YIKES please help

beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)August 20, 2014

So I am a professional gardener and have steered most the people I garden for away from roses they are fussy painful and hate the heat and humidity of Virginia. I just got a job on an estate that has at least 35 David Austin roses. I have fed them, pruned them, sprayed them for black spot and Japanese Beetles and sprayed them some more. Right now they look awful, really awful, I know as the weather cools they will get happy again but the owners of the property will be back in about 20 days and she will have a heart attack if she sees her roses in this condition. What can I do to get them leafed out and healthy again. I water them twice a week and feed them with spray and grow and compost. All advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I am sorry, too bad your training did not include roses. They actually are fairly easy to grow, if you have the right ones.

Do you have photos?

When you say you are feeding them with a spray, what kind of spray? It sounds like it is hot there, I know here, I can not use things like fish emulation on days over 75 or I will burn the leaves.

Are you using any fungicide/pesticide/etc?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:01PM
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At this late date, I would tidy them up, feed from the roots with an organic and use 1/2 strength mg to boost some blooms. And foliage. Water, a tidy even pruning, and pretty mulch, grounds, can greatly improve the look of the plant. If the owner is a roser she will understand this set back and appreciate the effort to improve the health and productivity. Were they healthy before? There are so many variables that contribute to a healthy rose. I would not spray anything on the leaves. shotgun prophylaxis may be to much for them. Austin's are pretty hardy in Chicago. They should be ok if the basics are intact. However, you cannot force Mother Nature.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:14PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

We need a lot more information.

1. Describe "awful". What do they look like, specifically? Holes in the leaves? Spots on the leaves? Issues with the blooms? Other issues?
2. As Kippy asked, what specifically are you "spraying" with, the insecticide and the fundicide?
3. How are you watering? Sprinklers? Drip irrigation? By hand? How long is each watering?
4. What are you using for fertilizer? Only "Spray and Grow"?

BTW, there are many rose varieties (that are not named "Knock Out") that can do well in VA without a lot of care, you just have to ask us. :-)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:21AM
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catsrose(VA 6)

Your boss is probably aware that her DAs have trouble in the summers here and isn't expecting miracles. And they will leaf out again as the weather cools down. Also, you can overkill your "cures." Also it is a waste of time to spray for Japanese beetles.

I don't know where in VA you are, but there are any number of very knowledgeable people here. Probably your best bet is to contact Connie at Hartwood Roses in Fredericksburg, who can either help you herself or knows someone close to you: www.hartwoodroses.com

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:59AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

With good care, you can have some new growth in three weeks and a flush of bloom in six weeks.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:18AM
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By all means contact Connie at Hartwood. She should be your most accurate source of advice.

Spray for insects only when there ARE insects. Ask Connie for advice on spraying for fungal diseases. But remember that, when the weather is hot, spraying can CAUSE damage to foliage.

NEVER, EVER spray roses that have not been watered.

Contact Connie!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 12:17PM
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seil zone 6b MI

You've gotten good advice about what to do and who to contact. I'd just like to add that as a landscaper you should learn about roses and they should be a part of your landscaping plans. Unfortunately your first contact is with the DA roses that are beautiful but also tend to be spotty here in the US. There are, however, many types of roses that are not so troublesome and you should familiarize yourself with those and use them in your landscapes. I am not just talking about Knock Outs either. Talk to Connie and she will guide you to the roses that would work very well and be fairly care free in the garden in your area. Please stop promoting the idea that roses are "fussy, painful and hate the heat and humidity of Virginia". That simply does not have to be true!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 2:39PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

Trust me guys I know about roses I have used roses in many of my garden designs, especially in New England and have worked with roses for years. I have plenty of training just not in DA roses which I am finding very fussy. I have clients that want gardens with little maintenance and their gardens looking good all the times I steer them away from roses. I will go see Connie in F'burg thanks for her name. But the issue is the owner knows nothing about roses she just likes to pick them. She expects all of her gardens to be perfect when she arrives in September. Her 300 dahlias and her perennial gardens all look great it is only the roses that are looking sad. No surprise there. I have cleaned them up this week and hand watering them they are starting to leaf out again. I have top dressed the soil with organic matter and I am hand picking the last of the J Beetles. I only spray my roses that have been watered and I only spray the actual insect but usually hand pick them. I really do not care about roses that will do well here I have DA roses and that is the only type of rose my owner wants. Seil my first contact with roses has not been DA rose it is just what I have now. I have successfully grown hundreds of roses in the past 30 years please do not tell me what I should and should not do in my gardening business I think I've been pretty successful doing what I have done. Thank you all for your advice, I am happy to know about Connie

