2014 Diary of Activities in 
the Rose Garden of
Kitty and Bob Belendez

Santa Clarita, California    
Copyright 2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 -2014 

By Kitty Belendez
Master Rosarian

Link to:   2008-2009 Blog      2010 Blog       2011 Blog      2012 Blog      2013 Blog

Link to more about Kitty

April 15, 2014    One of the roses we exhibited at San Fernando is the very rare, older floribunda called Playfair. She was created by our good exhibitor friend Bill Wilke in 1991. I believe we were awarded a blue ribbon for this specimen, but not the trophy since our Puanani won the Floribunda Queen. Last year I was fortunate to rescue a cutting of Playfair from a friend that was moving  away since I had lost my plant. She is listed white, but is actually tinted with a very subtle hint of mauve. Her mother is Playgirl. Bob budded her onto Fortuniana and the plant is growing exceedingly well. We hope to resurrect her at the rose shows soon.

April 14, 2014   Despite our best planning and efforts, our garden came into full bloom four weeks earlier than we would have liked. We had initially not planned to exhibit at the San Fernando Rose Show, but since our roses were blooming, we went to the rose show anyway. We ended up winning 16 trophies, but our hybrid teas were not at their best. As luck would have it, the day after the show we had gobs and gobs of hybrid teas, so I brought bouquets to the office for my co-workers to enjoy. Here are the trophies we won at San Fernando Rose Show:

Bouquet of 20 Floribunda Blooms with Golden Holstein
Dowager Queen with Yolande d'Aragon
Floribunda Queen with Puanani
Hybrid Tea Princess with Cajun Moon
Hybrid Tea Court with Black Magic
Hybrid Tea Court with Miss Kitty
Hybrid Tea Court with Dona Martin
Grandiflora Spray with Wild Blue Yonder
Miniature Princess with Fairhope
Miniature Court with The Lighthouse
Miniature Court with Arcanum
Miniflora Princess with Whirlaway
Climber with The Impressionist
Miniature Spray with Marriotta
Three Miniature Sprays with Marriotta
Miniflora Bowl with Memphis Music

April 9, 2014    American Rose Society, located in Shreveport, Louisiana, has announced in their May/June issue of American Rose Magazine that “Rose Ecstasy” bulletin of Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society, Editor Kitty Belendez, has won the SILVER AWARD for Local Rose Society Newsletters in the United States.

Ms. Belendez also won six Awards of Merit for her articles published in Rose Ecstasy:
“From Whimp to Goliath: Fortuniana as a Rootstock” – February 2013
“Roots First: Blooms Later” – April 2013
“Trash or Trophy Winner” – June 2013
“Downsizing the Upsized Garden” – September 2013
 “Placement & Clerking at a Glance” – November 2013
 “IPM and Organic Strategy for the Rose Exhibitor”— November 2013

​3-31-14    We continue to feed and spray our roses every weekend. Of course as luck would have it, rain came the next day after I sprayed. Well hopefully, the insecticide soaked in and dried in time to do a number on those green bud worms that I saw lurking around several rose buds. I hate those buggers as they chew up the pretty blooms. We're starting to see some spider mites, I suppose because winter never happened so the warm weather is encouraging spider mites. Avid to the rescue! Avid is a great miticide but it's expensive because it is very concentrated. This product is for people that grow hundreds of roses, not for the small gardener. We are also disbudding almost daily as the sidebuds continue to push up very fast. We have also been fighting mildew, and have been spraying a fungicide every week. I use Compass rotated with Banner Maxx, but Compass works much better. Compass is another extremely expensive product, but a little goes a long way, so a bottle lasts me several years. You cannot buy these products locally. I get them online from www.Rosemania.com

3-23-14    It has been a busy weekend. We had intended to spray yesterday morning but it was very cloudy and overcast so we decided to delay spraying until this morning at 6:30 am. Instead, yesterday afternoon we fertilized all the roses. Spraying this morning went very quickly, spraying 14 gallons of fungicide over 300 or so roses. I was a bit concerned because all the roses were wet from heavy dew even before I began spraying with the Spray Boss, but I think it will be alright. After breakfast I spent most of the rest of the day finishing the April issue of Rose Ecstasy newsletter. We will release it for publication sometime this week. Since the rose auction is still 2 weeks away, we are looking forward to getting about 120 potted roses out of our yard to make space. Cover story for the April Rose Ecstasy is "Mini Rose Memoirs" ... thus the headline photo of Jean Kenneally at the top of today's blog.

