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Easy Spirit....what's it like?

2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

I have my eye on Easy Spirit to replace my Boleros. Yes, my Boleros! As free blooming as Bolero is; beautiful, fragrant, and long lasting of bloom; and the right height for its location in my rose bed, it's a black spotter. In my quest to eliminate all black spotters over the next few years, the Boleros, regretfully, got the old 'heave ho,' a few days ago. Their location at the front of the 8' wide, several bushes deep, rose bed, made their diseased foliage an eyesore.

Is Easy Spirit as black spot resistant as I believe it to be? Any other traits it has, good or bad that you can report upon, would be greatly appreciated.

A recommendation of a black spot free/resistant, white blooming, app. 30" tall (shortish), floribunda type, something like Bolero, would be helpful, too.

Thanks!

Moses

Comments (33)

  • 2 years ago

    I’ve described this elsewhere on this forum. Early last fall, in NYC’s Strawbery Fields (Central Park), I saw a mass planting of what I initially thought were profusely blooming, very large petaled azaleas. But it was early October. The foliage was black green. Beautiful. Even up closer, it took me a few moments before I realized they were roses. I say worth growing just for the foliage. I’d do it if I had the space. I can’t tell you how it would do heat of the summer. It used to be called White Out. From that guy in Wisconsin. A comment on HMF says it’s ’very well behaved; 3 x 3 feet’ - in Northern KY.


    No high center; no fragrance I detected; you could say pancake-flat: sorry Moses.

    Moses, Pitt PA, cold W & hot-humid S, z5 thanked rifis (zone 6b-7a NJ)
  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Rifis,

    That's a great story, especially since I first saw a neglected commercial planting, years ago, of White Knock Out when it was called White Out, and was also wowed by it.

    Great minds think alike! However, in my case no one has ever accused me of being, 'Great of Mind,'...so far. Should I stop holding my breath waiting for someone breaking their silence in this regard? I suppose by this time of my life, yes.

    I have a White Knock Out in a gallon pot already waiting to go into the bed where a Pretty Lady Rose (black spotter), was just shovel pruned, but not where the Boleros used to be, so there, both our minds have been amazed at this blooming machine. Since it doesn't need dead heading (self cleaning petal drop, and hopefully no hips), in order to keep pushing out blooms, it's perfect for a spot in the bed where I cannot easily dead head it.

    Not only is it prolific, but it maintains a tailored bush shape all on its own.

    I like white roses the best of all and try to keep as many white colored rose bushes as is practical. Please don't correct me....I know that scientifically, both black and white are not colors, but the, 'essence,' of light (white), and conversely, the 'absence,' of light (black). I used to make a couple shekels teaching art in days gone by. Now a days all I do is teach turtles to roll over and beg for treats. Not easy!

    Moses

  • 2 years ago


    !


    I bet everyone here would love to see a video of that. I know you don’t do photos, but maybe a friend could film and post it. In elementary school, I picked sea turtles as my topic for our end of year presentation to the class.


    Another white/cream rose thought is Kosmos. The most beautiful foliage of all the roses I have. I unfortunately planted it behind Poseidon, not realizing how low it stays. It needs room laterally, though (arches). A problem in my yard is that rabbits love it. Its habit suits them.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Rifis,

    Kosmos that's a new one to me....will study up on it.

    Rabbits are a very recent development in my garden. The last four years has seen them work their dirty deeds, amazingly so, they being new residents to the most unlikely spot on earth for rabbits to exist. Prior to 2018, there has not been one rabbit in my densely urban, business district neighborhood in the previous 64 years (as long as I can remember). It's that built up with bricks, steel, and concrete here where I live. Now, other rodent species have a long history in these parts.

    I just this morning live trapped a hard ball sized juvenile, not more than a month old, that decided to make my garden its buffet. It's now starting its new life in the countryside.

    You have my sympathy.

    Moses

  • 2 years ago

    I first heard of Kosmos from the spreadsheet a forum member here had made from Peter K’s famous book a few years back.


    https://www.houzz.com/downloadfile/type=1&id=53240820


    Sorry this drifted away from Easy Spirit.

  • 2 years ago

    Have you considered 'Pure Perfume'? White, densely petaled, perfumed, and rated on HMF as "excellent" for disease resistance. What about 'Fabulous!'? White, well petaled, honey fragrance, also rated as "excellent" on HMF for disease resistance. And, while we're at it, how about 'Desdemona' or 'Polar Express'? My climate doesn't have blackspot, so I'm just going by HMF ratings.

