Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

roses Archive



June 2017

Roses: Rosa Hybrid Pink Promise Tea Rose

Written by , Posted in Gardening

Last year, Wes and I planted our first four rose bushes. While roses are delicate and relatively high-maintenance, we enjoyed our experience with the beautiful blooms so much last year that we planted a fifth rose bush (rosa hybrid pink promise rose) early on this season (beginning of May).

pink promise roses

Planted in a different location of our garden than the other bushes, we were impressed with the rich green foliage of the Pink Promise hybrid tea rose from the very beginning. The pink promise rose bush was already about two feet tall when we purchased it, and with the addition of blooms, it continues to grow (this hybrid tea rose bush grows to be about 4 feet tall at it’s maximum).


While initially I was so excited that the latest addition to our rose garden seemed healthy, it wasn’t long before we noticed some clusters on the bush. After some research and polling my #gardenchat friends on Twitter, we realized we were dealing with aphids. You may know aphids as “plant lice”, and whatever you call them, they’re a total pest and they feed on new plant growth.


The good news is that a swift blast of water on the leaves and bloom of our pink promise rose bush seemed to get rid of the aphids. The problem is that they tend to come back. We’ve been keeping an eye on the pest situation, and we think we may be dealing with more than just aphids, as now we’ve got almost transparent spots on the leaves of our pink promise rose bush. From the experience with our other four hybrid rose bushes last year, I’m fairly sure we are dealing with sawfly larvae again.

pink promise roses

Besides the potential for pests, hybrid rose bushes are some of the most beautiful and rewarding plants to enjoy in your garden. There is something so satisfying about watching the development of new blooms on a rose bush that is both beautiful and inspiring.

Our pink promise hybrid rose bush has just produced its first bloom, and we are looking forward to many more throughout the summer.

The pink promise hybrid tea rose requires 6+ hours of daily sunlight, which makes it a perfect fit for our front garden. The elegant pink flowers have a creamy white centre, and are a classic choice for cut roses (they work well in a floral arrangement or as a standalone bloom).

While we were promised that the pink promise rose is incredibly disease and pest-resistant, I’ve got to say between the aphids and the sawfly larvae that we put them in the same category as our other rose bushes: Delicate and high-maintenance.

For more on our experience with roses, check out these posts on the other rose bushes in our garden: Our bolero floribunda roses, singin’ in the rain roses, ten-ten hybrid tea roses, and our beloved Oscar Peterson roses.



February 2017

Gardening | How to cut roses

Written by , Posted in Gardening

how to cut roses gardening

Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda rose | Img src Hope Reflected

There are thousands of rose varieties in the world. Some natural, some hybrids, roses can be separated into three groups: Species roses, old garden roses, and modern garden roses. Species roses are natural, old garden roses were cultivated before 1867, and modern garden roses were cultivated after 1867.

how to cut roses gardening

White Bolero Floribunda rose | Img src Hope Reflected

In our garden, Wes and I have started a collection of hybrid roses, each of a different colour and variety. A hybrid rose is created by the cross-breeding of two types of roses. While some hybrids are more hearty than others, hybrid roses make for a beautiful addition to any garden in full or partial sun.

how to cut roses gardening

White Bolero Floribunda roses | Img src Hope Reflected

If you’re looking to trim back your garden roses to enjoy indoors or to give away, there are some steps you’ll want to take to ensure you get the most out of your cut roses.

Tips for how to cut roses:

