Roses forum→The Triumphs and Tragedies of Growing Roses in an Oceanic Climate

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NW Washington Islands (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Roses Organic Gardener
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IslandGarden
May 28, 2021 8:02 AM CST
This thread is to discuss, compare, encourage, observe and commiserate amongst gardeners in oceanic climates. That being said - all are welcome to contribute!

From wikipedia:An oceanic climate, also known as a maritime climate, marine climate is the Köppen classification of climate typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, and generally features mild summers (relative to their latitude) and cool but not cold winters, with a relatively narrow annual temperature range and few extremes of temperature. Oceanic climate is found both in the temperate and subtropical areas, in Western Europe, parts of central and Southern Africa, North America, South America as well as part of Australia and New Zealand. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

It is then broken further down into zones but the commonality seems to be much cooler summers than surrounding areas. It encompasses a tiny area of every continent (except Antarctica). For me, it helps explain why a rose that appears to grow well in USDA zone 8b, fails to thrive in my location or conversely does wonderfully here but horribly for other 8b growers. The conditions in 8b Louisiana are not even close to conditions 8b on an island in the Puget Sound.

I think anything we can do to help each other and all the folks who come here looking for advise can go a long way towards demystifying the growing of roses.

Let's talk!
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
May 28, 2021 3:15 PM CST
Well, last year May was really cool and my baby and big roses just sat there. This year, I kept them on the porch, which kept them drier and warmer and I have at least 1 bloom on all my porch roses. My Munstead Wood in the ground has 4 buds, so does the one in the pot next to the house. I think David Austins don't mind the cool or are more vigourous. I have 2 Kordes in the ground, with buds.

With all of the rain, almost all of the roses have Black Spot and Powdery Mildew, need to milk spray again. The wind yesterday blew my Julia Child almost to the ground, staked today.

My sister-in-law lived blocks off the Oregon Coast and only had a couple of roses because of the cloudy, cool summer. When I lived blocks off the Mississippi coast, we had plenty of sun, but rain everyday, our 2 roses made it thru, but black spot was always an issue...I did not bother with more than 2 there.
Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
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LolaTasmania
May 29, 2021 5:37 AM CST
I have had a lot of trouble gauging how big roses will get here in NW Tasmania. I planted Windermere underneath a window because all the information I found about growth habit said it gets to 4ft. It is well over 6 feet tall now and I will be moving it next month and planting something much smaller in that spot. The sun here is merciless in summer and blooms can fry so easily. I put a Pat Austin at the front of the house because it did well elsewhere in the garden but it fries within a day next to the front door.

I'm not too fussed about black spot because I expect most roses to lose many of their leaves while retaining their blooms. I don't grow them for the leaves so I don't bother spraying for anything that doesn't involve the buds or blooms.
NW Washington Islands (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Roses Organic Gardener
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IslandGarden
May 29, 2021 9:45 PM CST
The Pros:
I think the biggest pro for me is that I don't have to do any winter prep or worry about deep freezes. Another pro, which might just be a local - not climate thing - is we don't have poisonous snakes, spiders or poison ivy/oak/sumac and best of all...no ticks. So I never have to be mindful of any of those things when I'm gardening.

The Cons:
The almost constant moisture in some form or another. And HTs in particular just don't seem to grow very well here. I don't spray but even those who do struggle to control BS and PM. It's funny when you read about powdery mildew and what conditions it grows: "most common in Spring with hot/warm days and cool nights" that rarely describes our Spring when both days and nights are typically in the 50s(f). And balling, I hate balling.

As I mentioned in the May chat thread, I'm really beginning to pay attention to who the breeder/grower/producer of a rose is. Some just seem to barely survive but never thrive here. I think that many modern growers do try hard to produce roses for the majority of the country (whichever one they are in) so those of us on the margins have to be choosy and experimental. I'm tending to stay away from anything labeled "heat tolerant".
NW Washington Islands (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Roses Organic Gardener
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IslandGarden
Jun 1, 2021 6:43 PM CST
We're having a quite warm day today and I noticed a tiny bit of rose smell drifting about the garden. I suppose another con is that the smell doesn't really waft around much here.

