Temecula Valley Rose Society Newsletter for January, 2021

Co-President's Message, Rebecca Weersing

TVRS Co-Presidents

A heartfelt thank you to Linda Freeman and Brenda Jahanabani for guiding us through a challenging year. As Judy and I step into our roles as Co‑Presidents we look forward to extending to all of us our enjoyment of roses through digital means and, at some point, returning to more traditional meetings with in‑person speakers: combining the best of both worlds. Thank you for your support of Linda and Brenda during 2020, and thank you for your support of Judy and I during 2021. Happy New Year to us all!

The Boos Family Courtyard "Thank You"

by Virginia Boos

The courtyard at Rose Haven was named after my husband and I, to honor our many years of dedication to the garden. We worked there for about 14 years, twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday mornings, even though we had a garden at home with about 400 rosebushes and a grapefruit grove to tend.

This unique place will always be special to me. Roy has now passed away, but I will always remember the hours we spent together out there.

Boos Engraved Brick Campaign Closes

by Kathy Trudeau

The Boos Courtyard Labyrinth and Engraved Brick Campaign closes January 2, 2021. Our campaign was a great success, with 182 4x8 dedicated bricks and 3 8x8 engraved poem bricks sold to fund the new Boos Courtyard Labyrinth and brick project. "Thank you" to the 42 members and many in the community who supported our campaign, raising over $15,000 to date.  Last minute orders can be placed until the end of the day on the 2nd.  To order a brick Click here.

Now, the fun begins for in early February McCabe's Landscape Construction will start the transformation of the existing Boos Courtyard to the new, including landscaping surrounding the labyrinth walking path and engraved bricks. We will post pictures of the progress on Facebook, and will email all the donors when the work is complete.

This exciting project is a wonderful way to begin 2021. Happy New Year.

How Does Our Garden Grow, Rebecca Weersing

Rebecca Weersing

Winter blooms

Miniature roses

Roses blooming on New Year's Eve. One of the reasons we live in Southern California!

New Year's Eve and these minis are still holding on to their blooms!

Welcome, 2021! We have high expectations for the months ahead as we have ambitious plans for Rose Haven and require the continued good health and enthusiasm of all of our dedicated volunteers. Thank you in advance, 2021, with any assistance!

During January we will be firming plans and estimates for three areas that will be rehabilitated during the year. The three areas are the newly defined 'Peace and Friendship Garden', the 'Romantic Roses Gazebo Garden', and the 'Tree of Life'. We hope to be ready to start these projects after the Labyrinth Courtyard project is completed in February. We would like the projects to be finished before the heat of summer. The 'Tree of Life' needs to be completed by September when we hope to resume our "Families in the Garden Programs" plus initiate a Members‑Only Community Garden within the 'Tree of Life'. More details will follow as planning progresses.

February will see a complete transformation of the Courtyard. The Pavilion will have a concrete pad added, as well as adding more of the convertible bench/picnic tables. Thanks to all of you who have participated in our "That's My Brick" Fundraiser. We are all eagerly anticipating this transformation.

As COVID‑19 restrictions ease during 2021 we expect to be able to resume garden workshops and events at Rose Haven. We hope to have a Spring Plant Sale and a Fall Plant Sale. We will need your assistance in growing and propagating a variety of plants, including roses in the fall. If you would enjoy being involved email rose­haven­committee@gmail.com to let us know.

January Happenings, Rebecca Weersing

by Rebecca Weersing

'Happy New Year' everyone. Winter has arrived, Southern California style, and we keep checking the forecast for some rain. We did have a nice rain last week. Let's hope for more of that Goldilocks‑type of rain throughout the next three months. Luckily, the garden is still looking quite attractive, especially all the succulents.

