Fortunes Double Yellow

jacqueline9CAApril 24, 2011

So, I am really silly - I am going to try and grow this rose. I fell in love with it years ago at Filoli - they had one that was about 15 feet tall and 30 feet wide espaliered against a large wall in a courtyard, and when I saw it you literally could not see the leaves for the bloom. Then I forgot about it (once bloomers that get 40+ feet tall are sort of intimidating).

Then it got me again, appearing at the top of some large bushes along a bike path where my DH and I go sometimes. It was in a small park, but not taken care of at all - it had gone over the top of about three 10-15 ft high bushes, and was in full glorious bloom. So, after a few tries I rooted it - now I have 2 little healthy plants about 10 inches high in one gallon pots. Sometimes I look at them as I walk by, sort of as if they were the famous "Feed Me!" plant from the Little Shop of Horrors, and I expected them to reach out and grab me.

Anyway, of course we have no place to put them, but I was encouraged last year to see a FDY which had grown all up a large oak tree. Of course, inside of the tree it was in partial shade, which was interesting. Hah! said I - I have a large oak tree (it is a scarlet oak about 5 stories tall - the main trunk is 4 ft in diameter) in my front yard.

So, yesterday my DH dug up a little volunteer rose about 3 ft tall that had planted itself at the base of that oak tree years ago (I figured if it could grow there, maybe using the same hole would give FDY a start). He started laughing hysterically, so I came to see what was so funny. That little bush had put out two 10 ft long tap roots, each over 1 inch in diameter, which were running exactly horizontally away from the bush in 2 directions, about 4 inches under the dirt! Roses are amazing - I guess right under the oak there was not enough dirt, so they went searching for some more! Eventually they both turned down, but really not until they were more than 10 feet away from the bush.

So, I figured that an almost species like FDY should be at least as enterprising as an unknown volunteer, and might work there. We are going to give it a sort of raised bed about 6 inches tall to live in at the base of the oak tree, where the little rose was growing, and see what happens. Stay tuned...


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I have a huge red oak that is probably well over 100 years old that I am growing an American Pillar up the side doesn't bloom as much as it ordinarily would(because of the shade and root competition), but it still has a beautiful display. In fact it is blooming right now.I have been growing it for about 5 years and it is starting on the second loop around the tree. Probably would have grown twice as large by now if it was in full sun, but I'm happy to have a rose in what is otherwise a difficult spot for just about anything.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Collin - that is gorgeous! I will persevere in my experiment, and hopefully in a few years have some pictures too.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 4:33PM
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I also have a Fortune's Double Yellow that I keep trimmed to a trellis. I don't have a bush shot, but here is a bloom. Love this rose. Amazing spring display.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 5:05PM
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It sounds like a wonderful experiment. I look forward to seeing glorious pictures in three or four years.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 6:32PM
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organic_tosca(9/Sunset 14)

There is a large Fortune's Double Yellow in the Sacramento Historic Rose Garden in the Old City Cemetery, and it is gorgeous! It was in its full glory last weekend at Open Garden, for anyone who is intrigued by these posts and would like to see it growing. It is one of my favorites.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 4:08PM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

My two Fortune's Double Yellows have minds of their own. They were both planted along a fence and then insisted on throwing temsleves up into trees when I wasn't looking. One is in an oak and the other in my birches.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:19AM
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suesette(vic Aust)

FDY is a determined rose. Mine grows against the house and has poked its way up into the eaves and re-emerged between the roof tiles. DH is not impressed!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 1:31AM
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According to M.F.K.Fisher, spring's bounty is glorious - "Like a moon on fire." I read these words in The Rose Bible by Ray Reddell nearly 20 years ago and had to go out and buy one for myself. And each spring I can hardly wait to see my Gold of Ophir(FDY) when she blooms each spring. The scent is heavenly, you just have to watch out for her thorns, they're nasty! ;-) LOL

Best of luck with your experiment, I can hardly wait to see your pictures. Ruth

I would love to see the one in Sacramento, I can just imagine it in all it's glory!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 8:27PM
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One of its many names is The San Rafael Rose. I looked that up, and it DOES refer to the town I live in, where FDY was found in the 19th century. Another reason to have it!


    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 1:23PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

The loveliest one I ever saw was climbing up a big old pine tree, up on Hwy. 49, next to a rather derelict 2.5-story Victorian house. The rose went up about as high as the top of the roof, and cascaded down in delightful blooming swags. It was enough to stop traffic, and you had to think about that ancient Chinese garden rose growing all on its own, up in the Sierra Foothills.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 7:18PM
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I love this rose! I have a huge specimen in my garden, along a fence. It is about 15 feet high, and similar size in length and width, I kid you not. It does best if it has plenty of room and is in a mild climate. (I am zone 8) It naturalizes in the "motherlode" - the Sierra foothill country, and I have seen many specimens there, also huge. It is also known as "Gold of Ophir" and "Beauty of Glazenwood", besides "The San Rafael Rose". And of course its original Chinese name. I don't know how to do it yet, but I will post a photo of mine sometime, its in full bloom now.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 1:29AM
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