Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What of Garden Roses?

The arrival of the Hybrid Tea upon the scene coupled with the start of rose shows might lead some to believe Garden Roses were being neglected during this time.  Not so.  

Many Hybrid Teas, particularly the early ones, made excellent Garden Roses. In addition three of the finest Garden Rose classes we have were introduced during this early era of Hybrid Teas.

The Hybrid Musks were developed by the Rev Joseph Pemberton in England during the early twentieth century.  Roses such as Penelope (white rose right), Daybreak (yellow rose left), Francesca, Prosperity and more, still to this day make outstanding Garden Roses.  Even now visionary rose breeders such as Paul Barden continue the work with roses such as the new Hybrid Musk Jeri Jennings, bred by Mr. Barden.

The Polyanthas came into being in the late 1880s and continued to flourish for some time. They are thankfully seeing a revival today as gardeners begin to finally "discover" this tough, rewarding class of roses.  Jim Delahanty in Southern California has not only put together one of the largest collections of Polyanthas ever assembled, his constant championing of the class is largely responsible for their resurgence.  (Marie Pavie, blush rose left)

Floribunda roses were born and began to fully realize their potential under the visionary eye of the rose breeder Gene Boerner also known as “Papa Floribunda”. Many great Garden Roses from these classes are still with us today.  (Gruss An Aachen, blush rose right)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Rose To Know. Kathleen Harrop.

Back in the early 1990s Wayside Gardens put a climbing Bourbon Rose by the name of Zepherine Drouhin on the cover of its catalogue.  From that moment on Zepherine has consistently been one of the more popular Old Garden Climbing Roses around.  The fact that its also thornless certainly also helped it achieve that status.

Oh, I've grown it over the years - and never really fallen in love with it.  The blooms are a little too hot pink for my taste and for me it blackspots consistently.  Even if I leave it alone to let it try to build its own immunities, come summer I can still count on its foliage looking like the face of a coal miner just finishing a 12 hour shift.

Kathleen Harrop is a sport of Zepherine Drouhin.  What is a sport?  Simple.  Every now and then a rose throws off a cane bearing a different colored bloom or a different growth habit.  If one is observant, you take propagation material from the cane and see if the sport remains consistent as you continue to propagate it.  If you propagate a few generations and it does, then indeed you have a stable sport.

I planted my first Kathleen Harrop at our farm some 15 years ago.  I've never regretted it.  The blooms are a softer pink, it is also thornless but best of all it rarely gets disease for me.  I grow her as a large free standing shrub and year in and year out she covers herself with undulations of shell pink, fragrant blooms.  A real standout in our garden.  Why not give her a home in your garden.
Here is some more information;

Bourbon, light pink, Zone 6 - Introduced in 1919 by Dickson, Colin - Growth Size & Characteristics are: large shrub (5'+), short climber (under 10'), fragrant, repeat flowering, thornless.

Pruning technique.  Depending on if you want to grow her as a shrub or a climber we have two videos on our You Tube Channel for you to look at.
  1. As a Shrub.  Pruning Roses That Grow From The Base 
  2. As a Climber.  Pruning and Controlling A Climbing Rose 

You can purchase Kathleen Harrop from these fine Independent Rose Nurseries.

Rogue Valley Roses - United States
Peter Beales Roses - United Kingdom
Vintage Gardens - United States
Northland Rosarium - United States
Pickering Nurseries - Canada

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You Were Probably Taught To Prune Like This...

You purchased your first rose, planted it, tended it; worried if it would live and then came pruning time.  You consulted the books, maybe went to a demonstration or maybe asked a neighbor.  More than likely you were taught to prune this way

That's okay, nothing wrong with it.

If your objective is long stem cut flowers. 

As I wrote about in a previous post this method was developed for that and it works beautifully.  My point here is that over the next few weeks while I introduce you to other methods of pruning roses, don't think this method is incorrect and I'll be teaching you the "correct" method.

I'll be teaching you some other methods to give you the ability to get different things from your rose bushes.  And what you want from your rose bushes depends on only one person - You.  After all it's your garden isn't it?