Picking a Rose at my Front door

aloha2009June 13, 2011

I've got to make a good choice as initially my DH didn't want to see another rose bush in this yard ever again. When we moved in there was a HUGE 8' round rose bush that had lost any ability to flower. It was nasty taking it out!

My front door looks right at my neighbors front door = not good. I'd like to have a visual barrier. From what I've read from the Colorado extension office a Dortmund Rose bush might fit the bill. The area would get morning sun and is in a fairly protected area (at least by Colorado standards). It's suppose to be reasonably fragrant (which is a bonus) and also give winter interest(even better). I did read where it can be thornier then most roses and also require major deadheading (ouch). What experiences do you have with this rose bush, or could you offer another suggestion? The house is a dark tan, so I'd like either a red, orange, or even white color rose.

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nancy_in_co(z5 CO)


First, the disclaimer. I am NOT a rose expert but I have managed to keep a bunch of them alive and thriving for quite a number of years.

I don't know anything about the rose bush mentioned in your message but I am quite fond of the Candian Explorer series roses. They seem to come in all sorts of sizes, colors and shapes and they are tough plants. Some will easily take just a half day of sun.

I am particularly fond of William Baffin. I don't think it will fit your needs but I have a whole hedge of them and they are merrily blooming away right now even though we have had a total of 2 inches of rain so far this year with no end of the severe drought in sight. Yes, I have given them a little supplemental water but not much as we are on well for outside irrigation and when the well goes dry, there will be no outside irrigation going on.

Anyway, I would take a look at the Canadian explorers to see if there was anything there you can use.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 3:31PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Aloha, nice idea! I have a couple of questions. What size rose are you looking for? Most roses need at least a half day of sun and 8 hours would be better for blooming. What's the planting area like? Are you trellising or letting it roam? How much space will the rose have both up and out to grow? How big would be too big? I'm assuming (dangerous I know) that you want a repeat bloomer with fragrance that won't engulf your front door.

I don't have Dortmund either, but it's on my list to try.
Nancy gave you a good tip on the Canadians. I have William Baffin, too, but this is only it's second year and I hear it can get quite unruly, so probably isn't a good choice for the entry way.

Was the 8 ft monster also at the front door? I ask because I want to make sure lack of sun at the planting site isn't an issue.

I don't want to make suggestions until I know the size you want. Then we can get into colors and bloom type.

How fun!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 9:22PM
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Nancy, I read somewhere else about the Canadian roses. I guess if they can grow there, they should grow here. Wow a whole hedge of roses, that must be lovely!

Treebarb, the area currently does not have a tellis but my DH was willing to put one in. The area is about 2' x 6' and about 10' high. The 8' "monster" was smack in the middle of our postage stamp front yard. We had just closed on the house and that came down.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 11:48PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

I can see why you wouldn't want an 8ft non-blooming rose as the focal point of your yard!

I would put in your trellis first. That'll help you decide what size plants to go with.

Just one other thought. I like pairing clematis and roses.
Since the site is an entryway I'd consider a clematis to be your climber. No thorns to bite you as you go in and out. Then you can plant a shorter growing rose as a companion. I think a white clematis with an orange rose like Just Joey would be great!

If you want to go with the climbing rose I think Dortmund is a good choice for a red, or Altissimo or Don Juan (maybe too big).

I think America is gorgeous (orange pink blend) and fragrant, but pretty thorny.

For white or off white, how about climbing Iceberg (little scent, though) or Awakening?

So many choices!


    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 8:54AM
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david52 Zone 6

You might consider a thornless climbing rose, Zephirine Drouhin. I have several, they grow pretty well in partial shade. The pink might do ok with a darker house.

I also like the idea of a clematis and something like 'Just Joey' in front - I had that with the purple jackmanni and it was spectacular, unfortunately the roses are dying out now.

Here is a link that might be useful: link to Z. Drouhin pic

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:18AM
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I've never paired up two vines before and actually have only had 1 rose ever in my yards.

I've used a lot of clemetis, but with this area I didn't want to look at dry leaves all winter long (we use the front door a lot). I'll have to claim ignorance about roses and need to know what to expect as far as the winter. Will it be mostly be just the canes?

David, I think you may have hit it on the spot for me. Not only will this plant be by the front door, we were going to have to make some kind of space allowance to reach our arm in to turn the hose on and off. What I read it smells delicious, few if any thorns and blooms mostly in the spring and fall, with sporatic flowering in the summer, I'm like SOLD. Where are you at and how have they grown for you? Spring blooms? Fall blooms? Summer blooms? etc Did you get yours bareroot? What problems if any have you had.

I just noticed a whole forum on roses (I love GW). I guess I could have posted there too since I was so specific as to wanting a rose, but everyone has been terrific for ideas.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 8:45PM
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david52 Zone 6

I'm at 7000 feet in SW Colo - they are just now starting to bloom, and will continue until mid-july, when it gets hot. They'll start up again in Sept. I have some on the east side of the house and on the west, both do well. In normal times, i prune in the spring to thin the things out, some dead twigs. My plants are 10 years old and going gang busters. I have them around supports on the back porch, where there is a lot of traffic.

(I recently picked up some dreaded rose disease that is infecting all my rose plants, so I have to cut them all to the ground in the spring, but thats another story)

I got them bare root, can't remember where. I planted one with a clematis, doesn't do that well, the clematis smothers the thing.

Its a good rose.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 9:36AM
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David, I'm sorry to hear about your rose disease. Sounds like you are treating it and you'll still have all your roses next year. When I saw that you lived in harsher conditions then we do and you got a decent amount of blomm, I was ready to go out and buy one. I've been checking the local nurseries and none of them have it (or had), so mail order it will have to be for next spring. Thanks for the great recommendation.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 7:11PM
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david52 Zone 6

Back in the day, it was possible to wait for the end-of-season plant sales for the nurseries in the South East US, in mid-June. And we could buy bare root rose plants that were breaking dormancy for $2-3 a piece.

We bought a lot of them. :-).

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 10:15AM
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David (or anyone else that knows). How many feet wide are Droughin roses. I have about an 8' area that I want covered and don't know wether to purchase 1 or 2. J & P have them on sale right now and I was going to order before the night is out (last day).

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 5:57PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver


I read 10 to 12 ft high by 6 to 8 ft wide. I think it'll take years to get to that size, though. Maybe go ahead and get 2 in case they don't get that big or one doesn't make it.

I'm an enabler!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 10:56PM
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david52 Zone 6

I'd suggest getting two as well.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 9:42AM
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I ended up purchasing 2 of them. If I don't use 2 of them in the same spot, I have a second spot already picked out.

The price is back up to full price. Unless the weather had been so nice, I wouldn't have thought that about gardening (too many indoor projects to think about). I'm going to have to put a reminder on my calendar to start ordering plants sooner in the year. I didn't realize how much cheaper they'd be...and to see so many "sold out".

The area is 8' but we will need some area to get hose access on the one side (thus one of the reasons this particular rose was so attractive - thornless). I don't like overcrowded but I also know it won't be full size for several more years. We've got so many new plants going in, it's getting easier to be patient as things mature.

Thanks for everyone's help. I'm really looking forward to this particular rose.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:33AM
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