  1. Make sure your garden shears are clean. This can affect the quality of your cut roses. If you’ve been working with plants in your garden that have disease or bacteria, you don’t want that to spread to your rose bush (either the cut rose or the rose bush that remains in the ground).
  2. Cut the roses at the right stage. A good rule of thumb is to cut roses from your garden just after they’ve matured from a bud to a flower, when the petals are starting to blossom. This can vary depending what variety of rose you’re working with.
  3. Cut your roses first thing in the morning. If you can’t cut your roses before 9:00am, the second best time would be in the evening after the sun has gone down. You want to catch the rose bush when it’s still cool and holding water. This will not only make your cut roses last longer, it will also assist the remaining rose bush in recovery and regrowth.
  4. Cut your roses at the right angle and place. Don’t cut the rose stem straight across, you’ll want to trim the bush at a 45 degree angle. This will assist in drinking when you put the cut roses in a vase. Cut the stems as close to the base of the rose bush as possible.
  5. Remove any leaves that will fall below the water line. A good rule of thumb for any cut flower (not just roses) is to remove any leave that could potentially sit in the water of your vase. It’s important to leave some leaves higher up on the stem to assist the flower in drinking water, however any leaves that would fall below the water line should be removed before you put the roses in the vase.
how to cut roses gardening

Red Ten-Ten hybrid tea rose | Img src Hope Reflected




October 2016

Gardening: Preparing Roses for Winter

Written by , Posted in Gardening

If you’ve been following along on the blog, you know that earlier this summer, Wes and I planted four different roses bushes in our front garden. Our roses this year have been a huge success, and now we’re getting ready for our first winter with these beautiful bushes!

Although we’re well into fall, our roses are still producing new blooms, and we want to make sure the roses are protected throughout the winter months.

Here are some helpful tips if you’ve got rose bushes of your own and are preparing roses for winter:

1. Keep roses watered. Fall usually brings with it plenty of rain (depending where you live), however it’s a good idea to continue to water your rose bushes and keep them hydrated. You can continue to water even after the first frost, but stop before the ground freezes for the season.

preparing roses for winter

2. Stop cutting the roses. Yes, it may be tempting, especially if you’re still seeing new growth, but in order to properly prepare roses for winter, you should stop cutting back your roses in early to mid-fall. This will allow the roses to form rose hips (rose seed pods). Done right, you can actually collect the seed pods to plant more roses for next season.

preparing roses for winter

3. Stop fertilizing roses before the first frost. Like watering, fertilizer is an essential tool for healthy roses during the warmer months, however you should stop fertilizing before the first frost. This will prevent growth from spreading too long into the fall season, and will encourage the roses to prepare for winter.

4. Protect the base of the rose bush. Cover the base of your rose bush with soil or mulch, to cover above the bud union. You’ll still have the stems (or canes) of the roses sticking out. Also take this opportunity to pull off any old leaves from the roses (leaves can contain disease, as you may have seen with one of our rose bushes this year). Rather than just covering the base of the rose bush, some people actually form a base (of mesh or plastic or another material) and fill it with soil or mulch.

5. Tie the stems (canes) together with string. Winter can be windy (and snowy!) so hold your rose bush together by tying the canes together with spring, and then in the spring cut back the old stems to promote new growth.

preparing roses for winter



September 2016

Oscar Peterson Roses

Written by , Posted in Gardening

Earlier this Summer, I got an amazing deal on some roses that were listed as clearance at a local store. Marked down to less than half price, I couldn’t resist purchasing a bush of Oscar Peterson roses, part of the Canadian Artists series. It wasn’t necessarily the quality and good condition of the rose bush that sold me, it was more the fact that these were Oscar Peterson roses! (If you know Wes and I, you know our obsession with all things jazz music). Naturally, the Oscar Peterson roses seemed like they’d be a perfect fit for our front garden.

oscar peterson roses

As you can see from the photo above, our rose bush was in need of some tender love and care. We planted it as is, and trimmed off the dead blooms, and we also fertilized. Not discouraged, I thought it might help new growth if we trimmed the entire rose bush back. Sure enough, the plant grew back, however after about one month there were still no blooms.

oscar peterson roses

It looked good and appeared healthy, however nearer the end of August, our Oscar Peterson rose bush still had no blooms. It could have been related to the fact that we experienced a cooler period in the weather, or the fact that we trimmed back the entire rose bush. That being said, last week, after two months of no blooms, our Oscar Peterson rose bush finally produced the most beautiful, delicate blooms!

oscar peterson rose bush

Aren’t they absolutely lovely? We are loving these roses. As a mature flower, the Oscar Peterson rose features vivid white petals and a yellow stamen. The two roses pictured above were our first two blooms of the season, followed by two additional blooms that haven’t quite opened.

oscar peterson roses

As you can see, the blooms above are the roses before they’ve fully bloomed. The Oscar Peterson rose variety begins its life as a very soft yellow rose, and as it opens becomes a bright white. We’re thinking the two yellow blooms could be due to the cooler weather we experienced last week, and are looking forward to later this week when the roses totally open up.

