Bold and Unusual Colored Floribundas, HTs, and/or Grandifloras

kd6dxa(9)May 3, 2012

So my "ring of roses" around my front lawn, about which I have posted previously, is underway. So far I have planted the following varieties:

Rock & Roll


Pumpkin Patch



I need about 10 to 15 more roses to complete the border. I am considering the following varieties:

Ebb Tide

George Burns

Ketchup & Mustard

Koko Loko


Hot Cocoa


Wild Blue Yonder

Midas Touch

Black Baccara

Blue Girl

Tropical Sunset

Rio Samba

Feedback on these varieties and additional suggestions (with pictures, if possible) would be appreciated.

So far, the few roses I have planted are very beautiful and bold, and they have really improved the look of my new house. I want my yard to be a spectacle of bright, bold, interesting, and unusual roses.

Thanks, everyone!


Vacaville, CA

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I'm just starting out but couldn't resist Ebb Tide, I hear good and bad about it, but think the deep purple blooms would be worth it.

I've also ordered Dick Clark it's a Grandiflora, it seems bold enough. And also Distant Drums, I think the color is gorgeous, not sure if I would call it bold though.

Here are the links:

I was going to go with a Koko Loko, and is at the top of my list, but fell in love with Distant Drums. Your list has definitely given me some ideas though. :)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 2:17PM
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Instead of sunsprite, you might want to look at Sparkle and Shine.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Ketchup and Mustard is a stomach-turning combination. Bold maybe-- but ugly to my eyes.

I too think Distant Drums is wonderful and also want to plant Distant Thunder.

Take a look at Coffee Country, really a unique color.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 3:19PM
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ken, do you have any pictures of sparkle and shine? There aren't any on helpmefind.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 3:52PM
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for 4 years Ebb Tide did not do much in my garden, but the few blooms it produced smelled wonderful. I don't remember it growing above 2 feet.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 5:05PM
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flaurabunda(6a, Central IL)

Pumpkin Patch looked really cool to me, but I planted Cinnamon Girl instead. It's AWESOME-SAUCE!

On your list I have Rock & Roll, Hot Cocoa, Blue Girl, Koko Loco and Tropical Sunset. I can recommend the first four as very pleasing, unusual, and just really cool. Tropical Sunset is new for me this year so I can't judge it yet.

Rainbow's End is a really neat mini; bright lemon yellow fades through to hot pink and then eventually blanches out to white.

Denver's Dream is another neat mini; true orange with darker reverses that are reddish orange.

About Face--very cool dark reverses on peachy/apricot blooms.

I totally swoon over Incognito, also. It's a mauve mini that has yellowish to tan petal bases.

I like World War II Memorial also; it's 'mauve' but looks like a pearly grey in sunlight. Can appear to be silver or white also. It reminds me of fine china up close.

Oh yeah---St Patrick! Greenish yellow in the heat of summer.

Have you check out HMF for pictures? I've posted a bunch of mine over there.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 5:43PM
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lagomorphmom(z10Coastal and z8Mtn CA)

kd6dxa, you might want to include your zone and a rough idea of where you live, ie z10 Calif does not equal z10 Florida. Many folks will have an idea about how pleasing the flower is, but letting them know your geography will help with issues re mildew, rust, blackspot. You can add your zone to your profile and it will show on your signature line.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 6:42PM
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Thanks for the tip, K6KLT, and 73! I am apparently in zone 9, which I discovered through a zip code search. I added this zone to my profile. :-)

Zachary, KD6DXA
Vacaville, CA

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 6:48PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I have a number of "hot" roses.

Koko Loco is unusual but I would not call it bold. It's really rather subtle.

Hot Cocoa is a pretty deep russet but, to my eye, an ugly plant.

Dick Clark was quite a beauty for me.

Granada is hot!

So is Hondo

Hot Romance?

or Mardi Gras?

I'll end with Trump Card

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:19PM
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I really like the Mardi Gras there, Seil. And I think you're right that the unidentified rose that I posted about a couple weeks back is a Granada.

Has anyone tried "Oranges & Lemons"?

