'Eyes For You'

jerijen(Zone 10)August 16, 2013

I don't post photos of roses here, much -- because I rarely have a Modern rose to talk about. This time, though, I do.

'Eyes For You' is a Hulthemia hybrid, bred in the UK by P. James. It's not supposed to be gigantic, and the fragrance is extraordinary. VERY sweet, with a spicy edge to the fragrance -- and believe me, I am fragrance-challenged. There are many roses I simply cannot smell.

The color as it opens is a lavender-toned pink, but I have seen that the color shifts to a soft blue as the bloom begins to age.

I don't know that it's in commerce in the U.S. at present, but I hope it is very soon, because I think it's got tremendous potential. It's the sort of rose you want to place where you will pass it often, to enjoy the fragrance.


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Bull's Eye is a related seedling from the same breeder. Eyes was tested by Week's for three years in Wasco. They found it failed to grow for them. In order to be "commercial" it has to produce at least 60% Grade 1 plants using whatever method of propagation desired for it. Eyes didn't break 40% Grade 1, so 6 out of every 10 buds or cuttings "failed to thrive". It remained wonderfully healthy, while Bull's Eye can more easily mildew, but they couldn't produce it cost effectively, so they introduced Bull's Eye.

Eyes for You has also shown itself undesirable for breeding. It sets few seeds per hip, many failing to germinate, and the majority of its seedlings "run rampant" as many of the more vigorous English roses do in many US climates. It IS one of the most seductive roses I have encountered in MANY years and is rudely healthy here. This is a two year old, own root plant in a five gallon can. Even with the breeding issues, it still "calls my name" each year, hence the pollinated hips on this plant. Kim

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 3:03PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I can understand why it may never be commercially viable, but it really is a seductive rose -- particularly when you take the rich fragrance into account.

I suppose it is destined to go forward only as a "Passalong."


    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Brittie - La Porte, TX 9a

It's sort of surprising that Eyes For You wouldn't grow for Weeks when it grows so well for others (maybe you just have the magic touch?). Is it just that it's really hard to root? Not vigorous enough?

I really love the look of this one, and didn't know that it was fragrant. Bonus!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 4:10PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Jeri, thanks for sharing. I am fragrance challenged also. If this one is not in commerce in the US, how do you all get ahold of it?
Do I need to get a backstage pass or something?
Kippy with her Raspberry Twirl and you with this lovely.
I feel so *sniiff* uncool.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:04PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

Perhaps it just didn't like conditions in Wasco, CA and others similar. I've admired it for some time on Help Me Find and have noticed it looks much better in particular gardens there, ones in zones cooler than here btw.

Today I looked and there was a very interesting post from someone in Austria about what this rose appears to like (shady and moist conditions).

However, this is the picture that made me want the rose, with blooms all over and the plant looking rather bushy, http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=21.181724 This garden is in France, and the photo appears to show Eyes For You in shade. How much of the day its in shade I don't know, but that's where it was during the time of day the photo was shot. Other gardens in which it looks good are located in Russia and Poland.


Here is a link that might be useful: Eyes for You growing in Austria, zone 6b

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 8:08PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I noted at least one post that said it was grown in half-day shade, and that it was thriving in that situation.

I plan to put it into a site with half-day shade, myself. Mine was truly an un-solicited gift. But the good news is that if it is slowly spread around, there will be more opportunities for it to be propagated.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 8:45PM
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curdle(9b, Australia)

I am still trying to resign myself to not to not being able to get a lot of the lovely roses I see pictures of here - because of Australia's relatively small population, its just not worth it to import/quarantine them, except for a select number by only a few major sellers (who invariably rename them aka Julia Child becoming "soulmate" of all the inane names you could come up with- but that is a rant for another day ) .
I haven't seen any of the other Hulthemia hybrids here at all, but "Eyes for you " we did get last year - it was one of the big releases and was being marketed as a new one of a kind novelty rose, suddenly appearing at all the hardware/ homestore type places.
They certainly looked healthy enough, although I didnt notice any smell. Must try doing a sniff test if they start selling them when it warms up again. I was thinking about getting one last year....