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:50AM
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seil zone 6b MI

My apologies but from your earlier statement it sounded as though you never used roses in your plans. I am very glad to hear that is not true. I hope you are able to get your DA's back in shape for your client soon.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:27AM
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vasue(7A Charlottesville)

Sounds like you may be fussing too much with the roses, rather than the roses being fussy. What other plant would you over-treat in this manner? Roses may appreciate some pampering, but throwing everything you can think of at them is way over the top - overstimulating at cross-purposes - detrimental to their health. They are just woody plants, after all, not exotic divas a world away from their natural growing conditions. Summer pruning (cutting a good way down stems) doesn't work for me here in central Virginia as it seems to encourage disease & pest entry, and with as much feeding as you're reporting, you're just pushing new growth that the Japanese beetles find most appealing & that will likely suffer burning from insecticide/fungicide sprays in heat.over 75, even foliar feed sprays, as Kippy notes, and none should be applied without watering deeply beforehand, as Jeri advises. Twice a week watering would be inadequate in this central Virginia garden unless a steady rain came by every other day. (Summer mulch here minimal around roses, since rainfall & supplemental hose watering is generous but deep damp mulch can be a fungus breeder.) My experience is that roses need a good thorough drink often in heat past the mid-80's - every other day for established roses - to perform their best. Last June, we had steady rain passing by almost daily, and the roses bloomed as never before. Especially for Austins - bred in a rainy, cooler English climate - good watering is essential here when the temps crank up, to build those many petaled blooms, or they will be scarce & small & the petal count will go down. Merely deadhead any blown blooms - snap or snip at the peduncle, and consider doing the same for buds when Japanese beetles are swarming, as they'll destroy them anyway & removing the buds removes their lure.

Luckily the beetles are all but gone & the weather's cooled, so the roses can catch their breath. I'd use no more fertilizers, as you may have overdone that already, clean off any deformed or diseased leaves from the plants & the area, consider removing & replacing any mulch, keep them watered well & wait for them to rebound, likely in time for the owners' return. Study up on each variety, as you would for any plant unfamiliar to you (but disregard English authors in the main, as their conditions are so dissimilar to ours). Any notes or remembrance of the roses' previous tenders available would be helpful. Connie's a great resource, as are posters here & on the Antique Roses forum where Austins are also much discussed. Search each rose by name & pay particular attention to reports originating from climates like ours.

Having been tasked with their care, consider modifying your attitude about growing roses in VA in light of many who do so successfully without fuss. Take a look at Marina's garden & the many Austins she grows beautifully & abundantly for further inspiration. You can learn to care for them well, too, and may even come to appreciate them as many do. As an estate gardener, behooves you to become expert on how to help them thrive with minimal interference.

Here is a link that might be useful: Marina's rose garden, Amelia, VA

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:03PM
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cecily(7 VA)

I'm surprised that you're hand watering -- I would expect a large garden to be on a drip irrigation system. Perhaps that's one recommendation that you could make to the owner. I've been watering every other day since June (yes, we have heavy red clay soil in VA but its been a hot & dry summer).

I'm disappointed that you don't want to know about roses that are well suited to this climate, its sad to see that sort of ignorance in a professional. Gardening is a bit of a dieing art and those of us with an interest in gardening might feel some obligation to encourage hobby gardening in our communities.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:31PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

As a professional landscaper myself, I am embarrassed by your exceedingly rude response to siel and sorry I put you on to Connie. You asked for our help and we gave it based on the info you gave us. No one is trying to tell you how to run your business--no one really has any reason to care about your business. If your interest is confined to the DAs under your care, call David Austin; the company has a website as well as a branch here in the US. Surely, as a professional, you know to go to the source.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 6:09PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

'as a landscaper you should learn about roses and they should be part of your landscaping plans'
' it is sad to see that sort of ignorance in a professional'
' no one really has any reason to care about your business'
Wow! you guys are a tough crowd over here in Roses!
Ok first of all thank you one and all for your very good sound advice about making these David Austin roses look better, I have learned a great deal and I agree with you vasue I believe I may have been too fussy with them
and now I have cleaned them up and backed off them a bit.

