Roses forum: Which roses have surprised you the most -- in a good or bad way?

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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 1, 2010 6:14 PM CST

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I bought a rose called Summer Memories from Palatine last year, not expecting a whole lot. I usually don't buy white or yellow roses because I have so many white and yellow volunteer plants of various types coming up all over the place every year. I am a sucker for any rose with "summer" in its name, however, so I bought this one. I expected it to be fairly compact. HMF says it grows to 31". This fabulously beautiful rose is at least 7 or 8 feet tall in my garden, 5 or 6 feet wide, and stays in bloom virtually all the time.

http://www.helpmefind.com/gardening/l.php?l=2.44786&tab=1

On the other hand, I bought two roses, Spanish Sunset and Chocolate Sundae, a couple of years ago because both were being touted as perfect for the West Coast. I had seen both at a nursery and fell in love with them immediately. I bought two of the Spanish Sunset (from two different nurseries) and one Chocolate Sundae.

http://www.helpmefind.com/gardening/l.php?l=2.58018&tab=1

http://www.helpmefind.com/gardening/l.php?l=2.57990

All three (Chocolate Sundae and both of the Spanish Sunset bushes) have been unqualified wastes of space. They're alive, but that's about it. They aren't vigorous, they hardly ever bloom, they have no pest resistance whatsoever, and the bushes are misshapen and downright ugly.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Skiekitty
Nov 2, 2010 9:02 AM CST
Dolly Parton. Looks so beautiful in the nursery under perfect conditions. Pay $30 for it, put it in the ground, baby it in a way that every other rose in a 10 ft radius gets jealous, and it does absolutely nothing. Nothing. Just sits there like a bump on a log. It survives the winter, barely, after reassurance from the nursery I bought it from that it'll do fine here, and when it comes back, gets a total of about 14" tall and blooms twice in an entire year.

Fail.

Europeana. Looks like a blah rose at Home Depot. Buy the $20 5gal bucket. Put it in the ground. Starts to bloom. And bloom. And bloom. And bloom. And bloom and bloom and bloom and bloom and bloom and bloom and bloom. Stops only when the daytime temperatures are below 50 degrees and there's been at least 2' of snow already. Survives the winter locked under at least a foot of pure ice (near the bottom of a down slope in my yard). First to put out new growth in the spring. Starts to bloom in May. Stopped now because of an extremely hard frost, but still has about 15-20 buds that got frosted out. Never got watered, never got fed, pretty much ignored. Bloomed like crazy with beautiful red bouquets.

Win!
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Sherry Brower
Troy, NY
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bookreader451
May 10, 2011 8:17 PM CST
Belinda's Dream never did anything for me. It just sat there grew a few leaves then went dormant and repeated the cycle the next year.

I had thought I ordered Winchester Catherdral from Ausin but when it bloomed it was pink. I knew Winchester sometimes bloomed pink but, every bloom was pink. I am pretty sure it is Mary Rose and it has done so well I just fell in love.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
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zuzu
May 10, 2011 8:47 PM CST

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Winchester Cathedral is a sport of Mary Rose and easily reverts back to it, but I agree that Mary Rose is so super that it would be hard to get disappointed by the change.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
May 11, 2011 8:52 AM CST
Another rose I'd like to add to my WIN section is Ruby Ruby. Got this as one of those bodybags from Costco, it started to put out leaves, then blooms, and didn't stop until we had a truly frozen night. Then, this spring, she was the first one to leaf out (with almost NO winter protection), is fully leafed out now, and I'm expecting buds any day now. Amazing little rose!
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
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CindiKS
May 22, 2011 2:44 PM CST
Easy Does It. big big winner. Everyone I know who planted that rose now claims it as their best grower.
Even in its first year, it bloomed nonstop well into fall.
I put it next to Laura Bush and Disneyland Rose and it put them to shame.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
May 22, 2011 4:17 PM CST

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Easy Does It is an amazing rose, I agree. It puts most other roses to shame.
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
Andi
Jun 3, 2011 12:41 PM CST
I had trouble with Belinda's Dream also. I wanted the rose because it was a descendant of Tiffany (my favorite hybrid tea and the name of my beloved late Westie). It was own root from Chamblees. I thought an earth kind rose would be easy to grow - not. Last year, I dug it up, noticed it had three rooted cuttings growing together, so I separated them and replanted them. Two of the three cuttings are growing better and blooming.

