11 Tips To Get Your Roses Ready For Winter

Oso Easy 'Paprika' by Proven Winners captured in a late fall bloom.
Jackson & Perkins ‘Sugar Plum’ in the Fall 

Gratitude For Late Bloomers

Fall is a time for reflection. Time seems to slow down. Even the clock falls back. This autumn in Illinois the leaves took on reflective hues that seemed to dance and play in a slow waltz as the inevitable drift toward winter. The whole process of fall color is fairly well understood, yet so complex the reason for it is less clear.

Veterans Honor
Veterans’ Honor

Suddenly this year as the days got cooler,

vibrant colors of gold, yellow, purple, red and brown began to emerge. The shimmering light of sunrise and sunset lit the forests as if they were bathed in liquid gold.

Most everyone thinks cool weather or frost cause the leaves to change color. Temperature can affect the autumn color and its intensity, but temperature is only one of many factors that play a part in painting the woods in glorious color.

This year we had a growing season with ample moisture that was followed by a dry, cool, sunny autumn that has been marked by warm days and cool but frost-less nights that provided perfect weather conditions for the brightest fall colors. Lack of wind and rain prolonged the brilliant displays until the recent strong storms across Illinois. This article includes a pictorial of the beauty of the autumn this fall.

Jackson & Perkins 2019 Yellow 08-00941 in the Fall 

With winter just around the corner here’s a simple and concise Tips For Winterizing Your Roses:



The blooming season comes to a close in autumn. During this dormant stage, take care of important gardening tasks, to ensure your next spring is as breathtaking as you always dreamed!

  1. First you want to prevent breakage of your rose canes from winter winds by reducing the height of your plants. Broken canes can be a source of entry for diseases. Waist height is a good rule of thumb. Leave your climbers tall but secure them because most climbers bloom ‘on established canes’. Prune climbers after the first bloom in the spring. You can shape your tree roses if they have small non-productive canes.
  2. Mulch, leaves and organic soil can be mounded around the base of rose plants to protect from winter freezes. Its important to protect the graft on budded roses.
  3. Shut down the timed irrigation systems for winter but remember in many zones your roses may still need to be watered during the winter.
  4. Move container plants that you can inside.
  5. Container grown plants should be moved closer to the house to protect against winter winds. See “Oui Built a Greenhouse for $142.oo” on www.gagasgarden.com
  6. The fall and winter months are the best time to go through the online catalogs I have listed on www.gagasgarden.com then order bareroot roses to arrive  January through mid-April.  Replace plants that are reduced to less than 3 healthy canes (pencil diameter), or with new and better varieties. Review the pictures on gagasgarden.com of the roses that you like and you can order them from online catalogs already.
  7. Dilute Lime-Sulfur with water and spray over entire bed including the ground.  This is very important to rid your garden of black spot spores that would harbor over the winter.
  8. The local Agricultural Extension Agency is where you obtain soil testing & evaluation. Then if needed apply lime to obtain a pH of around 6 to 6.5.
  9. Transplanting roses can be done successfully during this dormant stage.  Carefully prepare the new spot 16″ deep, enriched with cow manure and soil conditioner.  Placing spade 10″ from base of plant dig straight down into the bed in a circle around the plant, trying not to cut roots.  Lift the plant with the shovel and carry it directly to the new spot.  Fill in soil and cover the plant with a mound of mulch.  Water 3-5 gal.
  10. Autumn is the perfect time to prepare the soil for winter or spring planting. Turn over the soil 16″ deep and apply proper soil amendments to produce a light loamy mixture.
  11. Do a careful inventory of your equipment then clean, sharpen and oil shears and pruners to prepare for spring pruning.

    Veterans’ Honor in the Fall #MyJPRoses

Roses For Your Holiday Table


You Can Have Roses From Your Garden On The Holiday Table

Every Thanksgiving it’s fun to see which roses are still in bloom to cut for the table. The pink rose bud you see in the little napkin holder in the video that I’ve made to show you how to easily fold your napkins into a rose bud to complete your rose themed holiday table is a late blooming ‘Kimberlina’.