Seil thank you for your words of encouragement I apologize if I was 'exceedingly rude' to you but even though catsrose does not think so you were telling me what I should do in my business which was not the advice I came looking for here. I know you meant no ill will but the word "should' can be a tough pill to swallow. Cecily in this post I was just trying to get the advice I needed to help me with these David Austin roses I misrepresented
myself by saying I am not interested in learning more about roses that do
well here in Virginia. I am always interested in good sound horticultural advice and love learning something new. But if I chose not to use roses in my gardening work for whatever reason that does not make me wrong or ignorant. I would not insult you or tell you what you should or should not do in your gardens if you told me you didn't care to use a certain type of plant no matter what the circumstances were. Again thank you for your advice and for letting me know about Connie I will make a point to go see her, she sounds like a wonderful resource and person and she lives less than an hour away. I promise catsrose I will behave myself when I am there!

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:45PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

BTW cecily I have given horticultural talks, I have planted gardens free of charge, and donated hundreds of plants to organizations and people. I have been the horticultural advisor to two eagle scout projects in my community. I have donated vegetables to food pantries and cut flowers to non profit events, so I do believe I have fulfilled my obligations to encourage hobby gardeners in our communities and will continue to do so.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 12:06AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I think you forgot the link to your website with your qualifications that we missed.

Thank you for your kind apology for coming off a tad rude.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 12:58AM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

Kippy, talk about a tad rude. I asked for some advise on roses and got a lot more than that! I was called exceedingly rude which I was not, told of my ignorance, told what I should do in my business, and now your snotty remark about a link to my qualifications. I have thanked the people that were kind enough to give me some good advice and defended myself against peoples rude comments. Like I said before you are a tough crowd.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 9:11AM
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cecily(7 VA)

Hey Beige, thanks for bashing us on the Conifer Forum.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:21AM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

I did not mention you on the Conifer forum ... got a guilty conscience? " its sad to see that sort of ignorance in a professional." deserves bashing. You are not very nice

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:09PM
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To be fair to Beige, he did not mention the rose forum in his post on the conifer forum, he just said he liked that forum better than other forums. I'm going to have to kinda stick up for the guy, all he did was want some advice on how to make his clients DA's look better because he wasn't familiar with those roses and he got more than he bargained for. I'm not taking sides I just think he got defensive when he thought he was being told how to do his job, and I honestly think everyone was just trying to give him what they felt was good advice. I think the people on the rose forum are wonderfully kind and passionate about roses and Beige also seems passionate about plants and gardening. With all this passion can't we just all get along :).

This post was edited by boncrow66 on Sun, Aug 24, 14 at 15:15

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 3:12PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

Thank you boncrow I appreciate the voice of reason you have brought to the post. First of all I am a she not that that makes much difference. I feel people got their feelings hurt because right from the start I said I was not a big rose fan. This was only mentioned because I find it ironic that I am now in charge of so many David Austins. No one likes to be told what they should be doing and yet I understand seil was only trying to be helpful and was kind enough and big enough to apologize for her part in the misunderstanding. But cecily, catsrose and kippy said hurtful uncalled forthings. It was mean spirited. I look back at my second post where I address seil's comment of what I should do in my business and chuckle that I was called "exceedingly rude. Well that is certainly the pot calling the kettle black. I am sure as you wrote boncrow that the people on the rose forum are wonderfully kind but that was not my experience of three of them I am sorry to say. Those that were kind enough to give me some good advice I so appreciate their wisdom and time it is why I put the post up in the first place. Again thank you for your fair minded assessment of the situation.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 8:33PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I am sorry you are having a hard time with these roses. I also think you came looking for some time of "hall pass" as to why it is not your fault the roses have problems. And with some David Austins, that just might have been the case.

If it helps, here is your first post:

"So I am a professional gardener and have steered most the people I garden for away from roses they are fussy painful and hate the heat and humidity of Virginia. I just got a job on an estate that has at least 35 David Austin roses...."

How are we to guess what type of professional gardener you are? You could farm hay or be a mow and blow guy. Rather than come unglued and make your second rude post, it would have been more helpful to answer some of the questions, instead of basically state you know what you are doing and we should not ask these types of question.

Did you lead with "Conifers are fussy and I steer clients away from them" when you posted in that forum?

