A few years ago, three probably, I began adding red roses to the spring symphony. I also added several yellow. I like red and yellow in the garden, and honestly, in roses, these two colors have become my favorites in our sunlight–with the exception of Pink Knockout®. I do love that hot pink of single Pink Knockout®, but I felt like the garden needed more depth of color, and red roses provide it.
Until recently, you hardly find decent yellow roses in the marketplace which could withstand Oklahoma’s fickle forecast, but, lately, there’s been a change in the wind.
I have an older shrub from 1984 named ‘April Moon’ by Dr. Griffith Buck, one of my favorite hybridizers. It makes me sad I never met Dr. Buck. I would have loved to talk roses with him. After all, where would my garden be without ‘Carefree Beauty?’
A later yellow is R. ‘Radsun,’ a/k/a Carefree Sunshine™, a superior performer in the tiered bed where she sits next to ‘Ogon’ spirea and Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ grass. I like this grouping very much. I think Carefree Sunshine™ likes her spot because, she is planted in the lower tier, and receives plenty of water from runoff.
‘Grandma’s Yellow Rose’ is new here this spring. I have one in a container, and one in the ground. So far, it likes the container best. Roses need at least a couple of seasons in place to get a good idea of their disease resistance and overall happiness. Right now, ‘Grandma’s Yellow Rose’ is not happy, indicated by all the leaves lost to blackspot. However, she is settling in, and we will give her time.
R. ‘Meikanaro’ a/k/a Sunshine Daydream is my other new yellow cultivar. It seems healthy, but again, it will take two seasons at least to determine this for sure. It joins ‘Buff Beauty’ which has been a part of my garden for years and years, but now seems to be failing. It makes me sad. On the other hand, ‘Graham Thomas’ is still going strong. I have to cut it back all the time because it wants to climb in our heat.
As far as red roses go, I only have one new cultivar, ‘Darcy Bussell,’ a David Austin, who graces my blog a great deal. She is a lovely thing, and yes, she gets blackspot now and again, but not so much it harms her. This is her third season since I began testing her and another David Austin of the yellow persuasion, ‘Molineaux.’ The latter got off to a difficult start, but now she has hit her stride. I love the complicated blooms with just a touch of pink. Notice the picotee edges on the petals. Scrumptious.
I bought ‘Valentine’ because a lady in the Oklahoma Horticultural Society, I can’t remember who, said she was the finest and best smelling rose in her garden. Well, she has weak stems which I find very irritating, but she does smell divine. She is also a very, lovely red.
Rosa ‘Dame de Coeur’ has certainly stolen my heart with her deep, dark red flowers and fantastic scent. According to the Antique Rose Emporium website, ‘Dame de Coeur‘ was created from the parentage of ‘Peace’ and ‘Independence.’ In my garden, it took her about three years to really settle in, and I had to work very hard during the summer of 2011, or the “Summer of Hell” as I like to call it, to keep all of my new roses alive. My faithfulness to her was rewarded with these splendid blooms.
Other than two roses in the entire bunch, I don’t grow grafted stock. Out here in the country, I need tough roses which survive the most brutal weather. Those of you who live in Oklahoma and Texas know what I’m talking about. So, the first thing is to choose the best plant possible. Buy plants locally and research them. Don’t fall for the first pretty bloom you see. With smart phones, you can scan QR codes on tags with plants in the box stores, and TLC Nursery also has this technology on some of their plants. Or, you can Google roses and read a bit before you buy.
These roses you see on my blog died all the way back to a foot high after we were negative 17F one winter ago. I thought I’d lost ‘Cl. Cecile Bruner,’ but even she appears to be making a comeback. Because my roses aren’t grafted, they can come back from their roots. If you love grafted Hybrid Teas, go ahead and buy them, but place them close to your home where they will have protection from the heat, cold and wind. Don’t plant them on the north side. Try the east side of your house, and you will have better luck.
Each spring, I walk the garden and assess the damage. Then, I prune away anything dead on the shrub. Dead canes invite infection and pestilence. So, if you haven’t done that, go ahead. Your rose, which is simply a shrub, will thank you for it.
As for feeding, I get a lot of questions about what I fertilize my roses with and how much. Every year I change it up. It’s not necessarily a brand of fertilizer which yields good results. Instead, it’s what is in the fertilizer. I use all natural products, and yes, they work. Roses are heavy feeders, and they need to be fed three or four times a season to perform at their optimum level. I’ve used Mills Magic Rose Mix, and this year, I’m trying Jobe’s Organics after I heard an excellent talk from them last year at Garden 2 Blog. Just for the record, they sent some samples of fertilizer last year, and I bought four bags this spring. I want to see if my plants will have more vigor with the combination of bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi and Archaea in their organic fertilizer. In the past, I brewed up a mix of alfalfa, manure and other good stuff in a large trashcan for my roses. So, I do a lot of different things, and the plants respond to any good care they receive. The best thing you can do though is plant them in the right spot and feed them like the little Divas they are.
With all of these red and yellow roses and many more in shades of pink, you can see why I’d worry about Rose Rosette Disease. If I lose them, I’ll have a lot of space to fill in my garden and in my heart.
Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted each month by my dear friend, Carol at May Dreams Gardens. If you head over to her site, you’ll find lots of people who have shared their blooms on this day, and perhaps, you’ll make new friends in the process.
One more thing: most of these pics were taken April, but I’d already written most of this post, and we’re on our second round of blooms. Weird spring, but grateful for no late freeze. Happy rose growing everyone.