Rugosa Roses, other NO care roses? :-)

AdamM321(MA z5/6)June 17, 2003

Hi,

I am an organic gardener. I love roses, and have tried a few times to grow but they always become more trouble than I can manage. With the exception of rugosa rose Double de Courbet. This has been a pleasure. Clean, foliage, fragrant blooms, I consider it, no care. But I would like to add other roses.

First of all I only get about 4-5hrs of sun where I can plant them. Then fragrance is my most important criteria. I was hoping for ideas of other varieties of rugosa I might enjoy and perhaps other shrub or landscape roses that would not require more than the usual shrub maintenance and would not require spraying. I also need a climbing rose.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Adam

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Mercy_Garden(z5 Santa FeNM)

I know you will get a lot of responses from people with more experience than me, but I love the no-care beauty and scent of my Hansa rugosa rose. I plan to get several more.

I also have 4 rugosa roses that are unpatented, labeled simple "beet red rugosa rose". These are looking wonderful against all odds, and I get a lot of people asking what it is (its planted in the thin, rocky area between the street and the sidewalk).

Another rose I have that is not a rugosa but takes little to no care whatsoever for great results is a small bush rose called Knock Out. I grow it in a large container, and have it on the patio for evening fragrance.

Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2003 at 1:38PM
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WendellO(z6 KY)

Knockout (red shrub)
Livin' Easy (orange floribunda)
Bill Warriner (orange-pink floribunda)
Lots of Buck roses: Prairie Harvest, Carefree Beauty, etc.
(The Buck rose Prairie Princess can be trained as a climber.)
Among once blooming old garden roses, Albas (Celestial, Semi-plena, etc.) are care free and can take some shade too.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2003 at 2:21AM
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Hawkeye_Belle(z6 PA)

Try Thomas Afflect from Antique Rose Emporium. I have a posting on the Antique Forum about this rose. I only spray with Cornell and use corn meal around the base of my roses. You will love it.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2003 at 9:36AM
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estevinho(z5 Eastern NY)

In my experience, Rosa rugosa with its beach rose heritage needs more sun than you say you have. Given that Blanc Double de Coubert is doing well for you, I wouldn't make too much of my concern. Any selection and close hybrid of Rosa rugosa should also do well for you. Several good ones have already been mentioned. Rosa rugosa Alba and Rosa rugosa Rubra are both very good. In addition to the clean, lime green foliage, the flower buds are attractively pointed, open into well formed single flowers, bloom throughout the season, and yield a good crop of hips. "Plena" or double varieties (more petals) are also available. For a softer pink, both Fru Dagmar Hastrup and Jens Munk are very good. Some so-called rugosa hybrids are far more distantly related, and perform less well here in the humid east. One distant hybrid that is an excellent rose is Therese Bugnet. You've probably heard of this all time great. Fragrant, elegant, pink flowers of "old fashioned" form are borne on a very attractive shrub. This rose has very attractive foliage, and reddish canes give it 12 month beauty.

I grow over 100 roses in zone 5 northeast, so I know there are many roses that thrive given standard shrub or perennial garden care. My life has been hectic for at least the past four years. If the garden couldn't take care of itself, it would be having serious problems. I agree with you 100%. Plant selection is the key to success. There are many many roses that will do what you want them to do.

Good climbers I grow include New Dawn and Clair Matin. Both have pink flowers. Clair Matin is the smaller of the two (and my favorite). Some use Darlow's Engima as a climber. Me, I think it's best suited to use as the fountain shaped centerpiece of a formal bed. It is a large, elegant shrub with large clusters of small, white, fragrant flowers sporting pretty eyelashes. I am trying to get more roses like this. I have high hopes for Walferdange, Violet Hood and especially Trier, parent of the badly named "Hybrid Musks". Other good cluster bloomers that can climb or be big shrubs include Will Scarlet and Skyrocket (Wilhelm).

Also for hardy, disease resistant climbers/large shrubs there is the Canadian Explorer series bred by AgCanada. Captain Samuel Holland and John Davis are two of my favorite.

