Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

Today is the 26th of the month and, as that is the random date I have chosen each month to ‘survey’ the roses that are flowering in my garden, it’s time to go for a walk. Bring an umbrella!

'Pat Austin' is officially 'tough as old boots' for Southern Australian conditions!

'Camp David' is looking a bit worn out.

This month you get to see who the real tough guys are. It is getting into late May and in my part of the world that means that winter isn’t just around the corner, she’s already running her frosty fingers across tender greenery and grasping at the last of the autumn foliage.

I apologise for the dull photos, it was a wet and overcast day and I’m not clever enough with my camera to compensate for it!

'Double Delight' still struggling away in part shade, far less pink at this time of year.

'Leander' is a climber and is still producing healthy buds.

Any roses that are still managing to flower now have survived a long hot summer and a phenomenal aphid outbreak just a few weeks ago.

They are now put to the test resisting the blackspot that generally seems to be kept at bay in the Gippy Garden until this time of year when it starts to get cold and damp.Β  I don’t tend to worry about black spot too much in late autumn as I’m soon to prune and my plants all seem to come back with healthy growth in the spring. If I try to pick off the affected growth at this time of year it doesn’t seem to change anything.

'Mermaid Rose' is a monster climber that just keeps going regardless of anything that happens.

While I’ve had a bit of an idea of the roses that I think will last the distance, it is good to confirm them for my ‘Rose Diary’. This way I can use the knowledge for future planning and compare what is happening at the same time next year.

Pierre de Ronsard would potentially flower all year, but is looking sad and faded and in need of a rest.

As it will be time to prune the roses very soon, there won’t be any flowers for the next couple of months.Β  But things are not going to be quiet, it isΒ  about to get busier than it has been for some time. I’m about to make big changes to the roses in the garden. Plenty of roses are about to move into sunnier spots and some, who are not performing well are about to go (if I can toughen up just a little!)

'The Swan' trying to talk me in to letting her stay, but she is a sickly plant.

'Lorraine Lee' desperately needs a prune as these flowers are far above my head!

For once in my life I am also going to consciously think about designing a couple of garden beds. I have been thinking of one being semi-formal and featuring roses, but I don’t want to be faced with a forest of nothing but damp dead sticks in winter.

The other option is to go with two more cottage style beds. I think this will probably the be the more attractive and sustainable option…but it means I have to get rid of even more roses!

I might need some help with some ideas, so please don’t run away!

'Abraham Darby' is the star of the roses in the garden for producing continuous beautiful and sweet-smelling flowers.

Here is a question for you – What are the roses that ‘hang in there’ the longest before winter / pruning time in your garden?


Comments on: "Rose Diary / Survey Day – Late Autumn Tough Guys" (22)

  1. Yum…. simply YUM, in every sense of the word.
    Since I’ve had to remove all roses from my increasingly shady garden, it’s all I can do to sniff their fragrance through the computer screen;-))

    • Hi Alice. It’s a shame that smell is one sense that can’t be catered for on a blog – most of the roses from this post do have a very yummy smell!

  2. Your roses are still looking quite good, even with winter looming. ‘The Swan’ reminds me of my old ‘Winchester Cathedral’ rose. Did well the first year, but then it was a constant fight. It was always sick, mostly with rust, and spent most of summer as a naked collection twigs, while all the neighboring roses laughed at it. Eventually I thought it was more humane to put it out of its misery, or maybe out of mine at least πŸ˜› Maybe it’s just a white rose thing? As for ‘Abraham Darby’, he never disappoints, does he? Love that rose!

    • Hi Clare… The Swan is sitting next to Winchester Cathederal in my garden…and they are both as bad as each other!

      I did have a vague idea I’d make a feature of white roses underplanted with purple flowers, but I can’t find white roses that both perform well and smell nice, so I think that idea is destined for the scrap heap!

  3. Abraham Darby is so lovely, and I don’t know about “not compensating” with your camera, Heidi: those photos of buds and bloom with water droplets are lovely, and worth each click to enlarge.

