Pretty in Pink or Apricot: Exceptional Roses for Hot Dry Climate

Sow_what? Southern California InlandMarch 16, 2014

I'm creating a new garden at Humpty Dumpty House Foundation, and am hoping to select some exceptional pink and apricot roses. Thanks to a number of people here, I was introduced to some exciting options in burgundy roses, and it'll be great if the same thing happens again with the pinks and apricots, especially since my choices should be submitted on Monday. Here are my preferences:

Form: English roses and Romanticas are favored, as well as other roses that look like these.

Colors: Pinks and apricots. Cup shape preferred. Want something heartbreakingly beautiful.

Bloom: I'd rather have an exquisitely beautiful rose that blooms reasonably well, than an average looking rose that blooms nonstop. A couple of flushes a year is not enough. Neither is a continuous bloomer that rarely has more than one bloom at a time.

Conditions: Very hot dry summers with mild winters; occasional short freezes. Cool nights through most of the year. Good irrigation available. Feeding available. Sun can be filtered somewhat if need be.

Disease: We're organic, but disease is almost never an issue in roses here.

Size: Prefer long canes, but will consider all sizes.

Shrub: Not important. Don't mind awkward shape, gangly canes, thorns, as long as the blooms are exceptionally pretty.

Some I'm considering:

Carding Mill
Scepter d'Isle
Jude the Obscure
Abraham Darby

I'm not familiar with the above, other than what I've read, so any comments or suggestions will be tremendously appreciated.


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dublinbay z6 (KS)

If you want some shorter ones, two newer ones I strongly recommend are Austin's Boscobel--that is a beautiful apricot/pink combination--and Princess Alexandra of Kent--another pink beauty with some apricot highlights. Very floriferous and full.

A lighter pink with apricot highlights is the lovely Queen of Sweden--exceptionally beautiful blooms.

I planted Scepter'd Isle last year but can't say too much about it yet, other than that I picked it because of the interesting shape of the blooms and the strong compliments it received on this forum for blooming/reblooming . It's a lovely one.

Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 10:26AM
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alameda/zone 8

Carding Mill is one of my favorite apricots. Also love Abe Darby, it can be either a shrub or small climber, lovely scent. Fragrant Apricot from Roses Unlimited is another favorite apricot floribunda.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:01AM
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Desertgarden- Las Vegas, Z8b @ 2800 ft.

I grew Abraham Darby and Jude the Obscure about a decade ago. Abraham Darby fried once the temperatures hit the 90's; it received morning sun only. It is a beautiful rose but I will never plant it again. Jude the Obscure, for most of the year, looked either yellow or buff. The sun really bleached out the color. I do not know how hot it becomes where you are, but our non-relenting, brutally hot months are July and August, the bleach and fry began during May. The dryness here is a factor too.

Carding Mill is reported to perform very well in hot and even dry climates. Mine is new, off to a slow start, so it is too soon for me to evaluate. But I did purchase itâ¦.

A few roses to evaluate:

Archduke Charles
Belinda's Dream
Grandmother's Hat
Marchesa Boccella
Lady Hillingdon (apricot/yellow)
Duchesse de Brabant

If you want to add white, White Lady Banks puts on a phenomenal show once per year, but for a few weeks. It is exceptionally heat and drought tolerant.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:53AM
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Scepter'd Isle grew in the famous Austin octopus form for me. You could probably train it along a fence to good effect, but I did not like it as a free standing shrub. Shortening the canes was not effective. It just flung out new ones. The flower was pretty, though. I don't remember what the fragrance was like.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:53PM
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Carding Mill did really well here in Texas. Jude the Obscure was a little stingy with the blooms in my garden.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 1:31PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I am going to suggest Carding Mill as well. It blooms nicely. I would skip Abraham Darby. You might want to see what grows well for Ingrid and DesertGarden951 They have conditions that are more similar to your location. We are organic too, but Abraham Darby is not a happy plant in far less heat than your area.

Are you interested in growing out bands? I know you are looking for a few exceptional English rose looking blooms, but you might want to look for plants that like growing here in our conditions and since your garden gets visitors with limited physical abilities maybe low thorn as well.

