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Old June 22nd, 2008, 04:37 AM
lainie lainie is offline
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Location: Wilmington, IL, USA
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No success with roses--should I keep trying?

Over the past 5 years, I've stuggled with roses (I've always wanted a rose garden). Now I thought I did my research and tried to prepare the soil properly and take care of them properly, but I've successfully destroyed a Paul's Himalayan Musk, a Floribunda, a Coral Carpet, a modern shrub, an English and three other that I can't even remember what they were. What remains are 4 that have gone back to the original root stock (I believe Dr Huey)--a David hybrid tea 'Black Magic' and two 'Iceberg' Floribundas and an David Austin English. I have one survivor that has somehow manages to thrive beautifully although I've relocated it twice and has the most wonderful scent--an English rose 'Eglantyne' which unforunately the Japanese beetles (nasty, nasty things) after the first couple blooms manage to locate and destroy even the buds unless I cover the finest netting so the poor bumblebees and butterflies never get a chance. Now I really have quite a successful garden otherwise despite many challenges so . . .

My question is 'Am I just not cut out for roses?' or Is it possible that my yard has such nasty microclimates that are not favorable for roses? Are roses that labor intensive? Or am I choosing the wrong type of plants for Zone 5? They all grew ok the first couple years (as expected, as least for a novice) but the Eglantyne has gone beyond expectations. Would certainly love any input.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 05:38 PM
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Buddleia Buddleia is offline
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Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada zone 5
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Re: No success with roses--should I keep trying?

I'm zone 5 and in the open with no protection. I picked a site I thought was ok where they would get some protection from North West winds and I bought styrofoam cones to cover them with. After 3 years of failed attempts with Hybrid Teas I decided not to buy any this year. Low and behold 1 Hybrid Tea survived but who knows if I will see it next year. I do have a patio tree rose that I keep potted and bring into a insulated garage overwinter and that does fine thank you so that might be something to keep in mind but such a hassle perhaps if you have several.
I have bought some Austin English roses and I have much better luck with those, I don't even cover them overwinter. I don't need to spray them or anything so they are obviously more hardy and disease resistant. Eglantyne is an Austin Rose. Buy more of those. There are so many colours and sizes to choose from now. If they are not locally available you can buy from their website. I love Abraham Darby but I have 5 different ones altogether. David Austin is a saint in my mind for what he has done for us more northern gardeners.
I'm a big BIG fan of the Rugosa "Hansa". It gets very big and has large recurrent flowers and then large hips in the late summer and Fall. It's hardy to zone 2 or something but the flowers are outstanding and can pass for hybrid teas lol. The fragrance is to die for as well.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 06:56 PM
lainie lainie is offline
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Re: No success with roses--should I keep trying?

Thanks for your reply. I used the styroform cones and then burlap. I believe I did a decent job taking care of them, but they didn't survive the winter. I mistakenly thought a strong plant well protected should survive, but it may have more to do with our weather. We often get early spring warm ups followed by hard freezes and a erratic freeze-thaw cycle throughout winter. I thought the Eglantyne wouldn't survive either since last fall I didn't even give it a bed a mulch, but it's beautiful this year. Go figure! Guess I've just been a bit frustrated and doubting my abilities.

The Hansa has me intrigued. I think I'll check that out. And short of building a walled rose garden(!), perhaps my only real issue is finding something hearty enough to deal with my climate issues. I really like the idea of not having to spray or cover them so maybe I should look again at the Austin roses (there are soooo many to chose from!). Maybe if I look for something hearty to Zone 3 I'll be safe!!

Thinking of yanking out the ones that have gone back to rootstock (Dr Huey)--is there any value to them???

Thanks again for your reply. Feel like I got a shot in the arm. Just knowing someone else deals with the same thing helps sometimes.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Weekend Gardener Weekend Gardener is offline
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Re: No success with roses--should I keep trying?

I have never gardened anywhere colder that a USDA Zone 7. But a large part of Canada gets pretty cold. So Agriculture Canada has come up with some pretty cold hardy roses - try look for the Explorer roses, and also Parkland roses.
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