A Shout out to Florida Rose Gardeners

blutayle(z9aFL)January 20, 2011

Hi All,

Just picked up an Abe Darby rose hiding in the middle of the rose section at Lowe's two weeks ago and also the newly named Liv Tyler rose. I am hooked on the scent and form of these flowers. Have done much research and although I am aware not the perfect climate here I have also seen on other posts that many of our gardeners here in Florida have success with some varieties....so....

A shout out to all my creative and innovative gardeners in this state of extremes...which Austin Roses have you had luck with and which should be avoided. Also, do you grow in the full scorching July sun or offer only morning sun. Does blackspot destroy them even with spraying, I realize I will be spraying. The fragrance and form have me and I would really like to succeed with a few varieties...thanks for your input in advance....

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It will be interesting to see what your replies are to this query-- I have over 100 roses, some are 40 years old in my garden, the Fortuniana grafted roses will live forever if cared for and well-fed, whilst the own-root last abt. 4-5 years, due to nematodes in our soil..... I have a grafted Abe Darby and he has not grown and is almost bare, frm Black-spot.... I have a Molineaux own-root in a large pot and it seems to do well, gorgeous blooms and minimal BS..... I might add, I grow mostly organic no-spray, and am gradually shifting to OGR-Antique roses because there are not many Hybrid Teas (moderns) that can withstand BS.... however, some roses fare quite well no-spray, Belinda's Dream, Don Juan, Summer Snow, China Doll, these have been in my garden (grafted ) over 30 years and keep chugging along, also Julia Child......obtaining grafted OGRs-Antiques is the problem, there are no Nurseries that sell many varieties..... not may Austins do well here no-spray, or can take the heat and humidity of our summer, however, the Austin web-site does list roses acc. to their tolerance for different climates and is well-worth a study.... let us know what you do and how you fare, and hopefully other rose-growers will pitch in with their experiences.... sally

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:31PM
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julieyankfan(z9FL Pasco Cty.)

Blutayle, please forgive me for cutting into your post, but I'd like to ask Sally a question. I had 5 roses in my rose garden area. They were on Fortuniana and Dr. Huey. After years of fighting blackspot, I pulled the Tropicana out. It just never looked good. The Neptune looked terrible, so I chopped it down and tried to yank it out, but I needed my DH to dig it out. He never did it and now it has come back from all that abuse and looks great. I also have a Granada, which blooms like crazy, a Chihuly, which never looks good and a Scentimental, which is hit or miss. I'm just so tired of spraying and still getting blackspot that I'm thinking of pulling all of them out, except for the Neptune, which was my first Florida rose and I really love it.
I have tried not spraying(I hate using chemicals) and I've tried spraying, both get the same results, blackspot and no leaves. I was so diligent about picking up the fallen leaves and I was even out there this past year picking off every leaf that looked questionable. Still got blackspot.
These 5 roses are all hybrid teas or floribundas.
So are you saying to go with the OGRs? Or is it just hit or miss on what can take the Fla. heat? I got most of my roses from the U of Tampa plant sale. They have a vendor that comes there every year with such beautiful roses, but I bet they are all hybrid teas.
I can't imagine taking care of over 100 roses, so you must know what you're doing. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 12:59PM
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I have only tried one Austin rose, Teasing Georgia, and I pulled it out due to blackspot. I can take smaller roses with blackspot but not giant climbers.

Neptune, I have this one too and agree it gets blackspot but it is tough and grows back whatever leaves it loses. It also smells wonderful. If you are going to tolerate just a few hybrid teas then this one might be worth it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 5:59PM
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Pulled all my roses up years ago. Got sick of fighting with them. There are so many gorgeous flowering plants in FL that take little-to-no work, why would one raise roses at all?

I so miss my no-care antique roses in SC, like my Lady Banks and Seven Sisters that just grew and grew and never got sick or died.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:10AM
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I had a life time aversion to growing roses until I met Louis Philippe.
Then I fell in love with Old Garden Roses and have not looked back.
Thanks to generous GW and MG OGR lovers, I have a nice collection started.
Nothing like saldut but I'm slowly working towards that level of expertise.
There are drawbacks to the OGRs and plenty of pros on Hybrids.
Just depends on your tastes and goals.
There is a rose out there for everyone;
Even roses for former rose haters like me.
I am now a recovering rose hater!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 11:16AM
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Rose haters? Say it isn't so! Roses are the best. Ok, so they all get blackspot here, but they are so pretty and as a bonus cold tolerant. I used to spray but gave it up. No more chemicals for me. I just learn to tolerate their imperfections and appreciate them for their beauty and scent. I love most roses OGR and modern roses, whatever. For those who want the least amount of work for the best result try Belinda's Dream. Bet you can't get just one though.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 11:34AM
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olyagrove(z9 Tampa, FL)

Oh, I was just about to write about Louis Philippe, and Gatormom, you beat me to it!
Right now, by LP is covered - absolutely covered with blooms..beautiful red foliage and such beautiful fragrant blooms...And best part is, no need to cover it when it gets cold - it can take the cold and the heat! What a rose.

