Sunday, August 17, 2014

today's rose garden winners and losers

I expected there to be some nice growth on the roses at the ABQ rose garden since we have been getting monsoon rains. I got lucky in that a monster hail storm arrived just after I left. Who knows what it looks like now.

First, the winners. In review, I am surprised to discover that there are a lot more than I thought. Not in any particular order.

'Moonsprite' was looking quite good.

As always, 'Iceberg' has quite a few flowers, and they are bigger than they were at the peak of the heat.

'Lace Cascade' looked a lot better than this photo indicates, but it is a rather unruly climber. The flowers were very nicely fragrant. 

'Memorial Day' again. I've posted it before, one the the roses which looked good in the middle of the hot spell, which makes me think it might be something to put in the garden. It seems to take the heat, and still keep pumping out flowers. There was some sun damage, and the bushes are that lumpy awkward Hybrid Tea look, but if it always is covered in these fragrant flowers, I can forgive that.

'Madame Alfred Carriere' has some of the best fragrance in the garden today, and there were a few of them on this climber. Usually the flowers are white, but now they are pink.  'William Shakespeare 2000' was also a winner in the fragrance department, but a loser in production (2 flowers, one fried, on the bush) and bush appearance.

'French Lace' was a surprise to me. I don't usually like this one. It is short, bushy, and with rather scrappy growth habits, which is a bit incongruous with the elegant flowers.

  'Sunset Celebration' is another rose I posted before, as doing well in the heat of summer. It has some fragrance. Too bad I don't like the color.

I've also posted 'Mermaid' before. Again the single flowers are perfect and there are clusters of buds waiting to open. This is not a rose to be covered in flowers, but I suspect the flowers only last a day or two, with lots of buds, like a daylily. Only this is a vigorous climber with WICKED thorns.

'Linda Campbell' is still looking good. Another one I've posted before. What is amazing is that with this flush, each cluster has a dozen or more buds on it, and they are bursting out all over. Flowers are not very elegant and they are completely scentless, but otherwise, very impressive. I can't say that I was very impressed with any of the red Hybrid Teas. 'Oklahoma' was fried, with no fragrance, and flowers small. 'Mister Lincoln' was fried. 'Olympiad' was blooming, but flowers were very small and scentless, most with fried petal edges.

It took me a while to discover that this rose is 'Dainty Bess.' Dainty, yes, and tough.  Not much fragrance, but quite a charmer.

 'Golden Wings' is a rose that was looking well in blistering heat. Still looking good. No wonder they planted several of them, in key points of the garden.

Not a good photo of 'Walking on Sunshine', probably because I don't like yellow roses, but this rose was blooming away without any sun/heat damage.  Impressive.

Here is another rose that is colored in a way I don't like. But the vast quantities of bloom are also impressive. 'Cinco de Mayo.'

I wasn't sure whether to put 'Belinda's Dream' into the "winners" or "losers" category, since the plant growth is awful, and many of the flowers are fried, but it is putting out a lot of flowers when positively irradiated by heat and sun, surrounded by concrete and reflective packed dirt. It gets a lot of praise by those in Texas, so I wonder if it is just in a bad situation. The flowers are a lot like 'Memorial Day' but 'Memorial Day' looks like a rose on steroids, and 'Belinda's Dream' looks like a real rose.

Now for the losers. Of course there were a lot of plants that weren't blooming, or were looking bad, but these were my biggest disappointments.

The entire bed of David Austin roses looked awful. This picture makes them look better than they were. Entire plants were fried.

I had to show this picture of 'Prospero'. They were almost all like this. This was particularly disappointing because 'Prospero' does so well in Southern California. 'Evelyn' also was described as doing well in heat, but no. Just fried.

'Queen of Sweden' looked the best, with a few undamaged flowers. It also was showing evidence of "Jolly Green Giant' syndrome.

'Margaret Merrill' and 'Moondance' were also big disappointments, as I had such high hopes for fragrant whites. But both were fried, not much in the way of either blooms or fragrance. 

'Souvenir de la Malmaison' is called the "Queen of Beauty and Fragrance" but to me she was neither. Flowers looked bleached out, with form like crumpled tissue. Fragrance was mostly like bread or beer, with a little rose thrown in. I'd like it in a beer, not in a rose.Then there's the floppy bush. Quite a disappointment for me since I'd read so many glowing reviews.

 So if I had to choose from these roses, I'd probably pick 'Moonsprite', 'Madame Alfred Carriere', 'Memorial Day', maybe 'French Lace' and of course the stalwart 'Iceberg'. I'm almost tempted to rip out all my David Austin roses.

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