Favorite Carruth Roses

February 17, 2014

There seem to be so many good roses from Tom Carruth. Right now I have only four, but have a few coming for the upcoming season. I am curious to know which ones are your favorites. Right now I have Ch-Ching, Drop Dead Red, Love Song and Mellow Yellow. I had been totally uninformed about new roses in recent years and didn't even know about Tom Carruth until I joined this forum. I ordered Love Song because I thought the cluster of lavender was lovely, I ordered Ch-Ching because it looked like a good bloomer and Mellow Yellow and Drop Dead Red were replacements for other roses I had ordered, but they have all turned out to be good choices. I would have to say Love Song is my favorite. Which ones are your favorites?

Comments (51)

  • organicgardendreams

    Tom Carruth has certainly bred some lovely roses! My favorite is 'Memorial Day'!

    pat_bamaZ7, your 'Grand Dame' looks fantastic!


  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Pat, that is a fabulous Grande Dame photo. Is she as good a bloomer as she looks?
    All my Carruth roses are favorites, but the world class rose, Julia Child, is at the top for me. I also love Twilight Zone, Diamond Eyes, Ebb Tide (even with fading), Blueberry Hill, Wild Blue Yonder, and I hope, Love Song which is coming to my garden this spring. I guess Memorial Day, which so many love, is not on my favs' list. I forgot about that one. I have multiples of many of these, I like them so well. Diane

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    I forgot to mention that I love that exquisite photo of Love Song, Sarah-Ann. Diane

  • pat_bamaz7

    She's a big girl here, blooms her head off and smells like heaven:


  • Jasminerose, California, USDA 9b/Sunset 18

    I recently planted his climber, "Night Owl". This rose is what gave its progeny, "Diamond Eyes" that rich red-wine color. Sorry, no pictures yet. I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Carruth at our rose society meeting. Now that he is retired from Weeks, he was named curator of the rose gardens at the Huntington Gardens in California. A large grant was received to renovate the gardens and Tom Carruth is making some beautiful changes. It is a no-spray garden now! Old arbors and statues were restored. Weeks was contracted to re-bud/rejuvenate a lot of the old roses. New roses and companion plants have also been planted. Mr. Carruth said the gardens should be at their peak around the second week of April. If you live in California or plan on visiting, a day at the Huntington Gardens is certain to be a memorable time. They are located at 1151 Oxford Road San Marino, CA 91108. I plan on going soon so I can see the before and after. :)

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Thank you everyone. Yes, that Grand Dame is heavenly, Pat! I am excited to read about all these wonderful roses. One I keep forgetting that I have and is one of his also, is Meredith. I know I've posted a picture of it, it is a lovely pale pink. It is a good one too, but not as much of a standout as the other four. It does have a wonderful fragrance.

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Would love to see some more Carruth roses.

  • pat_bamaz7

    I don't have a lot of stripes in my garden, but the ones I do have are Carruth roses. In addition to Scentimental that I already listed, Rock & Roll, George Burns and Chihuly are great stripey roses for me.

    Here's Rock & Roll:


  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Pat, I love that picture of Rock 'N Roll!

  • Cindy Ehrenreich

    Julia Child is one of the best roses I've seen in years. Other favorites include Rock & Roll, Twilight Zone, Hot Cocoa, & Strike It Rich

  • redwolfdoc_z5

    Julia Child has been my 'gateway' rose, and she's been fantastic. She'll always be a favourite. I also have Wild Blue Yonder and it's great too. I planted Hot Cocoa in late fall and in the spring I'm expecting Cinco de Mayo, Twilight Zone, and Blueberry Hill.

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Dollsandroses and redwolfdoc, thank you. Beautiful picture of Julia Child. Seems like there are certain ones that are really popular. Julia Child and Twilight Zone are two that I have coming, also Dick Clark, Moonstone and Neptune.

  • pat_bamaz7

    Dollsandroses, I forgot about Strike it that one, too!

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Wow - Pat, Love the coloring in Strike It Rich!

  • redwolfdoc_z5

    Thanks, Sara Ann!
    I forgot I also have About Face - planted in fall. Pat, love that Strike it Rich. Is there much colour variation between blooms?

  • pat_bamaz7

    Redwolfdoc, The blooms all open the same rich gold with red edging on the outer petals, but they do "tan" to red edging on all the petals over time. Below isn't a great picture, but shows a bloom that has "tanned".


    I grow a few (?) of Tom's roses. These will probably always have a home in my garden; Crystalline, Moonstone, Stainless Steel, Hot Cocoa, Julia Child, Fourth of July. If you really look, you will see that Mr. Carruth has made a huge impact on the rose world.

  • redwolfdoc_z5

    Pat, thanks for that. The 'tanning' on Strike it Rich is lovely as well... perhaps that one should go on my wish list!