At Rose Haven we start the year in high gear as once again it's rose pruning time. Wednesday and Saturday mornings are the scheduled workdays at 9:00 a.m., and we hope many of you will join in. Remember to follow COVID-19 protocols regarding masks and distancing. Send me an email at rose­haven­committee@gmail.com if you plan on being at the garden. We have some areas where we want to hard prune as those roses are set for rejuvenation or removal. We want to work on those roses first. Two areas that we DO NOT want pruned at this time: The roses along the driveway and the Rose Hall of Fame/Old Garden Roses.

Also, we are looking forward to the Community Pruning Workshop on Saturday, January 23rd from 9 to 11 a.m. We invite everyone to attend as the class is open to the public as well as our members. This will be a hands-on demonstration for beginners and people wanting to refresh their skills. The driveway roses will be our demonstration area as it will be easier to maintain our social distancing there. This event is an enjoyable way to learn and share our love of roses with the community.

The next garden committee meeting Wednesday, January 27th at 10 a.m. We will discuss projects for this year. Members interested in joining the committee are always welcome to attend the meeting. The meeting will be a GoToMeeting. Email rose­haven­committee@gmail.com so that we can send you the agenda with information on how to join the meeting online. Having a webcam is not necessary as you will be able to participate through the audio feed.

January 2021 Program

Date: Thursday, January 21, 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: GoToMeeting online.

Members will receive an email invitation the first week of January with a link to the meeting. The meeting will open at 9:45AM to allow member socializing.

Topic: Roses as Therapy, Beauty and Flavoring

We will be looking into the history of Roses as aromatherapy and their medicinal qualities. We will also spend some time on the cosmetic use of Roses — finishing with a look at how we use roses in cooking. There will be a slide program and time for discussion. Bring your love of rose scent and flavor and join us for this "rosey" experience.

Presenter: Gerry Mahoney

Gerry is a Consulting Rosarian for the American Rose Society. For over 19 years, Gerry Mahoney has judged Horticulture, Arrangements or Photography throughout the Pacific Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, NCNH and the Rocky Mountain District, as well as District and National Rose Shows for the American Rose Society. Currently, she and her husband are serving as the ARS National Consulting Rosarian co‑chairs. In 2020 Gerry and Dave were named PSW District Outstanding Horticulture Judges.

Members will be sent a separate GoToMeeting invitation the first week in January with a link. GoToMeeing is an online meeting program very similar to ZOOM. If you have used ZOOM you will be very comfortable using GoToMeeting. Also, visit us on Facebook for roses from around the world, as well as Rose Haven pictures and videos. If you would like to practice using GoToMeeting please contact Linda Freeman at (951) 204‑6141.

January Birds in the Garden, Linda Freeman

by Linda Freeman, photos by Linda Freeman

Riverside County is home to approximately 465 bird species! We are fortunate that many of these birds reside in our area, Southwest Riverside County, and visit or reside in Rose Haven and our personal gardens.

With the renovation of our pond, many more birds may visit us this year, especially during Spring and Fall migrations as the sound of running water is very attractive to birds. Get your binoculars ready and visit Rose Haven. We will feature several resident and migrating birds each month in our Newsletter.

This month's birds are the Goldfinches, California Towhee and winter visitor, the White Crown Sparrow and the Black Phoebe. These birds are regularly seen at Rose Haven. A winter County visitor is the Cedar Waxwing.

The White Crown Sparrow

The White Crown Sparrow (note the white crown stripe and white stripe over the eyes; females have less prominent stripes) are the harbingers of winter in Southern California. They start arriving in late September to winter in our area and leave in late spring. They do not nest in our area. This bird is a ground feeder and is looking for seeds and nuts, and sometimes insects. If you have birdfeeders, they will frequently eat seed that has fallen from the feeder.

California Towhee

The California Towhee is a very inconspicuous year-round LBR – Little Brown Bird. It is also a ground feeder and loves to scratch in leaf litter to find insects. Leaving leaf litter and being a messy gardener helps these birds. You will more likely hear their rustling of leaf litter under shrubs than their call. The Towhee is not a strong flier and glides more than it flies. They like dense gardens for nesting and leaf litter.

