This rose, not that one

alnwick sun flare

{This post has been edited since it’s original publish date. See below}

This morning I spent some time getting reacquainted with The Book, my collection of data on all the roses we’ve grown in this new garden. I don’t keep records of any of the other plants in our garden (unless piling all the plant labels into one dusty bin counts as that) but with the roses, that’s different, because I have a goal here: to find the kinds that practically require no care on my part while still being breathtakingly beautiful. My notes are not particularly refined but they get the point across. I’ll jot down if a rose was experiencing any diseases, poor vigor, amount of blooms, recovery, how it survived winter, and so forth. And because I don’t spray my roses (not even with “organic” sprays anymore) and barely provide any winter protection if at all, the roses that consistently get the good notes are the keepers. Over the past 3 growing seasons we’ve “shovel pruned” (I kind of hate that saying so I’m eventually going to have to come up with something better) about 20 roses and when the last of our deliveries arrive this spring there should be about 73 individual cultivars growing in our garden. I’m certain that by the end of this summer that number will have fluctuated quite a bit. Anyways, I thought I’d share some of my notes from the past 3 yrs as long as you promise to take them with a grain of salt–I still have a lot to learn.

EDIT: No garden is static and our underwent a radical change this summer which you can read more about here. Consequently, I felt it best to revise this list. I’m sure it will alter again in the the coming seasons especially as I try out new cultivars! So like I said, take this list with a really big grain of salt. ;)

◆ Based on what I know to date, these are the roses that I would grow again (in no particular order):  Mme Hardy, Celestial, Mme Plantier, Félicité Parmentier, R. rugosa ‘Alba’, Arcata Pink Globe, Rose de Rescht, Flower Carpet Pink Supreme, Old Red Moss, Petite Lisette, Apothecary’s Rose, Georges Vibert, Fantin-Latour, Aimée Vibert, Celsiana, Tuscany Superb, Rosa Mundi, Ghislaine de Féligonde, William Baffin, R. glauca (R. rubrifolia), Rosa alba semi-plena, Rêve d’Or, Bonica, Jude the Obscure, Mme Ernest Calvat, Reine Victoria, Darlow’s Enigma, Munstead Wood, Julia Child, Stanwell Perpetual. Also roses that I just bought that I’ve heard good things about and and will be watching: Gartendirektor Otto Linne, Belinda’s Dream, Marie Pavié, Madame Alfred Carrière

American Pillar in April
A photo of ‘American Pillar’, just beginning to leaf out, taken this morning

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Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Interesting post — I’ve had the same experience with 2 plants of William Shakespeare 2000 in Virginia. I can’t figure out why it is so hyped though its best flowers are pretty amazing and hold up so well they could be worn on a tuxedo or something. Had the same experience as you with Jude the Obscure. Great grower, but the plant has to grow a bit before it produces roses with the great scent. Gertrude Jeckyll is one of the fastest growing own-root roses. It grows about 10 times faster than the similar Comte de Chambord. Charles Darwin, The Prince, Pat Austin, and Glamis Castle are other Austins very slow on their own roots, but after 3 years they do very well. You wait and wait and then one fine week they pop up and really start going.

    Great list of roses — I’m surprised to see Arcata Pink Globe though, which I guess we call Baltimore Belle incorrectly. You can’t do anything to mess that one up. You can basically water it overhead and never get powdery mildew or blackspot.

    • 2

      says

      Hi Benjamin, thanks a bunch for your insightful comments! I’m glad to hear that I’m not going completely crazy and that others have experienced the same with Austin own-root roses and I agree about being confused about the hubbub over William. I prefer ‘Munstead Wood’ although that one is also a very slow grower in our garden. That’s really interesting about ‘Gertrude Jekyll’–and it makes me think I might give her another try. (In my case, my grafted Jekyll was much weaker than our ‘Comte de Chambord’.) “Arcata Pink Globe”, although commonly though to be the same as ‘Baltimore Belle’ from what I understand they are actually two different roses but definitely share the same traits. I may have to pick up a ‘Baltimore Belle’, too, b/c anything that resists disease is a good rose to keep around, especially in our humid climate. Thanks again for stopping! :)

      • 3

        Benjamin Whitacre says

        Thanks. Its very interesting to compare roses grown in different areas under different conditions — I think it’s better to follow blogs on roses before selecting rose purchases than to just see the ARS guide or catalogues. In central Virginia we had 95-103 degree days for weeks in a row last year, and Munstead Wood grew like crazy, almost with the form of a young gallica — many thorny basal shoots weeping over — bloomed as well as a china or tea, had quartered flowers and still maintained a nice red color despite an absolute full sun position. WS 2000 x 2 was spindly and produced dwarfed and bleached pink blossoms all summer. The WS 2000 blooms in spring and fall were great though. The list of roses in your post is right on for dependability. Many of them are among the few that have thrived in an area arboretum with limited care and a lot of RRD pressure, though Arcata Pink Globe is highly invasive here. I grow it in a pot in heavy shade and you just can’t mess it up.

  2. 5

    Jessica Beyer says

    You know I haven’t thought about doing a ‘book’ about the roses I have.. I do have them written down and where/how much I got it.

    There roses that I want to get that is on recommended list :-)

      • 7

        Jessica Beyer says

        Leda!! She is slow to leaf out but once I gave her a good watering she sped up. Also SDLM but I don’t think she is going to make it… I know she is a slow grower but she isn’t doing anything, when it got real warm out a few months ago she started budding but all that died then a few weeks ago I caught my dog chewing on the end of her, so I don’t know..

        Since I’m not allowed to get anymore roses at the moment all I can do is write down a wish list and dream :-)

        Ohh!! I forgot about Archiduchesse Elizabeth d’Autriche I am super excited about her too :-)

        • 8

          Jessica Beyer says

          Ahh at least someone misses and enjoys talking roses with me:-) thank you!
          Which are you excited about.?

          If something is spelled wrong or looks wonky I am on my tablet so it auto spells sometimes

          • 9

            says

            I’m hearing about Leda it seems all the time now….maybe I need to get this rose? My SDLM hasn’t done much of anything yet, either. But maybe this will be the year I actually see some blooms. Let me know how you like Archiduchesse Elizabeth d’Autriche. I looked it up and wow, such a beauty. I couldn’t tell you which one of our reserves I’m most excited about but I can say that I am hoping the new Austins I planted do well for us since I had to boot a few from last year.

            • 10

              Jessica Beyer says

              Well if your SDLM hadn’t done much then maybe mine isn’t dead lol :-) Leda didn’t bloom last year so I don’t know much but those pictures in hmf are beautiful! I will definitely tell you about AEd’A

              If you ever want to email me you can I don’t mind at all :-)

  3. 12

    says

    It’s always interesting to hear about your roses and your experiences with them! Thanks so much for sharing, as always. I do wonder about roses as individuals at times. For example, my Moondance floribunda has always been a hopeless dud (I think about shovel pruning it every year), but my Mom bought hers at the same place/time and it’s doing fine in a container! She just lives around the corner from me and I do all the fertilizing etc for her. Anyway, I hope your new roses work out well! It’s so frustrating when you invest a lot of time and energy into a rose that turns out to be a non-starter.

    • 13

      says

      Louise I love it when you visit because I always learn something. Your story about Moondance has me nodding yes over here–that’s happened to me, too, with other roses and it’s a real head scratcher. It can definitely be frustrating when one doesn’t work out but I console myself that there are thousands of others to try!

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