Please share your experiences with these Damasks

nastarana(5a)April 12, 2012

and Damask Perpetuals.

Order from Pickering arrived today. Huge plants with enormous root systems. I have them soaking in a mud bath.

St. Nicholas


Blanc de Vibert

Pickering Four Seasons


I understand Blanc de Vibert needs plenty of TLC? and probably should get a favored spot in the yard.

OTOH, St. Nicholas, a Damask sport of Hebe's Lip, according to Vintage, ought be ok in the more difficult spot along the west side of the lot, with the albas.

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I cannot understand why 'Blanc de Vibert' persists in commerce. Perhaps it fills a unique spot in the remontant Damask lineup? In my experience, this chlorotic tangle of a shrub drops eighty percent of its buds long before they attempt to open. The remaining few are small and often malformed, and entirely likely to turn to mush in the first rain they encounter. A truly dreadful cultivar.

I don't grow the other four on your list, so can't comment on these.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 12:24PM
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Nastarana - unfortunately, Damasks do not do well at all in my zone 9 garden - it took me a while to figure out why - it is because they like much colder winters than we have - evidently they require X weeks of below freezing nights, and we get maybe one or two nights like that a Winter.

So, I would not take Paul's advice on how Blanc de Vibert does in his zone 8 garden as having anything to do with how it might do in your zone 5 garden - zone 8 might also be too warm for some Damasks. Hopefully someone from zone 5 will respond to your inquiry - roses are like real estate - it is location, location, location that will tell you how they may grow, or not.

It took me way to long to figure that out, as sources like the ARS pretend that all roses grow the same everywhere. So, I am happy with my teas, chinas, noisettes, hybrid musks, and banksiaes, and try not to regret the old European roses I cannot grow.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:02PM
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"I would not take Paul's advice on how Blanc de Vibert does in his zone 8 garden as having anything to do with how it might do in your zone 5 garden - zone 8 might also be too warm for some Damasks."

Fair enough. However, I have had most growers from all across the country say similar things about 'Blanc de Vibert' regardless of grow zone.

I happen to be in a zone 8, yes....but we get sufficient winter here (plenty of freezes, with at least a few nights down to 15F or lower) to make all of the Gallicanae grow and bloom with abandon. I doubt its a climate issue with 'Blanc de Vibert'. Still, I will be anxious to hear what Nastarana's experience is like :-)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Thank you for the candid assessment, Trospero. I have seen it described as difficult to grow elsewhere, unfortunately after I had placed the order! It will probably live in a black pot, receiving plenty of sunlight, while I see what it might be willing to do.

Possibly the Damask and Damask Perpetual groups don't like the dry soils of the West Coast?

Pergolese is a Gallica which for some reason has migrated into the Portland group, and ought to do well here. All the plants are grafted, onto multiflora I suppose, and are huge, two year old plants with many long canes and large root systems. That will help; my own root Portlands are not growing at all. I may be keeping them in black pots and disbudding all summer.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:18PM
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"All the plants are grafted, onto multiflora I suppose"

Actually, Joel at Pickering buds the Gallicanae (and I expect that includes the Damasks and Damask Perps) onto R. Laxa rootstock, not R. multiflora. The Gallicanae do much better on Laxa.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:31AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Didn't know St.Nicholas was a sport of Hebe's Lip - just thought it was an unknown seedling. Anyway, St.Nick is a very atypical damsk - very airy and looks really good in a mixed border, especially with a bit of sunny backlighting. Stays small here, about 3feet. I do grow Hebe's Lip (and love it) despite its thorny viciousness. Quite a bit bigger than StN. Both of these roses always seem very close to species roses and will do OK in much poorer soils than most. In fact, I don't grow damasks as they just do not do well in east anglia but st.nick is the exception.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 6:59AM
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Trospero, if R. laxa is the carrot root rootstock ( I had one of those from Eurodesert last summer, durndest thing I ever saw on a rose), none of my order appear to be on similar rootstocks. All five show a huge tangle of roots, with no prominent taproots to be seen.

VG website claims that SN is a sport of HL, discovered by a Mr. Roberts in England in the 1950s. I have never grown either till now.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Campanula UK Z8

roses aremostly grown on Laxa in the UK but when buying them as bareroots, they will still have a tangle of smaller roots. This is because the nursery mechanically undercuts them some months before lifting them. This practice encourages the developement of smaller fibrous roots but once planted permanently in the ground, they will develope a large taproot. It is a nightmare trying to move established roses grown on Laxa - safer and easier to propagate from cuttings and sacrifice the original as removal from the soil leaves a horribly damaged main root and a very few little feeder roots. Re-establishing transplants is rarely worth the effort.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:51PM
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"Trospero, if R. laxa is the carrot root rootstock ( I had one of those from Eurodesert last summer, durndest thing I ever saw on a rose), none of my order appear to be on similar rootstocks."

