Archive for growing roses in Southwest Florida

Florida Roses

Posted in Flowers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2011 by PickMeYard
The roses on the left are ‘Belinda’s Dream’ and ‘Mr. Lincoln’ on the right.

About 3 years ago, I decided to create a fragrance garden in our yard.   The focal point is a beautiful michelia champaca tree.  I have gardenia bushes and several edible jasmines too.  However, nothing overshadows the beautiful rose bushes.  They’re always the shining stars of the fragrance garden.  They bloom all year round in Southwest Florida.

My favorite roses to grow in our hot and humid zone 9b are ‘Belinda’s Dream’ and ‘Mr. Lincoln’.  They’re grafted onto ‘Fortuniana’ rootstock and grow great in Southwest Florida.  They both bloom constantly and have a heavenly fragrance.  Click here for more information on Florida rose rootstock.

Mr. Lincoln long-stem roses from my fragrance garden.

I dead-head my rose bushes constantly, so they do require maintenance.  This allows them to focus their energy on growing more flowers.      They require a lot of fertilizer in Southwest Florida too.  It’s recommended to feed them monthly.  I use a time-release fertilizer on them, plus lots of rabbit poop and old coffee grinds.  It is ideal to plant them in full sun.  Nelson’s Florida roses  are my favorite choice.   

I only have two varieties of rose growing in my garden, but I have several bushes of each.  I always have extremely fragrant blooms to bring inside for our enjoyment.  I love that I don’t have to buy fresh flowers all the time.  My daughter likes to nibble on the petals and I don’t have to worry about what they’ve been sprayed with.  Since I grow them, I know  they are completely free of chemicals and she can munch to her heart’s content.  Sometimes I add the petals to a jar of sugar.  It gives the sugar a lovely and light floral flavor.  I use the petals as garnishes too.

When I think of roses, I think of the designer Betsey Johnson.  She absolutely adores roses and centers most of her designs around them.  Her colors are influenced by the rose as well.  My 4-year-old’s favorite dress is by Betsey Johnson.  I’ve never met anyone as inspired by the rose as Betsey.

A photo I took of Betsey Johnson in Jamaica in 1990 (I think). She's so fun!!

Betsey Johnson.

Betsey decorates all her surroundings with rose inspired designs and colors, not just clothes. 

Julian Lennon in a villa decorated by Betsey Johnson at Round Hill, Jamaica.

I love this photo… it’s one of my favorites.

 Roses are nostalgic for me and for so many others.  It’s no wonder that it’s one of lifes greatest symbols of love. 

My daughter smelling a 'Belinda's Dream' rose... right before she ate it.

Happy Valentines Day!

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