 Place Setting With Jackson & Perkins Rose Duet And A Fresh Bouquet of ‘Easy Does It’

Late Blooming Roses For Our Thanksgiving Table

‘Kimberlina’ exclusive Jackson & Perkins Rose Blooms Early and into November 

Roses are a hardy plant.

Some varieties are more winter hardy than others. Christian Bédard developed ‘Party Hardy’ for his parents living in Canada to survive the Canadian winters. It was one of the roses we chose to have blooming in the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. This rose garden was the first blooming rose garden at this show at Navy Pier in Chicago in March in over 10 years, so I am told. It was so spectacular I knew I had to have it. When Richard accidentally cut down the butterfly bush at the base of the steps to the deck I knew the perfect rose to be planted at the foot of our party deck: ‘Party Hardy’. This rose was planted as a bare root rose last May. And it’s already 51/2 feet tall and blooming through November! deck (2009)


‘Party Hardy’ Bred by Christian Bédard (2009) To Survive The Canadian Winters Also Is Blooming In November

In most zones in the country where temperatures drop below freezing it takes three days below 21 degrees before roses fully go into dormancy. Don’t forget to check out what your plant hardiness zone is. I like PlantsMap because of the extensive data it provides you. This is the data for my zone in Illinois, plant Hardiness Zone. Each year it’s fun to see which roses are still blooming into November and can be cut for the Thanksgiving table. The rose gardens I had before were in Zone 8a 10°F to 15°F, N. Texas and in November there were more roses blooming at holiday time to choose from. Now I’m in Zone 6a. These are the freeze temp ranges for Zone 6a: -10°F to -5°F., Illinois. Now in zone 6a, it seems very similar to N. Texas in may ways, but about 10 degrees cooler most days, with very little snow and I still have roses blooming in November to share with you. This is a classic I took on Christmas Eve in Texas. I wrote a post called ‘Room With A View’ about this rose.

Rosie O'Donnell on Christmas Eve in Texas
Rosie O’Donnell on Christmas Eve in Texas

Rose Dormancy

It is part of the natural cycle whereby the rose drops any foliage that could be damaged by freezing temperatures.  In a way, the plant begins to create its own antifreeze.  The cell sap begins to thicken, helping to prevent the stems from freezing during the cold winter months. The rose itself goes into an almost hibernation like state where its metabolic systems slow and the nutrients are reserved deep within the core of the rose to aid in bud formation.

Try the Snap-Scratch Test*

To check if your plant is dead or just dormant, Oklahoma State University suggests what they call the Snap-Scratch Test:

Start by selecting the tip of a cane the size of a pencil. Grasp the cane and bend it sharply back on itself. A living cane will bend easily and eventually the stem will split showing moist wood within. A dead cane will snap cleanly with very little pressure and appear dry within. The scratch test is another common method. Use a knife or fingernail to scratch the bark on a young twig.

If the rose bush is alive, it’ll be green under the bark and slightly damp to the touch. A dead cane, on the other hand, will be brown and hard to scrape in the first place.

If you do see brown, work your way down the plant stem, too. Try the scratch test with a lower twig or lower down the stem. The plant may show signs of life as you near the roots. If it does, cut off the dead stems an inch or two above the growth.

* I input the words cane & rose bush vs. tree and branch since its the same for rose wood. 

‘Sugar Plum’ Has Continued To Bloom All Through November #myjproses

Additional Gardening Data You Obtain When You Determine Your Plant Zone

1990 Hardiness Zone: Zone 1b: -15F to -10F Illinois 1990 USDA Hardiness Zone Map
Average First Frost: October 11 – 20 Illinois First Frost Date Map
Average Last Frost: April 11 – 20 Illinois Last Frost Date Map
Koppen-Geiger Climate Zone: Dfa – Humid Continental Hot Summers
Ecoregion: 72j – Southern Illinoian Till Plain Illinois Ecoregions
Palmer Drought Index: Normal Illinois Drought Index Map
Heat Zone Days: 46 – 60 days Over 86°F Illinois Heat Zones Map

Annual Climate Data for Zipcode 62080 – Central Illinois

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Avg Min Temp (°F) 18 22 32 42 53 62 66 63 55 44 34 23 43
Avg Max Temp (°F) 35 41 53 65 75 84 87 86 79 68 52 40 64
Avg Precip (In.) 2.16 2.21 3.51 3.91 4.31 4.15 3.9 3.21 3.1 2.93 3.82 3.07 40.29

The Biltmore Rose Trials 2017 Award Winners


The Biltmore Rose Trials | Saturday, September 22, 2017 | Asheville, NC

The Biltmore’s Rose Garden has been home to the International Rose Trials since 2011. 100’s of varieties from growers and breeders worldwide have been planted and cared for by Biltmore’s expert horticulturalists and Rosarian, Jon Parker.