Since you are getting a rose from Heirloom, maybe check on the Eurodesert Roses.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 2:04PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

You must try the "Queen of Apricots", Austin's Evelyn. Big gorgeous blooms, exquisite scent, decent rebloom, and does well in the heat. I have five and am getting another this spring (yes, I'm unbiased-ha). When I have more time later today I have a few other suggestions. Here's Evelyn, which can produce some pink blooms, too. Diane

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 3:02PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

Here's Evelyn in her pink mode. Diane

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 3:03PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Kate, all are beautiful -- thank you! Which of these is blooming best for you?

Alameda and shopshops, I'm almost sure Carding Mill will be one of the roses I pick. Does anyone know whether it can get tall enough to climb an arbor? I can still use it if it doesn't, but will have to find a climber as well.

Lynn, our temps aren't as hot or dry as yours, but July and August here average 95F, and plenty of days go over 100F. I really hoped to use Abe Darby as a climber, have a microclimate that's cooler than typical, and can filter the sun a lot more if need be, but there's no sense in planting a rose that won't do well here. Thanks for the other suggestions -- I'll check them out.

Folly, octopus canes don't bother me at all, and if they're long enough to use for climbing an arbor or winding around a support, all the better. Just want to make sure Scepter puts out a good number of beautiful blooms and holds up in the heat.

Kippy, I haven't grown out bands, but I hear they take off fast here. Do you have any advice? Our gardens are disability friendly, but these roses will be located where thorns are not a concern. Will definitely check out Ingrid, DesertGardens951, and Eurodesert roses - thanks so much!

I also just noticed many praises for one I'm not familiar with at all: Souvenir de la Malmaison, which looks like an incredibly beautiful rose, and wondering whether the climbing version does well in dry heat when irrigated well? Also some of the English Legend roses?

Thanks for any additional input. -jannike

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 3:07PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Diane, your Evelyn is a beauty! I think I'll let you pick the rest of the roses -- but be sure to pick "in stock" from Heirloom! Can't wait to see your other suggestions!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 3:20PM
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adamharbeck(WA Aust)

Radio Times does fantastically well in our Mediterranean/ Californian climate. The flowers are beautiful and smell even better. I have seen quite a few bushes and they always look good. No disease. Nothing.
Another great rose is Strawberry Hill. It has beautiful foliage and is very vigorous, so give it space. The scent is like incense and it fills the garden.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 6:22PM
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adamharbeck(WA Aust)

Strawberry Hill

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 9:11PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Carding Mill is a great rose for a hot, dry climate and I'm proud to say that I've "enabled" a number of people here into trying it. For me it stayed short, with many fluffy blooms on the bush for much of the time. I didn't keep this rose, although now I wish I had, because I wanted more of a pink scheme in the garden. I don't think it's very fragrant, but its lack of disease and almost constant bloom made it a winner in my book.

I've never grown the climbing form of SdlM, although I adore the bush form, but I would definitely not put it against a wall because I suspect it might mildew. I found to my cost that putting a climber on a wall where it gets more than early morning sun will fry it and the branches will begin to die back.

Abraham Darby did not do well for me although I admire it greatly. The blooms fried very quickly in the sun and when I moved it to a shadier spot it promptly became diseased.

After seeing Diane's pictures of Evelyn I wouldn't hesitate to have at least one. I suspect it will be more pink when it's cool and more apricot when it's warmer, but either way it seems to fulfill most of your criteria.

Bishop's Castle is a beautiful and fragrant pink Austin, although it isn't cup-shaped. Duchesse de Brabant is lovely if you can give it afternoon shade. I tried growing it twice in the sun and it died, although my garden has a lot of reflected heat from lots of hardscape and giant boulders and a steep hillside in the back yard.

Yves Piaget is in my opinion a gorgeous rose, well worth having in spite of its rather gangly nature. Mine was unfortunately killed by gophers.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 12:37AM
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adamharbeck(WA Aust)

Climbing SdlM was too hit and miss for me, so I put it to the saw the other weekend. The flowers were spectacular, but I always lost the first spring flush to balling. I think I could have tolerated it if it had of been the bush form, but the climber was just to straggly and thorny to keep its place.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 2:05AM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Okay -- you haven't gotten rid of me yet; just putting in insane hours at work, and falling asleep reading this forum during the wee hours. Thank you Ingrid, Diane, Kippy, Adam, Folly Lynn, Alameda, and Kate. Was it Ingrid who used the euphemism "enabler"? I'd use another more realistic word, but I'd be thrown off the forum. I came here for two roses, and now I'm plotting how to squeeze in a dozen!!!

