“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose…

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” From William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.  This is so true!  Whether it is called a rose or any other name, it wouldn’t make a difference – a rose is a rose and it is gorgeous!  No matter what the color, the variety, fragrance or not, there is something about roses that is pure floral joy.

Freshly picked roses from the garden


I don’t know anyone who doesn’t smile when they see a rose.  It has that glamorous “look at me” quality without trying too hard.  To all the roses in my garden, it takes some class for you to be able to shine and show off your beauty despite all the thorns that adorn your stems.


I love roses.  I love them all.  They come in thousands of color combinations and styles.  There are hybrid teas, florubundas, David Austin Roses, Meidland roses, ramblers, miniatures, musk roses, old-fashioned roses, once blooming roses, climbing roses, blah blah blah blah, and the list goes on and on.  I like them all!


There are hundreds and hundreds of books on how to grow roses, their history, breeding, grafting, types of roses, and how to landscape with them in your garden.  I won’t bother with any of these topics here.  I will just pass on a few observations from my many years of growing roses here in the Bay Area, and here they are…


Roses love mild temperatures.  Just like glamorous celebrities, roses are spoilt and they like perfect cool temperatures in the 60s – 70s.  That is why we get the best rose show in the spring.  Roses are in bloom everywhere in the Bay Area in the spring.  Every nook and corner, every home, gas station, grocery store parking lots, everywhere I look roses are blooming in profusion in the spring.  They love this weather.  The best rose show is in the spring!


Roses don’t like the heat.  Contrary to what I read in books and what I hear from landscapers and gardeners, I find roses do not like the heat.  If the temperatures go above 80 degrees, the rose flowers wilt and the petals may even burn, and they don’t last long on the bush.  That’s why in our area, roses take a summer break just like the rest of us and only bloom sporadically over the summer months.


Roses love lots of water.  They even thrive in standing water.  I’ve seen this in our garden in Almaden, which had wet clay soil.  The clay soil retained the water and many times the ground was soggy, but the roses thrived in that soil.  They loved it.  On the other hand, if they don’t get enough water the bush does suffer; they need water and plenty of it.


But roses don’t like the rain after the flowers are in bloom.  I know, right!  Rose bushes love the rain when they are growing, but once they start blooming the rain really messes up the blooms.  They clump up and start drooping from all the water saturated into their petals.

Heaven on Earth

Roses like fall. The second act of rose bushes is in the fall.  Guess why?  Because the temperatures cool down to a pleasant 60s and 70s.  Roses love these cooler temperatures and start to bloom again happily.  Though you won’t get as many blooms as you do in the spring, the flowers are more intense in color – this is because of the cooler temperatures.  I love the fall rose bloom cycle. They have their own charm at this time of year.

Ketchup and Mustard

One more tip.  Whenever I would buy a rose bush from the nursery I noticed that they were always covered in lush blooms and tons of buds. But when I bring them home and plant them, I never got the same prolific blooms as when I first bought the rose bush.  So I asked the nursery attendant why is that?  She said in the nursery, they fertilize the roses every 4 weeks. While most people don’t fertilize at all once they take the rose bushes home.  She assured me that if I fertilize my rose bushes every 4 weeks; I will also get a great show of rose blooms all season long.

Roses in bloom on our hill

Now for more pictures!  Friends have shared their rose photos, and I’ve taken a bunch from my own garden.  Here are a sampling of some of the roses that are in bloom in our area.

Royal Sunset rambling over our fence
Sixteen Candles
Berries and Cream & Betty Boop
Barbara Streisand

From Shalini’s Garden:

Just Joey
Just Joey and Rio Samba

From Basanthi’s Garden:

From Van’s Garden:

From Georgina’s Garden:

From Swati’s Garden:

Sweet smelling lavender and roses

More Rose Bouquets!





What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.”

10 thoughts on ““What’s in a name? That which we call a rose…”

  1. Oh doll baby – i just quoted this ” What’s in name ” Shakespeare Quote from Romeo and Juliet on the Bard’s 400 th birthday on my FB. yes- my name is Vinatha , not Vanita or Vineeta but Thanga manni would always insist on calling me Vineetha . Vinatha is the mother of Garuda ( Sri Vishnu’s Vahana.. My English teacher always insisted that Personal Names should be spelled correctly and pronounced properly . Your Rose Garden is simply exquisite and reminds me of the Rose Garden at Rastrapathi Bhavan. ( Residence of President of India) . Have you heard of the English Rose ? Lady Diana was called the English Rose by the British press for her refined and graceful persona .. Remember , the Thorn is there to protect the Rose ….. Keep Writing these nuggets of rare beauty as it motivates and inspires to comment as well .

  2. Beautiful!!! So refreshing! The gardens and the bouquets look amazing! Thank you for sharing your trove of knowledge about everything roses! Thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning all about them. Wishing my garden looks as gorgeous as the ones posted!😜

  3. I don’t have enough eyes for this gorgeous rose ensemble of everyone’s beautiful garden! I could almost smell them!! Well done Kalpana!! Love this time of year!

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