Flower Carpet Rose ad irked me

kittymoonbeamMay 1, 2013

I saw this ad in Southern Lady Magazine this month. What annoyed me about it was the thought that she had to choose between family and roses. I don't think these particular roses would be so much better than some easy care antique roses. They never looked that good to me when I saw them in the store and I don't hear much about them here. I don't think you have to choose between family and gardening or pets and gardening. Are these really plant and forget roses? It seems to me that they still need weeding and feeding and watering like any other rose would.

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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Kitty: I have Flower Carpet, Knock-outs, and Kim (Roseseek)-bred Lynnie rose in a bed that I haven't watered for the past 6 years (covered with tons of leaves).

Flower Carpet is the most drought-resistant, blooms well, zero diseases! Knock-out doesn't bloom unless we have rain. Kim's Lynnie is just as good as Flower-Carpet.

Yes, Flower-Carpet lives up to it reputation of drought-resistant ... I don't fertilizer mine for the past 6 year either.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:30AM
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Yes, it is an annoying advertisement. It is directed at the demographic that want instant-gratification & no maintenance. Unfortunately, gardening has fallen out of favour with the younger demographic so plant producers have to cleverly encourage them to buy by appealing to their desire to plant something and walk away-never having to actually 'work' at the garden, heh, heh!

I work at a large nursery that grows these & have them at one of my homes & yes, they bloom reliably all summer(I have coral) but I still have to water & weed them. It's sad that young people have little interest in gardening but like anything else, it is cyclical and will come back in again. Unfortunately, nurseries like ours will be out of business by then.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:35AM
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Yep, that's an annoying ad, Kitty. As if there were only two choices -- appeals to those of the Manichean world-view persuasion, I guess.

Decades ago an in-law implied that my avid interest in gardening and not giving 100% of attention to mothering would lead to my daughter becoming delinquent or worse. My daughter is currently a biochemist working as a research scientist in biotech in S. San Francisco and constantly recruited. She is also lately becoming interested in roses (fancy that!).

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:58AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I often see on the Rose Forum that to grow a Knock-out or Carpet Rose as a opening to bash. I wish sensitivity would kick in to the fact that some may find it to their taste and have another passion. Another plant they are willing to put more effort, hosta, a daylily, Iris, or it is what they are able to grow for their situation etc.

I do not see it as the young do not want to weed or like to garden. People buy different plants/bushes for different reasons. Age is sometime a big part. I looked for easy plants to put in my Mom's garden because she was up in age (90s) and could not bend and do a lot of weeding because she was in very poor health.

I would do the weeding but I had a full time job and a garden of my own. Because roses cheered her up I wanted lots of continual flowering. You know like trying to give the most you can to a love one in what could be a short amount of time.

We live in a cold climate and it is not easy to get roses going and blooming in an abundance in short amount of time as growing a Knock-out or carpet rose.

I am happy there are choices out there that although may not be to others taste, it fills the need for others. A flower regardless of the name or how much work it takes is still a flower and if it brings joy to the ones who grow the plant I take my hat off to them. The more green we grow the better we will improve the climate. Even a pretty or ugly weed helps. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder JMO

Okay that was long. Sorry. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:07PM
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I've got a couple of plants of Flower Carpet White, by the way (which existed and had other names long before being patented in the U.S. as "Flower Carpet White"). They do a creditable job as groundcover edging in a high-shade, olive-tree-root infested transition area of the front yard. Less care, maybe, but not "no care".

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Marquest, I was pointing out that there is a definite trend away from gardening for younger demographic as the horticulture industry has been telling us for at least the past 5 years and it's not looking much better for the future. Many garden centres & nurseries are going out of business as a result. We have watched our sales dwindle miserably over the past few years as the market just falls away.
It's not simply an opinion that young people don't 'like' gardening-I know plenty that do but it is a disturbing trend that is actually happening world-wide.

Real-estate also reflects this trend with younger people looking for smaller yards & gardens. Nobody wants the maintenance, I suppose.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Marquest, I don't think Kitty meant that there was an issue with FlowerCarpet or Knockouts etc as being less of a rose.

