Hardy, constantly blooming, pink climbing rose for zone 5b?

kelly_indiana(z5 IL)April 27, 2012

Hi all! My brain hurts from researching this question for the past couple months so I am going to the pros! Please help if you can...

Imagine a storybook looking Victorian house with a pink climbing rose twirling up the front porch banister to the roof, 12' from the ground, and then piling itself up (sort of cloud-like) on the roof and draping itself there. And imagine this 15 - 20' or so climbing rose 'cloud' is smothered in lovely pink blossoms (or at least HAS a couple blooms!) all season long - from spring to frost. This magical climbing rose is also cane hardy, climbs FAST, and is naturally pretty darn healthy (I prefer not to spray if possible). It will be on the south side of my house, enjoying 6+ hours of sun and plenty of fresh air and wind every day. It will be within a few feet of the water hose so drought will never be an issue. We have clay soil which I've amended but it's still clay (if this matters).

Now imagine I'm in zone 5b (Oak Park suburb, just west of Chicago). Is what I'm dreaming of even POSSIBLE???

Would 1 of these be better than the others and if so why? Are there any Chicago or Zone 5B rosarians out there who have luck with these as hardy roses that bloom all season long? Fragrance is unimportant.



Jeanne LaJoie


Cecile Brunner

Zepherine Droughin

The Fairy

New Dawn

John Davis

Viking Queen

Am trying to buy one this weekend at Pesches in DesPlaines (b/c they seem to have a good selection). Any advice will be MUCH appreciated!!!!! I'll be twining it in with Clematis Jackmaani (the new improved version) or Clematis Etoille de Violette.

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Did you ever find your dream rose? I hope you have, and it is the same image as in your dreams. Personally all I could think of is the long skinny bare stems after the Japanese Beetles got thru with it, with no chemical control. Sorry..............

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:14AM
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I realize this is an old post, but I'll add my two cents on this. I've grown some of these roses: Jeanne Lajoie - which is actually a miniature climbing rose, Eden, The Fairy, John Davis and Viking Queen. My favorite of the bunch is John Davis. I have two of these - one of which grows on a green birdpost in an open field unpampered! It's very hardy and disease resistant. It blooms like crazy in June, like most roses and on and off again through Sept. Here's my input on the other roses you've listed: Eden - not hardy in my garden and blooms very little, Viking Queen - beautiful, hardy rose, but the blooms are also sporadic, The Fairy - not a climber, but a shrub, New Dawn - I don't have this rose, but my sister does. She said it's very thorny, no fragrance and grows by leaps and bounds, Zepherine Droughin (sp?) is a Bourbon thornless rose. I don't grow it, so I have no comments, and finally, Awakening is a sport of New Dawn. The only difference is that flower shape are double blooms (think more petals) vs. New Dawn's semi-double blooms. As for the Japanese beetles, yes, that is an issue with all roses, especially the light colored ones - yellow, white, pink. I spray them with soapy water. I don't use chemicals in my yards - 4 dogs, plus I hate spraying chemicals into the environment. Hope this info helps!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:52PM
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midsummer_623(5b/6a Lawrence KS)

I'm REALLY late to this thread, but for what it's worth...I've grown both the Cecille Bruner and the New Dawn, both near the front door as you describe. Either will do close to what you want. My preference is the Cecille Bruner because its canes will get a few feet longer than those of New Dawn. Curious to know if you ever did this!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 6:48PM
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kelly_indiana(z5 IL)

thanks midsummer! i actually went with Zepherine Drouhin (sp?) and looooooove it! it didn't bloom much year 1 but it HAS gotten tall considering this is chicago - about 5' or so in the first summer - i'm thrilled with this! lovely old fashioned pink roses and best of all, NO thorns!

i also got a climber called Joseph's Coat bc my DP saw and loved it and bought it on a whim at the local HD. i really dislike this rose - it is beyond thorny to the point it rips the skin right off you! the colors are lovely but it's going someplace else come Spring - sorry Joseph! i like to walk around in my front garden without being scarred. :)

i also picked up a HT called Angel Face which is so fragrant it knocks me out. everyone who stops by comments on it first, forget all the big sprays of climbers i'm trying to get going - lol! so i guess next year i just need to get some more wildly fragrant roses like Angel Face and i'm set! btw, Angel Face was never without a bloom her whole first year - very very impressive!

thanks again for all the great advice guys! i'm sure to buy more climbers in the future and now i have a fantastic customized list to choose from - you all are the best!! :)


    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 8:41PM
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How are your Zepherine & Angel Face doing? I am trying to pick 2 climbing roses- 1 for an arbor & 1 for a pergola. I also would like a purple & saw Angel Face at my lcal rose place (zone 6)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:32PM
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kelly_indiana(z5 IL)

Hi all! Dani33, you asked for a follow up. Zepherine is now 2 years old and frankly just limping along. Doubtless my fault for planting her in partial shade to begin with (but it was the only location left to get a climber going around the front porch like I wanted) :-( Also we've had 2 frigid Chicago winters and no I didn't cover her or burlap her or even cover up her roots. I guess its amazing she's alive at all! So far no leaves so maybe she didn't make it? I'll try to remember to let u know when I see any activity on her.

Angel Face remains happy as lark. She's planted right next to Zephy (also part shade) but I looove this plant for its unusal mauvey-blue color, *endless* blooms, and its amazing fragrance. It's just a wonderful thing to admire and sniff :)

Was just thinking today of putting some new climbers on the VERY sunny south wall of our house which gets wonderful air flow and all day sunshine. Much more rose-friendly I think. Something that has some fragrance cuz that window is open a lot in summer and has fat rose hips for the birds in winter. Thorny but not insane (no more Josephs Coat or Pink Dawn). Reason for rose here? Its where our wild birds perch while waiting their turn at the feeder - and my cats love to watch their "bird tv" from that window! :) Currently there's a mulberry bush there but I'm getting rid of it bc I've never liked mulberry bushes (sorry mulberries!)

Would only need to get as tall as the window maybe 9 -12'? Thought of putting a crabapple there so the birds could chow in berries all winter -- but then I'll have squirrels leaping from the branches, stealing all the birds' seed. So I think a climbing rose around that window is the way to go - squirrels don't like thorns or tiny branches that won't support them.

You guys really are so smart and helpful!! I really have appreciated all the thoughtful feedback!

~Kelly (in Chicago, not Indiana now!)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:00AM
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