Black Phoebe

The Black Phoebe is an insect eater, and they like to perch on fences or low branches and will inspect for insect activity and catch their prey, and often fly back to the same perch and repeat that activity many times which makes them fun to watch. They nest in our area and build nests under eaves. They are great friends of gardeners. These birds are sometimes called a Tuxedo bird as they have a white area under their breast that makes them look formally dressed! This bird is regularly seen at Rose Haven as we have a water feature.


The Lesser Goldfinch (pictured) are small birds that love feeders in the winter months when seed is less available in the garden. They are seed eaters and year-round residents. They love thistle seed. They make sort of small "tee‑yee" call. They love shrubs and trees for nesting. The American Goldfinch male is frequently seen in winter with brilliant yellow head and body and a black cap, wings and tail. American Goldfinches always have white bars and a white rump and white undertail feathers. Planting Cleveland Sage in a corner of you garden will make Goldfinches happy in the Fall.

Cedar Waxwing

Photo © Evan Lipton | Macaulay Library Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

The Cedar Waxwing is a wonderful bird to spot during winter migration. They flock in treetops and love berries from Pyracantha, elderberry, cedar and privet. They are only here for a short time and are a treat to see.

Getting ready for the Great American Backyard bird count February 12‑15, 2021? Here is a link for information https://www.birdcount.org/.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a great resource for bird information, pictures, and bird songs at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/.

Birding tips for the month: Invest in a good pair of binoculars which will last a lifetime. Audubon Society research finds most birders prefer 7‑ or 8‑power binoculars because they're bright and have a wide field of view, making it easier to find birds and to follow them in flight. Optics with objective lenses, the glass at the fat end of the tube, larger than 42mm are heavier, and those smaller than 30mm, while lightweight, aren't bright enough to show detail in poor light.

Also, do all tree trimming NOW. Birds start nesting January to August.

TVRS will raffle off a Guide to Southern California Birds at our January 21, 2021 online meeting. Members who attend the meeting will have their names but into a basket and one name will be selected. If you photograph any birds at Rose Haven, please send in JPEG format to lee.linda@verizon.net so it might be added to our monthly Birds articles.

Rose Care FUNda­men­tals, Frank Brines

by Frank Brines, ARS Master Consulting Rosarian

Frank Brines

Happy New Year. Let's hope this one is an improvement over 2020! This month I'm going to help you get ready for the major late‑winter pruning you should do in late January to late February. (I'll provide details on pruning in my February column.) Check Temecula­valley­rose­society.com to see if there will be a rose care workshop at Rose Haven Heritage Garden (30592 Jedediah Smith Road in Temecula, just a few blocks north of Temecula Parkway) in January.

In our area, the corridor from Riverside to San Diego, this major annual pruning should be done sometime between late January and late February. (The San Diego Rose Society aims to be finished February 14.) This pruning resets the plants' biological clock, acting as a wake‑up call to begin a new life cycle. You can expect the first flush of blooms about 10 weeks after pruning.

As much as you'd like to have blooms as soon as possible, don't jump the gun on this! Some gardeners think pruning in December or early January will give them a head start on flower production, but that's a delusion. First, even if January brings exceptionally warm air temperatures, the soil will still be quite cold, so the roots (and stems) will not be "revved up" for much active growth. Your head start won't amount to much. More importantly, if early pruning is followed by a hard frost you'll probably lose the tender young growth and have to prune again. Will the remaining canes be long enough and have enough stored energy for vigorous spring growth? Will you have enough outward‑facing buds? Probably not. Simply stated, pruning too early will set back stem growth and flower production, and can ruin your chances of strong, well‑formed plants.

I think you'll be able to hold off after experiencing the recent storms that brought plenty of cold rain, snow and freezing (or near freezing) night‑time temperatures to the Temecula Valley! Next week's weather forecast for the Temecula Valley (and other inland valleys) is for chances of rain in most areas and lows in the mid 30s. In the Temecula Valley, the last average frost date is March 31, so you're probably safe pruning in late January to late February. Of course, it's always a gamble. The best advice is to watch the weather.

