Help me choose some Buck roses
Without a doubt, the star performer of all of my roses during the 2012 season has been the Buck rose 'Quietness'. Planted as a two gallon own root specimen from Antique Rose Emporium in late October 2011, it survived winter without so much as a whimper or even losing a leaf (our winter was warm but with multiple freeze-thaw cycles). The plant sprung to life early in the spring and began growing steadily, symmetrically and healthily all season into the perfectly shaped, gracefully balanced 4 foot by 4 foot bush it is now. Blooms were lovely, abundant and nearly continuous with a moderate, pleasant fragrance. The extreme heat, humidity and dryness of this past summer did not seem to phase it. And best of all, the foliage remained healthy all season, without showing even the slightest hint of blackspot or mildew. I have high hopes for this rose for next year.
That said, I would like to add more Buck cultivars to my garden. Based on researching old threads here on GardenWeb, I have put together some ideas of those I think I would like.
Health, own root vigor, winter resilience (ability to spring back rapidly and bloom after winter) and good blooming habits are more important to me than color or fragrance. Blooms that fade or blow rapidly are not a problem as long as the other traits match my wish list.
I live in a very sheltered microclimate of urban Chicago along the Lake Michigan shore, firmly zone 6a but often 6b. My soil is slightly alkaline but most roses seem to thrive in this area when properly cared for. I do not and will not spray.
Here is my list of PROBABLY cultivars (those I will order unless someone talks me out of it):
Honeysweet (hardiness an issue with this one?)
And here are some groups of cultivars I am having trouble deciding between (is there is clear winner in these groups, or would it be worthwhile to have more than one?:)
1. Prairie Star vs. Paloma Blanca
2. Golden Unicorn vs. Pearlie Mae vs. Gentle Persuasion
3. Hawkeye Belle vs. Les Sjulin
4. Country Dancer--sufficiently different from the other pinks above?
5. Prairie Breeze--is this a pink or a mauve?
6. Enchanted Autumn--there are reports of this being fussy?
7. Iobelle--also fussy?
8. Carefree Beauty, Applejack--reliable but too huge?
9. Any others I am overlooking?
Please feel free to share all comments and advice concerning your experiences with Buck roses. I will probably settle on 10-12 total to plant next spring.
I look forward to hearing what you all recommend. It is so hard to make decisions based on catalogue descriptions and photos of individual blooms!