    Moses, Pitt PA, cold W & hot-humid S, z5 thanked noseometer...(7A, SZ10, Albuquerque)
  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Noseometer,

    Seems like Desdemona has what I am looking for. I'll study it further. The others you recommended are all black spotters big time, except for Polar Express, clean as a whistle regarding black spot, and my two PEs are big boys at 4' here, and not quite yet mature bushes.

    Thanks for your thoughtful advice.

    Moses

  • 2 years ago

    I would say the outstanding feature of Easy Spirit is it’s tremendous flower power. The blooms are huge for a floribunda, they come in abundant clusters that nearly cover the dense well branched plant, so the mass effect is gorgeous. It’s the ideal in Weeks’ newer breeding efforts. Not a great pic, but Easy Spirit at the nursery today:




    I’d say Easy Spirit is 25% larger than Bolero, so if Bolero is 3x3 for you, Easy Spririt might be 4x4. Some people find good fragrance in ES, but I have not. Disease resistance is very good.


    Other Weeks’ roses that I think grow similar to ES are Love Song , Rosie the Riveter, and Silver Lining…again, HT size blooms in floribunda quantity on a dense, well branched plant.



    Silver Lining at the Nursery



    Love Song

    Rosie the Riveter

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Ben,

    Your recommendations make me want to get another shovel and pop out my black spotters two at once, twice as quickly, they're so tempting, all looking like great replacement contenders. Kidding aside, I have to leave some mature black spotters in the bed so that my neighbors will not say, "He's at it again with his constant digging up roses. Maybe he could save some money and rent his rose bushes from some nursery, They don't stay very long at his place."

    All I need to do now is learn if my black spot pressure will not phase your candidates.

    Thanks for your valued input.

    Moses

  • 2 years ago

    Polar Express as a front row 3 footer???

    Desdemona, though - that’s a good idea. There’s one growing about 3/4 mile from me, in a shaded front yard. The lady once told me she sprays it occasionally with a baking soda mixture. Matte foliage - always spotless and healthy. Good flower production season long. I don’t understand how it does so well, especially considering how little sun it gets (probably early am and late pm). It’s about 4 1/2 - 5 feet tall this spring. I have never seen it significantly pruned. It’s probably been there 5 years.

    Easy Spirit sounds very tempting. Would be nice to get a local/regional no spray BS report or 2.

  • 2 years ago

    I can't respond to its specific tolerance to BS since I tend to have a high tolerance for BS and don't notice it a lot. Yep, that applies to humans in my life, within limits of course. I do recall generally clean foliage om Easy Spirit but we're not the high BS capital in NE that you are in the east.

    I can say that Easy Spirit has been tip hardy and one of my earliest bloomers which speaks to its health in general, and I agree with Ben that the blooms are huge. My Easy Spirit is easily 3 or 4 times the size and bloom power of my Bolero, however, that finally may have bitten the dust on the cold side of my house. ES gets to a good 4' or more on the warm side of my house that is more like zone 6.

    Polar Express beats both of them for health and vigor, and probably height as well. I found one at a local nursery that was reaching out to about 7' in a pot, and it's of course tip hardy for me in zone 5 as well. I don't know if Madame Anisette is white enough for you but it's reliably healthy and hardy and tall and narrow in a lousy spot in my part shade area. Neither of them is remotely 30" but they're my cleanest whites.

    I don't know if you like the singles or semi-doubles, but Oscar Peterson (Canadian) is rock solid hardy and not particularly big (well, not yet but mine is only approaching 3 years). Also Macy's Pride (Ping LIm) is a solid little semidouble that's clean and hardy as all Lims are for me.

    You could always go with Marie Pavie or Marie Daly that are reliably small and pretty healthy and they stay little balls of semi-double blooms that are supposed to be fragrant. Mine have been iffy for hardiness own root, but that's a story for another time. White Pet is another one in the same ilk that would be modest size.

    Ooh I know - the hardy and repeat blooming Rockwall Sesquicentennial - quite a mouthful but just keeps pumping out blooms on a nicely sized round little bush. May be a little on the creamy side of things - check out the pictures on Antique Rose Emporium. One that I have multiples of in my yard that stays reliably 3' tall (and wide) and blooms all summer is IceCap. Pure white explosion, and it's clean as a whistle perhaps even in BS central. That's probably your most reliable clean rose that's easy to find in multiple places. Does fine grafted or own root as far as I can tell.