What experiences can you share @hampartsum, @aerith, @growmore and other oceanic/maritime growers?
Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
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LolaTasmania
Jun 1, 2021 7:41 PM CST
According to the wikipedia link you supplied further up I am in Oceanic Koppen Cfb although I have no idea what that means. I have very little to no scent drift here which is disappointing as I planted certain things near windows to catch the perfume on warm days. I no longer plant for scent except to keep the ones I don't like (like Ambridge)away from the front of the bed in case I forget and stick my nose in them.
PNW (Zone 8b)
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Aerith
Jun 2, 2021 1:45 AM CST
I have only a few fragrant roses so may not be helpful to this topic. According to experience, I do find in the morning after a night rain, the scents in the garden I can smell become a bit stronger. Maybe it's related to humidity. I guess the other factor might be the temperature. It seems I can feel more scent waft in cool cloudy days or while I'm walking through the shady areas. My New Dawn aside the front door has only 2-3 hrs sun, yet its scents can spread all around the porch and the side of the house, which is in full shade, of course the large spring flush is helpful too. Smiling BTW, I deliberately plant fragrant roses near the deck and doors so it's more likely I can smell them. Many growers say Lemon Spice has a pungent overwhelming scent, but it is the fragrance I smell most often in my backyard, even in windy days. Who knows? Maybe the chemical stuffs and air flow are also factors.
[Last edited by Aerith - Jun 2, 2021 1:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Jun 2, 2021 6:08 AM CST
Scentwise ( something that I really search for deliberately), I found that it depends how the bushes are placed within a room like enclosed garden. Since fragrance is generated by droplets of essencial oils that are kept suspended in a colloidal form in the atmosphere, it is important to reduce air flow as much as possible. ( the contrary of what is said for growing roses).So I plant my very fragrant roses right next to the house entrance in a very protected place. Let them grow high so that reach and bloom at my standing up nose level. Then yes, although the fragrance couldn't be sensed as a waft, the odour is noticeable and strong enough to become a pleasant reminder of their existence. I'm more than happy with that much, outside. A few, I cut and bring them inside and then I enjoy their fragrance in a vase.

I checked the Köppen climate link and really I still have difficulties of finding where my place fits. Yes it belongs most of the days of the year to Cbf or Cbc. However every now and then, it changes to something else when the prevailing winds shift towards the eastern Atlantic. In summer if that happens, we can get a few days of humid tropical warm weather, then the westerlies take over and return to the oceanic climate. That same pattern in winter may bring a heavy snowstorm and grief provoking freezes... Thumbs down Fortunately these oscillations last for a short time.

I still believe that those that live in much wetter climates than mine , but still have cool overall summers like mine, should concentrate their choice of garden roses that originate from European countries that have similar climate pattern. Thus the DAs are so well suited. Of course DAs from the US nursery is a different matter. They have to supply for a vast majority that live in a much hotter climate. Although the assumption that DA's do well everywhere is more related to wishful thinking of DAltd., than a fact, original DA's are best adapted to their origins, that is the oceanic climate. I'm only now getting to understand their needs and also avoid commonplace generalized growing strategies. Each one of my DA is slightly different. Some may be quite different. Each needs to find the right position. Most are very happy growing with less than 4 hours of direct sunlight. Afternoon high shade is something that almost all my DA's love. I have quite a few still inside pots because I keep moving them around trying to detect inside my yard where each one likes best. All my roses grow much slower than those experienced by northern growers. Yet all reach the same final size. So its simply that: slower.
A few of my bushes that were bred for warmer sunny climates, need a hot place in my beds for them to strive: i.e.'Anvil Sparks' or 'Double Delight'. That again can be found once one understands what the bush is asking for. Then sure enough, where I would find it too hot and bright to sit for a while in mid-summer, is where that rosebush ought to be placed.
As I'm looking forward already for next growing season, I do have a few spots that meet with that requirement here. Not too many, but large enough to host 8 - 10 bushes of that sort.

Most ARS award contender roses would not do well here.On the contrary most OGRs or English, French or German roses grow well here. I also find it interesting comments around a newly establishing bush in relation to a fully grown one. Here my incomers that arrive bare root mid winter have to spend dormant the first winter inside my cool greenhouse. Otherwise they don't make it through. They are just too unsettled to put up new growth ( above and below ground) to be able to handle cool/cold springs with frequent freeze/thaw episodes, so as to start building up body mass. This of course I learnt it the hard way.... Sighing!

Arturo
NW Washington Islands (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Roses Organic Gardener
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IslandGarden
Jun 2, 2021 7:34 AM CST
If we just went with annual rainfall, this area is much dryer than those surrounding us and definitely the Eastern US/Canada but our relative humidity is pretty high most of the time. Example - it's 58f with 85% humidity currently. Yesterday was 81f with 48% humidity. A marine layer moved in overnight and cooled us off (thus the higher humidity).

