheerfully and the foliage is just as glossy and dark as the day I planted them.  Growing behind them on the left  is the last of the oregano.  I harvested it and used quite a bit of it in my tomato sauce last month.  Behind them in the middle of the back is some rosemary, and on the right side of the pot is thyme, two other culinary favorites that find their way into my cooking on a frequent basis.

When it's time to add basil to the planter in the spring, I'll have to decide where to move them but hopefully by then we will have moved to a home with a yard and garden and they can take up residence in a flower bed.

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