Reflecting on my rose season so far

August 11, 2019
last modified: August 11, 2019

When I look at my roses and see which ones are doing the best, I should probably narrow down the varieties I keep. Most of my Kordes roses are keepers, a couple I have doubts about though. Multiflora rootstock seems to be the key to some being good ones here. Pope John Paul II is one for sure if the first season is any indication. My Dr. Huey one has been a disappointment, my multiflora one has been amazing. When it comes to reds, I know Liebeszauber is a good one for me, so it’s definitely a keeper! Munstead Wood seems to be getting a good start, even though I haven’t been as excited about my blooms as others I’ve seen, hopefully, they’ll improve in the looks department! I’ve been very pleased with Oklahoma, can’t wait for cooler weather to see some blooms with more petals. There are a few newly planted ones that seemed to get a good start, but then kind of slowed down or got defoliated because of disease. Neil Diamond started out with a real vigor for a newly planted rose, and produced the most gorgeous fully petaled and wonderfully fragrant blooms. Now it seems to be bouncing back and is setting on several blooms right now, so I’m hopeful. Maybe the 20 inches of rain we had in May has had something to do with the issues I’ve had this year, I thought most of my roses got a good start early In the season, but it’s been a mixed bag. I planted several own root hybrid teas in pots this year, they’ve gotten a slow start, but most of them seem to be coming along right now. I planted an own root Quietness rose in the ground that’s had a few blooms, and seems to be doing pretty good, hopefully it will.

I won’t say I’m disappointed (well, maybe a little) with this rose season, but I would like to have a year where I have a nearly perfect spring season, with lots of blooms all season long! Is that expecting too much? Probably, where I live it is! Even though I’ve had some pretty good seasons in recent years. I know I’ll keep trying different roses and growing them as long as I’m able. Even with the frustrations, I still love it!

A few roses that have made me smile at some point this year.




















Comments (32)

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    Sara Ann, I think they look amazing! I can only hope to have a season like you. And that Savannah, wow! I hope mine is taking notes and is that color next year. So pretty :)

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked oursteelers 8B PNW
  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    That's a lot of very pretty roses, Sara Ann. I especially like Poseidon, Orchid Romance,. Quicksilver, Auguste Renoir and Zaide. It takes some years to determine how well a rose will do in your conditions, and then there are always the variables of weather, disease and bugs. Sometimes it seems like a crap shoot, but there are always enough successes to keep us going.

  • Ken Wilkinson

    This has been a VERY different rose season for me. When the Drs. told me last Jan. I had cancer but it can be pretty much beat. Only draw back was that 2019 will be spent killing it. Surgery then 6 months chemo. A BIG eye opener. February was a time to really look at my garden. What was I growing and why. My first love has always been the HT's. Time to make some major changes in what I was growing. Some marginal roses that really didn't grab me were pulled and replaced by HT's that I really enjoy. And if I enjoy a particular rose, I want at least 2 bush's of that variety. Out went 25 roses and replaced by 25 HT's that I really want to grow. Everything went into the ground before surgery (3/5/19). Going through chemo this summer, the roses have been watered and fed. That's been it. Do they look perfect?? Nope. But they have been growing, blooming and I haven't lost a single bush. I'll cut everybody back during the Labor Day Weekend and try to spend a little more time out in the garden. Pictures have been few and far between this year but here are a few.

    Let Freedom Ring

    Ring of Fire

    Hot Prince

    Lady of the Dawn

    Comte de Chambroud


    The Crocus Roses and Comte de Chambroud behind it.

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked Ken Wilkinson
  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    I don't know how your roses could look any better, Ken! They must feel what you're going through and are taking up the slack! S-A, you roses are amazing! It's hard to pick a favourite, but KH is pulling at me. I had Zaide at the top of my list, but suddenly one of them is getting terrible BS. I think they need feeding after blooming as it takes a lot out of them. I'm going to try that proactively on the other and see if I can avert it.

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    Ken I am so happy your roses have brought you such joy. And that you are gardening with the plants that feed your soul. Best wishes on your continued recovery.

    Comte de Chambroud and Crocus are on my must have list. Yours are gorgeous!

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked oursteelers 8B PNW
  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    Roses can be so healing! Great job,Ken!

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR
  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Ken, I wasn't aware of your physical struggles this year. I think you are remarkable to have grown roses that look as healthy and vigorous as these while going through surgery and chemo. Having something to focus on besides illness is good for all of us, and I hope your roses have helped you through a tough time. They look very well cared for.

