Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January and Roses

Seed and gardening catalogs are showing up in my mailbox and now is definitely the time to consider ordering plants for your spring and summer garden. Most of you know I love roses and this month is order time!
Rose Selection

As I mentioned, January is a good time of year to begin selecting and ordering roses, particularly if you purchase them from a mail order vendor.

There are a great many new varieties, but I will list a few new ones from David Austin, which look like they may be good for our area, and mention an entire class of roses which are often overlooked and yet are extremely hardy and disease resistant.

Rugosa Roses
Rugosa roses are sometimes referred to as Japanese roses.  They are fragrant and come in a variety of colors and forms from single, 5-petal flowers to lush double blooms.  They grow well in sandy soil, as well as heavier soils, and do not need spraying.  They have leathery or crinkly leaves and do not seem to get the diseases other roses in our area are so prone to catching, including black spot.  Of all the roses rated by the American Rose Society (ARS), the roses in the Rugosa class have more varieties rated over 9.0 than any other class of rose.

For the most part, Rugosa roses stay relatively short and need little care, including very minimal pruning.  There has been an increase in interest in Rugosa roses lately since they do require so little care, they bloom all summer, and are fragrant.  Even Jackson & Perkins has begun selling more Rugosa because of their easy-care qualities.

Rugosas generally come in colors ranging from white through pink to deep red.

Here are a few varieties which are well worth looking for.
v  Hansa - very fragrant and repeats from spring through to frost.  Double blooms in violet-red.  Grows to about 6’ tall.
v  Purple Pavement - very fragrant and repeats from spring through to frost.  Double blooms in purplish-red.  Grows to about 3’ tall and makes an excellent hedge.
v  Snow Pavement - very fragrant and repeats from spring through to frost.  Double blooms in white touched with pink.  Grows to about 3’ tall and makes an excellent hedge.
v  Thérèse Bugnet - One of the classic Rugosa roses.  Double, fragrant blossoms in medium-pink.  Blooms all summer and has wonderful, attractive red canes with completely healthy foliage.  Grows to be about 4’ tall.
v  Rugosa Magnifica -Very fragrant blooms in deep mauve.  Blooms all summer and grows to be about 5’ tall.
v  Rosa rugosa rubra - Single (5-petals), very fragrant blossoms in deep mauve.  Blooms all summer.  Can grow up to 6’ tall and is extremely hardy.
v  Blanc Double de Coubert - One of the best white roses.  Large, semi-double blooms in pure white.  Very, very fragrant.  Blooms all summer.  Great for a hedge.  Can grow up to 5’ tall.
v  Agnes - Primrose color and very fragrant.  Blooms all summer.
v  Topaz Jewel - Yellow blossoms with a moderate fragrance.  Blooms all summer.
v  Robusta - Crimson blossoms with a moderate fragrance.  Blooms all summer.
v  Jens Munk - Pink blossoms with only a slight fragrance, but a very healthy and well-mannered rose. 
v  Dr. Eckener - Pink and yellow blend rose with a very strong fragrance.
v  Wild Spice - A single, white blossom with a wonderful spicy fragrance.  It blooms continually, all summer.  I got this rose from Jackson & Perkins and couldn’t be more pleased.  It is stays low growing (about 4’) and doesn’t need pruning or spraying. 

These are just a few varieties.  If you have room this year, I would definitely give Rugosas a try, particularly if you live near the ocean.
David Austin Roses
Of course, as always with David Austin roses, you may find that many of them grow much, much taller than advertised, due to our warm climate, so take that under advisement.  I’m mentioning David Austin roses because they do have a very good record for disease resistance.

The following roses may make nice additions to your garden.

v  Carding Mill - Pink, apricot, yellow blend, very double roses with a strong myrrh fragrance.  Height 4’ x 3.5’.
v  Grace - Apricot blossoms with good fragrance.  Height 4’ tall.
v  Hyde Hall - Rich, medium pink, very double flowers with a light fragrance.  This is listed as very healthy, but very large, up to 6’, so I expect you could grow it as a small climber here in NC.
v  St. Alban - Rich yellow rose with a good fragrance.  This will grow up to 8’ tall as a climber.
v  The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild - Peony-like, very large roses in pinkish lilac.  Rose fragrance and a height listed as 5’.
v  Wisley - Large blossoms in deep pink with a strong fragrance.  Height 4’.

A Few Smaller Varieties of Austin Shrubs
Here are a few of the smaller varieties of Austin’s roses, for gardeners with smaller gardens.  They are all around 3’ tall.  None are taller.  Because of the moderate size, they would also do well in pots and since many are also very fragrant, they are excellent on patios or near sitting areas.

v  Alnwick Castle - Soft pink with good fragrance.
v  Ambridge Rose - Apricot pink with a good rose and myrrh fragrance.
v  Anne Boleyn - Soft, warm pink with a light fragrance.
v  Charlotte - Soft yellow with a light Tea Rose fragrance.
v  Comtes de Champagne - Yellow that fades to pale yellow; the blossoms open to form an open cup.  Good fragrance.
v  Cordelia - Medium pink, semi-double flowers with a very slight fragrance.
v  Fair Bianca - Pure white rose with a rich rose fragrance.
v  Ludlow Castle - Apricot-blush color with a Tea Rose fragrance.

v  Mary Magdalene - Very soft apricot-pink coloring with rich fragrance.
v  Miss Alice - Very soft pink coloring with a rose fragrance.
v  Molineux - Clear yellow coloring; this rose has won a lot of awards and is a beautiful small bush.  Slight Tea Rose fragrance. 
v  Noble Antony - Rich, deep magenta-pink blossoms with good disease resistance.  Very fragrant. I have had extremely good experiences with this rose and love it.
v  Portmeirion - Medium sized flowers in clear, rich deep pink with a strong rose fragrance.
v  Sophy’s Rose - Light red flowers on a very healthy bush.  Light Tea Rose fragrance.
v  St. Cecilia - Beautiful soft apricot-pink that age to white with a lovely fragrance.
v  Tamora - Rich apricot flowers with good fragrance.
v  The Prince - Deep crimson with a rich fragrance.
v  Wildeve - Very healthy rose with soft pink blossoms.  Medium fragrance.

Happy planting!

Amy Corwin is the author of more than six historical romances and mysteries. Her latest contemporary mystery, Whacked! was just released in hardcover and is available wherever books are sold. 
As you might expect, she has also written a historical mystery where the clues are roses. A Rose Before Dying is available from Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, as well as for Apple iTunes fans.

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