Rose Cuttings – August, 2010

Camelot Season

Rose foliage like that of ‘Caldwell Pink’ is a beautiful source of fall color. Photos courtesy of Mike Shoup.

An Antique Rose Emporium gargoyle poses amid the rose hips of ‘Dortmund’.

Texas gardeners know that our weather is characterized by roughly three months of summer (that we spend inside) and nine months of “Camelot” (where we can play in the dirt again.) We’re heading into Camelot, the best time of the year for gardening in Texas. The oppressively hot summer is nearly over, and the nine months of dynamic gardening opportunities can begin.

Gone is the summer — noted mainly for watering heat-stressed plants while wearing clothes you don’t mind sweating in. Now begins the optimum time to plant, transplant, prune, train and see the return of new growth and color in the garden. Now is the time to enjoy the creative opportunities of designing in the garden. Spending time outside in something other than a swimsuit can be an enjoyable activity once again!
So here is what you can do:

Fall is the best time to plant. Plants establish easily and successfully now, requiring even less effort than those planted in spring. Roses excel year ‘round when planted in the fall.
Fall blooms on roses are large and colorful, sometimes exceeding the size of spring blooms. Pick them and enjoy their fullness and fragrances.
Enjoy the color of foliage and hips. As roses begin to go to rest in the winter, leaves change color into yellows and reds (especially ‘Caldwell Pink’, ‘Carefree Beauty’ and ‘The Fairy’). Hip-producing roses are at their productive best.
Shear or prune roses back to sizes that are appropriate for the size of the garden they reside in. Tidy up climbers by training on structures. Most will rebloom in October and November.
Transplant roses to new locations as needed.  
Prepare for winter by mulching beds with 2 to 3 inches of bark and leaves.

Unlike the spring, which can become intense with the increasing frenzy of garden activities, fall is a time to settle back and watch plants flourish briefly before they sleep.

About the author: Mike Shoup is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. Visit his company’s Brenham and San Antonio display gardens for endless ideas on landscaping with roses. To order roses online, visit

Posted by Neil Sperry
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