Huntington Rose Garden In Full Spring Bloom

Members got a chance yesterday morning to take a quick tour with Rose Garden Curator Tom Carruth, formerly hybridizer for Weeks Roses.  
The rose garden now has two full time gardeners and a thick layer of mulch. The roses were in full flush and looked spectacular.
The man himself:
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Ardoisée de Lyon, Hybrid Perpetual, 1858:
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The roses are not sprayed with insecticides or fungicides.  Disease is not an overwhelming problem in Southern California's warm dry climate.
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The rose garden is three acres in size, containing some 1200 varieties and 3,500 individual plants. 
'Iceberg' and 'Brilliant Pink Iceberg':
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The long pergola has been repaired, and the one hundred Faux Bois sculptures installed by Henry Huntington are being restored.  The restoration has so far taken four years.  
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 (More about the Faux Bois later)
 photo hrg5500_zps7abfe883.jpg The allée of cast iron arches were also repaired. They are also original to the rose garden and were made from pieces of leftover pipe.  Henry Huntington was a thrifty man.  Because the particular pipe fittings used are no longer manufactured, certain pieces had to be custom-cast to make the necessary repairs.
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Some of the climbing roses are finally making headway on those cast iron arches.  'Climbing Winnifred Coulter' (1968) is doing very well. 
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'Climbing Polka'
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A new introduction for 2015, 'Above All':
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Last year 'Mermaid' was removed from the large dome structure and replaced with tiny 'Renae' plants.  This year the tiny 'Renae's are already taller than 8' and blooming.  'Renae's pink flowers might be discerned just above the head of the gentleman being iphonographed by his companion: photo hrg5536_zps505d1351.jpg
 Some editing of the collection continues.  The mammoth 'Gertrude Jekyll' in the Austin bed was removed because it did not rebloom.  There is a new focus on very fragrant roses--visitors want fragrance.

'Tess of the d'Ubervilles'
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Trees have been trimmed back to allow for more sun.
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Some new mass plantings have been added to great effect.  
'Jump For Joy' and 'Out Of The Blue'
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Cecile Brunner
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'Cécile Brunner'
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'Passionate Kisses'
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A bit of sly rosarian humor--the 17th century French marble 'Temple of Love' is protected by a hedge of 'Passionate Kisses'
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The mass plantings are brilliant, but taking the time to examine individual flowers is also rewarding.
'Mellow Yellow': 
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This wonderful Hulthemia hybrid is a chance seedling found in the garden with the very catchy name of '09MKB-1'
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'Munstead Wood':
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The unique white-edged 'Baron Girod de l'Ain':
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'Julia's Rose':
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'Lady Emma Hamilton':
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 150 different clusters of bulbs, mostly winter-blooming, have been added to give the area interest when the roses are cut back in January.  
A delicate species Gladiola:
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A large part of the garden is currently watered by hand.  New automated irrigation is planned;  it will be overhead spray, not drip.  The overhead spray reduces powdery mildew in the garden--and the area's hot summers dries foliage quickly.  The Huntington has its own well water supply, but in addition, makes use of municipal water--however, it also supplies water to the municipal system from its wells. 
Ooopsie!  Who forgot to put the hose away?  
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I was going to also discuss the faux bois restoration, but this post is long enough.  Tomorrow--or the next day.  And then there are the Puya flowers in the Desert Garden...

In the meantime if you are a rose lover in Southern California, please do try to visit the Huntington in the next few days to see  the garden in peak bloom.  It's heavenly.
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  1. Such an interesting post about the Huntington Rose Garden, as a rose lover I enjoyed it very much. You never know, when I visit California in the future, this garden is a must.

    1. Yes, it is a must-visit for the plant lover!

  2. Hi Gail, I truly enjoyed reading your post about the Huntington Rose Garden! It looks like since Tom Carruth has taken over it greatly improved. Having to take care of 3500 roses I guess the two full time gardeners are more than busy. Hopefully I can make it over this year, I would so love to see the rose garden with my own eyes. Wishing you a nice weekend!

    1. Glad you liked the post, and I hope you can visit.

  3. Oh, I do love 'Baron Girod de l'Ain'! I'm so glad it was blooming for you. Christina, there are a ton of volunteers helping the gardeners, so they're not entirely on their own.

    1. I was happy to see BGdlA, I've never seen the flower in person before. The plant looked quite good despite its reputation for difficulty. Yes two gardeners could never keep the garden in that beautiful condition. All hail the volunteers!

    2. Thank you! We do it for the love of roses and I think they know it (why else would you talk to plants?).

  4. This is really something - and to think I was happy seeing the small, local rose garden here a week ago! Two full-time gardeners, plus a place that can see rose blooms in winter...gotta love that wealth. I guess a year pass / membership there might be a good idea, to catch it in various seasonal phases. If you are within southern Calif., at least.

    1. There's lots to see, not only the gardens but some art galleries as well. Nice to visit at most times of the year, except summer when it's 95F.

  5. You David Austin roses are so beautiful. I start to grow DA roses and I am also in southern Calif. this is just first year and can't wait.

    1. Roses in the garden is a magical thing. I wish you great success!

  6. Thanks, I also heard DA roses do not like hot area . Because yours so nice and just wondering are you in zone 9 or 10?

    1. I'm close to the coast, in Sunset 23. Most roses don't like hot weather. If it is really hot in your area check the rose society websites in Arizona--they have suggestions on dealing with heat-some use shade cloth--a thick fluffy mulch to cool the soil and keep it more moist, afternoon shade, things like that.

    2. Thank you so much . I have got 8 kinds of DA roses to start. I am in Corona area and gets really hot in summer. Thank you for your advise.


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