Belinda's Dream is wonderful as well, I agree!
And then Old Blush China - what a healthy rose!
Natchitoches Noisette is another one that is growing despite the abuse from the heat and the humidity...

So many roses to choose from. I do not spray.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 12:40PM
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I have a Mutabilis that I ordered years ago from the Antique Rose Emporium. It grew so well with almost zero care (occasional epsom salts and coffee grounds, erratic pruning, no spraying) that I had to yank it out and put it where I wouldn't have to prune it so severely so often. My Martha Gonzales roses (Lowe's in GA) receive the same "treatment" (neglect?) as the Mutabilis and are thriving. I am about to eliminate the three sickly Flower Carpet roses though.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 1:25PM
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After being tried and found guilty of rose mass murder, I decided to try the Austins (duh).

I have Teasing Georgia, which grows in any condition in my yard. I even pruned it down with a machete (I know...) and the dang thing's over the house AGAIN (main destructive entity for clothing around here). It bloomed ALL winter (if this is winter), never gets BS (even though it's in a spot that used to be dry, is now damp) and really fights back.

The other rose is a "City of York" that hates my guts, hates FL, hates rain, hates everything...HOWEVER, I do manage to get a bloom or two when it's feeling generous.

I stick with OGR...teas are too fussy and need too much pruning for me. My CoY gets east sun, TG gets dappled afternoon sun (getting the chainsaw out...tree's in the way)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 1:51PM
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Natchitoches Noisette- I give this one good marks too. It gets a small amount of blackspot but is easy to grow. Mine is not grafted. The scent is light.

Another good OGR for me is Souvenir de la Malmaison. Again it gets light blackspot but seems to do better than the modern roses. It has a nice medium scent and lovely old fashioned bourbon blooms. Mine is grafted on fortuniana rootstock.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 4:20PM
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Anyone know a place that specializes in grafted roses in Florida or that does mail order? I really would like a belinda's dream and a LP cause of all the high praise here.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 5:42PM
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Belinda's Dream is a popular one and it usually just "appears" in nurseries and big box stores. I got mine at Home Depot I think. The company Cool Roses (coolroses.com) grafts on fortuniana. They have some unusual old garden roses too. I ordered my Souvenir de la Malmaison from them and I would order from them in the future if my bank account and yard space ever allowed it.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 6:18PM
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Nelson's Roses is the biggest grower I know of for Fortuniana rootstock roses. They only stock a few OGR's but Belinda's Dream is one of them.
The problem is that even though my local nursery sells Nelson's Roses they cannot request (they say) what roses they get from them. They just take what is delivered. None were OGR's :-(

Nelson's is located in Apopka FL and someday I'll get there.
Their website says they will ship directly to people but you have to call them.

I have several Fortuniana's growing and I plan to try grafting on them again this spring. I tried a year ago and got one successful branch of Deuil de Dr. Reynaud (still alive!)

an OGR lover

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 8:45PM
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I went to Nelson's once. There was a sea of beautiful roses all on fortuniana. Loads of different varieties. I didn't end up getting anything because it was really hot and humid and I got pretty torn up by some rose thorns. I was in too bad a mood to look. I would like to go again on a day of good weather and good spirits. Oh, they also had the mini roses on fortuniana which I have never seen in any nurseries or big box stores.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 10:52PM
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hi everyone...I've been away from GW doing other stuff.

I'm growing Julia Child and it is doing well since I got lazy and stopped spraying a few months ago. The other rose that had (I pruned) plenty of leaves was Memorial Day.

As for the austin roses...Moulinoux (sp) is a nice rose and stays small doesn't over step its boundries. I just got another Pat Austin becasue I love the color. I'm not sure of the BS resistance because I'm usually a sprayer. The problem with PA is that the flowers are short lived. I used to grow The Squire and Fishermans Friend (an old Austin rose) both grow a bit large but the fragrance is wonderful on the FF.

Abraham Darby seems to get BS no matter how much it gets sprayed.

