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First Spring bloom starting in No Cal garden!

13 years ago

Most of my roses are resting, except a few teas that have some scattered bloom (sad looking because of the rain). HOWEVER, starting about a week ago, the very top part of a 3 story high banksie lutea that is climbing up the South side of our house has burst into its first Spring bloom! The area that is blooming is protected under the eaves of the house, and gets full sun (when there is any). I knew this rose was my earliest bloomer, but I cannot remember it starting in December before! When it reaches full bloom (usually in Feb, but we will have to see..) it is amazing - 3 stories tall and about 20 feet wide, it gets solid with tiny pale yellow flowers.

The hybrid gigantica Belle Portugaise is right next to it, and usually blooms around the same time - a pale pink that is the same tone as the pale yellow - they look great together.

The funny part is, I haven't yet started my winter pruning yet! Of course, we pruned the banksie and Belle last summer when they had finished blooming, but the rest of my 100+roses really need to be pruned in the next 2 months, including the never-stopping teas - I hate pruning off buds! I have also volunteered to prune all of the roses at my mother-in-laws house, so I was really sort of dreading all of that work, but the sight of the happy little yellow blooms bursting out on the banksie has cheered me up immensely!


Comments (5)

  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23
    13 years ago

    We had one decent rain in October that stimulated my daylilys into another round of bloom. It has been so dry for so long I guess they decided to celebrate. :)

  • holleygarden Zone 8, East Texas
    13 years ago

    How exciting! I'm looking forward to seeing the first signs of spring. Though it does seem a bit early.

    May I request that you please post pictures? I would love to see pictures of your Lady Banks against your house when it is in bloom. I planted one against my house this past summer, and have had lingering doubts about how it will look when mature. I'm also interested in seeing your other roses with it. I have been reluctant to plan anything else there as I'm envisioning the Lady Banks filling out the entire bed. I would really appreciate seeing what your bed looks like.

    I'm also thinking about pruning, and thought I would put it off for a while, but unlike you, I don't have so many to prune, and am itching to get started! :)

  • sherryocala
    13 years ago

    Jackie, your 3-story high banksie lutea must be spectacular. Do you have traffic problems in front of your house from the lookers (like Christmas lights cause in some neighborhoods)? I second the motion for photos of your garden. You could make several posts out of 100 roses. :)) Whole bush and wide garden shots are requested. I want to see those 70-year old roses!

    Glad you're getting the rain.


  • jacqueline9CA
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    I am a camera phobe from way back. I did buy my first digital camera a few months ago, but I have not figured out how to post pictures from it. I will take pics this Spring, including of the banksie, and this will be an incentive to post them here. Meanwhile, if you go to Cass Bernstein's web site at "", and click on "Grand Ave. Giant", you will see a wonderful picture of one of our over 75 year old roses - it turned out to be a giant Le Vesuve.

    Holleygarden, our banksie lutea (which is only about 15 years old - I planted it myself) does not take up much of the bed it is in. That is because it went straight up the house (with encouragement from me). It is planted at the back of the bed, next to the house. It has formed a giant trunk, which has lovely peeling bark. It branches out at about 3 feet up, and from then on is covered with foliage. So, I have planted some smaller roses in front of it - a Little White Pet, a bush Cecile Bruner and Lavender Lassie, a hybrid musk. The banksie does look stunning when in full bloom - I will try to get some digital pics. The same wall has also got a 3 story high Cecile Bruner on it, which takes over blooming when the banksie is done. Last year for some reason they both bloomed at the same time - it was remarkable.


  • luxrosa
    13 years ago

    We had a warm autumn, in the San Francisco,Ca area.
    I visited Morcam Park in Oakland on January 3rd and Cramoisi Sup. was nearly in full bloom. The climbing form of Old Blush was also nearly in full bloom.
    'Lamarque' and St. Leonards were still producing new blooms and were still holding on to 90% of their foliage. 'Reve d'Or' was nearly in full bloom the last time I visited in mid-December.
    Many Tea roses also had 5 to 2 dozen new blooms.
    The yellow Banksiae roses in my neighborhood have been blooming from December-January for the last 3 years, they used to not bloom until April, c. 2 weeks before the double white form of 'Lady Banks' blooms.
    I'm enchanted by early blooms and have been documenting them for years. I was born in the North where the rose season was short May-September, and most roses, even my grandmothers favorite 'Mlle. Cecille Brunner' only bloomed twice in that time.

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