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Rose Hit Parade

(Feb. 2005 Rhode Island Rose Review)

 
 
 

This popular column, started in the November 2001 issue of the Rhode Island Rose Review is back by popular demand. Members who contribute to this column are asked to describe a rose that performs well in their gardens and that they would recommend to fellow members. If you are looking for suggestions about what varieties to plant in your garden this spring, this is the place to find them. - - Editor

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‘Pretty Lady’ – Mike Chute

When Donna Fuss, rose maven from Elizabeth Park in Hartford, presented a program on shrub roses at our August meeting a few years ago, she sang the praises of a little known floribunda called ‘Pretty Lady’.  Donna knows roses and if she likes a variety then it’s worth checking out.

‘Pretty Lady’ was introduced in 1997 by Great Britain’s Len Scrivens, the talented amateur hybridizer of the bulletproof yellow shrublet, ‘Baby Love’.  ‘Pretty Lady’ may be classified as a floribunda but has more in common with modern shrub roses and it’s easy to see why.  This medium sized rose with a rounded habit seems to be another breakthrough in cleanliness and extraordinary resistance to blackspot. ‘Pretty Lady’ sports immaculate foliage with prolific sprays of pale ivory buds opening into double (25 petals) creamy white blooms. Fragrance?  Unfortunately, not much that we could detect.  Winter hardy?  We grew two plants last season in our garden and they are now under winter cover - we will know better in the spring.  If ‘Pretty Lady’ comes through the winter like we think she will, then we’ll agree with Donna Fuss -- this handsome lass is a champion and has become another vigorous, highly disease resistant favorite for the Rhode Island garden. 

 

 

‘Fourth of July’– Patsy Cunningham

Fourth of July is one of the most uniquely colored climbers ever bred. It was an AARS winner in 1999, the first climber in over twenty years to get that award. The blooms are striped and splotched with brilliant red, white and pink.  The color of the stripes is much more pronounced than OGR striped roses like ‘Rosa Mundi’ and ‘Honorine de Brabant’; it's certainly not subtle.

‘Fourth of July’ is considered a semi-double bloom but the flowers open up almost fully flat like single blooms, showing off the bright golden yellow stamens.   The effect is striking, like fireworks. This variety is great for someone who wants a climber that can be grown without supports.  That’s because this variety can’t make up its mind whether it’s a climber or a floribunda. It can be grown both ways, depending upon how you prune it. HelpMeFind.com has its height listed as 3’7” to 15’, quite a range. In England it’s classified as a floribunda and called ‘Crazy for You’.  It has beautiful shiny green, disease resistant foliage and is always photogenic, with sometimes mas-sive sprays of blooms, each different.  It was bred by Tom Carruth from ‘Rollercoaster’, a striped mini climber and ‘Altissimo’, the velvety Chinese red single climber. ‘Fourth of July’ gets some of that rich dark red color in its stripes from ‘Altissimo’, and also has ‘Altissimo's’ stiff upright canes. It doesn't have a strong fragrance, just a light "apple" one.  All this makes it pretty popular, it sells out at Roseland pretty quickly each year.

 

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