Here's the update:

For apricot roses, almost definitely Evelyn and Carding Mill, though I'm waiting to hear what else Diane is going to come up with to drive me into another rose frenzy.

For pink, I'm considering:

Radio Times
Queen of Sweden
Strawberry Hill
Bishops Castle
Duchesse de Brabant
Yves Piaget
Souvenir de la Malmaison
Other suggestions?

Knowing how big these get in a hot, dry climate with good food and water will be a big help, since I'll want to wind some of the roses around horizontal and vertical supports. I'm also considering letting at least one rose scramble up a tree; is that a bad idea?

In summary:

How big
Best bloomers in dry heat
I do have some cooler, filtered sun microclimates, so please let me know if any of these will work in those areas.

Drop dead gorgeous stuff -- thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 5:51AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Queen of Sweden would not be a candidate for winding or climbing or scrambling. She gets about 4 ft tall (maybe a bit taller) and is rather stiff and upright. She'd make a better hedge rather than a climber.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:39AM
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cemeteryrose(USDA 9/Sunset 14)

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Mons Tillier. Such gorgeous coppery pink cup-shaped flowers, perfect foliage here in Sacramento, prolific blooms that never fry in the heat. Terrific tea scent too - we volunteers were sniffing them all recently and concluded there was none better. This photo shows it a bit pinker than it often is - like all teas, color varies by season and temperature. It's a big plant so you would need to give it room!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:41AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi, I'm not sure how it will do in your climate and whether you like the form, but Rosemary Harkness, is lovely rose, which borders orange/ apricot, depending the heat and it has a lovely deep rose scent, the type that elevates the soul and makes the heart sing....

This post was edited by true-blue on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 12:00

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:54AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Tamora is also another suggestion. Though in my climate it tends to be small...
Tamora has a myrrh scent, sort of funky and unusual...

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:58AM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I second Tamora (that's a gorgeous photo, true-blue). Tamora is small and compact here, also. I don't think it gets very big anywhere. Mine is almost always in bloom. The blooms are smaller than Evelyn's (Tamora is a parent of Evelyn, but its scent is very different from Ev's).
I wasn't going to mention Brother Cadfael, because I think it would need some afternoon shade in your climate to do its best. It gets very large here (mine is 10 feet tall), and its rebloom could be better. The blooms are large and lovely, and it has a wonderful scent.
You might check Jude the Obscure again. It get huge also, has a lovely scent, but would do better with some afternoon shade, I think.
My favorite Romantica rose is Frederic Mistral, which is one of my best smelling roses. It's a big one, too, about 7 feet by 7 feet, and blooms pretty much constantly for me.
I think Princess Alexandra of Kent might be a good one. Mine is still youngish, so I'm sure what it's final size will be, but it's not compact here.
Colette is a short climber that might be a possibility. The blooms aren't very big, but they look like a smaller version of Tamora. So far, it seems very tough in heat and cold. I was surprised at that. Mine doesn't have much bloom scent.
I'm trying Boscobel this spring, and I have high hopes for it. Kate has already mentioned this one.
Here is a pic of Brother Cadfael and Jude the Obscure (I think everyone has seen this photo-sorry). Diane

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 2:52PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

jannike, I've seen Jasmina in my area and, to tell the truth, it's nothing to write home about. This German-bred rose would probably be lovely in a much cooler climate, but here the very large specimen I saw had only so-so flowers.

One of the best climbers for our climate, and which I really love, is the apricot, sometimes pinkish Reve D'Or, with frilly, open blooms, pliable canes with very few thorns, and very vigorous to boot. Not much scent, I'm afraid, but frankly I didn't care. Unfortunately in my ignorance I put it against a house wall in a mostly sunny area and it developed more and more dead canes. If I had the space I would grow this rose again in a heartbeat. Annie Laurie McDowell is an absolutely splendid rose when mature (roseseek/Kim is the breeder), thornless, disease-free, beautiful lavender pink flowers, but it seems to grow at a glacial pace from a band, which is the only way to get it, assuming you're lucky enough to find it. You can get on the waiting list at Burlington Roses if you wish.