Just the idea that "roses are too much work" or "you should value your family and buy our roses instead of other kinds"

My mom is going to be 90 so I totally get your point about needing something to make mom smile.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:30PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Kippy, millymoo I am sorry if I came off as accusatory. I am in the "feeling sorry for myself" days maybe. Miss my Mom she was the reason I am in to gardening.

I live around a lot of gardeners so I do not see the young not gardening anymore. But I think the economy is hurting so many they have to decide if they buy a plant or put food on the table. If they have a job they are afraid if they will have it tomorrow and both parents are working. When I was raising my daughter I was at home and had the time to garden. So many Moms do not have that luxury anymore.

Just as a side note I have come here and saw the comments of how common Knockouts are and they are tired of seeing them in every mall garden. It just hit me when I saw this and thought that it was another "How dare you buy those weeds and call them a rose".

I say the same thing over on the Daylily forum when they start bashing Stella.

New gardeners have to start somewhere and easy is a good way to get them hooked.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 1:08PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

That ad actuallty made me chuckle in recognition. I'm not in the target demographic, but I did raise a child who is absolutely jealous of the time I spent on my roses when he was younger. He's in college now, so that point doesn't particularly bother him anymore.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 1:38PM
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"Lower care", perhaps for a while, until crown gall attacks them. There is enough of The Fairy in Flower Carpets to make them particularly susceptible to crown gall in my area. It's an indigenous problem here in So Cal and roses closely related to The Fairy are very susceptible to it. I've replaced MANY Flower Carpet roses with plants other than roses to eliminate the problem. They have their use and place, but, like anything else, they aren't "no care" and far from perfect. Kim

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 3:18PM
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Yes miilymoo people don't like gardening so much anymore. In my neighborhood on my street (30+houses) I am the only one that gardens. Everyone else has either cactus, one tree, some oleanders or a few shrubs. Thats it. I have raised veggie beds, 6 fruit trees, grapes, 30 roses, plus lilacs etc. I do it because I enjoy the rewards of having a beautiful place to live and it gives me peace. A lot of the neighbors are related to the chicken little story. When the vegtables and fruit come in they will stand on the other side of the split rail fence hoping I will offer them something. One neighbor sent her kids over to my door asking for tomatoes and apricots. Very rude! But that is the way it is now days.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 3:25PM
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I'll keep my semi-jaundiced eye on them, Kim. City of Livermore has this variety (Flower Carpet White) or some other color of the ilk planted in every other median or sidewalk strip in town, it seems. Will be "interesting" if the gall problem crops up here. As always, your wealth of knowledge and experience is much appreciated!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 4:09PM
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Marquest, I have posted that I hate to see ONLY Knockouts planted, as they so often are, in lieu of the many other worthy roses. But I admire them for what they are, an easy to grow abundant bloomer. I now see hedges of blooming roses in locations that would never have had any roses before.

So I empathize with your defense of them even though I'm one of the posters who occasionally bemoans the commercial monoculture of Knockout beds. When I moved to this desert area my mother was terminal & required constant care. So what did I slap in the sunburned caliche that Mom could look at from the window? why a Knockout & and Iceberg, of course.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 4:16PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

bluegirl I know your Mom appreciated the view. My Mom just beamed when the neighbors would tell her how beautiful her gardens looked. We did what we could for our Moms.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Thank you for the kind words. I wish I still had some of Mom's actual roses, but I'll always try to have Tropicana, Iceburg, & Cherish--she loved those so. Back in 1960, she planted old Tropicana (which got TOO popular & therefore put-down a lot, also) when it came out. Those huge glowing coral blooms just pleased her so. It's comforting to know that we could let our Moms enjoy flowers still when they could no longer do the gardening. Best wishes:)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 5:38PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Ii have an Appleblossom Flower Carpet and it's a neat little rose. Stays low and spreading and blooms all season with very little care. I appreciate having some around that don't require more care. They fill the garden with blooms on their own so I can spend my time fussing with my favorites!