Also, I'm still learning about the different broad classification of roses, and I'm having a hard time visualizing different growth habits from the available descriptions. Are there any other classes of rose that would look natural alongside floribundas, HTs, and Grandifloras?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:39PM
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For a picture of Sparkle and Shine, go to the Edmunds Roses web site. Another rose I grow is Remember Me. It doesn't have the biggest blooms but it is a great bush with beautiful blooms. HMF has some good pic's of it.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 9:03PM
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I got Twilight Zone thinking it would be a deep burgundy and it is.....until the flowers age, then its Dark purple like ebb tide. Kind of neat to watch the transformation. The fragrance is pretty too.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 9:52PM
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I live in the same general area that you do. Of the list you originally mentioned, I have:

. Sunsprite (highly recommended - bright yellow, gorgeous)
. Hot Cocoa (highly recommended - brownish)
. Blue Girl (was great 1st year, 3rd year both are a little weak, have balled from the late rains, but smells nice. Light lavendar, subtle, not loud)
. Scentimental (just 2nd year, nice on the bush, smells lovely, not awesome)

Then others mentioned that I have or have seen that I think are visual standouts:

. cl. Chocolate Sundae (highly recommended - 1st year - WOW. Burnt chocolate orange, perfect for our climate. blooms are perfect and like nothing I've seen)
. Honey Dijon (highly recommended - mustard yellow with random spots of pink - super repeater)
. Charisma (highly recommended if you like loud - form similar to Ebb Tide, no fragrance and small VERY BRIGHT orange and yellow blend blooms)
. Miss All American Beauty (highly recommended - HUGE bright fushia/pink blooms)
. Purple Tiger (my first year, people say it's a weak plant, my first blooms are drop dead gorgeous - deepest purple with white)
. Dick Clark (recommended - I don't find it loud/bold, but very prolific and strong and beautiful)
. Heart of Gold (I don't have it but have seen it multiple times at nearby nursery - gorgeous - redish pink outside, yellow inside, fragrant large blooms)
. Marti Gras (perfect before blooms fade, a little dull when they do, but I love it).
. Dream Come True (super unique blooms, but in it's 2nd year here, and appears to be disease prone)
. Twilight Zone - any day now will have first blooms and then I can report
. Broadway (highly recommended - HUGE pink/red/orange/yellow morphing blooms - but another one that blooms look a little icky on after they fade)
. Fragrant Cloud (recommended - unusually dark orange big fragrant blooms)
. Double Delight (HIGHLY recommended - huge fragrant red & white blooms - changing ratio of white to red throughout each bloom's bloom cycle)


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 1:32AM
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If you have any issues with mildew, shy away from Black Baccara. It is a florist rose which only does well grown under glass and sprayed within an inch of its life. If you want nearly black, the old Taboo can be as black when it's cold outside with FAR fewer issues.

Hopefully, Heirloom will finally release the EuroDesert varieties they picked up from Vintage. When they do, get Blue for You! Amazing colors, intense fragrance, flowers like a weed here north of Los Angeles and it is very healthy here. Definitely an "unusual color" and much better with heat than Rhapsody in Blue, which has a tendency to shut down in the heat. You'll love the range of colors Blue for You can produce. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue for You

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 2:53AM
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In addition to my beds of sedate/ladylike antiques and OGRs, I also share your taste for outrageous and unusual colors, particularly black-reds and russets/tans/greys. Here are some more you might want to take a look at, though they're not all HTs or FLs: Incredible, Tenacious, Granada, Cinnamon Spice, Tootsie's Lounge, Wild Ginger, Flaming Peace, Granada, Rusty, Smoky, Brown Velvet, Spiced Coffee, Julia's Rose, Pam's Choice, Dragon's Blood, Lavender Pinocchio, Vesper, Grey Dawn, Aschermittwoch (a once-blooming SH that requires a lot of space), The Mouse (notoriously difficult, requires assiduous care), Black Tea, Shot Silk, Color Wonder, Sands of Time, Blue River, Cymbaline.