I would certainly choose Duchesse de Brabant for a filtered-light situation. Although a tea rose, it is fragrant, and it has a romantic, old-rose feel that for me none of the Austins have to that degree. The flowers are cupped, with a lovely color, and there is good rebloom. Along with Souvenir de la Malmaison, it's one of the quintessential classic old roses that every warm, dry garden should have. Do consider SdlM as a bush, if not a climber, since it's constantly in bloom and the flowers are gorgeous. For me the pink does not pale to white even in the heat, and it's a bushy, shapely plant, as is DdB. Duchesse de Brabant has an equally beautiful and fragrant white sport, Madame Schwartz, should you need a white rose. Both will become taller than SdlM, although not huge.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:30PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Thanks nanadoll :-)
Sow_what I forgot, some years ago, I had a apricot/ orange phase, where I compiled a small list of roses, mostly Austins.
Again you need to check if they are suitable to your climate:
1) Crown Princess Margareta
2) Pat Austin
3) Lady Emma Hamilton
4) Apricot Nectar - Floribunda
5) Work of art - Climber miniature - Mild fragrance.

Good Luck and post us the results.....

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:12PM
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Enviously admiring the gorgeous 'Brother Cadfael'. Father Jerome used to post a similar beautiful photo of the one he grew at the abbey. Mine was feeble and had a lot of dieback, but I can see that is not typical of this cultivar.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:14PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

I'm blown away by all the heart-stopping roses I've never seen before, and appreciate the fantastic suggestions and helpful feedback. It's great to have so many to choose from. The Garden of Forgotten Dreams will have some unforgettable roses, thanks to all your help.

One of the roses I can't get out of my mind is SdlM. Absolutely haunting. This has to be one of our roses. I'd like to get the SHRUB AND the CLIMBER, and here are my questions:

Best conditions for this rose?

Own root, or rootstock?

Which rootstock is best?

Can I grow SdlM climber up a tree w lots of sun?

Can I grow SdlM climber up a tree w filtered sun?
. . . . .

For my heart, Duchesse de Brabant is another stunner, but design-wise I like to limit the number of different roses I use. So here are my questions:

Duchesse de Brabant climber or SdlM climber, and why?

Do I need DdB climber for my afternoon shade spot, or can I use SdlM climber there?

Is DdB climber the same rose as the shrub?
. . . . .

Carding Mill will also be used, and here's my question:

Should I use 1 or a group of 3 closely spaced in a triangle to look like one shrub in a 7' long area? David Austin recommends this at 18" apart.
. . . . .

The last two picks are Evelyn and Ascot . . .

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 5:35AM
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Don't see anyone has mentioned Mrs BR Cant. She is an extraordinary rose in my hot dry climate. She gets big but I have not found her to be overwhelmingly large in my suburban yard. She is a nonstop bloomer and virtually disease free. She and Mme Joseph Schwartz are the stars of my garden. Love love love them!!!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:42AM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Another exceptional bloom getting ready to burst forth in the Garden of Lost Dreams.

I'm looking forward to hearing from anyone that can answer the questions two post up. I can't promise these will be my last questions, but I really am almost 'there", and appreciate all the help along the way.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:26PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

jannike, I love the color of the flower you've posted. Good photography too.

Re Carding Mill, 18 inches apart would be ludicrous in our climate. I would give one bush 4-5 feet at least.

I grow almost everything own-root, including Souvenir de la Malmaison. As I remember, it was a 1-gallon pot from Chamblee's. My second plant of SdlM was an own-root band from Vintage. It's best grown in morning sun and afternoon or late-afternoon shade. The same would probably be best for Duchesse de Brabant. I've never grown the climber, but it is the same rose as the shrub. I think it also would do best in morning sun and afternoon shade. I don't have any information about the climber SdlM.

If I had the chance, I would choose both SdlM and Duchesse de Brabant, but naturally that is your determination to make. I hope someone else will have the information to answer the remainder of your questions.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 12:52AM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland


Thank you for so generously sharing your time and your knowledge; the Garden of Forgotten Dreams will be all the more evocative because you, Diane, and so many others here were willing to pass on what you've learned. Me; I'll be planting monster David Austins 18" apart without a clue how ludicrous that is -- ay carumba!

The photo below is the exploded version of a similar somniferous poppy.. Huge and heavy.. Dreamy blooms in the Garden of Forgotten Dreams. Hopefully, the newly chosen roses will be as well.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 7:39AM
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alameda/zone 8

Cant imagine how I could have forgotten to suggest the noisette climber Crepuscule. It looks like peach ice cream when in full bloom. No scent but I don't care, it is so gorgeous. All these beautiful peach blooms on a mature bush is breathtaking. It is one of the roses I would never be without, and one of the few I have more than one of. I would love to do a whole fencerow in this rose! Check it out on Helpmefind.......