I would probably have given up on growing roses it I didn't happen on the pretty AUSbonny fresh off the truck at Walmart. The bf got it for me because it was "my kind of color" a warm pastel. Imagine, a very healthy, beautiful, own root Austin Wildeve at Walmart the day I was doing my shopping. When I googled AUSbonny, I found the plantfiles at Dave's garden. I joined soon thereafter and found the rose forum. Of course, I followed zuzu and California Sue to cubits! Here I am, still growing roses! I didn't know that roses could become so big and healthy in our region,. As a child, I only saw puny grafted roses from mail order companies in several gardens. Most people didn't plant or protect them as they should. I am really surprises that more people, even Austin rose people, don't grow Wildeve. Maybe that was why it was at Walmart!

My biggest challenge- I don't want to say disappointment - is the Meilland groundcover rose Fire Meilland. A friend gave me 2. They are bigger than I expected, sending out 6' long, pencil thick canes which root where they touch the ground, especially if you put a rock on top of the to keep them near the ground. They are also disease free in a no spray garden by my strawberries. They would be lovely cascading down a slope. In my future dream garden, I would plant weeping forsythia at the crest of a slope and have Fire Meilland cascading over the slope. They could easily be grown as climbers. In the meantime, I have forsythia rooting and Meiland's thorns protecting my strawberries from the neighbors. I have a couple of other groundcover roses that are getting bigger than expected - a pleasant surprise for someone who thought she couldn't grow roses!

Another pleasant surprise is Carefree Celebration - from a friend. It is related to the knock outs, but is a pretty coral color. It blooms all season, even in the hot, humid weather that makes some of the fussier roses sulk. I am glad that Radner has some new varieties of easy care roses. I think they are good choices for people in this area who want to grow roses, but are afraid to try. Perhaps they will be encouraged to try other varieties if they have success with knockouts.
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
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CindiKS
Jun 3, 2011 4:33 PM CST
I think you are right, Andi. If people will try knockouts, drift roses, oso easies or Earthkinds, they'll have success and then maybe they will take a chance at a hybrid tea someday.
I'm hoping the easy ones bring people back to roses. I really really love growing roses I don't have to spray. I have a wicked autoimmune disease and some research is implicating gardening chemicals as a possible cause.
Now I'm growing 99% organically, and I still have beautiful roses.
Lovey dubby
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 3, 2011 5:46 PM CST

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Your posts always amaze me, Andi. I had no idea roses could grow in your location the way you grow them. They must really like you. Smiling

Good for you, Cindi. I hope your organic practices keep your disease at bay to some degree.
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
Andi
Jun 3, 2011 5:47 PM CST
I think a lot of people try poorly drafted, dried out hybrid teas in body bags or pots from big box stores which they insist on calling tea roses. The most common rootstock, Dr. Huey, is borderline hardy for this area. When their roses don't survive the winter, people get frustrated. A poorly grafted rose has very little chance of surviving our extreme freeze/thaw cycles of late winter/early spring. That is what happened to my first roses, none of which survived their first winter. At least the big box stores have a one year guarantee. The few nurseries in this area don't carry roses. They have the same evergreen shrubs and annuals that the big box stores carry.

Own root roses do very well for me in this climate. I have one grafted rose, William Shakespeare 2000, which was a gift from a friend. In general, I think as more own root, hardy roses become available more people in the northeast will have success growing roses. I wish that all roses for sale were marked to indicate if they are own root or grafted and which root stock is used. (People give me odd looks when I try to check for a graft in the store).

In short, the gardener has to do some research on roses because the stores/nurseries in this area don't have expertise in roses.

I garden as naturally as possible, but still have to treat some of my roses with systemic products for blackspot.

Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
Andi
Jun 3, 2011 6:05 PM CST
I didn't know that they would get so big, either, zuzu. I certainly love them, maybe they love me back - or maybe they just like coffee grounds and cow manure. Some are much bigger than I expected, but I don't dare complain. I am especially glad that they are robust enough to survive my early pruning attempts. Poor Wildeve had lots of die back on the canes that I cut last spring. I don't think she likes being cut back by a third no matter what David Austin says on his website. This year's strategy with Wildeve is simply cutting the older, non productive canes and any crossed canes at the base and deadheading.