I have the say that the worst problem I'm having with roses isn't BS mildew beetles aphids spidermites worms or whatever! Scale is the problems...scale on the stems. Left unchecked it will kill a rose bush. I've tried all the oils, neems, ultra fines, soaps and malathion. None of that works on this scale. Then I used Safari and that seemed to work...but not really. Now I'm pulling out the big gun...ultra chemical warfare. So...as much as we'd like to go au natural with the roses if you get this scale you can kiss your roses good by. FYI this is a new scale in the last few years.

Find me on the succulent form they aren't as demanding...

Oh...sorry for the little soapbox thingy=hehe

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:56AM
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Blutayle, K&M roses in Mississippi grafts on fortuniana. I have some that I love and have sent them cuttings and they will graft them for me for the same price as buying one they have in stock, about $20. Geoff at Cool Roses will also do custom grafting. Regarding mail order from Cool Roses you really need to talk to them to see what they have in stock. They rarely update their website.
I have been experimenting with roses for 13 years and have learned much along the way with still more to learn. Roses really like organic fertilizer better than chemical. If a rose comes from Home Depot or a similiar store they most likely won't survive, with a few exceptions. We have nematodes in our soil that kill them. Only roses grafted on fortuniana will survive. The roses from Home Depot are grafted on different rootstock that the nematodes delight in devouring. However I have some own-root that have done well. Others died. I have quite a few roses (52 at last count). I can't attach it so I will send the list by email.
Wanna, you might want to drive up to West Palm and go to Cool Roses. They have thousands of modern roses and some Austins and OGRs all grafted on fortuniana.
DirtyGardener, I've heard your opinion expressed before. I feel that a garden without a rose is like a meal without an entree. You can get by with the salad and the desert but walk away feeling as if something is missing. I have seen some gorgeous gardens without roses. I always think they could be improved with roses. But to each his/her own.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 1:15PM
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I actually have a hybrid tea rose called Queen Mary 2 grafted on Dr. Huey that has been doing as well as the fortuniana grafted roses for the last 6 or 7 years. It is planted near the house foundation so maybe that helps keep nematodes in check. Even if it gives up the ghost tomorrow, I would still feel I got my money's worth.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 1:39PM
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Thanks Denise, Amber and Nancy. I was very excited to find out that Cool Roses was in WPB! And I can't wait to check out the websites for the other recommendations too!

Anyone have some pictures of some of the best south florida roses in their landscapes that you care to share? I'm thinking of final size, required light, etc and how to incorporate into my yard...probably Belinda's dream, LP, or Natchitoches Noisette to start. I really love hot pink and yellow if everyone else has other suggestions for a trouble free rose for so fla?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:05PM
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I will have pretty flowers in a few more weeks, God willing, but these are sticks right now because I just prunned them. I will post them then.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:25PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

Hello Blutalye,

Getting hooked on the idea of Austin Roses can be understood by anyone who has ever visited their web site. Cham b lees Roses is in TX which although it has different soil in many of its parts, TX has a reasonably similar climate. Check out their offering of Austins. You may also call them. They are extremely courteous. They will be happy to tell you which Austins perform well there and by deduction also here.
1. The warning about root knot and other destructive nematodes should not be ignored. Good news however is that the University of Florida lists roses as nematode tolerant which means that the nematodes will slow them down but not likely kill them. Amend with compost and keep them mulched.
2. You have to learn to filter the information you get in these forums. Note that in two responses you receive divergent reports about the Austin Teasing Georgia. There are many possible reasons for this. One is that Florida comprises 3 of the USDA climate zones - 8,9, & 10. Or 6 of them if you take into account the rather recent revision which divided each zone into a & b subzones. Another is that gardening skill is a variable. It is important to know your zone and it helps to get the best responses if you add it behind your username. Also, sometimes people repeat what they've been told and ASSUME to be true rather than what they know from experience. Reading a post with an eye for this possibility will help distinguish experience from assumptions.

I'm appalled at how little you've gotten in terms of a real response to your question. I do not believe that is because there aren't successful Austin growers in Florida as the one testimony on Teasing Georgia does attest, but because the title of your post didn't shout out to them. I recommend starting a new post with a title about Austins.
I look forward to those answers too!
Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:26PM
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Thanks all for the responses and the private emails...what a great community. Think I will try one or two Austins in big patio pots own root. Dr. Manners mentioned something in his past postings about being on own roots caused plant to bloom better while when it was grafted it gave more vegetation but not as free flowering...gonna try this summer and see if it is worth it. Might even get bold enough to try some hydrangeas against my north facing foundation for kicks...love to experiment and my zone 9a has been getting pretty cold these last two winters...heck might even try peonies...well maybe not but almost feels like they could grow here if these winters keep on like this...thanks again all for your responses!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 12:52AM
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Just a thought... Chamblee's, also Rose Petals Nursery and Angel Gardens in No. Fla. have reasonable prices on their OGRs, and if the soil is amended well, with organics, these roses should last 4-5 years maybe longer before nematodes get them, for the price it might be worth-while to order a few, and see how you like them no- spray... that is what I am doing with a new area of my front-yard where I am suffocating the grass... I plan on planting OGRs there... separate from the older area where it is mostly 'moderns' on Fort.... anyway, I am 'taken' with OGRs and feel for the price, as opposed to the cost of a Fort.-grafted 'modern', to be well-worth it..... the OGRs are usually under $10, whilst the grafted are usually $20.... and just think- NO SPRAY ! WOW ! sally