    I absolutely love Stainless Steel in pictures, but the zone 7 rating on HMF has put me off. I can stretch my yard to zone 6 or even 6b, but 7 is probably pushing it. Has anyone grown Stainless Steel in colder climes?


  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Thanks everyone. It's interesting to know which ones are everyone's favorites.

  • wendit

    This is my first year with mellow yellow, and it has been amazing. Vigorous, lots of good sized blooms, and no mildew or BS. It does not faid, and lasts quite awhile. 3'-4' I have order Julia Child and Stainless Steel for 2015

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Wendt - I loved my Mellow Yellow and I didn't realize how much I would miss it. It didn't make it through the winter. I ordered one from Palatine for 2015. I was looking at all the Carruth roses on Regan's website, there are so many I still want to try. Planted Julia Child this year, love it so far.

  • bcroselover

    Wow, Love Song is SPECtacular, and its a zone 5. Thanks, Sara Ann, I'll sure be interested in one if I can find it for a reasonable price in Canada.

  • redwolfdoc_z5

    Julia Child is gorgeous and floriferous as ever. I didn't know what I as doing when I planted her (she was my first rose) and the graft is above the soil line, but she came through this past winter without skipping a beat. Fantastic rose.

    Wild Blue Yonder hasn't been at all happy for me this year. Only one tiny flush of maybe 3 blooms in the spring and nothing since - not even any new cane growth to speak of. Maybe didn't like the winter so much. I did move it back in April as well. I hope it recuperates for next year!

    New for me this season were Cinco de Mayo, Hot Cocoa, Marilyn Monroe and Twilight Zone. They've all been great - CdM was slow to take off but has been a bloom machine since mid-season. HC hasn't been overly floriferous but not bad for 1st year and MM and TZ have been downright amazing.

    I also had About Face from Hortico and Blueberry Hill from Pickering. They didn't survive the winter - both showed early growth and then withered and died. Pickering refunded my money quickly and without hassle, and I'm STILL playing phone tag with Hortico.

    Here are a few Marilyn Monroe blooms with a freshTwilight Zone bloom sneaking in:


  • KnoxRose -7a

    Karen, that photo is gorgeous. Yellow and purple is by far my favorite color combo for the garden, and the happy little pair in this photo is just like candy to my eyes. Marilyn Monroe is on my very short wish list of Hybrid Teas, her roses always seem to look perfect. Twilight Zone was on it for a while but I have heard that the re-bloom is not very good, and I have still never seen one in bloom in person as every time I visit my local public rose garden the TZ is never in bloom, so this makes me suspect the rumors may be true... would you find this to be the case in your garden?


  • redwolfdoc_z5


    Thanks very much! I have Marilyn with Twilight Zone and Distant Drums in a group, surrounded by Black Eyed Susans and lavender. It's one of my favourite garden vignettes!

    I bought Marilyn on impulse when I went to Palatine to pick up my order last spring. I'm sooo happy I did! They told me she likes a lot of feeding, but boy, every single bloom has been just perfect and beautiful.

    But you asked about TZ. I can't really say much as this was the first year I've had it, but this year it's shown wonderful vigor, so I'm looking forward to an even better show as it matures. These being new roses, I didn't fertilize at all this year beyond bone meal at planting, and TZ didn't give me much of a spring flush, but in the last two months or so it's really been ramping up. Each set of buds seems to come hot on the heels of the last. So I'm hopeful, but again, this is the first year and it's building up. The blooming has involved up to six or eight buds at a time lately, but only two or three at a time earlier in the season.

    Hope that helps! I also hope it's not too convoluted - it's past my bedtime and I tend to run at the brain! :)


    Here's another shot or two of TZ

  • decobug

    These are 5 of his roses that I grow and love:

    Hot Cocoa
    Midnight Blue

    Midnight Blue in all stages of bloom...

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Beautiful picture deco!

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    I've had Julia Child, which I gave away because the color didn't blend well with my mostly old garden roses of cream, pink and purple. Wild Blue Yonder was not a great success after the first year since it became tall and gangly, with thick canes. I now have two Grand Dame, of which one parent is WBY, and from everything I've heard it's supposed to be a superlative rose. It's newly planted so I can't comment, but it's been praised for constant bloom, heat tolerance, no disease, fragrance and vigor. The blooms come in huge clusters; pat bama's picture gives a good idea of how pretty it is.


  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    I love many of Carruth's roses, and cliche as it is, Julia Child is my favorite, but Love Song is really climbing in the "favorite" category for me. I love some Carruth purple roses, but Wild Blue Yonder is not a favorite of mine, either, Ingrid. Diane

    Off Topic: Ingrid, I added a photo of Bernstein-Rose looking amber to the "compact yellows" thread so you can see that in an accurate photo, the rose often does look amber.