I can't keep roses dormant in my greenhouse because it is in full sun in the winter so the temps swing wildly. Believe me - I've tried Sighing!

Speaking of full sun, I've often wondered if that is year round full sun? Most of the trees that shade my yard are deciduous so the back gardens are full sun half the year and partial to full shade the other half. A small sliver of my front yard is full sun year round. We've not tried growing anything but grass in that area because it really seems to "bake" in the summer. Even the grass gets scorched.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Jun 2, 2021 10:34 AM CST
@IslandGarden I'm glad you proposed this thread because as we get to understand better your conditions in details then generic proposals can be tweaked to your growing conditions. With the few areas you have already expressed that sun baked are will be good for some of the hot sun loving roses. When you say that your greenhouse is in full sun in winter, doesn't mean that ie you can't ventilate it and keep a corner under some shade cloth with dormant roses underneath . However mine is just a suggestion trying to understand your real obstacles. Imho humidity and warm day time weather is not particularly problematic in summer, as long as your night time temps drop considerably. That day time warmth is OK and should provide the temperature range that your bushes need to grow ( actually optimally). Ideal temperature for optimal growth of roses is 77ºF, not too far from what you actually have. In my summers, I get it but at night temps drop to 55ºF or even less. So night-time growth is considerably restrained. You seem to be placed in a warmer area.
I really look forward to your input and see how we can help. Possibly ( I'm almost certain) you'll end up with a dream rose garden , but none ARS winners, still stunningly beautiful.

Arturo
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Jun 2, 2021 4:05 PM CST
Arturo....I am trying some cheap bagged old ARS HT to see how they do....they all came out of dormancy and are blooming (had to put them by a concrete wall to get enough heat soon enough for blooms now (only 2 roses in the landscape are blooming). They almost all have powdery mildew from the spring rains and some have black spot (all treated with milk spray and clearing up.)

We had a heat wave of 85f yesterday and fried several of my DA blooms. I want to try some of DA older ones, but don't enjoy the knodding blooms. Kordes often does well for me as long as it is not bred for heat. I am thinking about getting some Harkness roses, as I think they will do really well...if only they were easier to get in the USA. I really think you are on to something by looking at the breeder!

I grew up near Portland Oregon and remember seeing signs to rose growing greenhouses. I did not think much about it since my grandmother grew a lot of roses that were HT and fragrant. Currently my zone is the same, except being closer to the ocean, all of June is rainy and cool, so I have more disease and fewer blooms early. I don't treat except with milk, and even if I don't it usually clears up by end of July. (I treated the new HT because I wanted a little truer blooms, but won't keep treating as I want to see how they make it thru the rain and cool.)

Although rose growing and styles have changed since grafted HT California grown roses were king, the Portland Rose Test Garden has always had roses that do well and roses that were being trialed and not doing well. We have this unique very rainy fall, winter, spring and dry summer that is different from much of the USA...back when OR grew HT for arrangements, breeders focused on what would do well for growers in this climate. Different customer base in the USA now that greenhouse roses are gone...although the local flower movement might make a change there too.

One final thought...DA knew that "rose gardens" with only roses did not do very well..nature rarely has all one thing in a huge group. When roses mingle with other plants insects and disease have a harder time running from one rose to another...my grandmother did not have to spray because she had roses dotted in her beds...not that she didn't get some disease or insect, they rarely took down the rose and the rose was an island in a sea of other plants.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Jun 2, 2021 4:38 PM CST
<One final thought...DA knew that "rose gardens" with only roses did not do very well..nature rarely has all one thing in a huge group. When roses mingle with other plants insects and disease have a harder time running from one rose to another...my grandmother did not have to spray because she had roses dotted in her beds...not that she didn't get some disease or insect, they rarely took down the rose and the rose was an island in a sea of other plants.>
Yes I fully agree specially with this paragraph. I'm moving in that same direction this upcoming season here, by mixing up my beds, including delphiniums, daylilies, irises of various kinds, lilies, peonies, clematis and an assortment of perennials, like columbines, heucheras, Veronicas, sages or Agastaches. Still in the "rose garden", the rose bush will be the dominant plant . I'm even adding summer bulbs like dahlias and gladioli, annuals or early spring bulbs as well. Not only there's the advantage of diversity in terms of ecological balance, but certain moments of colourless greenery is mitigated by colour provided from other sources of flowers. The garden keeps its cheerfulness throughout the growing season regardless if the thing is being provided by roses or not. A BS defoliated rose dissappears visually. Not every BS episode is a source of real concern for the bush. I have some periods of BS and then it subsides. I just am too busy with all my farming and garden activities to spend time on regular spraying. I concentrate on plants that are severely attacked and the rest go unattended. I've learnt to ignore a few ungainly black spots on leaves. Smiling
DA's roses are particularly suited to landscaping. All his breeding has been thought around incorporating roses in an small/average English cottage garden setting. Not for the large estates or public gardens. The logic around a high proportion of ARS HT's is the show bench rose. I'm not a show flower person although I acknowledge its value in promoting horticulture. I don't even go to a flower show and I've never joined a show flower garden club. I doubt I ever will. On the contrary I don't mind visiting gardens both public or private, although Covid restriction has now halted that option for a while. In the Continent ( as EU countries would term themselves) the large breeders also target the average garden. So I suspect that apart from the English Harkness roses, Poulsen in Denmark, Kordes in Germany, Meilland in France will carry roses really suited for your conditions. Also Hortico in Canada would have some particularly appropriate, just a few miles away! I think the least adequate are those grown in southern California. Everything just very different!

