New House, New Garden: Starting research

tandaina(WA (8))March 30, 2014

I started growing roses in Michigan (brrr), moved to Texas where I never was able to have a garden (but grew a few in pots), and am now moving to Kirkland, WA where not only isn't it cold, but I will have real soil again!

So I'm starting my research back up. I have some old favorites, but given my radically different climate from Michigan I am pretty much going to start from scratch rather than just rebuy old friends. I'd love to play with roses I could have never grown back home.

I'm starting small, no more than five roses this first year as I get to know the yard and expand the garden space. There is currently an unknown rose on an arbor and an empty arbor, and room for a few bushes in existing beds.

I would love to hear suggestions of what has grown well for others in the area. I like:

1. Big messy bushes that do well in with perennials, I plant messy English gardens, not specimen gardens.
2. Fragrant (the smellier the better).
3. No spray (I don't spray but I also don't care if leaves spot, so long as the plant does not suffer to the point of lack of bloom or die back.)
4. Once blooming is fine if it is a great bloom and the shrub is attractive (those vase shaped sprays I love.)
5. Please suggest at least one climber for that empty arbor. Fairly low thorn is a plus as it is right on top of the patio.

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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Ooooo this sounds like a fun garden with lots of possibilitys!
When you say messy , immediately I thought of buff beauty. She was a sprawling mound of gorgeousness in my garden. I can't remember how fragrant but she was healthy as can be and really just so pretty! And goes great with cottagey perennials. Had a bunch of blue delphinium with mine . Victoria blue salvia or black and blue salvia would be great too!
Good luck and looking forward to pictures!

My lavender lassie was really coming into its glory days when we relocated to the south so I can't give you it's final verdict but it was becoming a great climber. I also don't spray but don't mind a little spotting, and she was pretty healthy for me. And fragrant! I know on hmf there were some drop dead gorgeous pics of it on an arbor.

Can't wait to see what other suggestions you get! If you have an area in a corner to go crazy with , darlows enigma is thorny as can be , but sooooo fragrant and perfect. Gets huge but i wouldn't be with out it. I have one on its way for my tn garden and I cannot wait to get my nose in its blooms !

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:25PM
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hi, tandaina,
I live across Puget Sound from you so we're in sort-of the same climate. I agree about Buff Beauty; it does well here, as does Felicia and probably about every hybrid musk there is. Felicia is beautiful and very fragrant. Ghislaine de Feligonde, is a climber I am growing as a mounding shrub, and it is really healthy and blooms a great deal.

Polyanthas do well for me, as do the once blooming gallicas and albas. I love Koenigen van Danemark, alba semi-plena and alba maxima. Rugosas do really well. Polareis/Ritausma is beautiful in my yard, as is Wasagaming and Therese Bugnet.

Henri Martin, a red moss, is lovely. I don't grow that many climbers, but Summer Wine and Westerland are doing well so far. Compassion blooms a lot.

What you might have more problems with are the heat loving teas and noisettes unless you have a heat sink/really warm microclimate. A lovely rosarian who sometimes posts here lives down in Shelton and has an ideal set up for all kinds of warmth loving roses.

I hope that helps a little. Welcome to Washington! Gean

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:30AM
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tandaina(WA (8))

Thanks for the advice. Buff Beauty is probably at the top of the list, lovely rose.

What about the Austin roses? Seems like a similar climate to where they were developed, I had Generous Gardener in Michigan and adored him, I'm hoping it will do well in the PNW as well.

I really sort of thought teas would be rather happy up there? The teas I have grown here in Texas haven't been fans of our heat at all, and tend to stop blooming/growing and go dormant during the summer.

Most of what you list as doing well for you is what did well in Michigan, (IE what could survive our utterly brutal winters), but I also grew things more tender than that as well. I guess I'm surprised with such a mild climate that some of the fussier roses don't do better.

We'll be in Kirkland, which I don't think is much of a heat island!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:18AM
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The empty arbor - is it in a sheltered South facing location? Is it near a tree our the wall of the house? If it is, I would plant banksia lutea - 100% thornless, and it is the earliest bloomer in my garden, and blooms for at least 2 months. It likes to get really large, but I know for a fact that it CAN be pruned down smaller - there is a grocery store in our town which has 3 ft wide by about 2 ft high sturdy metal thingies to stop the cars between the row of parking that is next to the street and the street. There are about 10 of them in a row. Each one has a banksia lutea planted on it, and they keep them pruned to look like little square bushes all the time. They bloom anyway - right now they are in full bloom. They have been there for at least 20 years, and look happy. (Of course, if they ever stopped pruning them the bushes would eat all of the cars in no time!).

I would also try tea roses - there are folks on here who insist that they can grow teas in zone 6, so you ought to be able to do that in zone 8!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:22PM
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tandaina(WA (8))

Thanks Jackie, yeah I can't see how teas (which are very hard in zone 8) wouldn't do well? Other than avoiding those that ball in wet weather?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:29PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

This is just a guess, but I wonder whether the teas, or at least some of them, might not tend to mildew quite a bit. My garden is hot and dry most of the time, but during the cooler and moister weather of winter Alexander Hill Gray, for instance, practically turned white and didn't improve even when it was warm and dry. Le Vesuve, on the other hand, has never been much of a mildew magnet. On the other hand, it likes the sun and heat. Your best bet is really to rely on the advice of those who live in your area; I'm sure there are any number of roses that would love your climate, the Austins among them.

