Wednesday, 4 December 2013

December roses in London

Winter started officially last Sunday here in Britain and last for 3 months until end of February. My garden doesn’t really look that different to last month – a few plants have died down and some plants have started to lose their leaves, other again are not as prolific in their flower production so OK, it feels like autumn but winter? Not really - not yet.

My garden is still green and lush even if there are some open gaps here and there, waiting for the spring bulbs to appear.

Most of my roses are still going on, but usually producing just one or two flowers at the time giving this effect of colours dotted around the garden.

This is Rob Roy, the reddest rose I have ever seen :-)

This is 'Mildred Scheel', a lovely rose that produces huge flowers.

And here is my favourite dark red ‘Crimson Cascade’ still with more buds to come.

The only David Austin rose still in flower is 'Susan Williams-Ellis', I was too late to photograph the two beautiful flowers that has been flowering for ages but here is the next one to come.

My trusty old pot rose is still going strong, never without flowers from April until pruning in February.

The pot rose is cream coloured in spring and summer but more pink/peach when the weather is colder.

In addition to the roses, my garden has still got lots of fuchsias in flower, two of my clematises are still in flower and one of my hydrangeas is still green and producing flowers. And yet....

....the spring flowers have started to make an appearance, just barely out of the soil.
These lovely cups and saucers are filled with Iris reticularis and anemones and in the flower beds the snowdrops and crocuses are also sticking their noses out of ground.

There has been no frost in my London garden yet, but it keeps hovering just a few degrees above zero C at night time with up to 10 degrees during the day. The next few days it might go as low as down to zero C but we’ll see, even if it is officially zero (at the nearest airport) it might not be that in my sheltered garden. It is only 18 days until the sun turns and the days start to get longer again – spring is just around the corner – can’t wait to see my whole garden filled with hellebores, irises, crocuses, hyacinths, snowdrops, daffodils, alliums....not long to wait now, and if we get a ‘normal’ winter and spring it will be only about 10 weeks until the daffodils are in full flower. Something to look forward to on this dark and gloomy December day :-)  Until next time, take care.

35 comments:

  1. Helene, your garden definitely does not look ready for winter. I love all the roses, although I do still have Susan Williams-Ellis here.. my one and only!

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    1. Thanks, I love the fact that my garden has a climate suitable for roses all year round, the only time I don’t have any is when I cut them down in February and then have to wait for them to grow back again :-)

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  2. Roses in December are such a treat. Mine are all dormant now. I wish I had crocus and irises poking up out of the ground and only ten weeks to wait to see the first daffodils! Here we are in for a long haul until spring. It will look forward to a spring preview from across the pond.

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    1. We have had a nice long autumn and no frost so far in my garden – long may it last! But winter in London can come very late, like 2012/13, when it started in February and seemed to last forever. With such a long, cold winter behind us I hope this one will be a more ‘normal’ one. I will post some crocus and daffodil photos for you to see as soon as I can!

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  3. Hi Helene, you truly have some lovely roses in your garden! So nice that they are still blooming for you. My favorite is your "trusty old pot rose". What a beautiful delicate color. Your polka dot cups are really cute and I guess they will look so cheerful when the Iris Reticularis and anemones will bloom. Even thought the weather in general is not bad in Southern California, I am also longing already for spring, but getting to the winter solstice will already be great. By the way, outstanding photography! Thanks for this delightful post!
    Christina

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    1. Thanks Christina, my trusty old pot rose is truly a trooper, a good find for £1 in my supermarket years ago! Most people throw away those pot roses when they are finished flowering but they do just as well in the garden as all other roses and I treat them as a normal rose.

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  4. I agree with Christina--these photos are great! It's even more fun to visit your blog virtually now that I've been there in person and I know where the plants are situated. I dream of Roses all winter long, so it's a special treat to see them here on your blog. Enjoy the good weather, Helene! We are heading into an arctic blast here in a big portion of the U.S.!

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    1. Thanks Beth, I saw on the weather forecast that you got a taste of severe winter weather, hope your garden is OK. We got the tail end of that weather yesterday with very windy weather, but it was over in just one day here in London. The flooding on the east coast of England is going to take longer to clear up, the worst storm surge in 60 years – thousands of people evacuated and hundreds of homes flooded or even flushed away. The weather was very calm, nice and sunny here in London today, really strange compared to what we had yesterday!

      My garden is OK, just lots of leaves blown in from neighbouring gardens and some of the roses I took photos of are gone, blown off, but I will get more, just need a good break from more storms!

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  5. I tend to ignore the meteorologists timeline and go with winter staring on December 21 - the winter solstice

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    1. Yes, I know there are lots of different times one can use for when the different seasons starts :-)

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  6. I remember having the odd rose in flower at Christmas a few years ago but it is not to be this year, a couple of frosts, heavy rain and today's high winds have pretty much finished the garden off. We must be grateful as we have had a much longer growing season than in the previous seven years or so. Spring here we come!

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    1. The storm yesterday polished off some of the roses here too, it was a ferocious wind and rain for a short while! I hope we are in for a mild winter and early spring, I think we are due one soon!

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  7. Roses in December, how wonderful. They are all beautiful Helene.