In the interest of peace and because I'm in Louisiana, I keep the outrageous colors in a section I've dubbed the Mardi Gras garden. I use the russets/tans/greys as foils to apricots and dark reds.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 6:32AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I also keep my hot roses separated from the more subtle colors, but being in California I call it my 'Fiesta Garden.' ;o)

I just have plug Julia Child, I think the golden yellow blooms are quite bold and I love the healthy green foliage and quick rebloom. Whenever people visit my garden they always give Julia lots of complements.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Oh, Color Wonder IS a wonder! And that oldie--Paradise. No clue how they'd do in your climate.
How fun that you are doing kinky colors!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 2:11PM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

How bout Stephen's big purple. It's an electric magenta colored huge bloom which is incredibly fragrant. Would look great next to Fragrant Cloud or Tropicana, or Lady Emma Hamilton . Sorry, i don't have pictures- but it's on helpmefind.

Love might be a rose you like. It's basically Ketchup and Mayonaise. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:35PM
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rosetom(7 Atl)

George Burns is a great compliment to Scentimental. Its flowers are a bit more open than Scentimental, but not as open as say something like Fourth of July. Their color varies widely, depending on sun and temperature. Based in red striping, the other color can vary from almost white to a strong yellow. Plant it in front of Scentimental - it grows a little bit shorter.

Someone mentioned Oranges and Lemons, but there's a grandiflora with the same coloring (orange and yellow striped) and it's on your list: Tropical Sunset. It's a legitimate grandiflora, in the same vein as QE or Gold Medal - super tall, a budding machine (dozens per bush) and good size blooms - 5". Mine got over 6 ft in its first flush this year. The stems on the cut roses were 3 feet, at least.

Cabana is also a legitimate HT - a very strong bush with large blooms, although it tends to be a bit shorter than most HT's:

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:17AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Skip 'Rio Samba'. It fades quickly to a horrible mix of muddy colors, and Rusts badly.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Wow I have every single one of those roses except the last 2 you are considering. I love the vibrancy of Vavoom and the blooms last. Ketchup & mustard I like the color combo but the bush is new so we'll see on rebloom. Sunsprite is a great bright yellow but the blooms shatter fairly quick though it has a lot of blooms so that helps and rebloom is already starting. Ebb Tide has not flourished for me. Love the color but it's an ugly bush. So far I prefer All American Magic and Scentimental over George Burns but it's early. Koko is gorgeous but I agree w the previous poster, it is not vibrant but subtle.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:04AM
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5rosedogs, how old is your Sunsprite? Mine in its first year shattered quickly. In its second year, blooms are lasting 1-2 weeks! I was a little disappointed last year, but this year it is a star. I also fertilized this year.

Sorry for a double picture post, but I had to put a photo of Honey Dijon here!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:30AM
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I am on the coast of CA, by Santa Cruz and I grow Oranges 'n Lemons. It does very well here. Scentimental is a giant bush! I have to keep hacking it back or it overpowers the other roses planted next to it.

I also have Hot Cocoa which does alright here. I like Hansa for it's unusual leaves and dark purple red flowers. Snowfire has an interesting color of dark velvet red on top and white on reverse side. I don't know if you consider Double Delight unusual, but it is one of my favorite for looks and fragrance.

For lavender, I have Blue Ribbon, Sterling Silver, Paradise, Purple Passion, Angel Face, Magenta, Maggie and Heirloom.
For orange/apricot color I have Sundowner, Tropicana, Brass Band, Brandy and Royal Wedding.


Oranges 'n Lemons



Sterling Silver


Royal Wedding

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 4:48PM
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melanie(7A No Va)

You've probably already made your decisions, but just in case . . .

I had Hot Cocoa. It was a blackspot magnet where I am. Was a very proficient bloomer though. Very unusual color and does have fragrance. Attractive foliage as well. More upright grower than bushy.

FYI - the photo of Sterling Silver above . . . if the color holds true, I do not believe that is Sterling Silver. I have grown that rose for over a decade and it is a pale lavender with a wonderful fragrance. The blooms also do not look anything like the photo above. Sometimes roses are mislabeled. I purchased what I thought was Double Delight. It turned out to be Love. Fortunately, I love it. It happens every once in a while.

Koko Loko is a beautiful rose. Highly recommend it.