​3-10-14    Despite both Bob and Kitty having bad colds over the past week, we managed to suck it up and get our scheduled chores done. Mildew and roses waits for no man (or woman). After the rains of the previous week, and the following warms days, mildew fungus was showing its ugly self on a few roses. I wanted to spray the roses on Saturday morning, but it was breezy when I got up at 6:30 am. I did not want to risk the breeze blowing chemicals in my face even though I wear a respirator mask. So instead we went to Plan B and fertilized the roses on Saturday afternoon. Then on Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. we sprayed the roses a fungicide and insecticide. Because of Daylight Savings Time it was actually 5:30 am when we got up in the morning and it was still dark. Well no matter, by the time we got everything together a half hour later the sun was beginning to peak over the nearby hills. Even though we pruned our roses 4 weeks later than normal, the roses are pushing out new growth faster than we would like this year.

2-28-14  We finally got some rain and LOTS of it! Couple days ago we got a quick downpour of an inch, and today I'm sure it was several inches at least. The winds were howling too. I moved two trays of maiden roses onto the patio to prevent the winds from detaching the young grafts. We sure needed this rain, but it would be nice if it could have been spread over a couple of weeks and not over two days. No matter, we will take it as it arrives. The roses will surely love it.

2-23-14  Up and at 'em at 7:00 am. I still have the Spray Boss filled with chemicals so let's see if the JB weld glue will hold the spray wand together. Yes, it did work! I was able to spray all of the roses in record time, a little over an hour. Not that there's much foliage out there, but I am beginning to see some mildew on the first bushes that we pruned several weeks ago. After spraying, a shower, and breakfast, Bob cleaned out the garage to get ready for the spring rose show season. Meanwhile, lucky me, I got to get our tax papers organized so I can mail them to our CPA. Emailed March Rose Ecstasy bulletin in the evening, and now it's time to soak in the jacuzzi. Yeah!

2-22-14    We've been very busy all this weekend. We started Saturday morning at 6:30 am when I attempted to spray the roses their first rose spraying of the spring season. But the spigot head on the spray wand blew apart when I pressed the trigger. It's a good thing I was wearing a spray suit, gloves, glasses, and a respirator, otherwise that chemicals might have gotten all over me. Bob tried to fix it but to no avail. We had to drive out to Acton to ACE Hardware to take a look at their replacement spray wand. It was the wrong size, so we ended up ordering it online at ACE where they had the heavy duty brass model. It should arrive by the end of the week. Back to plan B. So instead of spraying the roses on Saturday morning, we fertilized all the roses in the afternoon. Meanwhile Bob bought some JB glue weld and temporarily fixed the old spray wand, which has to sit overnight to cure.

2-17-14    We are getting a TON of things done this weekend. For my international friends, "TON" does NOT mean 2,000, it means MANY. Yesterday I finished March Rose Ecstasy newsletter, all except a few minor details on which I am waiting for info from other people. This morning I made a half gallon of Banner Maxx and sprayed the auction plants since they are leafing out earlier than the rest of our roses that we pruned later. Then Bob spent some time cleaning the swimming pool while I applied the Preen weed pre-emergent (prevents weed seeds from growing). Well, I miscalculated and instead of the 18 lb can of Preen that we usually get at Costco, I had to buy some 5 lb cans since Costco did not yet have it for sale. Will have to keep an eye out for the large can. Anyway, I bought two 5 lb cans, which does not equal one 18 lb can. Big dummy me! So I did not have enough to do the back yard and will have to make another trip to buy more Preen. Note to dummy me: Take your own advice and wear a respirator when applying Preen. The fine particles fly all about and get up my nose. Not healthy! This afternoon I hope to get started on organizing our tax papers for our accountant so I can get them out of the way and done with. Never enough time. 

