Another trip to the Albuquerque Rose Garden, this time without the wind. There were some clear winners and loser, but a number of roses that were winners in some areas, but lacking of other qualities, putting them in a "needs further evaluation" zone.
One clear winner was the miniature rose 'Fresh Pink' which was blooming its heart out, in a luscious color of girly pink. It had only a slight fragrance, but it was definitely there, and more than you could say for most miniatures.
The old Austin rose 'Bow Bells' was a standout to both me and my sister. This one is consistently an entry into the Albuquerque rose show, which tells of its reliability. This one may be on of those roses that do very well in a specific climate, since it is no longer offered by David Austin Roses, being supposedly superceded by better cultivars, and said to be susceptible to mildew and blackspot. There was no evidence of either of these diseases today, possibly due to our dry climate. The fragrance is said to be "mild", but to my noseometer, and my sisters, it was at least "moderate." The globe shaped flowers were charming and prolific. The only negative mark, is that the bushes were a bit sparsely foliated, but that may be an issue of culture.
|'Falling in Love'|
|'Pink Gruss an Aachen'|
|'William Shakespeare 2000'|
|'Outta the Blue'|
In contrast, I didn't even take a photo today of 'Ebb Tide' or 'Twilight Zone', both dark purple flowers with rich fragrance, since I was most impressed with how popular they are to these bugs. My sister wouldn't even attempt to sniff the open flowers because there were so many of these six-legged creatures coating the flower buds. Nearby roses in the lighter purple shades did not have this vast quantity of insect life. We also were not impressed by the muddy quality of the color, but even if it were gorgeously colored and fragrant, it would go into the 'Loser' column for its attraction to vast quantities of these repulsive bugs (these are bugs, as defined, aren't they?).
Falling into the indeterminate category, 'Jude the Obscure' got points for color and fragrance, but the flowers were damaged by sun/wind and it's not clear to me if the flowers would open up and be lovely or if they would just stay at this stage since all the flowers on the bush looked like this.
Things have been on the 'Loser' side for rose shipments for me this year. I ordered a number of 'Bolero' roses from Regan nurseries, and I received my six bare-root plants that were leafed out in the box, leaves without any chlorophyll (how long were they stored, anyway?). The leaves turned crispy as soon as I removed the plants from the plastic bag, but I still planted them out. Most are making some growth (as in 2-3 leaves), but here we are with disappointment.
I ordered a couple of 'Snowbird' from Rogue Valley Roses, but May rolled around and they still had not arrived. I called, and they told me they were shipped a month ago and would check. Six phone calls later, I talked to someone new, and they gave me a refund. I'm chalking it up to a weird year.
I received great roses from Roses Unlimited last year, but the 'Bolero' I ordered was delayed due to slow growth. They told me they would ship May 5, and when I called, they told me May 19. I hope they arrive up to their usual (i.e. last year's) standards. It's not a surprise that their growing season is delayed, given the freakish cold in that part of the country this winter.
Don't get me wrong, I am not putting any of these companies in the "Loser" category yet. I'm putting this year into the "Loser" category for shipped orders.
Addendum 5/23/2014: Order arrived from Roses Unlimited. Plants look great. I'm happy.