  • Brittie - La Porte, TX 9a

    Grande Dame and Barbra Streisand are probably my favorites, though the former is better at keeping form during summer than babs. Julie Newmar is one I would like to try out.

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    I am glad to hear these roses do well. I recently ordered Grand Dame due to all the yummy pics I have been seeing on this forum lol!
    It is supposed to be sent out tomorrow.
    I am also ordering Love Song (love the lavenders), Julia Child, and Ebb Tide.

  • Jasminerose, California, USDA 9b/Sunset 18

    Wow, Nanadoll. Your house looks so welcoming :)

  • kittymoonbeam

    White licorice is a fun rose. Very ruffly and blooms constantly here near Disneyland. The fragrance is spicy myrrh.

    All the TC roses seem to like it here. I wish he could have kept going. I'm glad he's helping the Huntington but I miss his outstanding new roses. Many of my all time favorites are by him.

    If you haven't yet visited the Huntington, you will not be disappointed.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Thanks, Jasmine, but those Julias are pretty funny when the high bloom season is on. They try to "join hands" across the sidewalk leading to the front porch so that walking to our front door is more like running a gauntlet than getting a nice welcome. It's kind of cute, but my son in law hates it.
    Kitty, White Licorice sounds delicious. I know nothing about it, and will check it out. Thanks for the info. Maybe Mr Carruth will return to hybridizing one day. Too bad there aren't two of him. Diane

  • pat_bamaz7

    White Licorice is another favorite of many great ones from him!!! I have my White Licorice between two Julia Childs right by my front steps...wonderful wafting scent between the three of them! White Licorice is also a great, long lasting cut flower that will perfume the whole house.

    White Licorice:


    And between the Julia's:


  • Glenburn

    This link should show all of his roses

    Here is a link that might be useful: Roses by Tom Carruth

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Oh, Pat, how beautiful. I love the white frills. I have no white roses. Maybe WL would be a good start. Thanks for the photos.
    Glenburn, thanks for the link. I will try it right now. Diane

  • pat_bamaz7

    Thanks Diane! Hard to tell from my pictures, but here WL is actually a very pale yellow rather than a true white. I originally had mine planted in my all white garden, but it was not white enough for that. I liked the rose so much, though, that I moved it front and center between the two Julia's.

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    Diane, I love the uphill shot of your gorgeous front garden which also shows part of a neighbor's house. Would you please tell me the name of the lavender/purple rose in the left front of the picture? I'm a fool for roses of that color.


  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Ingrid, that is Young Lycidas. I'm liking it more and more as it continues to improve in the look of its blooms.. Poor thing was transplanted twice so it's still on the smallish side, but getting bigger. I'm a little worried it's going to get too big for that spot.
    Thanks so much for your nice comments. You should see it now in the glory of soppy winter. Diane

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Pat, I see what you mean about the pale yellow. I think that makes WL all the better between the Julias, a lovely combo. Diane

  • redwolfdoc_z5

    I'm loving this thread! There are some really gorgeous Carruth roses out there. I was very happy with Cinco de Mayo and Marilyn Monroe and Twilight Zone and Hot Cocoa this past season. For next year I'm adding Diamond Eyes, About Face, and hopefully Stainless Steel.

    Julia Child was my 'gateway' rose - I'll always love her. Diane, I can never get enough photos of the front of your house!

    White Licorice is very pretty too. It goes beautifully with JC!

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    It's been interesting reading everything about all the great Carruth roses. I've been looking at the list of roses I have coming for spring and there are four of his that I have added - Memorial Day, Colorific, Grand Dame and Moonstone. I also have Julia Child and I love it so far.

    This post was edited by Sara-Ann on Tue, Jan 20, 15 at 10:26

  • friendssjrosegarden

    Here is Tom Carruth in the bed of Julia Child at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden.

    BTW, White Licorice is the creation of Christian Bédard, Tom's protégée and now head of Week's Hybridizing efforts.....

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    What a photo! That is mind blowing to a Julia lover. Wouldn't Miss Child be thrilled to know what a worldwide hit this rose, named in her honor, is. It's neat to see Mr Carruth's photo, too. I wonder which of his roses is his personal favorite. Has he ever mentioned this? Diane

  • Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a

    Ebb Tide
    Ebb Tide is the front if my Garden

  • sabalmatt_tejas

    I'm a big fan of Carruth roses- especially ones in the purple range of colors- I grow many of them. Only Wild Blue Yonder was not vigorous. I had the great pleasure of meeting Tom Carruth about 6 years ago as he is friends with one of my neighbors. I asked him which low maintenance, high performing Rose was his favorite recommendation. He said Julia Child. Tom is a great guy to talk roses & plants with.

  • Lynn-in-TX- Zone 8b (Central TX)

    Another vote for Love Song

  • Lynn-in-TX- Zone 8b (Central TX)

    and Ebb Tide.

    His roses are among some of my favorites for the moderns.

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