Roses forum→Fellowship Rose is the wrong colour

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Jun 5, 2021 2:38 AM CST
I have two Fellowship roses in my front garden, between an Alexander (bright red) and two climbing Graham Thomas roses (yellow). Unfortunately they are blooming the wrong colour - being red fading to pinky-peach rather than the bright orange they should be. The occasional time that I have had the correct orange bloom, the colour has been markedly different from my roses' usual red-fading-to-pinky-peach.
I don't know why the colour is wrong. This is the third year that I have had the various roses. They almost always produce roses that start the same colour as the Alexander, and then fade to pink on the outer edge of the petals and yellow in the centre, grading through peach. The effect is quite tatty, and not at all as bright, clear and smart as the occasional times that an orange bud has been produced.
The times when I get orange buds do not seem to be particularly special. As far as I can recall, branches that produce the right colour have nothing different about them, and may have previously produced or go on to produce the wrong colour. I may be wrong on this, however.
The roses are in good sunlight, with sun coming from the south and west. They are in their own bed, with paving and driveway around them. I had thought that they might not get enough rainfall there, but they don't seem to have any problem getting enough water. They have always grown well, although the Fellowship roses grow the least well and are beginning to be overshadowed by the Alexander. Nevertheless, they get plenty of sun, and as long as I keep on top of black spot and aphids all of the roses are healthy. Over winter I had some sheep's wool down as mulch, but I removed this in spring in order to remove any fungus living within the wool and to allow woodland plants to grow under the roses (chiefly winter aconite. daffodil, primrose, lesser celandine, wood avens, daisy, and poppies). I applied a little garden compost in spring.
I did plant the roses too close together: I lacked the faith that they would grow into decent bushes, as my only previous experience was my mum's roses which weren't treated for blackspot (until this year) and consequently barely grew. However, despite growing closely together, they seem to be thriving and the only issue is the wrong colour on the Fellowship roses.

The roses were bought for me as a present so I don't have the contact for the seller: I mean to ask my nana to forward the purchase email to me, as all the roses have a five-year warranty, but she may not be able to find the email.

Alexander Rose bud
Thumb of 2021-06-05/StefBenstead/56efe6

Fellowship Rose bud - see how similar in colour it is to the Alexander. When these have flowered correctly, they don't start the same colour as the Alexander
Thumb of 2021-06-05/StefBenstead/36f43d

Fellowship flower
Thumb of 2021-06-05/StefBenstead/9a22b4

Fellowship flower
Thumb of 2021-06-05/StefBenstead/d99a97

Looking west, away from the house, over the rose bed
Thumb of 2021-06-05/StefBenstead/6c2819

Looking east towards the house
Thumb of 2021-06-05/StefBenstead/dcbbaa

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as I would love to have these roses flower in the correct colour that I bought them for.
Stef Benstead
Name: Lola
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Irises Region: Australia
Jun 5, 2021 4:04 AM CST
I had a look on the database, which you can access via the top toolbar on this site, (sorry I can't link because...old) and many of the photos of Fellowship are the peachy petals with yellow centres you describe. The photos on the labels that come with roses are of how it looks when it is at its very best according to the taste of the breeder so it may not look like that for long before fading or maturing to look different. If a bloom has a life of one week on the bush it may go from a lovely firm bud unfurling on day one, to a perfect specimen like on the label on day two, to a bleached and faded overblown mess on day three, and then become a dirty dishrag hanging off the bush for the next four days until you can't stand it anymore and snip it off. The problem is that a bush full of blooms may have five perfect blooms and 25 ratty ones at the same time. Some roses don't have this cycle and I only grow plants that I find pretty in all stages of bloom and that drop their petals rather than hanging onto them once they have lost their colour, mainly David Austin roses.

Climate also has a lot to do with how your roses will look compared to photos that may come from other places. If you live in a hot and sunny climate you will find many roses will fade or burn in the sun. Am I right in thinking you are not in the USA?

If you are after roses of a certain colour that don't fade you may have to ask your local rose society for varieties that will suit your conditions.

Edit: I just looked it up on HMF Roses and it says Fellowship is a floribunda rose and not a David Austin. The photos there also have one or two that look cupped and gorgeous but the rest look like the open peachy orange with yellow centres you have on yours.
[Last edited by LolaTasmania - Jun 5, 2021 4:11 AM (+)]
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Jun 5, 2021 9:27 AM CST


That's what confused me too, it's not a David Austin rose, (I'll remove that from the header to avoid confusion) Fellowship is sold as Rose (Rosa 'Livin' Easy') and you can see the variety of blooms and yes, climate often makes a difference..
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Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Jun 5, 2021 10:52 PM CST
Stef...I don't know where you live, but I have several roses that are different colors depending on the weather. I have White Licorice, which is banana yellow right now in my cool weather, when it heats up, it turns very white. Julia Child is looking rather orange, but will be sunny yellow as temps climb. Finally soil can make a difference: I saw a Double Delight at the nursery looking so very red with just a hint of my soil it is always white with edges of red. If you look on Helpmefind people often post how a rose looks different in their climate/soil....Sue posted a link to the data base here and there are variations in all the photos.

Jun 7, 2021 1:57 PM CST
Thanks everyone. I guess I might dig them up in the autumn or spring, give them away and find some properly orange roses to replace them. But then it sounds like there is no such thing as a rose that can be trusted to match its described colour! :-/
The photos on this site do look like my roses, but the David Austin site that led me to choose Fellowship shows them as a clear orange and describes them as being a bright orange, rather than as red, pink or a pink shade of peach. I didn't know not to trust the photos or description.

I knew roses faded. But the Graham Thomas and Alexander roses at least start in the described colour, so I can deadhead then when they start to fade and become tatty or shift towards pink (which both of them do). It was the failure of the Fellowship to pretty much ever be the described colour that bothered me, as it basically goes from looking like an Alexander bud to looking like a faded, tatty, overblown Alexander with no smart let alone Fellowship-orange stage in between.
I was also wondering whether, given that soil makes a difference, there were any known tips for affecting the colour of a rose.
I'm in Manchester, in the UK, so not really known for excessive heat!
Name: Seth n Sam .....
W.V. (Zone 6a)
Jun 7, 2021 4:54 PM CST
If you don't have a problem grown ng Hybrid Teas. Ring of Fire is a superb color Orange. With a hint of bright yellow in the center. Super bright, last what seems like forever on the bush, and very decent week as a cut flower in a vase inside. The heat and temp don't effect the color shade at all. Cold they're the same orange as it is in mid summer. Light scent, very large blooms. Mine has 4+ inch blooms. And it has enough thorns to cover four different roses. So be warned it is armed to the gill. And they're extremely sharp. But worth it in my opinion.

I have pictures of it here in the database from my garden.

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