Each trial lasts two years and a permanent jury judges the roses four times per year. During this year’s competition, Saturday, September 22th the international and permanent juries conducted the final round of judging for the trial group of roses planted in Biltmore’s Historic Rose Garden, named last year an ‘Award of Excellence Garden’ by the World Federation of Rose Societies.

New rose varieties are planted for trial each May. They are evaluated for overall health and rigor; fragrance; disease resistance; and ability to repeat bloom. Guests visiting Biltmore’s gardens may view the roses currently on trial in borders in the Walled Garden and areas near the Rose Garden. Peak blooming time in Biltmore’s rose garden occurs typically in mid-May and September. Here are this year’s award winning roses and breeders.

Biltmore International Rose Trials 2017 Results

Award: Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for ‘Most Fragrant Rose’

Winner: ‘Dee-Lish®’ MEIclusif, bred by Meilland Roses, France

Contact and Distributor: Star Roses and Plants

‘Dee-Lish’ MEIclusif wins ‘Most Fragrant Rose

Award: Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea

Winner: ‘Anastasia’ bred by Michelle Adam

Contact and Distributor: Weeks Roses

'Anastasia' (Fully Open) 'Best Hybrid Tea' | On the Actual Winning Specimen an Open Rose Later in The Day of the Awards
‘Anastasia’ (Fully Open) ‘Best Hybrid Tea’ | On the Actual Winning Specimen an Open Rose Later in The Day of the Awards

Award: Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda

Winner: ‘Lion King’ bred by Ping Lim

Contact and Distributor: Altman Plants

‘Lion King’ Best Floribunda

Awards: for ‘Screaming Neon Red’

  1. William Cecil Award For Best Growth Habit:
  2. Type of Award: Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub
  3. Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant
  4. George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose of the Trials

Winner: Easy Elegance ‘Screaming Neon Red’ bred by Ping Lim

Contact and Distributor: Easy Elegance

‘Screaming Neon Red’ | Winner of ‘Best Shrub’ #Biltmore Rose Trials

Rotogravure of The Biltmore Rose Trials

Phillip Watson of QVC #BiltmoreRoseTrials Rose Judge
Phillip Watson of QVC #BiltmoreRoseTrials Rose Judge
Judges Just Before Judging Begins at the Biltmore Rose Trials
Susan Fox | Jim Wilson | Teresa Byington | Judges at Biltmore Rose Trials
Susan Fox | Jim Wilson | Teresa Byington | Judges at Biltmore Rose Trials
Friends Together Again with Laura Seabaugh Exec. Dir. of American Rose Society
Joe & Ann Gibson
Parker & Alice Andes |Teresa Byington and Susan Fox
Chris Van Cleave with Folks From Earth Kind & Cindy Dale
Captain Eddy and The Dales
Susan Fox | Pat Shanley | Ann Gibson | Marilyn Wellan



Angels In The Rose Garden

Angel Watching Over My Glasses

“All Night, All Day Angels Watching Over Me”

Angel Fountain | Angel Bird Bath
Angel Fountain | Angel Bird Bath

How did the angel rose garden come to be? It was Divine intervention. Driving home from church one evening in Dallas, Texas I heard Kathleen Battle sing “All Night, All Day Angel’s Watching Over Me” on 101.1 FM. Listen to this haunting lullaby. You will never forget it. The lyrics are so simple, now this lullaby is part of our evening bed time repertoire for the babies.

How Many Roses Are Too Many?

The answer to the question is: when you run out of space. Have you noticed that most beautiful gardens are usually in back yards literally hidden from view? You work sometimes your entire life creating a stationary work of art and unless you have an “open house” only your eyes and the eyes of God will see those flowers that open once only to have the petals flutter to the ground in a season unseen.