I can see why the ad annoyed you, Kitty. The bit about the family over the roses is a bit much. But they are trying to sell them so it's probably to be expected. And you have to realize that they're competing directly with the Knock Outs hype so they're piling it on heavy. The old tug at the heart strings works for sales. Just ask Hallmark!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 7:04PM
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I'm not against the roses. My neighbor has a huge row of pink J&P simplicity that she shears with hedge trimmers and loves. I don't like the way the ad suggests that other roses will steal your time from your loved ones. Why can't they just advertise the roses benefits without all that. I'm glad some of you are having success with them. Near me, all I have ever seen is sad potted ones in a big box store so I never got to see any doing well and wondered if they were as easy and trouble free as the ad implies .

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:43PM
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mountainrose(z7 Georgia)

Yes, the implication is dirty. Parents have enough to worry about without feeling guilty about spending time on a hobby - a hobby that I do while the kids play OUTSIDE in the fresh air and sunshine. They are proud when I give teachers or friends a bouquet. I homeschool; I need to garden to relieve stress and put me in touch with beauty - it makes me a better parent.

I don't feel guilty because of an advertisement. I do, however, feel annoyed that advertisers would try and make me.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 3:20AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I don't feel guilty because of an advertisement. I do, however, feel annoyed that advertisers would try and make me.

I agree it is a guilt ad. It is also a sexes ad with a bullseye target painted on the females head.

I never got to see any doing well and wondered if they were as easy and trouble free as the ad implies.

I can only speak for my climate. I would not presume to ask why people do not grow more tulips, and Daffodils because they are easy for me because of my climate.

They truly are as easy and trouble free for a gardener in a cold climate as implied. Any plant you see used in commercial landscapes you can pretty much trust the plant is trouble free. These are designs are for the purpose of beauty and a once a month or less care. Sometime they only do any maintenance in these gardens once a season. That pretty much tells you they are bullet proof.

I planted the Fairy rose, and Red and Sunny Yellow knockouts in my Mom's garden. Because they are basically a low growing plant. No space requirement due to diseases they acted as a ground cover there was not many weeds. They bloomed non-stop and she had her roses and fragrance (Sunny has a beautiful fragrance) without much work. She was not looking for cut roses. She just enjoyed sitting on her deck and smelling and seeing the roses in her small gardens.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 9:35AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

There is a housing development down the road from me that installed a very long section of what looks to be flower carpet white roses, if not they are a similar groundcover type of rose. For some reason half of the length is tended, the roses are pruned, fertilized, and mulched once a year, and the other half is left to it's own devices. The half that is tended blooms way more and looks way better than the other half, so I definitely would say these type of roses are 'less care' not 'no care.' I have a couple of scarlet flower carpet roses because I liked the bright color, they do well with less water and pruning than my other roses and the leaves are always healthy and green.

As to the idea that one has to choose between a garden or children, I think that it's ridiculous. When I was little I spent hours in the garden with my Mom, she showed me everything that was safe to eat and I would wander around trying things out and generally having a good time. There was a movie few years ago that documented the first year of life of four different babies, one American, one Japanese, one Mongolian, and one Namibian. The conclusion of the photographer was that benign neglect is highly underrated in our society. Children need to be cared for, but spending some time on their own to discover who they are is also important. And a garden is a great place to begin that sort of independent exploration, especially with a Mom weeding close by to keep an eye on them. Caveat, I have no children and therefore no real right to speak on the matter.

Lastly, I don't know if it's because I live in such a great place to garden or what, but I see no deficit of gardeners and gardens in my area. The nurseries are always crowded on weekends, and when I go to get plants for my own garden I usually see young parents with little ones in tow. Especially in the vegetable section, it seems like there are a lot of families around here that are getting more and more interested in exposing their children to where food comes from at a young age.

Trends always change, right now people may have moved away from gardening but it's only a matter of time before the pendulum swings back in the other direction.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 10:57AM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Well, how about writing your displeasure to the Anthony Tesselaar Company and the magazine? "Southern Lady" won't know that any of their readers have an issue with the ad unless you tell them.