Arturo
NW Washington Islands (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Roses Organic Gardener
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IslandGarden
Jun 2, 2021 6:38 PM CST
@hampartsum I live pretty close to sandsock and yesterday's heat was an anomaly (although becoming more common in recent years) Our average summer highs are lower than the ideal 77f so we have similar struggles to you.

I have considered growing roses in the front yard/garden and may make that my next project. I'll have to get Mr IslandGarden on board with the idea because it will take some considerable work to convert that area. Since it would be on display, I would want the roses grown out there to be healthy and show stopping to encourage others to grow more roses also Big Grin
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Jun 3, 2021 1:48 PM CST
Yes..Island a real scorcher yesterday!!! Funny, for a while I lived in Vegas and we had to cancel water games one day because 95f was just too cold!

Arturo...I didn't know about Poulsen...Ping in the US does some nice ones for our climate, but hard to find. Getting things from Canada is hard...even seeds are a challege...roses require lots of paperwork cost....apparently Hortico is getting so sloppy at sending the correct rose that it is hard to justify the paperwork cost for the wrong and often common rose.

Stephan from the Permaculture Orchard (youtube) talks about adding diversity a lot...he was a landscape architect and bought a monoculture organic apple orchard and had no end of problems until he added other trees, shrubs and small stuff...it made it diverse and stopped both pests and disease from spreading...I am just using his ideas and applying it to roses, like David Austin and my grandmother. I have even found that roses in pots do better with friends as long as they are nice friends.

Another thing that Stephan talks about is pest being indicators and helping your whole garden system....we always have aphids as the new rose bud emerge in spring...I sometimes finger pull them off and sometimes not, but this year I watch a little finch perch on the rose and eat and eat the aphids.....it was so cute and I am glad I did not kill all the aphids.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Jun 3, 2021 3:39 PM CST
@Sandsock Annie, I really agree fully on what you say about adding diversity to a property. Never can one go wrong in that direction. Also, accepting in a small degree critters that are "nuissances", is part of becoming tolerant and keeping oneself humble as a permanent rule in life.
I'm only familiar by photos of some of Ping's roses. None have reached this far south. I undoubtedly would've a tried out quite a few of them if I had the chance. As it stands these days with so much disruption caused by the pandemic, if anything, trade has lessened everywhere, thus overall weakening any and every economy. I'm not surprised that sluggishness and sloppy handling of detail has appeared in nurseries like Hortico. We are only in the initial surprise that the pandemic has caused to the world. It will take decades to sort all the damage it has done. It is quick and easy to ruin something, slow and demanding, regaining progress. The same goes with the environment: easy and quick to ruin, difficult and slow to restore. For the first time in the whole history of mankind, there's a slap being given on its butt. Perhaps some will regain awareness and change their life purpose, meaning and style. Hopefully, these will lead the rest to the same. The changes that ought to come about is of such magnitude that one can't imagine it to ever to occurr. 120 years most of the human population lived off the land in tightly knit rural communities. Like 9:1. It was still stable then. When out of greed, the industrial revolution lured people into these large unstable and non viable urban settings the final proportion was inverted. Perhaps what we are witnessing is a turning point... Sighing!