The unfortunate thing about our Oscar Peterson roses is that since we’ve trimmed the bush back, the plant regrew and appeared healthy, however once the roses started blooming, we noted the leaves have taken on a spotted appearance, where the skin of the leaves actually takes on a transparent appearance. [#Gardenchat friends, any advice here would be appreciated.]

oscar peterson roses

Wes and I are looking forward to adding additional roses from the Canadian Artists Roses Consortium to our garden next year. If you’re not familiar with Canadian Artist roses, more than 1,000 original hybrids were made in the development of this series. 35 of these made the final selection list, and in 2007, two varieties (the Felix LeClerc rose and the Emily Carr rose) were introduced; in 2012, the Bill Reid rose was introduced; in 2014, the Campfire rose (named in honour of Group of Seven artist Tom Thomson) was introduced; and this year, in 2016, the Oscar Peterson rose was introduced.

If you’re looking for a unique flower for your garden, we would definitely recommend checking out the Canadian Artist rose series. Each bloom is beautiful, a different colour, and tells a story you can share in your garden for years to come. For more information, visit the Canadian Artists Roses website.

“In the plant world, none is more revered than the elegant rose, a symbol of true love for millennia, a flower of singular beauty with no equals.”




August 2016

Roses: Rosa Hybrid Ten-Ten Hybrid Tea Rose

Written by , Posted in Gardening

It’s no secret that Wes and I are big fans of roses. This Summer, we picked out three rose varieties to plant in our garden. I’ve already shared with you about our white Bolero Floribunda roses and our Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda roses, and today we’re talking about our Ten-Ten hybrid tea roses.

our ten-ten hybrid tea rose bush

Initially, we picked out the best looking rose bushes we could find, meaning, the rose bushes were showing promise of new growth, and the leaves looked healthy. We planted the bushes the day we purchased them, making sure to pack the plant down with our feet and give it a good watering after establishing it in its new home. We chose our front garden as it gets 6+ hours of sunlight each day (rose bushes require full sun), and we planted each of our three rose plants in an area where the moisture from watering would hold (each is stationed near a large stone).

blooms from our rose bush

One of the things to look for when you’re shopping for garden plants is new growth. Our Ten-Ten hybrid tea roses had one partial bloom and several buds (as pictured above).

ten-ten hybrid tea roses

As you can see, without any fertilization at all, our red tea roses produced several large, beautiful blooms. What you can also see in the photo above is that we did run into a minor setback with saw fly larvae. To solve this problem, Wes killed all the worms (you can also buy plant soap for a bath, or just use some Dawn soap diluted with water).  We trimmed back the bushes, and fertilized, and then we were back on track.

red tea roses bloom

Characterized by large, lovely blooms, hybrid tea roses are apparently the oldest group classified as a modern garden rose. There are many different varieties, however we’re loving these Canadian grown red beauties. They add a beautiful pop of colour to our front garden.

after fertilizing, our roses showing new growth

Before fertilizing your roses, I’d highly recommend trimming back the plant. After the first of our ten-ten hybrid tea roses had bloomed, we trimmed back the entire rose bush, used Miracle Gro, and the above photo is the result after a couple of weeks. The roses grow back stronger, with longer stems, and with larger blooms (also several more blooms than when we planted the rose bush initially).

after fertilizing, our roses showed more growth



August 2016

Roses: Rosa Hybrid Singin’ In the Rain Floribunda Rose

Written by , Posted in Gardening

A couple of weeks ago, I shared the first photos of the Bolero Floribunda Rose bush that Wes and I planted. Today, we’re sharing photos of our Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda Rose, one of three rose varieties that we planted in our front garden this Spring.