    Sara Ann, I love seeing what is successful for you since our climates are not too different except for the humidity. I always pick up a pen to start taking notes on your threads. Multiflora root stock is new for me and so far, I'm impressed. I think your Quietness will really take off next year with surprising growth. Both of mine are own root, and have grown bigger and better than I had hoped for.

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA
  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Thank you all! Ken, I’ve definitely been an admirer of your beautiful roses, you do a great job with them. Knowing what you’ve been going through recently, I’m sure it hasn’t been easy, I wish you the best.

    Oursteelers, the few blooms that Savannah has had recently have been small, but it looks like the ones that are setting on right now will be bigger. The bush is very healthy. Bloom size and petal count are always a factor here during the heat of summer, that’s why I always look forward to the cooler temps. Quite a few of my roses are setting blooms right now, hope the timing is right for some nice blooms. Recently we’ve had both high and more moderate temperatures.

    Vaporvac, I love Kathleen Harrop, even though most of the blooming is early in the season, it does give me a few blooms throughout the season though, it’s such a charming rose, and kind of a focal point in the early spring, wouldn’t want to be without it.

    flowers, it does seem like the majority of my multiflora roses do seem healthier and I think they seem to repeat faster with more blooms. Part of it might because quite a few of them are Kordes, but not all of them. I hope you’re right about Quietness, it’s such a lovely rose.

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    I would like others to share about your season too, like Ken, which I appreciate. I meant to mention that in my opening post, just forgot!

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    My experience has been varied. We’ve had a cooler, wetter season than we’ve had in many years and I’m sure that’s helped many plants‘ root systems.

    I added a lot of roses this year and am very excited to see what they do in the coming years. Again, I think the water was very good for their development.

    The hosta, daylilies and hydrangea started off good but the deer snacking twice was pretty depressing. I know they’ll be back next spring (hopefully NOT the deer) but I don’t think their growth will be as good as it would have since they don’t have leaves to photosynthesize. We’ll see.

    Knock on wood, disease and big control have been good so I’m thankful for that.

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked oursteelers 8B PNW
  • lkayetwvz5

    Well except for early spring, I'm not really very happy with my rose season - the gardens look totally bedraggled and rebloom has been nearly nonexistent. I am seriously questioning adding anymore HTs at all. Even the roses labeled excellent disease resistance are all spotted and yellowed. I really don't want to start that continual spraying again. They have been watered in the heat and fed four times this year but still look totally disgusting. And the JBs keep munching along destroying everything.

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw


    Sending best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. You take care of you and the roses will take care of themselves

    I bet you they will continue to thrive just fine . .

    Ken, is it you that grows Whirlaway? I bought one because of your glowing report and I believe it was you . I love that rose it's still small in a pot but the Bloom size is impressive. It gets to go live in the lavender garden where it can grow nice and large

    Now I don't want you all to feel bad and I hate to brag but we have probably had one of the nicest summers that I can remember

    The weather has been not overly hot a little bit of rain here and there and things are looking pretty good

    So far no smoke or temperatures over 100

    Good summer all around

    I understand that we have some homes for sale.

    Come be an Oregonian

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    Sara Ann, I think that your are fabulous!

    I can't believe beautiful your Dark Desire is. Really spectacular

    And the Pope.

    Inspite of your less than perfect weather you have some gorgeous roses.

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Kristine, your invitation is tempting. Oregon is one of the best states for rose gardeners. My uncle, who lived in Texas and was an avid gardener, traveled to Oregon every year to see the rose gardens and test gardens.

    The differences in my garden this year have been the abundant increase in weeds and unexpected humidity. As much as I love the beauty of the southern states and visiting relatives there, I'm not up to gardening in that level of humidity. My admiration to those of you who do.
    I haven't felt caught up or in control of the garden this year. Hoping for a nice early fall flush.

  • Sylvia Wendel

    6Kristine, I just might take you up on that one of these days. I loved being in the PNW last month, hiking through rain forests while at home it was 100+. Low taxes, too.

    My season in 9a has been pretty good. All that rainfall helped, plus I finally got the drip system going on all the roses. This year I’ve been feeding with fish emulsion once a month and mulching with coffee grounds. Actually I’ve beenmulching with all sorts of things: commercial garden mulch, grass clippings, redwood bark.

    My minifloras took off this year - three out of four, that is. Crystal Palace is still tiny and put forth one wan greenish flower. Buttercream, Unbridled, and Hello Sunshine are doing very well. According to FLOR’s instructions, they should be kept in pots for one year... and guess what, it’s been one year. So before the end of the month they’re going in the ground.