Marchesa Boccella is the best of my repeat blooming Old Garden Roses. More than half my roses and most of my favorites are once bloomers. In this climate, they make a great deal of sense. If I started getting into these, I guess this post would be about twice as long as it is. I love the early blooming pimpinellifolia. They make specimen shrubs as good as any. I'd be lost without my Gallicas, even the ones that get powdery mildew.

All of my roses are closer to trees than books say they should be. The books must not be written with this region in mind. Still, I think most of my roses get more sunlight than what you describe. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2003 at 2:33PM
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Paul_on_Lake_Mich(z5 WI USA)

The best group of roses for what you're looking for are the Explorers. I have many of them and I swear by them. Hardy, disease resistant and extrememy floriferous, I highly recommend them for a no-fuss garden.

Here is a link that might be useful: Canadian Explorers

    Bookmark   June 20, 2003 at 5:46PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Thank you everyone for all those ideas. It is starting to look like I will have to put off adding the shrub roses until the fall so that will give me time to find the right ones. I will look into whether I can locate any of these roses locally to take a look at them. Weekends off to the garden center with my list. :-)

Thanks very much,
Adam

    Bookmark   June 24, 2003 at 4:41AM
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magda(Z 5b/6aOnt Can)

I have Henry Hudson (white) and Charlotte (a very hardy yellow Austin rose) that are repeated bloomers - all summer long. They have survived with no protection whatsoever and are blooming away right now. They both have a nice fragrance, no diseases and Charlotte is a climber.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2003 at 8:21PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Thanks for all the input. I have made two trips to garden centers so far, and having trouble finding anything. where does everyone buy their roses? Locally or order from specialty houses by mail?

Adam

    Bookmark   June 27, 2003 at 4:27AM
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woolywoof(z4 quebec)

The advantage of living in zone 4 is that local nurseries sell lots of hardy roses. You may need to mail order. Pickering is one source. I am sure others can suggest more.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2003 at 11:09AM
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Mercy_Garden(z5 Santa FeNM)

I have found your standard garden centers do not carry these kinds of wonderful roses, generally. (I secretly suspect they carry fancy roses that are in nice bloom but likely won't do well so you'll come back next year for a new one.)

Here in Santa Fe we are fortunate enough to have two specialty garden centers that do carry the Explorer series and some of the other tough but lovely roses mentioned here.

Here are some online & mail order sources I know of:

High Country Roses (online)
High Country Gardens (not the same)--mail order & online

    Bookmark   July 1, 2003 at 2:24PM
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estevinho(z5 Eastern NY)

woolywoof, your availability of hardy roses probably has more to do with being in Canada than being in zone 4. If I head to nurseries in zone 4 New York, the situation is likely to be even more dire than it is here.

Lack of availability of roses that do what I want roses to do is probably part of the reason I became so interested in rooting cuttings. Several wonderful roses are probably better known as pass along plants than in the nursery trade.

This unfortunately doesn't make me a very good source of information as to where you should get your roses. I've bought more roses from Mike Lowe than any other source. He's in Nashua. Is Mike still in the nursery business? I don't know.

Pickering, as mentioned, is a good source. I know Paul has gotten a bunch of his roses from Spring Valley in Wisconsin. I've heard nothing but good things about Spring Valley. I've often wanted to order from Corn Hill in New Brunswick, but never come up with a big enough order to make it work out. Corn Hill is Robert Osborne's nursery. If you don't have his book "Hardy Roses" you should. You should also have Suzanne Verrier's books.

You want to avoid the nurseries that ship little twigs. For the money nurseries charge, you want them to send you a real plant. I'd like to be able to recommend Ashdown, but I've never ordered from him.

Oddly enough, most of my recent purchases have come from Sequoia. Certainly Ralph Moore has no reason to specialize in hardy for the northeast roses, but he does have some neat oddments that I can't get anywhere else. He ships little twigs, but at least the price reflects this.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2003 at 4:20PM
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QTee_zone_5

I just received my first order from Ashdown...I wasn't pleased.

