Everything's Coming Up Roses – 4

My field trial roses include Weeks' original Home Run™ and this year, Pink Home Run™, both bred from the KnockOut™ strain. Dan raves about the original's dark red color, which seemed to me a little off. Just goes to show you that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. I quickly discovered, however, that it's unaffected by dogs, handymen, clay soil, drought, and disease (it doesn’t seem to get any). You just have to keep the Japanese Beetles picked off.


I'm crazy about the pink version, which I received this spring, so it's still
a smallish plant. All of them are the offspring of a single mutated branch on a Red KnockOut™, which sported pink blossoms. It fills the hole created when we lost the Rainbow KnockOut™ to snow and ice.

My three favorite roses for fragrance are the grandiflora Melody Parfumée™ (Jackson & Perkins) Oklahoma™ (Weeks), a hybrid tea, and Moondance™ (Jackson & Perkins), a floribunda.

Melody is a purply lavender that lightens with a kind of silver tint as the blooms age. It has a light, but still quite strong, old-rose scent. I bought this plant as a huge potted specimen that continued to perform magnificently until two years ago. The first year, it was mercilessly attacked by Japanese Beetles before I realized what was happening and last year, in its already weakened condition, nearly succumbed to our unusual summer rains and chilly weather. It's a tribute to Melody's vigor that, while a shadow of its former self, it's recovering nicely. 

Oklahoma™, the official flower of that state, has huge deep black-red flowers with a very strong old-rose scent that will make any rose-lover swoon. Good-humored jostling for the first-to-sniff position has become an annual ritual in our garden. In our microclimate of Zone 5B, we lost three of these before I learned to heavily mulch to help them through the winter. It was worth it.

Moondance™ is a 2007 AARS winner with creamy white blooms and dark green glossy leaves. Its fragrance is described both as raspberry-like and spicy -- mild but intoxicating. Moondance™ blooms later than Oklahoma and we watch the buds forming with great anticipation, ready to get in a few whiffs of heaven before the blooms are gone.

More next time….. 

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