All I can tell you is what Joel Schraven told me 17 years ago: he said they used Laxa as the understock for the Gallicanae because multiflora didn't work nearly as well.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 4:04PM
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I expect it is laxa.

The color of the roots is that odd yellow I also saw on the rose I had from Eurodesert last summer. Thank you for the explanation, campanula. Now I understand why my laxa grafted transplant didn't survive being dug up and shipped 3000 mi in the heat of summer.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 7:30PM
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Pergolese -- I have grown 'Pergolese' for many years, and like it very much. It's essentially a tall 'Rose de Rescht' with hints of violet and, sometimes, slate. I can't imagine why anyone would call it a Gallica. It repeats throughout the year; and it was introduced and known as a Damask Perpetual. Its tall dark green presence studded with ruby pompons is just wonderful and enriching in the garden!

Blanc de Vibert -- Generally, it is purple and violet roses which demand iron; but glistening white 'Blanc de Vibert' does so too, and thrives once you put it on a diet of iron (I deliver it via the type of Miracle-Gro for acid-loving plants--which, incidentally, has become my preferred fertilizer for all roses). Once one attends to its humble request for iron, and puts it in good soil, it takes care of itself nicely. It is one of those which is so ambitious with its very double blossoms that the plant has to "grow up" and be a big thriving adult before it dependably gives its lucky owner those glistening icy-white flowers. Love it, be patient with it as it establishes itself, and it will love you back.

Pickering Four Seasons -- This is one of my favorite Damask Perpetuals, its big flowers seething with intense cerise shades. It's very much like the original 'Rose du Roi' in most ways; but I have the two growing side by side, and there are certain differences in their stature, when they "wake up" in the Spring, and in their growth.

Delambre -- I have not had good luck with 'Delambre', try as I might. My plant leafs out yearly; but then just sits there waiting for Winter to come so it can drop its leaves, hardly growing and never blooming. I suspect that there's something wrong with my particular plant, and will try the variety again with another specimen.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:50AM
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glistening icy-white flowers

That would be my guess as to why it remains in commerce. Going by Vintage, the only other surviving Portland that comes close to be being white is Marie de St. Jean. But that one often has red/pink on some petals.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Thank you Odinthor. Pickering listed Pergolese among the Damask Perpetuals, and claims some rebloom. VG lists it among Gallicas and says no rebloom. I shall now be watching daily to see what I have.

I may just try iron for all my Portlands; nothing else seems to make them want to grow at more than snail's pace.

Some years back someone in Denmark, I think it was, said on this forum that a white sport of one of the famous Portlands had been discovered. It may have been Jacques Cartier. I have heard no more about it. Perhaps it was not stable.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 5:16PM
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My 'Pergolese' was from Pickering as well! And, the older it has gotten, the bloomier it has become. Rarely does it not have a flower somewhere on the bush. I never prune it back in the winter, as, early on, I got the feeling that it resented being pruned. It makes a stiff bush, building up to about five or six feet (after years of growth and non-pruning), but only maybe three feet wide. I planted mine from Pickering deep, so that eventually it became an own-root plant. Once it settles in, it will send out the very occasional runner--never a problem, and just the thing to give to a rose-loving friend.

Yes, I too heard of the white sport of 'Jacques Cartier' a few years back, as in Denmark or Germany. A friend of mine in Germany was going to send me one, but I dissuaded him as I thought it would be impounded. I'll see if I can find out anything further about it...

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 7:11PM
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'White Jacques Cartier' is available in Europe; a friend has it. I HAD it; a tiny plant he propagated that didn't make it through a tough spot and a bad summer.
Odinthor's hints sound intriguing. 'Blanc de Vibert' came up recently on the Italian forum I frequent, and no one who spoke up in the thread had a satisfactory experience with it. My own plant is several years old, stout and healthy, but hardly blooms at all. It is however in a lot of shade. I ought to try again to root it and see whether I can't get babies started in better spots. I'll keep the iron in mind, though plants in my garden rarely suffer from chlorosis.
I first saw 'St. Nicholas' years ago at Cavriglia and lusted after it immediately: it is a very charming rose. My plant has struggled along for years, barely alive; and I may have to get it again and do a better job with it the next time. 'Hebe's Lip' I have discovered grows easily from cuttings, I got them a few years ago in a swap, and now I have three plants spread around in the garden. I like this one too.
I got 'Pergolese' a year ago and it's been sitting quietly since.
I like both the Damasks and the Damask Perpetuals a lot, but I have a great deal to learn about growing them well.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 12:08AM
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May I butt in with a question about Comte de Chambord?

