As we are counting down to the new year, I'd like to share approaches to enjoy your rose gardening more in 2024 based on my lessons learned and journey to date. The year 2023 is undeniably one of the hottest and toughest years to garden to many of us. With ever changing and unpredictable weather, finding new ways to manage uncertainties will help all types of gardening much more satisfied and enjoyable. I'm also sharing what roses are blooming in my garden this month with name under each photo.
My biggest lessons I have learned in my past 3 years with roses:
Silas Marner rose by David Austin
💗 Enjoy and embrace the process:
I must say I struggled in this area the most in my 1st year of rose gardening when I started. While our ultimate goal is to see beautiful blooms as big rewards. Let's focus on tranquility and peace of being in your garden more.
It's not about the questions - When will they bloom? Why do they grow so slow? Why are there so many pests and blackspots? Why my roses aren't as pretty as others? I have been there myself and it wasn't fun to continue my journey that way.
Many of us are suffering from stress and/or depression, cannot find the way out, largely because we stay stuck. Things must happen at a specific time that we want. Things must happen a certain way that we plan.
We are so accustomed to daily instant gratification of this convenient modern life to the point that anything that takes time is NOT normal or is too slow. Everything around us seems to give us a false sense of speed and control. When things don't happen how and when we expect, we have a really hard time accepting, coping and managing.
For many, gardening time may be the only quiet moment/escape that you have from all the noises, kids, spouse, work and even pets. This is your "me" time to be in the moment.
A chance to slow down that busy/interactive mind. To get in touch with nature and notice small things we typically don't pay attention to. Time to get lost and be in the flow.
April Love rose by John Clements - see my review here
Crazy Love rose by Kordes
Cathedral Bells rose by Delbard (pink) | Sparkle & Shine by Weeks Roses (yellow)
💗 Be aware of control, competition & comparison
This is going to hit each person differently. It may trigger some more than others, but it is very important to address so we can be more aware and break free in order to enjoy rose gardening more. Some of us were raised to be competitive and were being compared to others in school and in life. This childhood experience often impacts us in our adulthood when not being aware. We unconsciously compare our roses to other people and feel sad/less than.
This isn't only draining, but very damaging to our mental, emotional and eventually physical health. It makes us feel less inspired, but more stressful in the gardening journey because you may be spending time trying to interfere or be in control of the process of nature to find ways for roses to grow faster and bloom more even when they are too young or wanting to have a pest pests/diseases-free garden which creates a false expectation that leads to disappointment.
That isn't to say we should not do anything and just let nature grow our roses. Continue with the preventative measures you feel is best for your lifestyle and your garden, be flexible and adaptive when nature doesn't go according to our plan. We can only do so much in our power to do what we can, but the force of nature is always going to be more powerful than what we are capable of as gardeners.
Instead of comparing your roses to others and feeling sad/down, look at other gardeners and their roses to fuel your excitement and inspiration for your journey up ahead. When you start to feel down, sit with that feeling and reframe in a way to encourage you like " in a few years, my garden will flourish, too".
Start engaging with other gardeners with meaningful convo like complimenting and politely asking for their suggestions, not from a place of being needy. For many, this isn't a skill they learn or come naturally when growing up to genuinely compliment others because they learned to be competitive all the time. It may feel strange or fake at first, but with repetition, you will be able to fully embrace your rose gardening more joyfully while creating a meaningful connection with other rose lovers.
Spirit of Freedom rose
💗 Reset and be flexible with your expectations
Thinking about the new year, most of us often think about life in the next phase - career, family, relationship, etc. How about the aspect and reflection of your gardening journey? For many, gardening has been a pillar for mental and emotional health. What have you learned through gardening this year and what does that reflect your well-being?
These are things I didn't realize until a few years ago. My life was filled with a high level of stress and it spanned through all areas of life. Rose gardening was meant to be therapeutic yet I managed to turn it into another source of stress, addiction, and frustration. Talking about impulse purchase for the first 2 years...wow!
Are you easily stressed out, frustrated, and anxious when nature doesn't go the way you had hoped? How about the time when your roses had a high level of pests and diseases? Blooms didn't open up perfectly? How did you manage your expectations and disappointments in your garden this year?
Thanks to all valuable lessons in 2023 and more wisdom to come in 2024. May your heart make more space for peace & tranquility in the coming year. May your garden flourish with joy and beauty.
More photos of the December blooms below. If you are interested in a list of my 14 favorite products (fertilizer, mulch, compost, soil and more), check it out here.
New to roses or want to know how I care for my roses all year round, subscribe to Blooming with Joy. More info here about Blooming with Joy.
April Love rose
Earth Angel (left) | Bordeaux (right) - both by Kordes
Bliss Parfuma by Kordes (left) | Eutacia Vye by David Austin (right)
Belinda's Blush rose by Antique Rose Emporium