Sunday, April 18, 2010

Workhorse Roses

Through much trial and error, I have found a few roses that I consider to be workhorses in the PNW.  These are roses that are disease resistant, hardy in our zone, with an appropriate mature size for their space in the garden and long bloom or repeat bloom. I’m sure there are many more that would make such a list, but my space is limited. Most of my garden is in part to full shade which is a deal breaker for most roses

garden 009 Rosa ‘Just Joey’ is my only hybrid tea and probably my favorite rose. What a beauty! The disease resistant foliage emerges burgundy and gradually fades to a darkish green. The tightly formed buds are deep apricot and open to an exquisite, fluffy blossom 6” across. The open bloom is a paler apricot with deeper tones at the base of the petals. It blooms early summer and then reblooms in the fall. Wherever I garden, I will have to have ‘Just Joey’, it is that good.

Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ is a lovely cerise pink Bourbon rose with a fragrance that can be detected 10’ away. This rose is noted for its shade tolerance but best flowering and disease resistance are in full sun. This can be grown as a climber to 12’ or kept pruned to about 6’. It is nearly thornless which makes it a great candidate for an entryway or walkway.

Rosa ‘Iceberg’ is a floribunda rose that was introduced in 1958 and has an ARS (American Rose Society) rating of 8.9. Double flowers have a light and pleasant scent. Blooms are long-lasting and truly white, not ivory or pale pink. It has good disease resistance.Beckypictures2 008

Rosa ‘Golden Celebration’  is another selection with beautiful, healthy, disease resistant foliage, this time deep green. This rose opens golden and fades to a paler yellow but is always beautiful with a luscious lemony scent. It blooms all summer and looks stunning with a Clematis durandii scrambling through-which also blooms all summer-a winning combination.

Rosa ‘New Dawn’ is a dainty double shell pink rose that is a vigorous climber to 10-15’. It is disease resistant and tolerates poor soil and partial shade, although it will be healthier and more floriferous in sun. The blooms repeat summer through fall. I have this scrambling through a Kolkwitzia amabilis along with Clematis ‘Hagley Hybrid’ and Lonicera periclymenum ‘Harlequin.’ Good thing the beauty bush gets 10’ tall and wide; it’s got a lot going on in there.

Flower Carpet Roses: Easy-care, low-maintenance, fast-growing and flowering continuously from early spring to late fall. These lovely plants are full and densely-branched to 2-3’ tall and 4-5’ wide. They are not divas; tolerant of varying soils, will bloom in part sun, disease free, they thrive in Zones 5-10. Developed in Germany after 30 years of work and introduced in 1995 to much fanfare. They now come in nine colors and look fabulous singly or in masses of color. Prune these hardworking beauties back to about 1/3 its size in early spring.

Rosa ‘Hot Cocoa’: it is impossible to do justice in describing the color of this floribunda rose- sort of rust red with chocolate and smoky orange overtones? You’ll have to trust me, it is a stunner. The thick and velvety petals form a flawless flower which is durable in arrangements. The unique flower color, strong healthy foliage and sweet, spicy scent make this rose a winner. If deadheaded, it will bloom all season. It took top AARS (All American Rose Selection) honors the year it was introduced-2003. Since 1940 the AARS awards represent the world's most exacting rose trials. Candidates are grown for two years in 22 public trial gardens as well as in the trial gardens of 14 US rose industry leaders who are AARS members.

Rosa ‘The Fairy’ is a polyantha rose with profuse clusters of small but frilly double pink flowers. Though not fragrant, the blooms appear in waves from May to frost. This plant has good disease resistance and tolerates poor soil and shade. Vigorous and compact (about 2’ tall and wide) it has glossy, small leaves and tiny but plentiful thorns. In late winter or early spring, prune hard (back to 10-18 inches) and reduce side shoots to 2 or 3 buds. To renovate, prune one in three stems close to the base.

These are not listed in any order except the order I thought of them. Each of these roses is a dependable, sturdy performer that you will enjoy.

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