Breeders whose roses don't do well for you
Since we in cold zones have to find something indoors to feed our rose addiction during January and February, I found myself sorting through my rose lists the other day. I keep records of not only all the roses I have in my yard (750+ fluctuating at any given time), but all the roses that have died in my yard, and why they've died (around 500, but many are the same roses multiple times). I was curious to see if my biases about various rose breeders were borne out in the cold hard data (OK, very cold these days, hence the indoor time). I'm rating these roses simply on winter survival for me, occasionally including roses that wimped out in their first summers. None of this has any relation to the ultimate quality of these roses, and in fact the cases of multiple death are usually roses I'd dearly love to grow but they don't survive in my yard.
My trio of go-to breeders for my first choice roses are Kordes, Delbard, and Tantau, but the latter two were only average in hardiness. Overall, if a breeder was at least 50/50 survival vs. death in my yard, I counted that as fine, and Delbard and Tantau ranked right in there with the bulk of breeders. Kordes did considerably better, as I would have guessed, but they didn't have my top survival ratings like I would have expected - those roses survived 92 to 44 deaths, or a little better than 2:1. Some of that has to be due to multiple tries at Blue Moon, who simply refuses to survive for me.
Other breeders that did as well as Kordes at a 2:1 ratio of survival were Barden and Rupert (go team!), as well as surprisingly Carruth and McGredy. I wouldn't have placed their floris and HTs as high as Kordes, but they seem to be pretty tough. David Austin is reliably higher, at 4:1 ratio and getting better with time, and of course Buck and Explorer roses survive well. Among my less frequent roses, Jalbert is going strong with 7 survivals and only one death - Canadian breeder must make a difference! More surprising are the warm climate breeders - Barni is 11 survived/3 died, and Massad is 6 survived and only 1 died.
Some breeders that I had in mind as wimpy winter survivors were actually not too bad - Boerner is 50/50 and Brownell roses are a 2:1 ratio but by no means the sub-zero roses as billed. Even the comparatively wimpy Pernetiana/Ducher roses get up to 50/50 ratios.
So which ones were the wimps? These were eyeopeners for me. I knew that Dot would be a problem, after Kim had noted them as weak plants. I was surprised to notice a pattern where nearly all Perry and Adam roses had died, and they weren't on my radar screen, but it's enough to make me very cautious about any others from those breeders. I'm not too surprised that no Viraraghavan roses have survived, given that he uses a lot of teas as parents, but so far I've also struck out on Koster and Lambert roses.
And the winners in hardiness survival ratios? I've never had any deaths from Morey, Noack, or Jerabek, but that's at only 3 or 4 roses each. The true winner in hardiness is no surprise to me - Lim. I've planted 15 Lim Easy Elegance roses and none have died.
Enough rambling from me - do you have other patterns of roses by breeders that do particularly well or poorly?