    My Sexy Rexies and Chicago Peace are winners. CP especially: putting forth strong, thick canes, having some candelabra blooms right now, bug-resistant and fragrant. I added Love and Peace, and that’s doing well. Dream Come True is between the SRs and the CP; new this year, have had some mid-sized blooms, looking forward to more.

    Darcey Bussell and Munstead Wood continue to do well. MW didn’t fry in the heat! DB is a champ under any conditions.

    The three Moonstones I put in this spring are great, but they suffer from browned edges. What should I do? My teas, Gen. Schablikine and Dr Grill, are fine - GS went into the ground this year, and DG will too (once it cools down enough to dig holes). Winter Sun is thriving in its pot. Ebb Tide isn’t! Maybe I should put that in the ground ...

    Flamingo Dancer is growing like mad. I just got Raspberry Cream Twirl, because one striped climber isn't enough, is it..

    Hello Sunshine

    Moonstone. See the browned edges? Ugh!

    Dr Grill

    Raspberry Cream Twirl - first bloom on its way.

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked Sylvia Wendel
  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Oursteelers, I hope you have a great season next year, I look forward to seeing all the beautiful roses and other plants.

    Ikayetwv, certainly hope things improve next year, hopefully they will.

    Kristine, thank you for those kind words. I would agree that Oregon is a great place to grow roses. Way back in 2002, my late husband and I spent a few days with some of his friends in the Cottage Grove area. She had the most beautiful roses and they had a wonderful vegetable garden. I really complimented her on her roses, I remember the blooms being much bigger than here and the colors were lovely. I also remember she had some gorgeous dahlias too. I certainly enjoyed our visit with them, they were great hosts. It was in September when we visited and they had been in kind of a drought and it had been hotter than normal, but everything was still lovely. That was also the year I had really gotten more into growing roses again myself, and I was inspired by hers, even though I think growing roses here can be more difficult.

  • rifis (zone 6b-7a NJ)

    Interesting name for Ken’s rose (pictured above) - Let Freedom Ring.

    I see Earnest Earman Jr. of VA is breeder; Weeks introducer. I wonder who (Earnest, or someone at Weeks) picked the name.

    Which just happens to be the rallying cry of this organization 

  • jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

    Very nice looking roses Sara Ann!

    Best wishes for you Ken!

    Wonderful photos everyone!

    So far its been a really good rose growing season here...No complaints...But we mostly have landscape roses along with a mild climate...


    Double KO

    Carefree Celebration

    miracle on the Hudson


    sara_ann-z6bok thanked jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.
  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Jim, your roses are always so beautiful and healthy! And I especially love your Earth Song!

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    I think this will be my new PJPII fourth flush. It just got through blooming about three weeks ago, this is what it looks like this morning. My new Beverly, Savannah, both Poseidons and Dark Desire are forming lots of buds. Also Quicksilver already has quite a few buds after just blooming. After taking a long break Francis Meilland and Auguste Renoir look like they’ll bloom again. I do have some things to be excited about with my roses!

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    I am so darn impressed with whirlaway

    This is is a picture this morning these buds have been on the Bush for 5 days look how perfect they still look

    Robyn Alonzo

    Joy, this may also be a Ken recommendation

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • rifis (zone 6b-7a NJ)


    Was your photo (above) of Carefree Celebration yesterday taken yesterday (August 11)?

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Those are all gorgeous, Kristine! I’m impressed with them all.

  • dublinbay z6 (KS)

    Sara--your roses also make me smile! Can't wait to get QuickSilver next spring.

    Ken--Wishing you the best. I really enjoy your roses. Glad to see someone else growing Eutin--one of my old favorites.

    Jim--your EarthSong is looking so good that I really regret having got rid of mine some time ago!

    Some health problems have cut considerably my hours and activities in the garden (as my set of healthy, vigorous weeds will attest), but Munstead Wood and Molineux continue to be the stars of my backyard--blooming (albeit in reduced quantities) despite JBs and the HOT July sun! I'd also include Easter Basket, except that the blooms practically bleach white in the July HEAT! But at least it is blooming.

    Haven't been taking pics this summer, but here are some older pics of my blooming stars:

    Easter Basket showing off her lovely pastels before the sun bleaches her white.

    Munstead Wood--my favorite color. Not always this dark, but I love it when it does this!

    Molineux--another bloomiferous rose! I didn't used to like the apricot highlights in the center very much, but over time, I find I like them more and more. But sometimes Molineux can be quite pastel yellow, or anything inbetween.

