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Rose Hit Parade

May 2003 Rhode Island Rose Review

 
 

‘Gertrude Jekyll’ - Roxann Kinney

‘Gertrude Jekyll’ is one of the most beautiful and fragrant bloomers in my novice rose garden. I was drawn to her while walking through a nursery. Its one large pink bloom along with its old rose fragrance made it a must that I have her in my garden.

‘Gertrude Jekyll's’ strong fragrance contains more essential oil that any other rose. Quickly I learned this David Austin rose is popular as a shrub or a short climber. I use this rich pink, modern English rose as a medium shrub. Her dark pink buds open to numerous rosette shaped flowers on strong stems with grayish-green pointed foliage. She's disease resistant, and hardy with the exception of attracting those pesky Japanese beetles.

Because she is a repeat bloomer, I can enjoy her with simple care from early summer through fall. After winterizing her, one bud surprisingly survived a light frost, allowing me to enjoy that one more bloom. My area is always severely cold, but last winter didn't harm her a bit. I truly love this rose and strongly suggest it to any novice or expert rose grower. You won't be sorry.

‘Outta the Blue’ – Angie Chute

Last summer the 2002 introduction, ‘Outta the Blue’ caught my attention with its deep magenta color and old-fashioned blooms. Weeks Roses describes this shrub as one of its “Modern Antiques” which they define as “New fangled plants with old fashioned flowers.”

The description fits, but is even better than they say. This rose is reminiscent of the roses I remember when I was growing up. For one thing, it’s wonderfully fragrant. The blooms are a deep magenta, have about thirty petals and a frilly appearance, just like those old fashioned roses. It has above average disease resistance and survived this past winter with no damage at all. It blooms in clusters, not on short, stubby canes, but on long stems which make it great for cutting.

What makes this rose even better is its staying power as a cut flower. During its fall bloom, I cut several stems and arranged them in a vase. The blooms looked freshly cut over a week later. Every morning I checked on the roses, expecting to see fallen petals all over the table; every morning I was amazed that the roses still looked recently cut. All I did was change the water each day or two.

‘Outta the Blue’ doesn’t really look blue, so the name doesn’t fit this gorgeous, old fashioned rose. I wish it had a more fitting name that described its proud and stately appearance, but if you are looking for a fragrant rose on long stems that keep forever in a vase, get ‘Outta the Blue’. It’s definitely one of my favorite roses.

 

‘L. D. Braithwaite’ - Tom Kraus

It is always difficult to choose “my favorite rose” because it is a moving target. Theoretically, your favorite rose should be in your garden, but garden factors play a big role in how well an individual rose bush does. Also, season-to-season variations play a role in your selection process. Then there is your growing sophistication in roses that force you to appreciate different factors each year. Finally, there always seems to be a better rose that you have yet to purchase.

My favorite rose is ‘L.D. Braithwaite’, an English rose from David Austin. This rose seems to have a constant bloom of deep crimson red flowers beginning in early June and continuing until October (no roses match it in this category in my garden). The blooms are large, very full and rather flat when fully open. The fragrance is good and the foliage is a vibrant green that is quite disease resistant. The bush is typically 4-1/2 feet high by 4 feet wide with shoots extending to 6 feet full of blooms. The bush is extremely strong so that it supports the blooms without the need for you to lift flowers from the garden floor. Finally, ‘L.D. Braithwaite’ is very winter hardy with virtually zero die back even after the cold winter that we just experienced.

 

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