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 1:59PM
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blutayle-Hydrangea will grow here. I have Blushing Bride and Endless Summer. I've had them 3 or 4 years. Plant them in part morning sun in a place you would plant a camellia or gardenia. These are photos from last year.

sandandsun- I don't want you to be "appalled" so here is an extreme amount of detail on my Austin rose experience. I have only grown one Austin rose, Teasing Georgia. Said rose was grafted on Fortuniana rootstock. I have other modern and old garden roses in the garden and would say I am a proficient, though not expert, rose gardener. I no longer spray the roses because I do not want to expose myself to unknown risks. I live in zone 9b, Tampa Bay area. Teasing Georgia put out long octopus canes and was very blackspot prone in my garden. Typically I handle blackspot by picking off individual leaves or cutting back the plant and removing leaf debris underneath. Teasing Georgia's very long octopus canes made this too labor intensive and I decided it wasn't worth it. I would say Teasing Georgia was as blackspot prone as my Burgundy Iceberg rose, but the Burgundy Iceberg was much easier to care for because it is very small. Teasing Georgia did produce very pretty blooms, but in my personal opinion many other modern roses and old garden roses produce equally pretty blooms with less effort. I would try another Austin rose in the future, but my space and budget is limited so it is more likely I would try other roses first.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 6:49PM
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Well said Amberroses! I felt "appalled" was a little too strong a word too, but I figured it just must be one of those things where something was lost in the translation of an online forum. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and to everyone else who at least tries to contribute in a meaningful way! I know I appreciate it and I'm sure the OP does too...even if we all didn't have the depth of knowledge on Austin Roses that some people think we should have :)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 7:01PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)


Since you are considering pot culture, I have some follow up information for you. There are only a few things you really need to know about nematodes. 1. They thrive in sand. 2. They can travel up to 3 feet in a season. 3. They have to eat to live too, and they get their food from plant roots.
My user name is sandandsun because that's what my garden was and in many areas still is.
From the need to know about nematodes, we can deduce how to eliminate them. My favorite is starvation. While you are growing your roses along in pots you can simultaneously and at your leisure create a garden spot for them.
I ran across a very well written how to in a post on HMF, Help Me Find. I'll include the link below. When you get there, scroll down to Reply #3 of 3 posted 25 FEB 04. I couldn't say it better myself.
If you create the bed, keep it weeded and empty the first year, you should be able to safely plant the second year as long as you keep in mind the 3 foot safety perimeter.
If I didn't insert the link correctly you can copy and paste the following: www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?i=A2999&tab=32&qn=1&qc=0

Here is a link that might be useful: Gold Medal reviews

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 8:12PM
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Thanks again for the info...very interesting reading...have to see once I get over my spring fever in the middle of July if I am ready to toss the roses...always so excited til the heat comes...lol


Thanks for the pics of the hydrangeas...I see some beautiful Merrit's Supreme at Lowes but they are 25bucks a pop and I will need a few so don't want to throw money away that foolishly if I knew they would incinerate...they look great...think I will be gettin me some... :)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 10:34PM
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I cannot say whether the Lowes hydrangeas would work, but I would guess so since they are mopheads like mine. My hydrangeas are actually "reblooming" types but they have never actually rebloomed. The flowers last for months though. Rebloomers bloom on old and new growth. Many hydrangeas only bloom on old growth so don't prune them back in the spring. I saw a lot of Lowes hydrangeas on the clearance rack 1/2 price this week. I love the Lowes clearance rack :)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 8:30AM
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sandandsun(9a FL)