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    1. Thanks Patty, I do feel lucky being able to garden here in London, it’s borderline tropical some winters although some winters can be quite cold.

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  8. I love your roses. So beautiful and so stunning. I'm so interested that your creamy roses became pinky during the colder weather. So interesting. Wonderful garden

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    1. Roses often have slightly different colour depending on the temperature and the amount of sunlight they receive, several of my roses have different colour in the winter and summer.

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  9. Id be hard pushed to guess it was December in your garden Helene. It's so green still! Just a wee bit envious :)
    I woke up to find my patio table slap bang on top of my new DA rose. I'm hoping it will recover. You've still got some gorgeous roses on the go - it must be a real delight to get out into your garden. Bulbs here are pretty much at the same stage. Your tea cups are going to look wonderful.

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    1. Thanks Angie, the teacups are new this year so I am looking forward to seeing them filled with anemones and irises in the spring. I am sure your David Austin rose will recover, one of mine was cut flush with the ground in August 2012 when I had to be rescued out of the garden by paramedics, the rose flowered again this summer, although it is still small and will probably look better next year. Roses are quite robust plants, just cut off anything damaged and prune to shape and give it time – it will recover :-)

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  10. Oh My! Love, Love, Love the giant cups n' saucers. Your garden is always an inspiration. Roll on spring!! x

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    1. I bought the teacups from Studio mail order company and right now the cups are on sale for £8.99 each. Only problem with them is that there is no drainage hole through the saucer, only through the cup, so when it rains the water will stay on the saucer. I have put a layer of grit in the bottom of each cup but still make sure to drain off water every time I see there is water left on the saucers. A bit silly design, I would have preferred a drainage hole right through as these are obviously for outdoor use. I might try to find a company that can drill holes for me for next year so I don’t have to pour off the water, but apart from that they look every bit as lovely as in my photo!

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    2. That was a link for you but it doesn’t show very well, here it is again, click on this link to 24studio.co.uk

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  11. Hi Helene
    How lovely to have roses at Christmas! Reminds of the German Christmas song "Es ist ein ros entsprungen". And the ones you have are such lovely rich colours. I can hardly wait to see those bulbs pop up in February!

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    1. Thanks Astrid, as soon as Christmas is over I am in ‘spring mode’, and seeing all the spring bulbs peeping out of ground certainly helps! I suppose I am a bit lucky with the position of my garden, not everyone here has roses all through the winter and I really appreciate mine :-)

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  12. Lovely lovely pictures of your roses - mine all seem to have finished but it is colder here than where you are - so looking forward to spring now.

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    1. I realise my winter roses are not found in every garden even around here, my garden is quite sheltered and that helps – I still haven’t had any frost yet. Although the storm yesterday polished off most of them!

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  13. It's scarily warm here in Georgia, U.S., but I haven't seen rose blossoms as perky and vibrantly colored as yours. That's because the warmth here gets punctuated by nighttime temperatures dropping into the low 20sF. Enjoy while ye may.

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    1. Thanks Lee, over here I still haven’t had night frost, the lowest I have had is 35F and some winters it actually doesn’t go lower – although it is a long time since last time that happened. Last winter we had 17-20F at night for weeks and only low 30s at daytime. I hope we don’t get another winter like that! A frost free winter is so much nicer :-)

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  14. Nice cups and saucers with sprouts of bulbs, Helene! Can't wait to see they grow and bloom. It's a beauty to have lovely roses in Christmas time, you're lucky!

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    1. Thanks Nadezda, I feel lucky!
      Gardening here in London is so fun and rewarding and means I can be outside and work in the garden all year round – I love it, and can’t wait for spring :-)

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  15. Your garden looks so lush and green yet! I shouldn't be surprised that winter in the UK and the US Midwest are very different--it's -12 C here today, and the only things still green in my garden are evergreens. Love your shelf of saucers with bulbs just waiting to burst forth!

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    1. Thanks Rose, the winters here in London can vary quite a lot, last winter we had weeks of frost at this time, but this winter has been more ‘normal’. Today it was 12 degrees C in my garden during the day, nice gardening weather in December :-) But it can soon change, frost can happen as late as March here.

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  16. Amazing to see your garden still looking so lovely this late in the year!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea

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    1. Thanks Lea, I really appreciate gardening in London, all year round.
      Have a great day you too!

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  17. Hi Helene, your roses love the cold, they are so beautifully proud! I feel sad for the dwindling greens and which will in a little while will succumb to snow! About those cups and saucers, no question for their beauty and elegance, but are they provided with bottom holes?

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    1. Thanks, we don’t have much snow here in London, usually just a few days every winter, some winter not at all, but the colder weather will make some of the plants die of so they can come back stronger and better next summer, as they are supposed to. My roses will go on and on though, right through the winter :-)

      As for the teacups, as I wrote in my answer to Jane above here, there is no drainage hole through the saucer, only through the cup, so when I water or it rains the water will go through the cup and stay on the saucer. I have to pour off any excess water so it doesn’t just stay and stagnate the compost. I would have preferred a drainage hole right through as these are obviously for outdoor use. I might try to find a company that can drill holes for me for next year so I don’t have to pour off the water, but apart from that they look every bit as lovely as in my photo!

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