What are your thoughts on the 'ALchemist' rose?

jumbojimmy(Australa)January 26, 2012

I really like the look of Paul Barden's 'Marianne' rose. It's a shame that this rose is not available in Australia.

However, the 'Alchemist' rose looks a bit like Marianne.

I would like to here your thoughts on the Alchemist. Can it be grown as a shrub rose instead of a climber? Do you still like this rose or do you wished you had grown something different?

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I grew it only in a hot climate, which isn't what is best for it. You'll get a better flowering from it in milder (read less hot) climate where the spring to early summer flowering will not only last longer, but the individual flowers will last longer, be richer colored and have more fragrance. Perhaps in a cold climate, it might permit you to grow it as a shrub, but not in a long, warm one where it just wants to GROW. Kim

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:33PM
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I grow both Marianne and Alchymist. Marianne might get the shovel this year. It's prone to canker in my yard, huge, and the foliage looks too modern for my taste. I don't find it an attractive plant when not in bloom. Alchymist is pretty young, but I like it better. Don't know how it would do as a shrub--it's sending out long (around 12') canes. I've heard that you can grow it as a large shrub, but it needs support.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 11:39AM
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I like it very much, but it does get some blackspot here and I agree with Kim that it likes to grow. Mine is on a large arbor and is taking off from there into a nearby tree. In my climate the bloom time in spring is long, but springs are fairly cool here. The canes cover themselves in blooms, no two exactly alike, and the blend of colors is lovely. I don't notice much fragrance. Papi Delbard is also a beautiful climber with similar colors. I don't know if it could be grown as a shrub but it is not the whopper than Alchymist is so far. It is more bs resistant and is fragrant. If you grew Alchymist as a shrub it would take up a lot of room. It is very thorny.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 3:11PM
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I simply think it would get too big for you Jimmy. I grow 2 - one on a hillside nearby and one in my cutting garden. With limited space and a long growing season like yours - it is hard to find space for once bloomers - unless they are absolute "must haves". I really like this rose since all the flowers are different and have different shades and good fragrance too. I posted a picture of some blooms floating in shallow bowl of water on HMF - see link. If you really want a geat rose this big - Gloire De Dijon would be worth looking into - it will get very big too (Huge) and rebloom - but I am not sure you have room for roses that can get that big? Some years ago Sue posted a picture of her Gloire De Dijon - which turned out to be an Alchemiste rose :-)) quite amusing. I grow an older Austin - Charles Austin and I think it might be worth considering for you too - it forms a big shrub and repeats really well and the flowers have the same colours as the Alchemist and are really fragrant.


But I know roselovers - once we have our eyes set on something - we want to try it - and all roses are so different and unique ..

Another smaller rose - is Chippendale - a Tantau rose that is doing really well too - check out that rose too :


Here is a link that might be useful: Apricot Merenques

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:47PM
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I was thinking about 'Alchymist' myself some years ago, and then I saw a plant of it in hot late spring weather, in full bloom, in the sun, and every flower on the plant was dried to pinkish tan wadded tissue paper. It was an ungodly sight. NOT a rose for places where it's hot during the bloom season. This was in the Po Valley, hot, rather humid summers, chilly wet winters. It came off my want list at that moment.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:57AM
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Thanks for all those comments.You guys have been very helpful. I've decided to give this rose a miss.
To me, Papi Delbard looks a bit like abraham darby and I've already got AD.
As for Gloire De Dijon, a lot of people in the hotter climate had commented that this rose gets all kinds of problems so I'm reluctant to give it a try.
I really love the look of the Chippendale rose, but it's not available here.
Perhaps I should plant my DdM next to AD and hoping the bees will do their work and hoping I'll end up with a Marianne look-a-like rose.
I really really love the look of Marianne rose. Arghh!
Same applies to David Austin florist rose, 'Juliet' which is unfortunately not for sale.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 6:11AM
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He he Jimmy - it is frustrating to desire roses we can not obtain and want to try growing. I do not see the Tantau rose Chippendale for sale in Australia - yet - one Nursery in NZ has it under the name - Duchess of Cornwall - but it will of course not be an Alchemiste or a Marianne SIGH. I would also not try the open pollenation of DdM x AD you mention ... even with correct pollenation and protection of the hybrid - chances are very, very slim that you will come up with a Marianne - as you may know -(Have you tried germinating some of the seeds from hips on your roses?) - it is interesting - and many of us do try. Out of many thousand seedlings from crosses I did - I have only had luck with one in 12 years - all the rest turned out to have flaws and poor disease resistance - and the majority died during the last 2 long hard winters here - I suppose they were not hardy enough to make it then ... I only have one rose left - nice shrubby growth habit , constant bloomer with small fragrant cupshaped apricot flowers and even better - great, disease resistance. I have budded several and they survived the winters (and discowered it did well own root too) and are now sending a few to rose friends as I increase my stock of plants so they can try it out. It may be the only rose worth growing I will ever make in my lifetime ...

Gloire de Dijon is a real challenge to grow here too .. (colder, milder climate) I have one 6 YO plant - a 2 cane wonder - that gives me 30-50 flowers every year ...but I had to try it ... I always imagine it would do better in sunnier milder climates as I have seen in France and Spain. But I really sulks here ..and many describe it as hard to grow. Unlike Alchemiste - it does great here. Hope you are doing well Jimmy - it is snowing here today - we got the first snow friday - but the winter has been extremely mild so far up here in Northern Europe.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 7:37AM
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I have planted several big thorny climbers on the 8-foot chain link fence in the far corner of the back of my garden. Alchymist is one of them. They can grow as big as they please, and the only creatures that will be disturbed by the thorns will be the deer. I have no problem with annoying the deer. As long as the deer leave my garden alone and don't try to jump out in front of our car as we drive along, I wish them no harm, even enjoy watching the herd browsing. Unfortunately they are prone to both of those activities.

My plant of Alchymist is young yet. I think it is going to be beautiful. I hope it will be big. As for ugly spent blooms, if I walk out there and see them I can take them off. If I don't feel like doing that the massive old olive tree will screen them from view from the rest of the garden. Placement can work wonders!


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:57PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

We grew Alchymist long ago. It was removed because DH wanted something remontant there. Of course NOTHING we've ever put there has done well, so I wish I had Alchymist back.

The plant was from ROY&T, so it was budded, on Huey, and virused. It made a very graceful climber of moderate proportions. It bloomed for quite a long time in the spring, in astonishing volume. Planted on a fence, at the top of a retaining wall, it hung festoons, covered with blooms, as eye-catching as any banner. The blooms color-shifted, so that you had every conceivable shade of golden yellow, all over the plant, at the same time.

Perhaps Alchymist was not an ideal rose for hot, dry, inland areas, but it was quite a sight, in this coastal climate.

DH still wants remontancy up there, so our next attempt will be a row of three Chinas: "Elisabeth's China" (red), "White Christmas"/(probably 'Ducher'), and "Magnolia Cemetery Rose" (red). I won't have festoons of gold in the spring, but I'll have drifts of red and white at Christmas. :-)


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:11PM
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I would like 'Alchymist' a lot more if it weren't 3/4 leafless by the time the blooms peaked.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 3:55PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Well, in truth, back when we grew Alchymist, we sprayed.

So there's no telling how the foliage would fare here, now that we no longer spray.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 8:53PM
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