I too am interested in Ketchup & Mustard. Would love to hear some feedback if you got that one. Especially about whether or not it has fragrance :)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 1:45PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Ketchup & Mustard is one of the great roses of all time. It will be around for a long, long time. Just my opinion, lol. But I do like it.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 2:13PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

melanie, I agree with you that the rose shown above is not Sterling Silver. SS is much bluer and is more high centered. From what I've seen, the rose that comes closest in color to SS is Kordes' Blue Bayou, if you want a sub for SS. Diane

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 3:37PM
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Hanna Gordon
Double delight
Love and peace
Dream come true
(I haven't figured out how to post pics yet) :-(
Ketchup and mustard doesn't have much scent, but more profuse blooms than any other rose, it's crazy!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:40PM
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OMG, Kim, BLUE FOR YOU! is gorgeous. And huge flowers. How heavy do you feed, & does anyone else carry it? No snark intended to Heirloom or Vintage, but I always have some losses with bands.

And re. the OP, SUNSPRITE was a great healthy yellow when I lived in a muggy zone 9 climate. My plant was from Chamblees.

Here in a deserty zone8 place, a cheapy big-box store LOVE has been an excellent bloomer & very healthy. Savage thorns but a great red/white reverse with good form tho little fragrance.

Had CHARISMA in zone 9--looked like back-lit embers. Small flowers, little fragrance but a healthy well blooming plant & the flws. had good substance & form & held their brilliant color well.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:55PM
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Well, bluegirl, I am a heretic. I don't feed...anything. The soil and water are already too salty, so I don't use inorganic food. There are too many moles and gophers. I haven't amended and the only "mulch" is what I shred from the other trees and shrubbery (mostly creeping fig, bamboo and bougainvillea). The soil has been fallow for thirty-plus years and I'm not doing anything to increase earthworms so I don't use any organics to provide the moles more of them to burrow for. There are many rabbits, squirrels, chaparral rats, coyotes and probably a stray bob cat or two, so I'm not using anything they can consider "food". I let the weeds grow because they literally mask the new rose shoots from the vermin who are determined to eat them. The hill is mostly natural, though cleared for fire and we back up to native chaparral hillsides, so preventing the "wild life" is virtually impossible. The roses which perform well with these conditions have earned their places here. Those which don't, go away.

I agree with you, though. Blue for You is drop dead gorgeous, healthy, vigorous and intensely fragrant. Because it is patented, I presume Heirloom obtained it in the batch of Euro Desert stock they received from Vintage, and is working on licensing. Though, I have no first hand information to that effect, it seems the most logical to me. I hope someone finally releases it again. It is head and shoulders better than Rhapsody in Blue in my climate. Kim

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 7:31PM
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Thanks, Kim. I love the lavender/mauves but haven't had a lot of thrifty modern ones. And I admire your management attitude. I argued with my dad when he laboriously chopped & mowed to plant his fruit trees--then had to heavily mulch. I pulled the grass but let the native wildflowers serve as a live mulch for the roses. He's looking to plant a dry-land cover crop this fall. Peaceful Valley has an amazing selection.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 7:47PM
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You're welcome bluegirl. Thanks. My "management style" is the only one which makes sense to me. Anything else would eat me out of house and home in costs, energy, time and would likely stress me out worse than the current one does, with very probably similar results. I consider it working WITH Nature instead of against her. Kim

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:30PM
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Noni Morrison

Take a look at Twilight Zone. I bought it this year and am loving it. It has really intense deep dark purple flowers of good size on a healthy bush. Even when our days were hot they merely turned to a deep magenta, but still looked beautiful. When the weather is cooler, the flowers are amazingly dark and lovely! My nose hasn't done well with fragrances this summer so not sure about its fragrance level, but its definitely eye candy! I can jsut see it with our other intense colors!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 9:52PM
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I have a white and a salmon colored florabunda. Not sure of the names. The place i bought them is no longer in business. I love the KoKo Loco and the Dick Clark. Does anyone know of a place near Dayton Ohio to purchase these?
Thank you

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 7:14PM
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Take a look at Dark Night.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:48PM
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