Also, the Buck rose Honeysweet is a combination of pink, coral, peach, most unusual and beautiful. Carefree Celebration is another nice peach rose, smaller blooms, but lots of them - like this one a lot.

But definitely take a look at Crepuscule.....


    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:14AM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Thanks Judith! Can anyone compare Crepuscule to Westerland? Also, I'll need everyone to weigh in whether they'd choose Crepuscule or Evelyn, and why.

Thanks much!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 3:06PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

What a beautiful flower! I'm in love with lavender and purple plants.

Judith is right about Crepuscule; it is a wonderful rose. However, you can't possibly substitute if for Evelyn because it's a climber and can get huge. If you have the space it's well worth having, although if I had to choose and couldn't have both I'd probably still prefer Reve d'Or.

jannike, it's been a great pleasure to offer suggestions for this garden. Making any part of the world a more beautiful place with roses is a reward in itself.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:44PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland


I love these somniferous poppies! The dark colored ones planted in full sun shatter quickly. But the lighter colors, especially those in shade or filtered sun are lasting a good while. The blooms are huge and the photos don't do them justice.

I can use a big climber, or a short climber, but I can only pick one more apricot rose. So I'm hoping to get opinions whether I should go for:

Reve d'Or

Tremendous beauty and lots of blooms is what I'm hoping for, so anyone familiar with the above, please share.

Thanks -jannike

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 6:21AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

jannike, I can't believe those are poppies; they're obviously something out of the ordinary. I'm going to have to research them.

Evelyn to my knowledge isn't used as a climber, but I could be wrong. Of the other two Reve d'Or is my favorite because the flowers are more special. I would look on helpmefindroses and decide which one appeals to you more. There will be plenty of pictures there. Ease of growing should be about the same, as should size.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 1:39PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Diane (or anyone who knows):

Are the canes on Evelyn flexible or rigid? I'm hoping for a climber, and like to be able to bend the canes, if possible.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 1:57PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

The canes of Evelyn are pretty rigid. I don't think she could be used as a climber. I didn't know a climber was what you were looking for. Colette is a small climber but very vigorous. Blooms are much smaller than Evelyn's. Here's a pic of Colette. Diane

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 2:42PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Gorgeous picture, Diane. I have to admit that to me that rose is even more beautiful than Reve d'Or. If it does well for you I imagine it would also be suitable for jannike's climate.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 6:19PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

If you want something deep pink with unique blooms, check out Lady Ann Kidwell. She looks like a Christmas bow in a happy shade of pink. She is growing leaps and bounds here and is by far the happiest of all the bands I purchased.

I would also suggest Grandmother's Hat, she is making a nice vase shape and full of more old fashion pink blooms. With a wonderful scent.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:11PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Thanks so much, Kippy. I look forward to checking these out this weekend. But I'm not so much looking for pink, as apricot, preferably with somewhat flexible stems.

Diane and ingrid, Austin touts Evelyn as a 6' climber, and my memory is that several Californians on this forum have claimed 20' long Evelyns.

Ingrid, I always check out the photos on HMF, but I never trust that as much as a person-to-person opinion here. Is there an apricotish version of SdlM, or Duchesse de Brabant, or the Tantau rose you just linked on the Austin thread? Also, seeds of the somniferous poppies can be purchased at One Stop Poppy Shoppe and several other smaller seed companies. Burpee has a double peony type called Venus. These poppies are supposed to be out of their element in our climate, but I planted last autumn to take advantage of the cold, and so far all but the darkest color are holding their own and stopping visitors in their tracks.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 7:45AM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

Evelyn does put out some long canes, especially when she is young, but her canes are pretty stiff. Still, in California, you should be able to grow quite a large Evelyn. Love your poppy. I hope some seed for lavender poppies I sowed will produce flowers. It's still early days up here.
I hope you're able to grow Evelyn whether you make a climber out of her or not. Diane

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 8:44PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Diane, I'll be growing Evelyn and Ascot. Thanks so much for sharing your Evelyn, and for introducing me to the lovely Ascot. I'm so excited about these two, and also about SdlM.

I was going to grow Ascot on a wall, but after what Ingrid shared about dying canes, I'm considering designing some kind of support. Knowing the rose, what do you think?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 6:29AM
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