Please help me plan my zone 6 rose garden

garden_grammie(SE Pa.)February 11, 2008

Hi all. I am new to rose gardening and need some help planning how to position and choose roses for a new bed in front of our deck. The area get morning and early afternoon sun and is 5 feet wide and 30 feet long. After looking through the JP catalog, roses that have caught my eye are

Double Delight

Veterans Honor

Our Lady of Guadalope


Pope John Paul

Fragrant Cloud


On order I have Quietness and Mary Rose.

Is it best to stay with just a few choices and buy 2 or 3 of that?

As you can see I am at a complete loss as how to place the roses as far as color etc.

I seem to like white, pink and reds.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Our area is the black spot capital of the world. Are willing to maintain a serious spray program? Most of us began with Hybrid Tea roses like the ones on your list. Many of us added other types after we found out about black spot and the fact that Hybrid Tea roses didn't always survive our winters.

You should consider Austin roses, shrub roses and OGR roses. They do look "different" at first, but tend to grow on you. They are generally more hardy and disease resistant here.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 7:57AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I meant to add that Quietness (a Buck rose) and Mary Rose (an Austin rose) may be more satisfying for you.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:03AM
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cecily(7 VA)

Hi Grammie,
Given the size of your new rose bed, I think you have room for six or seven roses -- they will be much healthier and easier to care for if you don't squeeze too many in. Underplanting with perennials and annuals will make the bed look lush.

The colors of pastel roses blend nicely (white, pink, peach) but a vibrant orange or deep red would look out of place. The thing you need to consider when choosing roses is the shape of the bush. Austin roses and Buck roses grow into rounded, bushy shapes. Hybrid tea roses grow nearly straight up or vase shaped. A bed of all HTs looks nice but a few HTs mixed in with 'shrubby' roses look odd.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 8:03AM
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And the bed of all "shrubby roses" with other flowers (annuals and perennials) mixed in will look even better :)
I am with Harry. You choose beautiful roses but they will require serious spray program. Just something to keep in mind before you lock you design.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 9:09AM
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Well, I disagree with Harry. I think it depends on what part of SE PA you are in. I'm more central, in the Susquahanna Valley, Lancaster Co. within a quarter mile of the Susquehanna River and Conestoga River delta.

I have Double Delight in my garden that is super. It's low growing about 4' tall and is one of the fullest disease resistant roses in my garden. It's the sub-climate, I'm sure.

Gemini gets much taller, say about 7' in my garden and is a good rose for the back of the garden as is Veteran's Honor.

Fragrant Cloud is about mid range (Double Delight size) as well as Iceberg.

Our Lady of Guadalope is squatty and needs to be in the front.

Yes, you will have to treat for black spot, but I prefer a systemic rather than a spray. Bayer has a good one out that helps to keep black spot to a minimum. I've also found that if you keep the bushes well fed and ground watered, black spot is again kept to a minimum. Use an organic fertilizer and a drip system for them. Keep the moisture off the leaves and all dead leaves cleaned up from around the bottom of the plants. I actually, very rarely water -- only when drought threatens them and they are showing signs of stress. Most of my roses are now quite established and can fend off drought conditions.

Yes humidity does play a factor with the black spot and that is why you must treat for it. They will still show some sign of it even if you help the plant be as strong as possible. That is what the systemic is for. You can also pull off the leaves as they get it as well.

As far as Austin roses -- well, it is a taste that is learned, I suppose. To me, Austin roses in this area are no better than the HTs. Each one is just as different as the next, some have good disease resistance, others are just ronchy. I have two Austin roses (the only ones left). Tamora which is looking at the shovel this year, or at least moved to a pot where I think it might be better. And Shaifra Asma which was planted in memory of a friend and will stay. SA does appear to be a good plant so far.

Another thought would be to plant own-root roses. No matter if they are HTs, Austins, Polyanthas or what, own-root roses have better strength and disease resistance in our area.

Your selection of roses are beautiful.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 12:54PM
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garden_grammie(SE Pa.)

Thanks for all the great info. Once all this weather calms down I am planning to add compost[shedded fall leaves ]into the soil. Dig them in a good few feet, check for rocks and roots in the bed and level the bed. Anything else?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:10AM
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Your idea of multiple plants is a good one--Iceberg, Quietness, and Lady of G. are all bushier types and multiples of any one of these would make the bed more attractive. Quietness here is MUCH wider than tall and very, very bushy-- really a pretty plant. For other ideas of what to plant with your roses, try a search of 'companion plants'. Creeping phlox, candytuft, alyssum and lobelia will be pretty along the edges. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:57AM
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Hi, I am 30 minutes above Philadelphia and have about 250 roses. The ones you chose are great roses. I do spray my roses. So much depends on personal taste. I do have multiples of roses because I like to try different ones and have a big mix. I was concerned about color but realized that doesn't really make a difference if you want to mix. I have about 100 roses at our office and have won 2 Bucks County awards for my roses. I do keep in mind balance and heights. Like was said before, OLOG is in the front. Most hybrid teas in the back, however, Fragrant Cloud and Double Delight don't get as big for me so they are more towards the front. Plus, they smell great. I tend to move a lot of them around in the spring and redesign.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 8:11AM
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