I understand about the heat. My plants feel the same way we do about it. They take a summer survival rest.
I realized with your Spring Fever comment that maybe I should clarify one point: a season. My last bed was finally finished with mulch last May. Thirty years of gardening experience naturally means I don't have the energy of youth so it took me a while to complete! And it got more mulch last fall about the time the new roses arrived. They got potted and have only gone into the bed in the past fortnight.
The linked info was meant for how to make a good bed. NY doesn't have an issue with nematodes. In order to starve them out, the area should lay fallow for a growing season which you know here in Florida is most of a year. The overwinter wait is not safe here because there's another thing about nematodes - they're adapted to the Florida cycle and their eggs hatch in the rainy season. A new generation of them could be in the bed using the make in autumn plant in spring method. So for Florida I recommend make in Spring and plant the subsequent Spring.
Gardening really never has been for those in need of instant gratification.
Spring Fever's energy and the accomodating temperature is perfectly suited for creating new beds.
Best of luck always!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 9:04AM
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I read somewhere that nematodes live fairly deep in the soil, and that if you till the bed deep it just brings them closer to the surface.... it recommended piling the compost and organics and mulch on the surface and keep adding to it, plant the roses in this and keep a thick layer of organics because nematodes don't like a rich soil... also they don't like being near a concrete driveway or solid surface... seems Dr. Manners mentioned this.... anyway, I'm planting OGRs and no more Moderns because I don't want to spray anymore... so we shall see how it turns out......sally

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 4:49PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

I was looking over the Central Florida Rose Society website and found that they recommend Abe Darby as one of the easier roses to grow in their area. I will include the link below. They are zone 9A. I thought you might like to know it.


Here is a link that might be useful: Easy Care Roses

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 12:25PM
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I have Abe Darby for three years now. It gets black spot but responds to spraying and is never completely defoliated. I live in Apopka and got it from Nelson's - on fortuniana, of course. The smell is to die for. I wouldn't be without this rose.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 6:26PM
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In case anyone in Pinellas county wants an Abraham Darby on fortuniana, I saw some at Willow Tree this week.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 6:47PM
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I do not spray and my Abe stays nekkid most of the year. He still blooms though, so he can stay.

Now my Graham Thomas is another thing. This rose is on multiflora and has been in a very large pot for at least three years, He keeps much of his foliage and blooms frequently. I will attempt a graft one day. I have at least a dozen forts rooted.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 8:48PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

Cross referencing additional info: see my posts in the below linked thread.

Copy and paste:

Here is a link that might be useful: David Austin Roses - Own Root or Grafted?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 9:04PM
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akaj9(9 Central Florida)

I second and third Louis Philippe... It by far is the best and most carefree bloomer ever! I have four of them, and they are all covered right now! But my Show stopper is...a Fortuiana bush I saved from the old Giles nursery that the bulldozers had plowed down when they sold their business... It is 6 feet wide, and spreads at least 12 feet up and over my pergula...In March it is to die for!!!!! So if anyone needs cutting for grafting...please let me know...you are welcome and I have plenty to spare.... You can see it in bloom on my blog "the roosting Hen" It's the main picture....It only blooms once a year...but well worth it...and never gets black spot.....and naturally doesn't get affected by nematodes...hehehehehe.... My other own root OGR are doing really well too...I'll have to find there names...A few other hybrids are Ok...but just not show stoppers...and only thriving ones are grated on Fort...I really need to learn how to do that!!!!! janine

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 12:02PM
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I love the cottage "feel" of roses, and recently moves to a new home and started from scratch...I was able to purchase a scraggly dozen of 1 gal double pink knockouts last fall and now I'm hooked! These flowers are HUGE and so far no black spot. I've treated with Bayer 3 in 1 every 3 months and remove any lower leaves or any yellowed...I recently purchased an 'Angel Face' on fortuniana from HD from Jackson and Perkins, and it too looks great. I am dying to find a great climber, preferably fragrant in the white-yellow-pink-violet color range. I contacted Nelson Roses to see if they had the Angel Face as a climber, but they do not...any suggestions out there? I'm thinking definitely fortuniana stock.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:05PM
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I know some nice white, pink, yellow, and violet climbers, but the problem is availability. It's hard to locate Fortuniana grafted roses these days. The only one I have that meets all your criteria is Heritage, but it's not exactly a climber. I got Heritage grafted on Fortuniana from Cool Roses. Oh yes, I've gone to the darkside and obtained lots of Austin roses now:) My bad Teasing Georgia experience is behind me. There are a lot of old garden roses that would also meet your needs, but I don't know where to find them on Fortuniana. I've never grown it, but I think Nelson's has the rose Blossomtime on Fortuniana and it's pink.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:20PM
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A good Nursery that sells roses on Fort., is K & M... they have mostly Moderns but do carry a few OGRs... I have ordered from them for years and the roses are great, some are blooming when they arrive... I love Don Juan climber, I have several, another great rose is Belinda's Dream.... sally

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 3:44PM
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