2-15-14    Applied alfalfa pellets and epsom salts to all of the roses. Bob repotted several roses. A couple of large minis needed to be moved up from 7-gallon pots to 12 gallon, such as Powerhouse and Daddy Frank. I'd like to move up The Lighthouse on Fortuniana, but we don't have any more large pots. Will need to make a trip to the store tomorrow. We will apply Kellogg Gromulch to the entire garden. We bought 10 large bags and got our $10 rebate coupon off the Kellogg website. We just have to attached the receipt and the UPC codes cut off the bags, then mail it in. What a cinch. The Rose Auction catalog is now finished and was emailed to all of our members last Thursday. That is a huge relief.

2-9-14    Gosh, has it been two weeks since I last posted? We have been incredibly busy doing all sorts of stuff. For one thing, we've been pruning roses every weekend in between other events. Hopefully today we will finish the last of the miniature roses. Then this afternoon we have a rose society meeting. Last weekend we went to the Pacific Rose Society Auction, and I bought two new roses. I really controlled myself since I have no space to add new roses. But I did get the miniflora Elfinglo (own root), and the floribunda Showbiz budded on Fortuniana rootstock. I'm sure I can find a space to squeeze them in somewhere. This morning I made a 1/2 gallon of fungicide to spray on a few roses that are leafing out early, especially the mildew mongers. By the end of the month I will dig out my 14-gallon battery-operated tank sprayer and begin the regimen.

1-26-14    We have now finished pruning all of the hybrid tea roses, all floribundas (except those in containers, and singles) most OGRs (except Rose de Rescht), all shrubs, polyanthas, climbers, and started on a few minifloras. Next week we prune all the minis and minifloras. There are about 150 of those so it's still going to be a very big chore

1-19-14    By the end of the day we had completed pruning a total of 100 very large rose bushes for the weekend. We did hybrid teas and floribundas in the front year, and some shrubs and old garden roses in the back yard. We are only 1/3 done, so next weekend will keep us busy as well. It will be good to rest our fingers for several days, as pruning can make your hands sore, even if you wear gloves.

1-18-14    Lots of fun stuff going on in the garden today. We began at 9:30 am after finishing coffee and started pruning the floribunda roses. We got about 40 of those done, including 8 tree roses. Later in the afternoon we also pruned about 30 very large hybrid tea roses in the front yard. We finished off the day by cutting off the tops of about a dozen hybrids that Bob budded on Fortuniana last October. In this warm winter weather (79 today) the new growth is pushing out fast.

1-13-14    We were very busy this weekend doing rose-related community service. We spent Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm at Green Thumb Nursery talking roses to their customers. We garnered a few new rose society members, and many of our existing members stopped by to greet us. Then on Sunday, we had our popular Rose Care Seminar, our annual event open to the public at the Senior Center in Newhall. It was well attended, with about 70 people. Not too bad considering there was a football game on TV at the same time. At the break, Jan Parsoneault showed a sidebar mini seminar on her computer complete with photos of before and after training of climbers. The refreshments were out of this world. What a spread!

1-2-14    We are resolved to keep to the plan this year, beginning with our delayed pruning schedule. Last year, we didn't hold back and pruned earlier than we planned, and we were penalized by not having many blooms by our District Convention rose show last May. So all we are doing now is topping the very tallest bushes, repotting, planting, and we did an advance dormant spray with Volck Oil because we found a group of minifloras that had scale insect. So we were forced to prune those 7 bushes. Bob did prune all of our 17 polyanthas (such as Chatillon Rose, Verdun, Wing Ding) because we want those to bloom earlier and they will not be targeted for the May National this year. This evening we attended the meeting of the Pacific Rose Society where Dona Martin gave a very enlightening PowerPoint presentation of "Growing Roses on Fortuniana Rootstock." It was a long way down to the Arboretum in Arcadia, but it was well worth the evening trip. A fine group of rosarians were in attendance, and we had a pleasant potluck dinner before Dona gave her presentation.

1-1-14    Happy New Year to all our friends and family. Our morning was spent watching the Pasadena Rose Parade on wide screen TV. Well, at least Bob was watching it. Kitty isn't so into it and can't sit still for 2 hours watching float after float after band after band. He loves it though. Meanwhile I was puttering around on the computer.

 Photos © Copyright by Kitty Belendez


© Copyright 2014 Kitty Belendez. All rights reserved. 

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Floribunda 'Playfair'