    I am curious as to what your winter is actually like and look forward to you sharing about that. I confess to being rather ignorant of Australian winter conditions (and I assume they vary widely, as it’s such a large land mass). I’m intrigued when you say Pierre de Ronsard should bloom all year, but yet you’re already experiencing frosts. Are there roses which laugh off the light frosts there?

    Noting Clare’s comment above, I must say that the white rose “Iceberg” is renowned around here for its toughness and long bloom period, and especially for its resistance to black spot. As for the strength of other white roses, I couldn’t venture an opinion. πŸ˜‰

    • Hi Meredith, I was thinking of posting about winter in my part of Australia soon and now you’ve confirmed it for me πŸ™‚

      While we certainly don’t have the ‘dead of winter’ and blankets of snow here in my part of Gippsland, we do have a distinct winter and frosts to go with it, although the frosts are not usually severe. So tough roses like Pierre de Ronsard do survive, but don’t look their best at this time.

      I do have ‘Iceberg’ in the garden (in a bad spot) and it is well known for performing well in our conditions too. I just wish it had a perfume! Margaret Merill is a white rose that seems to do reasonably well here, with a lovely perfume, but it is still a little prone to black spot.

  4. My ‘white’ or at least pale roses are the least enthusiastic of the four. No frost here, so our roses would flower year round, but get pruned beginning of August. I wouldn’t have any roses in my garden, if they had to be in Rose Beds. But mixed with other plants, they are welcomed.

    • Hi Diana. Hmmm…there does seem to be an emerging picture that the white roses are the ones that struggle (apart from Iceberg…no wonder it is so popular!)

      The more I think of it the more I am coming around to the idea that having a dedicated ‘rose garden’ bed is a bad idea!

  5. I love Cottage Gardens. Your roses are just lovely, especially Abraham Darby, which I also have blooming in my garden πŸ™‚

    • It’s lovely to think that ‘Our Abrahams’ are blooming together on different sides of the world Noelle πŸ™‚ But mine won’t be for much longer!

  6. Ooh, you have lots of lovely roses! The double delight is my favorite. It always gives me some surprise since the color changed when it ages, also it shows the different variations in different seasons. ‘Abraham Darby’ and ‘Pierre de Ronsard ‘are so pretty too!

    Are you saying you are letting “The swan” go? Oh, No! It is beautiful! Is it because of the black spots on the leaves? I learned to ignore the black spots since it is almost un-avoidable in South florida πŸ™‚

    • Hi Ami!
      Yes, I’m afraid that ‘The Swan’ is on the list to go 😦
      Apart from being very prone to black spot it is just a sickly looking little plant – which it shouldn’t be because it has one of the best spots in the garden!
      Don’t despair just yet though…I’m not actually very good at following through with getting rid of plants when it comes to the crunch πŸ˜€

  7. Heidi–the roses are beautiful. Such amazing creatures aren’t they? Lesley

  8. Love the rose pics. Here in Kansas, USA, it’s spring, and the peonies are in bloom. Come take a look at them.

  9. Hi Heidi, you have a lot of lovely roses!!
    I love roses with drops of water.γ€€’Abraham Darby’ is so lovely with water dots.

  10. Heidi, I do envy you your success with roses! I had planned a rose bed for a bare spot in my garden where a tree was felled recently. However, roses are so hard to grow here, I think I will make it a mixed cottage bed, after all. I haven’t yet found which roses work best in this area… each of mine has a problem of one sort or another. I love every one of yours! P. x

    • Hi Pam πŸ™‚ I think I’m going to go with a ‘cottagey’ style bed too. Much as I love my roses, this is a good time of year to come to terms with the fact that for part of the year they are downright ugly and need the help of other plants in the bed.

  11. Wow, your roses are gorgeous. I didn’t know that roses have such unique names. I love roses but it doesn’t grow well in our climate. I’ll certainly look forward to this day every month.

    • Hello Autumn Belle, roses might not like your climate, but it seems that you are never short of beautiful flowers to be going on with at your place πŸ™‚

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