Pickerings is THE place to go but you will have to wait until spring to get roses from them since they are done for the season.

Roses Unlimited has good quality and they are still shipping but this time of year most vendors are pretty picked over.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roses Unlimited

    Bookmark   July 3, 2003 at 9:09AM
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Gailmaree(z9FL)

WHAT AM I DOING WRONG???
I LOVE ROSES BUT DON'T HAVE ANY LUCK WITH THEM. WHEN I PRUNE, THAT STEM TURNS BROWN/DIES. THEY END UP LOOKING LEGGY, EVEN WITH SUNLITE, with sparce foliage. I FEED & WATER...WHAT CAN I DO? WHAT SOIL ADDITIVES & FERTILIZER DO YOU RECOMMEND? AS YOU CAN SEE, I'M DESPERATE TO GROW THEM. I LIVE IN ZONE 8 TO 9...CENTRAL FLORIDA. WHICH DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR MY CLIMATE WHICH ARE PRETTY MUCH RESISTANT TO FUNGUS/BLACK SPOT? IT IS VERY HOT & HUMID HERE.I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR 7 SISTER ROSE WITH NO LUCK. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BLAZE & WHERE CAN I GET THAT CLIMBER? ANY (RUGOSA) (RED) CLIMBERS YOU CAN RECOMMEND?

PLEASE E-MAIL ME :
gvedder0317@aol.com

thanks!!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2003 at 8:52PM
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Marjiva(z7VA)

Other than the rugosas I have had a lot of luck with polyantha (think thats how its spelled) roses. They arent very fragrant but i have had very little trouble with blackspot on these. I have the fairy (climbing version) which is just marvelous and also one called nachez rose which is a smaller bushy version. These flowers are very small only about an inch and a half in diameter but are very pretty when in full bloom and add lots of color. There are many other colors and varieties to choose from. It can get very hot and humid here in northern virginia and these are almost as resistant as the rugosas.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2003 at 8:45PM
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Doris_J(Z8 WA)

I second the vote for 'Hansa'. Beautiful, no-fuss rugosa, smells great, and it takes my abuse. Here it is.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2003 at 3:07PM
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Doris_J(Z8 WA)

I abuse this one, too. 'Topaz Jewel', a nice yellow. I grow mine with Geranium x magnificum.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2003 at 3:12PM
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ssosew(z4 WI)

I've been using the Explorer rose Champlain for about 5 years now. It winters over beautifuly here in central Wisconsin. Also, cutings root VERY easily!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2004 at 9:30PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Thanks ssosew, I have heard of the Explorer series. They are landscape roses, correct? I am looking for a rose that has fragrance. Do the Explorer series have fragrance?

Thanks,
Adam

    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 1:25PM
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Bruce7

Adam:

I can address two of your criteria (fragrance and no care). We have no trees to speak of, so I cannot comment on shade tolerance beyond the information that Steven (Estevinho) provided.

You may want to check out the "Pavement" series of rugosas:

Foxi Pavement/Buffalo Gal
Purple Pavement/Rotes Meer or Rotesmeer
Snow Pavement/Schneekoppe
Pierette Pavement

Other well-regarded rugosas not previously mentioned:

Roseraie de l'Hay
Rosa rugosa alba
Rosa rugosa rubra

One of our favorites, a wonderfully fragrant polyantha that "wafts" its scent:

Marie Pavie

Fru Dagmar Hastrup, Purple Pavement, Roseraie de l'Hay, Marie Pavie, and Darlow's Enigma been healthy and fragrant for us in a no-spray garden. Darlow's Enigma and Marie Pavie are reputed to have some shade tolerance.

You may want to check out Vintage Gardens' web site for information and as a source of own-root plants. Roses Unlimited is always my first choice for ordering, but they have a limited number of rugosas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vintage Gardens

    Bookmark   April 24, 2004 at 8:11AM
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