Saturday, May 23, 2015

rose garden winners and losers

This last week has been a serious trial for roses. High winds, driving hail, cool to cold temperatures, blazing sun, have all wrecked havoc on the roses. So what a perfect time for me to see what did well, and what didn't. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it also depended upon what stage the plants were in their flush.

Winner: Tie between Claire Rose and Belle Story.

Claire Rose got most of my attention, because, well, I've never really liked it. The petals are stiff like paper, and the plant holds on to its deadheads. The flowers are generally not very fragrant. But wow, looking good today (I told her so), and even had a nice fragrance.

I think I just expect 'Belle Story' to be looking good. I shouldn't take her for granted, and if I try to look at the plants with an unbiased eye, the best looking of the Austins today were 'Belle Story' and 'Carding Mill'.
'Belle Story'
'Carding Mill'
Another overlooked Austin, is 'The Shepherdess' which is an older Austin, and not very popular, but every time I look, it has some flowers on it, and flowers which are not damaged, but it nice form. Also has a nice fragrance. I've got to overlook the hype of other roses, and look at this one more objectively.

'The Shepherdess'
I'm also impressed with 'William Shakespeare 2000'. It's much more floriferous at the ABQ Rose Garden than at my house.  Maybe I need to give mine more sun.

'Evelyn' in front, then WS2K, 'The Shepherdess' (right), 'Queen of Sweden' (left), 'Graham Thomas' (yellow).

Hybrid Tea:
Winner: Opening Night's brilliant red flowers were perfection. No photos, since I'm avoiding Hybrid Teas.
Biggest loser:  Memorial Day. Not that it was the worst looking, but it was the biggest disappointment to me. Despite being trashed, it still had great fragrance.

Floribunda: Many looked surprisingly good, but not usually colors that I like (such as the brownish '
Cinco de Mayo'), and I'm not very fond of the "bedding" type floribundas, most of which looked pretty good. 'Bonica' is still going strong. There's a good reason it's so popular. It gets my "winner" vote.

'Sexy Rexy' also looking good. Too bad about the bad picture,

'Moondance' was impressive, looking more like a grandiflora. It's not a small floribunda. Fragrance is very nice, soft rose, rather than the sharpness some strongly fragrant roses have.

'Fragrant Plum' also gets high marks for it's rich non-fading color, plum-lemon fragrance, and undamaged flowers.

Biggest Disappointment:'French Lace' has never looked good this year.

Honorable Mentions:
'Charles de Mills' for the incredible richly colored flowers. Too bad about the scraggly sparse growth, but that could just be because they are young plants.

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