    Thanks for letting me share my favorite roses. : )


    sara_ann-z6bok thanked dublinbay z6 (KS)
  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Yours are so pretty, Kate, especially Easter Basket. There's something so sweet about roses with those colours.

    My season has gone well in some ways and has really gotten away from me in others. My first flush was truly everything I could have wished for when I started restoring my original beds and focusing on roses. Sometimes I'd walk outside and pinch myself it was so beautiful to me. Knowing it passes made the experience even more special, especially with the iris and peonies interspersed with the roses. It was, for once, exactly as I had imagined it. Once that passed I realized what a chore it was to dead-head thousands of flowers and am still catching up on New Dawn! She went ahead and sent out huge laterals anyway, but her rebloom is not as good in places where I miss cutting her back.

    I'm only now weeding and putting down cardboard and thick mulch as I started on a new project of planting all my pot pets in the front yard. This has been very gratifying even if it's not the look I imagined for this area, wanting to keep it more trees and bushes, but it's hard to let full sun and rich soil go to waste! 40 bushes later and I'm almost done! : ))

    I'm happiest with how well everything seems to be adjusting to being in the ground. Duh!!! I know!, but the difference still amazed me. Many I thought were BS stinkers have shaped right up, although Zaide is again doing it. I think she needs fertilizing well after blooming as she must wear herself out. Maybe by the fall I'll have that area finished, meaning all the grass removed and mulched. I have to remove the rest of an old oak, I think before putting in the brick path.

    Many rose from my "fountain" beds have been transplanted to the front as they were not doing well. I'm moving towards shrubs for the back of these beds and roses just in front of them. My lower hill area won't be done this year except maybe planting the Chestnut Rose, Repeating Swamp Rose and maybe a couple of Hybrid Musks. It too crazy down there and I need to get rid everything before planting roses. We'll see. There's still time.

    My favorite newly planted roses are Pink Pet, Zaide and Clotilde Soupert, which never stops blooming. LOVE this rose. I was also thrilled to find something that liked my shady wall... Ghislaine de Feligonde. What a beauty. No repeat yet, but it's her first full season. She climbs like a weed.

    I can't wait to see my front beds next spring!

  • noseometer...(7A, SZ10, Albuquerque)

    Sara Ann, if those photographs are any indication, your roses look fantastic. Something I'm noticing is that some years, some roses do better than others, and in other years, different roses do better.

    Ken, I'm amazed that you have such beautiful roses despite going through all that. You must be really tough. I hope your treatments are amazingly successful!

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Dang! My pics aren't posting in the above. Maybe I'll try a couple at a time. OK: a couple posted, but one is on its side! Wake up Houzz and get it together!!!

  • jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

    No rifis (zone 6b-7a NJ) that pic of Carefree Celebration was in July sometime

    I think...

    Here what it looks like today Aug 13..

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.
  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Kate, love your roses, so gorgeous! I was so sad that my Molineux didn’t make it through the winter, last year I was pleased with it. Your Munstead Wood is gorgeous, hope mine will be that beautiful eventually! Vaporvac, you have a lovely garden, everything looks so healthy!

  • erasmus_gw

    I'm especially struck by how all the blooms on your Auguste Renoir are open and don't have spots. My AR balled all the time and was prone to botrytis. It looks like you have a lot of sun. All look great.

    Ken, I'm sorry you have been going through a battle with cancer. I wish you the best. I know two people who have completely recovered from stage 4 cancer. One has been cancer free for about 12 years. Seems like cancer treatment is much better these days.

    sara_ann-z6bok thanked erasmus_gw
  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    Vap, your yard is looking fantastic.

    I love the fountain bed.

    I got a birdbath for my new lavender rose garden. I ordered White pet and the Fawn. My design changed and I didn't have room for both of them. I thought that While Pet would do better in a pot than the Fawn.

    So, the Fawn will be planted around the birdbath. So much for my lavender garden lol,

    My White pet is loaded with blooms. I guess it is happy in it's pot.

    Any who , your yard is fabulous. You have worked so hard and it has certainly paid off.

  • sara_ann-z6bok

    Erasmus, my Auguste Renoir was definitely at its best when that picture was taken. Shortly after that is when we got so much rain, the remainder of my blooms were a mess. It hasn’t done much since then, but looks like it will be blooming again. Hopefully, it will do okay in the future, Our spring rainfall was more than double the normal amount during that time period. I was sure loving AR early in the season.

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