But this month get your tools ready! You need a good pair of sharp "bypass" hand pruners that fit comfortably in your hand. "Bypass" pruners have a sharp curved cutting blade (which slices through the cane) and a dull curved non‑cutting blade (which holds the cane in place during the cut). The sharp blade "bypasses" or slides over the dull curved blade. This is in contrast to pruners that have a sharp flat blade that comes to rest against a flat dull blade; toss those pruners out!

At minimum, also have at least one pair of sturdy loppers handy. Each pruner size has a maximum diameter it can cut efficiently. Using pruners or loppers that are too small on a too‑large cane can damage both the tool and the cane. A hand saw with a narrow blade can also be handy if you have some older plants with large canes that may need to be removed. A "keyhole" saw works well for this.

All tools should be kept clean. Rubbing alcohol and cotton balls are ideal for cleaning cutting blades, before, during and after the job. This helps prevent disease transmission from plant to plant and you can use it as first aid on your own cuts, scratches, and punctures! (On that note, a good pair of leather gloves are necessary with long sleeves or separate pair of sleeves to protect our arms.)

Before starting the job, apply a little light oil (such as 3‑in‑1 oil) to each tool's moving parts and make sure they operate without resistance. Sharpen each blade with a small diamond file (available at garden centers), trying as much as possible to match the original bevel of the blade. When you're actually pruning, swipe the file over the blade a few times every 100 cuts or so to keep it sharp. If you notice that your pruners are crushing the stems and/or leaving a tail, it's past time to sharpen them! To minimize damage to the cane keep this rule in mind: The sharp blade should always face the part of the plant that will be left. This will minimize the crushing of the cane or stem as it will be the part that is discarded. This rule also works for preparing stems for arranging or putting into a vase.

January and February are excellent months for planting new roses in the Temecula Valley and environs. Still, one can usually wait until March to plant and still expect the roots to form relationships with beneficial soil fungi and become showstoppers as early as May, well ahead of the summer heat. Potted rose bushes will be optimal for these late plantings.

For now, be thinking about adding one or two new roses to your garden in spring. Roses offered for sale are rated by quality. You want only #1 roses. They are the surest guarantee of success, with all horticultural methods employed to provide satisfaction. Don't waste your time and money on anything lower. Higher quality plants have a higher chance of success, require less effort, and acclimate faster. Also, the cost of any rose is a very small fraction of what you will eventually invest in that plant over the years in water, fertilizer, pest control, and effort, so why not start with a first‑quality plant?

Roses may come to you "bare root", potted, or packaged. Bare root plants are just that, usually packed in wood chips to keep the roots damp and viable. They are slower to thrive and it is best to get them early and planted immediately so they have the maximum amount of time to become established. (When you acquire a bare root rose, be sure to soak its roots in water for 24 hours, then plant promptly.) packaged roses are the slowest to thrive as they have been drastically root pruned to fit into the plastic sleeves. Potted roses make the quickest and most successful transition to the garden, but they also tend to be more expensive and not as plentiful in selection, and I've detected that many nurseries will pot up bare root plants immediately upon arrival to stores so inspect those selections. But as I said, the initial cost will pale against what you put into the plant in the years to come.

Rose plants are beginning to be stocked at nurseries and retailers now. You might find some good values. There are many sources: local nurseries and reputable online retailers who specialize in roses. New stock will begin appearing in nurseries this month, and online suppliers usually ship in mid‑January. (Does that tell you anything?) But be sure to shop early for the best selection. And, if you have access to it, be sure to consult your American Rose Society Buyer's Guide (which you will receive with your annual ARS membership or renewal).

As I said earlier, I will provide guidance on that all‑important annual pruning in the February column. Also, check local newspapers and nursery websites for schedules of hands‑on pruning classes at different locations. Please bring clean, sharp, by‑pass pruners in good working condition, and be prepared to learn and to lend a hand pruning under experienced direction. This will be a great opportunity to get your questions answered, hone your skills, and boost your confidence.