Boscobel Springs To Life


A Boscobel rose bloom stands out in an arrangement of flowers


Boscobel, a recent 2012 introduction by David Austin Roses has finally had a nice flush. After a difficult start, many of the Austin roses I ordered last season didnt fare too well. They were all purchased as bare roots and after they arrived, I potted them up quickly in large black nursery pots that I’ve kept from previous rose purchases. That year’s roses seemed dramatically smaller than ones I had received in previous years, but I potted them up anyway and they all took off rather splendidly. It was at this point however that I made the grave mistake of planting them in a new rose bed I had created in the side yard.

The bed was made over an area that was once paved with large stepping stones. I expected there to be soil underneath, even if it was poor quality soil. Yet to my dismay when I lifted the pavers and dug, I was sorry to find nothing but sand as deep as the shovel would go. I dug almost three feet deep in some areas and never reached soil. So, I needed to not only amend the entire bed, but actually remove the sand and fill it in with store bought soil.

To make a long story short, the Austins roses, which were all on grafted onto Dr. Huey, we’re not happy in the somewhat still sandy soil of the new rose bed. After a few months of decline I realized I would have to pull most of them out, or risk loosing them all. Many of my 9 roses did not survive the move. Lady Emma Hamilton died before I could even try moving her. Molineux was soon lost after the move. Belle Story survived the initial move, but later declined and died. Jubilee Celebration and Princess Alexandra Of Kent are still struggling after the move, and I’m not entirely sure they will make it. Gentle Hermione and Geoff Hamilton seemed to be doing ok in the ground so they were left in the bed and both are still doing ok, Hermione actually doing pretty well. Boscobel on the other has bounced back from the initial move nicely and is thriving in a pot on the patio.

This says a lot about the new David Austin releases as they have recently been focusing on introducing stronger, more disease resistant roses and Boscobel is a good example of this. Not only did it bounce back quickly, but it produced an impressive little flush with rather large, full blooms for being such a small plant.

The large round buds opened to reveal beautifully cupped rosettes packed with petals in a most unique shade of copper pink with deep salmon. Each one measuring about 2.5 inches.

We sincerely hope this rose will be available on Fortuniana one day because this one seems like it will be a good performer in South Florida and David Austin Roses on Fortuniana are still hard to come by.

Boscobal can be purchased online through David Austin Roses or Regan Nursery both on Dr. Huey rootstock.


Petunia, Delphinium & Angelonia

Some of the petunias I started from seed began blooming today. Here you will see some standard purple petunias, a few double petunias (Double Cascade Mix from Park Seed Co.) and a Lavender Tie-dye series. Two new delphinium plants that I recently added to the garden and a new variety of Angelonia which has very large flowers called Angle Face by Proven Winners. Click through the gallery for more info on each plant.

A Rose Garden In South Florida


You can’t grow roses in Florida!

This is a statement I have heard on more than one occasion and I’d like to reply with 6 little words: My rose garden begs to differ.

Growing roses in Florida, especially South Florida isn’t easy, it’s not for the faint of heart or the lazy landscaper who wants to plant it and forget it. But it can in-fact be done and it has been done for many years even in Miami, even in homestead and I would bet even in the Florida Keys.

I began gardening when I bought my first home in 2010. Until then I always liked houseplants and flowers of all kinds, but I had no yard. Living in apartments most of my young adult life made it difficult to grow more than the occasional African Violet by the kitchen window. But even when I got my first, very own apartment in South Beach, I made a little bed of flowers in my entrance way and had a little row of annuals by my back door.

I suppose I get it from my grandmother who loved roses and grew all sorts of flowering plants in Puerto Rico where I spent every summer growing up. She had everything from key limes to guavas and orchids to tropical plants and even the infrequent rose.

Within a month of owning my home, my mother came over to help me create a flowerbed and liven up the back yard area around the pool. We had a great time chitchatting and digging up the dirt. That’s when I was truly bitten by the gardening bug. Soon I was hitting the gardening centers almost every Saturday morning, looking for new and exciting flowers to add to my garden. Most plants didn’t last long for me, but that didn’t seem to bother me. I just replaced the old with the new and kept the garden fresh and teaming with color as much as I could.

But, I still had a lot to learn. South Florida, unlike most of the country, has its own unique climate. We have no frost or snow. No winter dying and emergence of spring to rejuvenate the garden. Things must either grow year round here or perish after a few months depending on the species and the season. When flowers I was very fond of died only a couple of months after planting, I began reading and researching everything I could get my hands on in order to create the garden of my dreams.

To my dismay I found it hard to find information on my very specific and quite unique environment. Gardening seemed to be going out of style. A hobby for little old ladies that was dying out and not being passed on to the next generation. My neighbors mostly had boring landscaping with palms and other perennial plants that didn’t do much more than just sit there year after year. I wanted color, I wanted flowers, I wanted roses!

I quickly grew tired of the same old annuals and perennials at the garden centers. These were the same tried and true plants that I had seen all around me growing up in South Florida. I wanted a garden full of extraordinary beauty. Something you don’t see everyday driving passed your local shopping center and I vowed to do it. When I came across a website that sold roses online my true passion was ignited. I had no limitations now, nothing to stop me from growing the roses that I so badly wanted.

To this day, my garden is an ever-evolving plethora of blooms, color and variety. But with that comes the many challenges that face our region. Disease, insects, intense heat and humidity, nematodes and every creepy crawly plant-eating creature known to man, affect us. It hasn’t been easy. But nothing that’s easy is ever worth doing. I push forward because nothing is more rewarding than seeing the garden thrive and the roses bloom.

It is my pleasure to introduce to you South Florida Rose. This blog is about getting more people into the garden. It’s about helping people become more involved with their environment and hopefully passing on the skills to a younger generation. There is no hobby as rewarding and growing your own flowers or fruits and vegetables and it’s a skill we should all have. The bees and butterflies depend on us!

Welcome to South Florida Rose! A place to learn, try and err and most importantly…a place to grow!