Do you find that as you become familiar with the different roses in your garden, a favourite hybridizer begins to appear? I seem to favour the newer Kordes roses, then I like Poulsen, Zary's hybrid teas and Boeners climbers.
Until recently I didn't give much thought to breeders, then began to realize that some of my best roses were from certain breeders. My top ones are Kordes, Meilland and Carruth.
Austin wins hands down in my garden, but I also like Kordes. Other than that, it is the beauty and/or health of the individual rose that usually catches my attention.
Not so much for big roses. I like some from all the different major players. I also do really like Jim Sproul's work with the hulthemias. But I love most all of Frank Benardella's minis and minfloras! I already had about 10 or 12 of them but I lost them this winter so I'm starting over to collect them. However I generally just buy what ever I see that I like and is available. What lives stays and what doesn't goes and I look some more.
I agree with Sara Ann in that my top performers come from certain breeders; Carruth, Meilland, Kordes, Tauntau. Certain David Austin roses perform well. I only own one Rupert, Annie Laurie McDowell. It was love at first sight. Thusfar it is a healthy, fairly vigorous grower.
In my z4 area, these 3 rose breeders plants do well for me. Ping Lim (Easy Elegance roses), Dr. Buck (Iowa State roses) and Kordes roses.
Kordes, Medilland and Sveja (Canadian Explorer roses).
It looks like the Nabonnand family's teas are meant for this area so far. Tom Carruth's roses do well here for the most part. I love Paul Barden's roses and so far the few I have are faring well. The latest Austins are doing pretty well here also. I can't speak on most of their health, but I am fond of Rev. Pemberton's roses on the whole. Vibert, Lacharme, Jean-Claude Ducher, Lambert, and Geschwind are also some of my favorites.
Historically, Griffin Buck (Iowa State), Canadian Government Explorer and Parkland breeders, and Kordes.
Present day, William Radler, Paul Barden, and Jim Sproul,
Carruth, Zary, Kordes, Clemons, Wells, & Benardella
I am with Seil, not so much for the big rose breeders. My favorite rose breeder is Dee Bennett. She truly created some masterpieces, sadly, some were after her passing.
My second favorite was Ralph Moore, because he created so many mini roses, also he had many firsts. such as, single minis, moss minis and striped minis, and probably a few others I cant think of at the moment.
I also love Frank Benardella's roses, for the minis and minifloras. For the larger ones I'm all over the map with my favorites.
My favorite breeder is Meilland. Wow!
I have an ongoing love affair with the roses of Mattias Tantau, Jr., even though they are challenging to grow in zone five. My 'Lapponia' just came back from the dead! Yay!
My last, last, last, very last Vintage order included VID 'Showbiz' and 'Paprika'.
Legrice for his sheer audacity and ingenuity with colourwork., Lens .....the nearest breeding work to the species types Loving Hybrid Musks of all types,,,,,but mostly still having an enduring love affair with the species.
Kordes roses are always vigorous and healthy....but a tad dull apart from the great Fruhling series.
I love older Harkness roses for the innovative breeding....but unfortunately, they do need spray regimes.
A midland trio of breeders - Chris Warner, Peter James and Frank Cowlishaw - some outstanding roses coming from this stable (Blue for You, Odyssey, Purple Skyliner, Bright as a Button, Eyes for You, Rhapsody in Blue
Across the pond - I love some of the little Moore roses (Little Buckaroo, Mr.Bluebird) and am very interested in the (wide) range of Barden roses - but sadly, unavailable here.
Finally, Pirjo Rautio has reinvigorated spinossissimas while Svedja has done the same with rugosas.
However, if I could only choose one, it would have to be those grown by birds and small mammals - nothing to beat the wild roses.
Tom Carruth & David Austin. Both men have produced what are IMHO the best yellow roses ever hybridized:
JULIA CHILD & MOLINEUX.
I used to have a trio of favorite breeders that automatically raised a rose's attractiveness to me - Kordes, Tantau, Delbard. Then I added the American quartet - Barden, Rupert, Buck & Lim, and they've become the mainstay "workhorses" in many ways.
I dearly love the Meilland roses, particularly the Romanticas, and I pine for many of the Poulsen roses, particularly the Renaissance series (especially my dearly departed Bella Renaissance). Of course Austin gets a special mention, not to mention relatively easy care and hardiness in my zone. I save a special fondness for the breeders of "weirdo" roses, notably Le Grice, McGredy, and Williams. And that doesn't even begin to touch all the turn of the century breeders of my hybrid Perpetuals and others that are one-rose wonders.
If I have to pick a favorite breeder, I'll have to go with Kordes since so many of those roses do so very well in my zone, but the competition is stiff.
My most recent favourite breeder is Tantau, or rather Evers who breeds for the firm. I was given five newer roses to trial two years ago and four of them have been perfect in every respect. My older favourite is Rudolph Geschwind and I have a small collection of his hardy climbers, a difficult class in my climate.
Two of my early mentors, Frank Benardella and Betty Valentine Jolly. Wonderful, generous people who loved roses. David Clemons, for his beautiful minis.
Mr. Kim Rupert: Roses are evergreen with little to no blackspot issues (or other diseases). Prolific blooms throughout the season.
Kordes: Generally very healthy in the 8a (Pacific Northwest) climate.
Francois Lacharme, for his magnificent Bourbon/Noisettes which, alas, I can't grow here.
I can now add Jacobus, now that 'Morning Stars', 'Autumn Bouquet' and 'Dream Girl' are growing back; I thought I had lost them.