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 3:35AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

There are many, many great "pass-along" roses around. Part of the purpose of my rose society, Cal Coastal Rose Society, is to get them "out there" so the varieties survive extinction. It is a sad fact that as gardeners pass along, their gardens usually go with them to that great rose garden in the sky. Thus, we do everything we can to sniff out "rare" varieties, especially in older gardens, and those destined to be rare because the commercial growers are more interested in something else and to propagate them for the auction. This year's auction will have many roses that are from the garden of Jim Delahanty, including many polyanthas for which we think he was the only known person that grew them.. Supporting the auction is an occupation that requires daily attention for at least the three of us that do most of the propagation.

And then we put on a great big "rare rose auction" every year as the society's primary fundraiser, usually selling several hundred roses that we have propagated. This year's auction will be bigger than ever, as we are planning it as a 2-day "destination event." We are having hybridizers come in from all over to discuss their breeding programs/goals/results for the first day, along with a wide group of other experts (including, I think, Jeri), and to talk about the varieties in the auction, and then the second day will be the auction itself. It will be held this year on Nov 16 and 17 at Carlsbad By the Sea Resort. Mark your calendars and start making plans to be out here then. Please come!

Eyes for You is one that will be available there, along with many other "pass-along" beauties.

Here is a link that might be useful: More auction info here

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 10:59AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Cal Coastal has done a great job for years. They're one of the most valuable local ARS Societies in CA -- certainly in SoCal.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:54AM
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It shouldn't be surprising this one succeeded (so far) when Week's found it unsuitable. To be commercial, at least 6 out of every 10 buds (or cuttings) must result in a Grade 1 plant, at least Grade 1 "for that variety". Grade 1 is an absolute range for size, cane girth, etc., but it does vary a bit depending upon the variety. Some simply will NOT generate inch thick canes no matter how they're propagated.

I rooted three cuttings and all three resulted in decent plants, at least decent to me to the point I shared them. But, if Week's couldn't get more than four out of ten to make decent plants, I'm still within their observed percentage of Grade 1 plants. Presuming those three DO eventually generate Grade 1's. They may, or they may not. Only time will tell. It doesn't seem to make a difference what kind of bud or cutting you take from the plant with this one. If it "likes you" it might grow. Or, it might just thumb its nose at you and sulk its entire existence. Maddening and frustrating, but aren't most seductive ANYTHINGS? Kim

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:29PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Same bloom -- One Day Later.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:09PM
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    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:36PM
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Campanula UK Z8

I have been keen on hulthemias for a long time - Harkness and Ilsink were early pioneers and recently, they have definitely 'arrived'..... but there are some caveats.As Kim states, they are truly innately healthy roses (although Euphrates can be a bit wimpish) and as far as foliage goes, they are surprisingly diverse - from an almost turquoise glaucous green to a crazy scarlet/crimson striped leaf, with all shades and shapes in between. What is constant though, is an angular and slightly awkward habit of growth. Whether upright (Alissar Princess of phoenicia) sprawly and cushiony (Bright as a Button) or wayward (Eyes), they all have a tendency to throw a few extra vigorous canes in insane directions and can be annoyingly brittle. The blooms are ethereal and unusual so it will probably surprise no-one that they also shatter quickly and not particularly evenly. They are certainly hardier than I had imagined and yep, Jeri, they do far better out of direct sun (they fade in seconds, bleaching out to interesting but pallid (to my mind) off whites...and they also seem to appreciate company, growing better in a mixed border than in a pot or as a specimen. Mine are going to be moved to the woods where they will be treated as though they are much closer to the species than they actually are. For those of you in the US, take a look at Jim Sprouls Eyeconic selection - if they have the health of the European varieties (and I cannot see why not), they are a class of rose which deserve to be moved from the 'novelty' genre and grown more widely, if only because of their ability to resist BS, PM and rust.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 6:50PM
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"Health" is a very mixed bag with these. Nigel Hawthorne was the absolute most bullet proof of all I've grown. Even right on the ocean where the nightly fogs made it appear it had rained several inches, Nigel remained completely disease free with NO remedies applied. Bull's Eye is very prone to mildew in the US. The earliest Sproul Eyeconics can have black spot issues where disease pressure is high and where the races of the fungi they aren't resistant to occur. With five races of the fungi in the US, it's very difficult to produce ANY rose which resists all, or even MOST of them as they all have differing methods of invading the foliage tissues. But, improvements are happening. Jim's later introductions have demonstrated larger, more heat resistant petal "blotches" as well as increased black spot resistance.