Arturo
NW Washington Islands (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Roses Organic Gardener
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IslandGarden
Jun 4, 2021 8:26 AM CST
I'm a big fan of the cottage garden style. I started the test garden this year to see which roses and class of roses could grow well here under the "ideal" conditions specified by the grower (without chemicals). It has a more formal rose garden style This is my first time trying anything besides HTs and Floribundas. Even in the "ideal" conditions, all 5 HT's are struggling and I really believe this is one of the reasons people shy away from roses. These are the roses they see for sale everywhere (except at the top of line nurseries) and they buy them, plant them and then the roses struggle to survive and/or thrive. I hear from friends, family, neighbors (and I used to say the same thing) "Roses are too fussy; it's too time consuming/expensive to care for roses; all the roses that I try are disease ridden; we just can't grow nice roses here...etc"
So I have two goals - one is to identify which roses do well here and the other is to share my knowledge so that others feel more confident in trying rose growing. Maria Callas/MAAB is prime example of a rose (in this climate) that's best placement would be in a cutting garden - she has huge amazing blooms but she completely defoliates due to BS. I would never recommend her for any type of display or front of border situation. If I keep her, which is still up for debate, she will be moved to the cutting garden.
On another note - we are headed to Portland, Oregon later this month to visit kids and grandkids and a visit to the rose garden is on the agenda Hurray!
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Jun 5, 2021 8:04 PM CST
I think one of the huge things is that for a while the 50's thru 80's or 90's spraying was the way that Rosarians and sellers told everyone because growers and breeders were spraying. When Kordes stopped spraying test gardens in the 80's things really changed, David Austin also started no spray, but it took a while for others to catch up. Most of the EU breeders don't spray their test gardens. Proven Winners doesn't spray, but I think their At Last rose is the only one I am getting. Earthkind and Buck roses are no spray. Harkness has some fabulous disease resistant roses, if they only could come to the USA.

I find that if I use Heirloom Roses descriptions, I can tell if it is going to be good for our climate, then I check Rouge Valley Roses and David Austin UK too. High Country Roses and Northland Rosarium have own root and helpful, but I can't always trust their disease resistance or growing since they are both focused on cold hardy. Many of them have a search option for disease resistant or earthkind. Antique Rose Emporium and David Austin US and Help Me Find are more for california, southern and eastern gardeners, so I can tell disease resistance or growing from them usually. An Etsy seller (own website too) Fresh Garden Living grows in Sumner, OR, does own root and do well for me too.

I finally learned to check tags at Big Box Stores and most roses are grown locally, but greenhouse grown. I like to check the clearance section and the ones that look really bad...sometimes it is all the same name. I have one garden center near me that keeps plants forever...I can really tell which roses are terrible for here...they are always left!

Another note, my grandmother in a dry climate grew an OGR without any care at ALL (I mean none: no fertilizer, no pruning, no dead heading, no mulch, not even keeping the grass out of it), no disease, no problems, my brother took cuttings and grew them in Portland, until he decided it just wasn't worth spraying or looking at the disease. That bush at my grandma's was a no care rose and hated Portland!
PNW (Zone 8b)
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Aerith
Jun 5, 2021 10:07 PM CST
I think it's helpful if we live in similar climate growers share and compare our growing notes to each other. Smiling

I don't have many HT. Lemon Spice may be the only one HT on it's own roots I'd like to recommend to grow in coastal PNW. It has almost everything I want and is the most fragrant rose in my garden, even stronger than PAOK and Earth Angel. My 3-year-old Lemon Spice used to be a "one cane wonder" and I'd considered training it to be a standard-like rose, but after being planted in the ground and got proper fertilizer, this spring it has three strong new shoots from the lignified stem, which is a big surprise and proves its vigor as well.


Thumb of 2021-06-06/Aerith/3e92b6

Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Jun 7, 2021 12:52 PM CST
Lemon Spice is going on my wish list! Julia Child is amazing and that scent divine, but have to find just the right cluster for a vase.

How is Earth Angel for you? She was a slow grower and is just flowering the second year..but no disease and tons of flowers this year...it could have been our cool summer last year too.

PAOK? what and how is that one?
NW Washington Islands (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Roses Organic Gardener
Image
IslandGarden
Jun 7, 2021 1:03 PM CST
We were super smoky last year too - especially in September. My daughter, SIL, grandkids along with their dog & cat spent over week up here when they were evacuated due to the fires outside of Portland. The smoke was better here however you could still smell it and it was very hazy. We even had ash fall for only the second time I can remember. I wonder what kind of impact that has on the growing season?

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