    I for one count you among the Great Minds Moses, so no dissing yourself in these parts!

    Cynthia

    Moses, Pitt PA, cold W & hot-humid S, z5 thanked Nippstress Nebraska z5
  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Cynthia, thanks for your input. I was hoping you would add your expertise to my question, and got my wish.

    Easy Spirit looks too good to pass up. So I hope to put in an order to HCR, ASAP.

    The White and Pink Pets were much loved in my previous OGR rose bed. Now I am trying to concentrate on large blooming, moderns. You know, I found the scent of White Pet to remind me of frankincense, odd as it may sound!

    The best blooming form of Marie Pavie that I grew came from old Pickering Nursery. I had a number of Marie Pavies, gotten from different nurseries and the most floriferous, and highest petal count blooms came from Pickering. Their's also grew enormous here, easily 3'x3'. Its spring flush on a single mature bush could easily reach 500 blooms opening over a 3 week period. I believe there are either many Marie Pavie forms, or just spontaneous mutations that appeared over the years and got labeled as MP. Pickering grafted all their roses onto multiflora root stocks, so maybe this gave their Marie Pavie scions an extra kick to bloom more heavily and with petal packed blooms.

    I like your recommendation of Rockwall Sesquicentennial a lot, especially since you wrote that it is compact and heavy blooming. Need to verify its black spot resistance somehow, not much on its attributes regarding BS are out there.

    I had Macy's Pride some years ago and found its blooms somewhat unimpressive and pretty short lived, and it was a spotter for me as was is kin, Sweet Fragrance, whose only fault in my rose bed was its spotting. The blooms of SF are huge, lovely, numerous, long lasting, only moderately fragrant here, and an early starter in spring, and a late finisher in fall....one great rose except for spotting. It grieves me that I shovel pruned my two yesterday. They were mature bushes, too, but being in the front of my one and only rose bed, seeing the BS every day annoyed me.

    This year I've replaced 9 black spotters. Only a small handful of others are left, but I need to let that go until next year, Lord willing. I know my mature Aunt Honey has to go, but for now, being at the back of the bed the spotting is not too conspicuous. Her blooms mingling with the climber Lady Ashe's growing behind her on the fence will refresh my eyes and uplift my spirits for another year.

    Lady Ashe is now about 11 yrs. old. She has a trunk almost 4" across at ground level....makes no basals, which appears to be her growth habit here. She does spot, but her high up foliage gets spotted less so, and her incredible blooms will make me bite the bullet and bring out the sprayer as needed for her...at least for now. I really don't have the heart to remove her, nor the strength at my age.

    Cynthia, how well I remember and cherish your numerous extensive posts on advising me in tackling my 'Black Spot Rose Replacement,' project. Look heaven-ward for your real rewards, as well as a sincere, 'down here,' thank you again, from me.

    Moses

  • 2 years ago













    Moses , I think you will love easy spirit. It blooms so beautiful and has the perfect white color , and really loves to bloom . I took a big chance planing mine in a hellstrip bed and it is happy as can be there . Luckily I chose the direct center of it and that looks great there . For anyone in a hot climate, it isn’t phased by the heat at all . Hardly any thrip damage if you do even notice . I’m sorry I can’t help with the black spot question but I thought you’d enjoy pics .

    Moses, Pitt PA, cold W & hot-humid S, z5 thanked Lilyfinch z9a Murrieta Ca
  • 2 years ago

    Beautiful plant of Easy Spirit, Jen, and kudos to you for taking over the hell strip! I started doing that in my house in Texas, why should all that good garden space be wasted on lawn? Alas, there is no hell strip to claim here in California.

  • 2 years ago

    Wow, those look incredible, Jen!

  • 2 years ago

    Jen - incredibly beautiful and well grown!! I love your yard!!


    Ben - gorgeous as always... :) :) :)

    Moses, Pitt PA, cold W & hot-humid S, z5 thanked rosecanadian
  • 2 years ago

    Lovely pictures Jen and I'm amazed at the creamy centers of your ES! MIne is pure snow white from tip to tail as it were.

    Moses I'm humbled at your comments and glad to have been of help! All I can do is throw out ideas for you to try, but if the Easy Elegance roses like Sweet Freedom spot for you my experience isn't a good match in terms of health.