Welcome to the forum!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:28PM
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tandaina(WA (8))

Thanks Ingrid, welcome back really. I was very active about six years ago (before Gardenweb got bought yb whoever owns it now). :)

Mildew is a possibility, but should leave some of the more resistant varieties as worth a try at least.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:32PM
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hi, tandaina,

It is confusing, but horticultural zone classifications refer to the low temperatures an area has. In my zone 8b in a mild coastal area, lows are usually not more than about 15 degrees. The teas I grow can handle the cold generally, but the kicker is that summertime heat levels are not reflected within that 8b definition.

What I've found is that to do well teas need more heat than I have in most of my yard. Summers rarely reach much above 75 degrees. You can create a warm microclimate such as what Jackie is talking about and that helps a lot. Also I've found that with some of the teas that I grow, that even when they bloom, the scent doesn't develop very well.

I don't grow very many Austins so have no real opinion of them. Heritage does beautifully for me, though, and I love it. Mostly I've come to love the once bloomers and the polyanthas/multiflora types, so that is what I primarily grow. I do grow several teas and baby them quite a bit, but where I am, I don't think they'll ever attain the height, the floriferousness, the scent that they did in Alabama or in Dallas. That's okay, I couldn't grow a gallica well in Texas.

I don't know how much help that is, but I do wish you good luck with your garden!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 2:17PM
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Desertgarden- NW Las Vegas Z9a @ 2300 f


I do not live in the PNW, but came really close to moving to the Portland area last summer. As a result, I began researching roses for the area and compiled a "go to" list of sorts. The following information is based upon input from GW forum members who garden in WA or OR, and Gardening articles from Portland.


You may want to check out Paul Barden's Roses and there are some Austin's that are reported as performing well in the PNW ( Heritage, Tamora, Tradescant, The Prince, Wife of Bath, James Galway, Christopher Marlowe, Glamis Castle, Abraham Darby)

Good Luck!

This post was edited by desertgarden561 on Tue, Apr 1, 14 at 22:57

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 5:51PM
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tandaina(WA (8))

Frankly I grew things in MI that were not "supposed" to grow there. So I'll likely try a few well researched teas or other "warm weather' roses.

Mostly because I'm in a very warm weather climate right now and they don't like the heat. Everyone here talks about how nice it would be to have cooler summers so our plants would grow and bloom and not get fried to a crisp (they can literally denude from too much heat.)

One of Paul's roses (Golden Buddha) is one of only two roses that will make the move in my car, I test grew it for him years ago and it is one of my favorite and most sentimental roses. I'll check out what i can find of his commerically, because I do love his stuff!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:58PM
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Hi, Tandaina! I'm just south of you in Portland, OR. It sounds like you and I have persevered through similar gardening experiences, only I began in TX and moved to Minnesota before settling in the Pacific NW. I am far from a tidy gardener. Definitely lean towards the cottage gardening genre. Some fluffy, disease resistant, informal roses that have served me well are listed below. I'm just beginning with 4 of Paul's in my garden but expect them to do well since he is a breeder in the region. Welcome to the PNW! Gardening here will probably be a piece of cake compared to Michigan and Texas.


Albas: Semi Plena, Maiden's Blush, Felicite Parmentier, Madame Plantier
Gallicas: Tuscany Superb, Rosa Mundi, Apothecary's Rose, Camaieux
Portlands: Rose de Rescht, Indigo, Comte de Chambord, Jacques Cartier
Damasks: Botzaris, Madame Hardy, Ispahan, La Ville de Bruxelles, Leda
Hybrid Musks:: Buff Beauty, Penelope, Ballerina
Noisettes: Blush Noisette, Madame Alfred Carriere
Other OGRs: Violette, Veilchenblau, Stanwell Perpetual, Perle d'Or, Hermosa
Austins: Tradescant, The Prince, Tamora, Golden Celebration, Tea Clipper

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 6:17AM
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Desertgarden- NW Las Vegas Z9a @ 2300 f


This post was edited by desertgarden561 on Tue, Apr 1, 14 at 22:58

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 8:07PM
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Please take a selfie driving across the country with Golden Buddha in your car. I love it!

Which is the other that will be riding along, out of curiosity? (Nothing like a good road trip :D)


    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 6:52AM
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tandaina(WA (8))

The other is a little tiny band of Silver Spoon I got from Vintage just before they closed. Don't see it listed as commercially available anywhere else so feel like I need to take care of her, and she's still itty bitty so easy to transport.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 9:35AM
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seil zone 6b MI

If you grew roses in MI you should have no problems in WA! I would suggest contacting a local rose society and see what roses they would suggest. I'm sure they'd be happy to help.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 11:34AM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

Hi Tandania, I have been growing roses up here since 1997. For the most part EVERY Austin rose that has been introduced from Jude the Obscure to the present will do fantastic for you here without needing to be sprayed. Austins prior to Jude can be hit or miss. Chinas do better than Teas here for the most part. There are teas that grow VERY well and others that will croak during the first winter. Duchess de Brabant and ANY of her sports or close relatives does well here. Marie d'Orleans also does well here. ANY hybrid musks do great here as do gallicas and albas. Moss roses and damasks are a mixed bag. Some do great and others are great hosts for mildew.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 12:06AM
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tandaina(WA (8))

Thank you Paparoseman! Very helpful, and glad to hear Austin's will do well, I do love them!

The Duchess is one of my favorite roses, so she's definitely going in immediately! Great information. :)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 11:32AM
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