Recommended by csandt - Feb 13, 2016 8:02 AM
"Roses without chemicals: 150 disease-free varieties that will change the way you grow roses" by Peter E. Kukielski launched my first timid foray beyond Knock Out and Drift roses to find disease-resistant roses that are also fragrant.
An All Things Plants rose expert first told me about Kordes roses, which have been bred in Germany for disease resistance. Then I read Mr. Kukielski's excellent book. Kukielski trialed the roses featured in his book as curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden from 2006 to 2013. He is now the executive director of the new American Rose Trials for Sustainability (A.R.T.S), launched in 2014.
In this book, each rose is given a full page, with a large photograph of the bloom and an informative description. The roses are scored on disease resistance (0-60), flowering (0-30), and fragrance (0-10), with a maximum total of 100. Here are some examples (* = Kordes):
Cultivar Type Color Dis. Resist. Flowering Fragrance Total
'Beverly'* Hyb. Tea Pink 54 21 10 85
'Dark Desire'* Hyb. Tea Red/Purple 55 28 10 93
'First Crush'* Floribunda Creamy Pink 50 25 10 85
'Maris-Luise Marjan' Hyb. Tea Creamy White 54 25 9 88
'Poseidon'* Floribunda Lavender 57 26 9 92
'Savannah'* Hyb. Tea Apricot-Pink 60 25 9 94
'Summer Romance'* Floribunda Dark Pink 52 28 10 90
'Wedding Bells'* Hyb. Tea Pink Blend 60 28 6 94
The introductory chapters of the book contain succinct and well-written descriptions and examples of rose classes (e.g., Gallica, Damask, Alba, Floribunda, Hybrid Tea, etc), suggestions for companion plants for roses (including plants that attract beneficial insects and plants that repel Japanese beetles), suggested roses for specific regions of the U.S., and guidance for growing roses sustainably.
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