On HMF it's defined as "Damask Perpetual".

I'm in Israel. I'm not sure which zone is the exact equivalent in the US. In July-September the average temperature is 30 celcius & average humidity is 69.

My Comte (budded, planted in early January) is doing fine. It already has 7 buds (it would have bloomed if I hadn't nipped the first bud a couple of weeks ago).

So far we had a mild spring, so that may explain why the Comte is happy, but from what I read in this thread, it might do poorly in mid-summer?

It's going to get morning sun & by noon it'll be shaded by my flametree, which will have leafed out in about 6 weeks.

Should I move it to the shadiest spot in the garden? (it's still small so it'd be best to do it at this point).

Thanks for any advice & please tell me which zone is the most similar to mine.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 2:08AM
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According to the link below Israel is hardiness zone 15, but I guess it depends on how far you are from the Mediterranean or if you live on a mountain. Puerto Rico and Hawaii are the nearest American equivalents.

Here is a link that might be useful: Israeli zone

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 2:56AM
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Thanks for the link. I thought everybody was still asleep :)

This zone 15 appears to be zone 8b in the US. I'm quoting from the link:

"The United States hardiness zone "equivalent" to Zone 15 is USDA Zone 8b."

It's strange that all of Israel is lumped together in a single zone. We have several very different climates despite the small size of the country.

I'm in the coastal plane (a Turkish bath to all intents and purpuses) & it's a whole different world from the Galilee, say, or the Negev desert (hotter but less humidity).

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:45AM
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Oh you're in Sweden. I just looked at your page & was bowled over by the number of roses you're growing.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 4:02AM
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Here's a little more, deriving from my friend in Germany, about the white sport of 'Jacques Cartier': It was found at Knud Pedersens Planteskolen in Denmark in (he recalls) the 1970ies. It is still for sale there. I asked him (because he grew it for a while) if it was a pure white, or if it had pinkish tints. He recollected it as really pure white, but adds that a photo shown at the website of the rose nursery shows hints of light pink. I'd say that a white 'Jacques Cartier' would certainly be welcome in commerce in the U.S.!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 12:52PM
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. . . And about Damask Perpetuals perhaps doing poorly in midsummer . . . My experience here in coastal Southern California is that they tend to go "summer dormant" during the hottest part of the year . . . and if there is a cool spell for a couple of weeks right in the middle of summer, they wake up and try to get in a blossom or two before the heat sets in again. For some instances, 'Yolande d'Aragon' bloomed nearly all last summer for me--it was a cool summer--but normally it takes a vacation from about July 1 through September 30. 'Portlandica' never reblooms for me under any circumstances; but I like it and retain it as a "Gallica equivalent." 'Rose de Rescht' only refrains from blooming during the very hottest periods. 'Portland from Glendora', which is I think 'Joasine Hanet', usually has a blossom or two, but clearly prefers to bloom in cooler weather. A continuum could be constructed from the heavily Gallica-influenced rare rebloomers to the little or no Gallica influenced frequent rebloomers.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 1:08PM
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lori_elf z6b MD

I used to grow Blanc de Vibert but the flowers would ball up and fail to open and after several frustrating years I shovel pruned it. I would only see one or two "glistening white" flowers open out of dozens of failed buds.

Pergolese I got from Pickering two years ago and I'm worried it doesn't like the partly shaded spot where I put it. It had some cane dieback unexplicably and is a puny thing about 12" tall. I hope it does better this year or I'm going to replace it with something else...

Delambre I grew for years and it stayed very short (2-2/5' tall) and spindly. I think it was blackspot prone in my no-spray garden.

I have a quatre saesons, not from Pickering, and it is doing very well in contrast to these others. It is more like a bushy 3' tall with rebloom and great fragrance. I'm not sure if it's the same as the Pickering four season rose or a different clone.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:12PM
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I had two Portland roses in zone 9 in CA. Both were mislabelled, so I can't be sure of the true identity of either, buy I think they might have been Jacques Cartier and Rose du Roi. The second had bushy, short habit and small, dark pinkish purple flowers. It did not seem to like doing without water, and drought stress would tend to make the bottom leaves rust.

For the garden in Israel, water availability might be more inportant than avoiding shade. A maritime influence, for gardens near the Meditereanean Sea, would help.

Thank you to all respondants for your descriptions. I am now expecting much beauty from my roses. All are planted, now, in full sun with some protection from the North and West winds. St. Nicolas is in a somewhat more exposed position, along the West edge, directly in front of the albas, but Damasks in my experience are pretty tough.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:32PM
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