singin' in the rain floribunda rose

New bloom on our Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda Rose

On the receiving end of 6+ hours of sunlight each day, our front garden is the ideal spot for roses. Wes and I have been very impressed so far with the performance of our rose bushes so far this year. We water the roses regularly, and we’ve also been using a rose fertilizer every 10-14 days.

singin' in the rain floribunda rose

Our Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda Rose bush after we first fertilized

We got a few blooms right in the beginning, and then we trimmed the bush back. After fertilizing the first time, we saw thirteen more blooms, which we’ve since pruned back (and we’re now seeing more blooms). The Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda Rose is a brilliant copper-apricot peach coloured flower on a deep green leaf.

Singin' in the Rain Floribunda Rose

The brilliant peach-coloured blossoms of the Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda Rose

Admittedly, Wes and I have had some struggles with two of our rose bushes this year. Our Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda Rose and our Ten-Ten Hybrid Tea Rose have been plagued with sawfly larvae (more on that later). After treating the bushes and trimming them back, the new blooms appear unaffected.

singin' in the rain floribunda roses

Trimming back our Singin’ in the Rain roses after they were attacked by rose sawfly larvae.

Growing up to 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, many people choose to use Singin’ in the Rain Roses as part of a plant hedge, by planting multiples of the rose bush in one place. Roses in general are also a great plant choice if you’re looking to attract bees to your garden.

Singin' in the Rain Floribunda Roses

Our Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda Roses after fertilizing.

You can see in the above photo how the hue of apricot/peach deepens with each new bloom. Older blooms are apt to be lighter in colour. The Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda Rose is an excellent specimen if you’re looking to trim and enjoy the cut flowers inside. Just beware that this specimen of roses has a thick spine and thorns.

Singin' in the Rain Floribunda Roses

We’ve been enjoying our Singin’ in the Rain Floribunda Roses this year!

If you’re looking to plant rose bushes in your yard, we’d recommend you choose to plant them in the Spring, in an area of your yard that receives lots of sunlight. Also, watering and regular fertilization is key. Wes and I have been using Miracle Gro, however there are other rose fertilizers on the market with good reviews. We are enjoying this particular rose variety, and look forward to many more blooms even before the end of this season!



July 2016

Roses: Rosa Hybrid Bolero Floribunda Rose

Written by , Posted in Gardening

roses bolero floribunda rose

Our rose bushes after we first planted.

It’s no secret that I’ve always had a soft spot for roses. This Spring, Wes suggested that we plant some of our own rose bushes to grow some blooms at home. We picked out three varieties — the Bolero Floribunda Rose, the Ten-Ten Hybrid Tea Rose, and the ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Floribunda Rose — and we planted them in our front garden.

roses bolero floribunda rose

First bloom of our Bolero Floribunda Rose.

We chose our front garden as it gets the majority of sun (6+ hours each day), which is a requirement for successfully growing any plant in the rose family. Most roses do well with lots of sunlight, as well as regular watering.

roses bolero floribunda rose

First blooms from our Bolero Floribunda Roses!

Bolero Floridbunda roses are usually 2-3 inch blooms with seemingly endless layers of petals and a unique fragrance. Their full petals resemble a small peony, and their foliage is typically a very rich green.

roses bolero floribunda rose

Bolero Floribunda Rose

Originally from France (now grown all over, and in Canada), Bolero Floribunda roses are known to be one of the more disease-resistance varieties of roses. Spoken from experience, our Bolero Floribunda roses were the first bush to bloom of the three that we planted in our front garden.

roses bolero floribunda rose

13 blooms at the peak of the Bolero Floribunda Rose.

The blooms have come and gone for this season, and Wes and I have pruned them back. We fertilize every other week, and we’re already starting to see new growth!

roses bolero floribunda rose

Lots of layers in the blooms of the Bolero Floribunda Rose.