Tesselaar is an Australian company, BTW. A distributor of "Flower Carpet" roses.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Lonely voice here, but I am actually pretty happy with the ad. Lets people know that there are other shrub and ground cover roses besides Knock Outs. Here the Drifts seem to do better than the Flower Carpets-- Peach Drift is outstanding and very low-care.
Parenting is tough now that it's considered unsafe to just let children go out and play. So moms really don't have the time they did a few decades ago; seems like all kid leisure activities involve structured time and being driven somewhere. Sigh.
My mom worked in her gardens while we played around the neighborhood, how times have changed!
Back to Flower Carpet..
The organic rose garden here was bordered by a hedge of white, pink, and red Flower Carpets-- magnificent until we lost it to RRD. The whites had to be babied here-- general lack of vigor and poor disease resistance.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:45PM
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I've been growing Flower Carpet roses for years and have also seen this ad but I don't see what all the fuss is about. The ad doesn't say that they don't require any care - just that they're low-maintenance. Perhaps that's in comparison with other roses or perennials that require difficult pruning or deadheading.
Compared to other roses I have, the carpet roses don't get japanese beetles so I don't have to spray them with chemicals either. Some of mine bloom all summer and others bloom in flushes but regardless, they all provide me with flower beds full of color and that's all I'm looking for in a plant

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:29AM
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I think I've been successful at close to totally shutting my brain off from marketing tactics, which as a general rule I find highly annoying. This doesn't seem any more annoying than most ads to me.

I think my Pink Supreme has lofty goals of taking over all my acreage. It sure as heck IS hardy!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Off topic but on the subject of marketing, You may find the ads at this link "interesting".

"Your kids & grand-kids will never believe there was a time when these ads ran." Click on each picture to enlarge.


Here is a link that might be useful: link for above

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:03AM
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jlee160(5 MI)

Personally, I have a couple, and they do well, however- I bought them before you kind people showed me another side of roses I never knew about.I now have close to 70 roses ( enablers!!) I would venture to say I am younger (

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:00PM
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The biggest problem with our kids today is they are over indulged, over managed and over worshiped. Mom and Dad having hobbies outside of parenting would probably make for children who turn into more healthy adults.

I say: Go garden!

This post was edited by subk3 on Tue, May 7, 13 at 14:54

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:53PM
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As a younger gardener - started at 28 when we bought our house and jumped into roses a couple years later - I find this add trite and also an example of the problem as to why gardening is in decline. Options should not be sold as the 'easy' alternative because that positions everything in that realm as 'hard' or 'high maintenance' and perpetuates a stereotype. Also, my two best friends are avid gardeners and both have two small children each (the oldest being in kindergarten) and they spend every possible moment out in their gardens....with their children.

It is not the younger generation that is at fault for the decline of gardening. I would lay blame on two incredibly disparate variables. First, the housing bubble. So many people were busy buying bigger, newer homes...many without any landscaping included in cost. Many people did not realize the way new construction lawns and gardens required a lot of prep to get the soil back up to workable. Also, bigger homes...bigger yards...more money and more time. People were also more interested in the buying, getting equity, and upgrading--all in a couple years. Doesn't leave a lot of time for investment in gardens. Gardening was part of the collateral damage that was the housing boom. Second, technology is a wonderful tool for gardeners, but a major distraction for those not already invested. It also creates the mentality of a culture of immediacy. Plants take time to grow. Learning about plants takes time. You can't flick a switch or hit a button and make it bloom, but that is what we are programmed to want. - Not only the younger generation either. Don't get me started on Boomers and mobile devices. :)

Also, Boomers are a huge population chunk and they are currently in the process of simplifying, downsizing, moving into condos, etc. as their children are getting older and moving out of the house. Boomers have more buying power and money to spend than us Gen X'ers. Them getting older and opting for no-maintenance would account for a dip in garden spending as well. Just my two cents.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:54PM
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Campanula UK Z8

No idea who Anthony Tesselaar is - I thought Flower Carpet roses were bred by Noack and are a really rather good cold weather rose choice. I often feel quite fed up that procumbent roses get such a poor review with words such as 'municiple', maintenance free and so on. They are really good doers- at least the european flower carpets are.
As for the ad - gah - nasty anodyne, dull. But then, I am a long way from ever being a 'southern lady'.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:25PM
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