Euphrates is a train wreck as far as mildew is concerned. Like Dr. Huey, even the petals mold here. The plant is immortal but the plant parts are definitely not "durable". I still have a piece of the original plant I imported from Harkness the year it was introduced. It will NOT die! But, it also won't flower very much in this climate and it WILL mildew, with, or without water stress. I don't spray, period. If a rose can't/won't survive and please without chemical assistance, it doesn't belong in my garden. Not to cast aspersions on anyone else who uses them. I react to too many chemicals as it is. I don't need more around to cause issues.

In the nearly two years I've grown it, Eyes for You has proven to be as completely disease proof here as Nigel Hawthorne was. Its foliage is very long lived. It doesn't succumb to fungal issues before the plant sheds it. They simply yellow and fall off. It appears that was inherited from its Blue for You parent as that is what B4Y does here, too. It's been in this garden a year and a half longer than Eyes and has shown itself to be completely disease proof against all the elements here so far. Kim

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 7:17PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

Kathy the CCRS event in November is sounding quite fabulous! I have checked the site periodically in the last 6 months or so after reading one of your other posts about it. But the last time I visited it didn't have all the goodies about the excellent speaker panel, or have any roses listed yet.... Now it does! Could you maybe start another thread where we can continue to discuss it, and also where others would more easily find it than in this thread?



    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Campanula UK Z8

I wish you could get your hands on Alissar, Kim - it is one of the most insanely remarkable roses I have ever grown. It starts with the new foliage - a bright crimson, the like of which I have never seen before....and even variagated with creamy patches. Then, the flowers themselves - a deep coral colour which does not fade but seems to intensify - like those ridiculously expensive echinaceas (which never return) a few years ago. A very upright rose, looks fabulous grown with grasses and tall verbenas and gauras...but not, I suspect, selling millions for Harkness. I love it.
Yep, NH, what a trooper - I gave mine away to my regret although Harkness will custom bud another if you ask nicely. I can ignore the worst of Euphrates cos it grows with some deep crimson (Chocolate Soldier) paeonies and looks terrific for 3 weeks at least.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 4:07AM
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I wish I could, too, Camp! I'd shared my Nigel with Ashdown who had it budded many years ago. When I worked at the nursery on the beach, I'd ordered in all the goodies I'd given them to sell and Nigel was one. In the desert, he flowered for a few weeks, then was over. Two blocks off the Pacific, that sucker flowered for over four months until the plants were all sold! It's in the same climate where Banksieas flower all summer because there is only about ten degrees difference between "winter" and "spring" with both seeming really like the type of weather you'd get in a really nice spring to summer. Real "heat" doesn't arrive there until August, lasting until late October and that's when the once flowering things that will survive there, cease their bloom. It was interesting, and nice, to be able to go to work and be greeted my him for sixteen weeks! I'd grow Nigel Hawthorne again in a heartbeat. Of all the early Harkness hybrids, he seemed to hold the most hope for something really good to come from his genes. Too bad he refused to "play nicely" with other roses. Kim

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 6:54AM
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