Old Blush chinas silly question

nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)March 20, 2014

Now, I've got 4 Old Blushes in pots. Don't ask me how come I have 4 OB's in pots and what I'm doing with them because it will take me long to explain.

The question is, any ideas about what to do with them? They are last year's grafted bare roots and they've grown about 5' high last season, never stopped blooming, but are a bit thin all around (they are still in smallish pots). Could I use them side by side hedgelike to provide some privacy behind a part of a chainlink fence? How far apart should I plant them for this application? Any other ideas about what you would do with 4 OB bushes? Can I make a large specimen 'bush' in the middle of nowhere out of them? Would it look nice? How large can these things grow in a warm climate? Do they get full eventually?

I know there's a reason why I didn't become a designer...


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I would definitely make a hedge out of them - it sounds as if you have a place for that. I would use 2-3 ft centers. All of the pics I have seen of them are fairly full, but those might have been own root. I found an article, and it said they can get up to 10 ft high, but can easily kept lower by pruning. Being chinas, they should love your climate - just do it!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 4:04PM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

I have one Old Blush. it is probably ten years old. it is ten feet wide and five feet tall. I don't know if I agree with Jackie about the two foot spacing. I think they might be too tangled up in each other. I think a hedge is a great idea though.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 5:42PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Having grown this rose also, I tend to agree that they can be spaced further apart. I'd want to do 4 foot centers at least. I also like the hedge idea very much. If you made one large specimen bush out of them, getting to the middle for pruning and other care might be difficult. I'm not sure this rose is spectacular enough to make that sort of feature of it either.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:33PM
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I agree with Mendocino and Ingrid. Give them some space in your climate. A hedge will be an everblooming wall of lovelinesss! You can just whack the whole bunch of roses like a hedge, too, which makes for easy maintenance. No need to worry about outfacing buds and all that ya ya. Carol

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:04PM
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ms. violet grey

Is Old Blush fragrant? What deems it unspectacular?
I have a small 2g size and have it "under observation".
It is new to me. I notice the color fades after opening.
Also color is not uniform. I prefer tight not blousy blooms.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:45PM
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Well, each individual bloom is nothing to brag about & they do blow fast, but the profusion & reliability of repeat is something special. They have a sweet fragrance--not knock-your-socks-off strong, but very nice.

It's fertile, freely setting hips, & "Old Common Monthly" has such an interesting history & is such an important ancestor--well, she deserves some appreciation.

Nik, I've seen hedges planted at the Antique Rose Emporium & they are lovely.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 9:32PM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

Ok thanks. A hedge is what I'll try to do.

Mauvegirl8, they do have a light fresh fragrance to my nose, some people notice it more and some less, but what I like about them is their lightness and airyness (is that a word?) and kind of happy-go-lucky attitude. If one does not clean up spent blooms you end up with a bush which has both flowers and hips almost year round and that, together with the profusion of thin reddish shoots, tends to look nice.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:46PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Yeah, they look good en masse....in fact, I would not be at all averse to planting them in a large clump because you can get away without doing any pruning at all on a lot of these chinas - given that wind and weather usually does it for us). It has always seemed more like a species rose to me - I love the new growth. Rather than planting in a straight hedge-line, how about space the 4 of them equidistant, like 4 corners of a square....but with a wider gap at one side, so it looks like half of an octogon, and keeping a space in the centre to plant a tree - your grandchildren can sit under the shade of a eucalypt or chilean myrtle or massive lilac, surrounded by a 6feet tall shelter of roses. If you do feel the need for pruning, I use petrol hedge-trimmers on mutabilis and various ground covering twiggy things, with no bad effects whatsoever.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 7:33AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

Camps, I'll need to study your post more to try to visualise what you're saying. I was never good in geometry at school lol. No chance for grandchildren I'm afraid, although my 'significant other' may have some soon.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 7:38AM
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Campanula UK Z8

OK, roses and tree arrayed in a semi-circle with a tree in the middle and 2 roses on each side, curving inwards to make an enclosed shelter. Maybe a nice spreading Tibetan cherry.....or paper bark maple or gnarly olive?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 7:58AM
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"Happy-go-lucky" Yes, that's exactly the attitude Old Blush expresses to me, too.

Like: "I'm just too busy to construct perfect blooms, I want to throw a BUNCH of flowers all at once, as fast as I can".

Kinda like my own completely unconstructed flower garden. It's not properly planned or orderly--I just plant stuff as fast as I can wherever it will fit so I can see lots of blooms.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 11:32AM
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rinaldo(z7b AR)

I like Old Blush for two reasons: it blooms very early here, usually in time to appear with the last half of the bearded irises, and second, it seems just about indestructible. I do grow three of them on three foot centers, but since they're just now approaching four feet tall I can't speak to the issue of congestion. Still, if something else catches my fancy for that spot some day, I'd toss 'em out without much hesitation.

This post was edited by rinaldo on Fri, Mar 21, 14 at 15:21

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 3:19PM
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