Angel Watching Over My Glasses
Angel Bird Bath & Izzabelle Watching Over My Glasses

My mantra is a “garden is meant to be shared.”

The logical expansion place for your garden is at your front door. We had over 225 roses in Texas. When we moved to Illinois I told ‘Big Daddy’ that perhaps we should have a rose garden that consisted of maybe 35 roses.

'Tropical Lightning' Blooming on 4th of July Week-End
‘Tropical Lightning’ Blooming on 4th of July Week-End in the Angel Rose Garden

Then I changed the inventory to no more than 100.

The plan was to put the gardens in in stages and show you that everyone can start over and have rose gardens established and blooming rapidly.  Thus emerged the angel water fountain and bird bath by the brick planter at the front door and the “Angel Rose Garden” because I believe a garden can be enhanced by titillating the 5 senses, sight, the sound of water or wind chimes, and fragrance.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others
One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others |  Angel Watching Over Lost Glasses 😉

Roses in the Angel Rose Garden

  • ‘Cinco de Mayo
  • ‘Yabba Dabba Doo
  • ‘Tropical Lightning’
  • 2 ‘Top Gun’ (Resistant To Rose Rosette)
  • ‘Grande Dame’
  • ‘Easy To Please’

*When these bareroot roses arrived some are own-root roses, which I find to be more winter hardy. I soaked all of the roses in water that I add a Haven Brand tea bag, its a product a friend makes on her Haven Farm. Its an organic, all natural, organic, American made, soil conditioner called MooPoo Tea. Call, tweet or email Annie Twitter: @GreenSoil with any questions she will get right back to you ASAP.

People asked me what else I use and I add soil amendments I used to mix myself until I found that Beaty Fertilizer makes Mill Mix. Its Called Mills Rose Magic and I add it as the totally organic soil amendments I used to buy in 40-50 pound bags at the feed store and mix myself but now its all I use



















‘Children’s Hope’â„¢| Plant A Rose Help A Child

‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ Mega-Sized Candelabra

‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’

Wordless Wednesday is dedicated to a rose called ‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ with a mission to contribute to the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. It’s perfect for small space and container gardening. And it’s perfectly named. Here’s Weeks Roses description of their rose and what it looks like in the garden from every angle.

“We all have hopes and dreams. For children, it’s to be healthy so they can play. The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation *helps get sick children back to good health.

‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ bred by Tom Carruth in the Garden June, 2017

Their mission is to improve treatment, help with quality of life and the long-term outlook of children with brain and spinal cord tumors through research, support, education, and advocacy to families and survivors.

‘Children’s Hope’ Spray

Each sale of the ‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ rose helps to achieve this mission with a portion of the proceeds going back to the foundation. The foundation contribution is an added bonus to your purchase as you are also getting a blooming machine of a rose!

'Children's Hope' Rose Bush
‘Children’s Hope’ Rose Bush

Each little medium red pompom-like flower is produced in big clusters on a perfectly even rounded plant. The shorter compact habit makes this selection ideal for a smaller spot in the landscape or as a focal point in a decorative pot on a balcony or patio. If this describes what you’re looking for in the garden, don’t look any further as ‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ has shown excellent performance in most climates of the country with very good disease resistance.

'Children's Hope' Planted in April 2017
‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ Planted in April 2017, already covered in sprays of candelabras

Rose Name:

Children’s Hope™



Patent #:




Flower Color:

Medium red with light smoke on the edge


Slight tea to fruity

Bud Form:

Pointed & ovoid

Flower Form:

Old fashion, decorative & very double

Flower Size:

Small, around 1½-2 inch diameter, in large clusters

Petal Count:

over 45

Stem Length:


Plant Habit:


Growth Habit:

Rounded & bushy

Foliage Color:

Glossy dark green

Disease Resistance:

Very good


Tom Carruth


Sweet Chariot x (Goldmarie x Baby Bloomers)

Introduced By:

Weeks Roses

Be sure to check out articles and read about many wonderful Health & Wellness Tips from our Community Partner Positive Health & Wellness 

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