I have a new surprise this year, a mystery single white rose that is taking over my rose bed. It could be a wild rose planted by a bird, a reverted sport on another rose, or a mislabeled rose that didn't bloom last year. I didn't get to that part of the bed today, but I have pictures. I'll get them together and post them on their own thread.

I focus on own root roses that perform well for others in this area. Thank goodness for sites like this and helpmefind!
Name: Sherry Brower
Troy, NY
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bookreader451
Jun 3, 2011 7:38 PM CST
I love Carefree Celebration too. It is blooming like crazy right now. Another surprise for me was Betty Boop. My mom wanted it so I went to get it for her and I liked it so much I got it for me too. It is never out of bloom. It is turning out to be a real fave. For elegance alone Queen of Sweden wins hands down.
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
Andi
Jun 3, 2011 9:14 PM CST
Queen of Sweden looks very similar to Wildeve.

Queen of Sweden
http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.38219&tab=1

Wildeve
http://www.helpmefind.com/gardening/l.php?l=2.38212

It is ironic that they both have Austin yellow "rose daddies". Queen of Sweden is unknown x Charlotte, Wildeve is unknown x Golden Celebration
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
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CindiKS
Jun 4, 2011 9:37 PM CST
Andi, I hope your mystery white single rose isn't multiflora. It grows around here and most likely that's where my rose rosette infection originated.
Every year I dig out every multiflora that pops up, but somehow they come back.
Seems like every year I lose another grafted rose and have big Dr. Huey blooms. It's to the point where I cringe when I see red blossoms, thinking I've lost another one and Huey is all that's left.
Your Fire Meillands with Forsythia sound beautiful.
I have Scarlet Medilland spreading out of its allotted space, and you gave me an idea. I may put it with some spirea on the bank of the pond. I could peg both down and have a row in no time. Do you know of any yellow spreading roses that are tough like those?
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Jun 5, 2011 9:47 AM CST
I'm going to have to add Sonia to my list of Surprises.... bought her from Home Depot last year, left her in a pot for about 2 weeks before I got her in the ground, didn't water her hardly at all, she croaked almost 100% to the ground from this winter (she's all the way to the front of the yard where the wind is wicked...

and she's my largest rose right now. She's bigger than the new ones that I've bought this year, her follage is glossy, she has a couple of fat blossom buds already...

Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 5, 2011 1:07 PM CST

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Sonia is an amazing rose, I agree. Even under the worst conditions, it produces florist-quality blooms. There's always a good reason when roses stay around for years and years in commerce. Sonia's been around for 40 years now.
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
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CindiKS
Jun 5, 2011 1:52 PM CST
That brings back memories. At 4 different houses, I planted Sonia, Tiffany and Tropicana right by the door. My daughters grew up loving those roses, and each time we moved, they asked for them again. I didn't plant those roses at this house, and my daughters noticed that last time they were all here. They were joking around, and two of them said if they ever had kids, they were going to name them Sonia and Tiffany. The middle daughter said, no, she was never going to have kids or plants. She is going to move to Vegas and live at the Tropicana. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
The youngest called me last week to say she was invited to a dinner at the Dean's house. Right outside their door, they had a Tropicana. She said the Dean was absolutely shocked that she knew the name of that rose. She's a business major, even though it's a big Ag and Hort school. She knew she made me proud when she called.
Oh--what surprised me this year is Belinda's Dream. Every other year it dies back to the ground. Last winter it was -17 degrees for 2 nights. I expected to lose all my roses. I ended up cutting most way back, but Belinda's Dream for once was over a foot tall. It was one of the first to bloom. Figure that one out!
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Jun 5, 2011 5:30 PM CST
I am always surprised when I hear that Belinda's Dream is not doing well for rose people. She has always been one of my most reliable performers - even keeping her leaves through the summer when many are lost to black spot.
Porkpal
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
Lilies Irises Daylilies Dog Lover Beekeeper Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CindiKS
Jun 5, 2011 5:47 PM CST
Belinda's Dream is an excellent rose IF it makes it through the winter. It loves the heat, and can take a shady spot too. No black spot here either. My guess is, it's just marginally hardy in zone 6.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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