    I do suspect Icecap would be healthy, and if the Kordes roses are good for you White Veranda is reliable. The blooms are more interesting than Macy's Pride (by a long shot, I agree). It is definitely front of the border size and I have two or three of them, which testifies to its blooming power and health. The blooms aren't as showy as Easy Spirit but they're loosely double.

    Another one to look into is Polarstern which stays small and I think is also Kordes. The blooms are more double than White Veranda but my plant doesn't bush out as nicely and stays more upright. Kosmos Fairy Tale or Cream Flower Circus both stays small and the latter is a nicely bushed reblooming rose that stays under 3'. Mine isn't any more creamy than Jen's pictures of Easy Spirit. Being Kordes they're pretty healthy, but someone on the forum had trouble with CFC.

    I'll keep wracking my brain for more small healthy whites with nice flowers.

    Cynthia

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Easy Spirit's on its way to me. All its press has been pretty positive, and Lily, your, "Devil Strip," (same meaning as "Hell Strip"), ES is magnificent. Thanks for your input. As always, it's much appreciated.

    Cynthia, all those tempting white bloomers you have brought to light! Lots of study material there. Thanks, greatly.

    Moses

  • 2 years ago

    Planted an Easy Spirit on a whim last year. She‘s become a favorite. My 9b zone is hot and dry in the summer, so not much to report on BS. But the foliage does look healthy! It hasn’t stopped blooming since March and the blooms stay on the plant for weeks. The form and color are lovely — creamy white with tons of petals. These photos were taken 3.5 weeks apart and you can see many blooms still in place.


    Moses, Pitt PA, cold W & hot-humid S, z5 thanked Jen (CA9b)
  • 2 years ago

    That is a really beautiful

    Moses, Pitt PA, cold W & hot-humid S, z5 thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • 2 years ago

    Jen - beautiful!! And those blooms really last!

  • 2 years ago

    I had such good results Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance roses that I ordered a few for spring. Champagne Wishes may be a good substitute for Bolero. I can’t vouch for it yet since it is brand new to me.

  • last year

    I used to have Easy Spirit in ground, but it didn't make it through the winter. I have a new one from HCR growing in a container which will be heavily protected in winter. Can't wait for it to get bigger and start blooming. Very encouraging to hear such great things. Man, it's pretty.

  • last year

    Moses, I added Easy Spirit last summer and those first blooms were so impressive.

    How is yours doing?

  • 5 months ago



  • 5 months ago

    This is Easy Spirit in its 2nd year in my garden. It’s bulletproof against blackspot, I live 20 miles north of Boston. In this pic it’s about 2.5 x 2.5 feet. I expect it to almost double in size. Not much scent, but perfect in every other respect.

  • 5 months ago

    I adore my Eady Spirit! Once I moved it out of a too dhady area and in yo a pit it went crazy. I love the color and form so much. Hope that yours is doing well gor you Moses


    It blooms like crazy

  • 5 months ago

    Beautiful examples of Easy Spirit, Kristine and Boscodog. Now that's a white rose I can like a lot. Bosco do you grow Bosco (Boscobel rose?). It's one of my favorite Austin roses. Diane

  • 5 months ago

    Hi Diane,
    No, I don’t have Boscobel. I just looked at some pics of it and it’s gorgeous. I bet it smells pretty good too. 🙂

    For Austin roses I’ve got Jude the Obscure, Princess Alexandra of Kent, and Crown Princess Margareta. I wonder if I can find a spot for Boscobel? :-)
    Glenn

  • 5 months ago

    Amazing pictures of Easy Spirit! I am voting for this rose as well. Problem free in my area and a very nice bloom.


  • 5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    I'll have to start over after my disaster with my little Easy Spirit. Let me just say an immense force put ES out of contention for a happy life. In other words a careless maneuver with a gardening tool by a clumsy gardener put a major setback in ES's existence.

    A new Easy Spirit, hopefully a larger, more mature bush should be able to weather the traumas many of my rose bushes experience at their oafish landlord's hands.

    Moses

  • last month

    When you look at the pic of Easy Spirit that I posted and the pics of ES that other folks have posted you will notice that mine has many clusters of smaller flowers and has a much more typical floribunda habit. I think there are two reasons why this might be:

    1. my ES was mislabeled and is not actually an ES.
    2. It’s an own-root ES (vs. a grafted ES).

    I am pretty sure the reason is #2.

    So I guess I’m wondering if anyone else has an own root ES? If do, does it have the smaller flowers and the more typical floribunda look?

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