With any luck, the roses will turn around and look better, if not maybe asking with a more open frame of mind will help in the future.

Have a wonderful day.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:24PM
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Sorry I called you a He when your a She lol. I will agree that maybe the comment on roses being fussy and painful was a little off putting since this is a rose forum and we are all rose addicts :). I think you got some great advice from people who love roses and I hope you update us on how the DA's are doing.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 11:12PM
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Hostas are always very nice, and VERY EASY to grow. Perhaps hostas are your true calling...

Don B.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 11:40PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Hydrangeas are gorgeous--especially the hydrangea paniculatas which can take the sun. I'm a rose addict, but there's nothing to be ashamed of in loving hydrangeas also--and hostas. : )

I have only ever received helpful advice on this forum.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 3:01AM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

Kippy my second post is far from rude compared to the treatment I got from you and a couple of others. As I admitted in my last post I realize starting out the post with the fact that I steer people away from roses for their "maintenance free" gardens was probably the source of the tension. As I mentioned before I said it because I find it ironic and funny that I now have so many roses in my care. I answered questions and some people were very helpful with good advice. Never was I asking for a hall pass I know I was doing something wrong that is why I came looking for advice. But I came looking for advice on what to do with my sad DA roses not on what to do with my business or my education of other roses. You did not have to guess what type of gardener I am to help me, all I wanted was some advice on DA roses. You continue to have this edge to your post please give it a rest. Have a wonderful day. Dublinbay and don yes I love all hydrangeas and most hostas and use them a lot in my garden design work. I really understand why all of you love roses so much I love them too and have several on my property. At home I do not care if the roses drop most of their leaves in the summer they come back in the fall and look great. When I came from Maine 18 years ago I brought 3 plants one was a rose Suzanne Verrier turned me on to back when she had a nursery in Maine, I still have it and I still love it. I just do not use them much in my garden designs for reasons I have stated before. I am open minded and will go see Connie and find out which roses thrive in the heat and humidity of Virginia. I am sure there are plenty of DA roses that do better here than some of the ones I am looking after. The owner of the estate picks the roses for their blooms not for how they do in Virginia. There are 35 roses in this garden one third of them look fairly healthy, one third look a bit sad but I have faith they will be ok as the weather cools and one third of them were weak when I took this job and really look to be at deaths door. They all get the same treatment and are planted in the same bed so it says to me that there is a big difference in heat and humidity tolerance of the different DA roses. I did get some very helpful advice here and appreciate it. Don my true calling is conifers. I actually like conifers and roses together. Most of the people I garden for do not like conifers much which I am ok with and I do not try to change their minds nor do I belittle them for their taste. I do not tell people what they should and should not do unless they ask. I asked for advice on some roses and got a whole lot more! BTW dublinbay I have that rose and it is a thing of beauty.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 8:48AM
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One thing to keep in mind is that Mr. Austin does not live in Virginia, and has not visited there. He really doesn't "Get" the differences in climate and conditions between where he is, and the Southern Eastern Seaboard.

Your client is one of the problems, as she's gone and selected roses that probably won't ever be perfect in her garden -- but there ARE roses that grow well in VA.

Consider that, perhaps, your role in her garden is to open her eyes to roses that WILL excel for her, rather than those that will be cascading failures.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 2:20PM
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seil zone 6b MI

OK folks, I think we should give it a rest here.

Beige, you've more than explained yourself. I'm sorry that these DAs are problematic for you but truthfully most all of them usually are high maintenance roses. As gorgeous as they are they're bred for a different climate. Since your client chose them you're stuck with them and all we can do is try and help you out. Normally for fungal diseases we recommend the Bayer Rose and Shrub Disease Control. Most of us do NOT like any of the combination products like the 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 because they are less effective and overkill at the same time. The Bayer fungicide used regularly according to the package instructions should take care of the black spot problem. My other tip is that a lot of the DA roses are water hogs. Water them deeper and more frequently and that may also help the situation. If they are growing as free standing shrubs maybe thinning out some of the interior growth to help create more air circulation would also help. It they are on trellises try and make sure they have good air flow in and around them. There are two different thoughts on overhead watering. The old camp says never overhead water because it promotes black spot. The newer thinking is that a good hosing off once a week can actually reduce BS spores from adhering to the leaves. My advice is experiment and see what works for you. That's a big key to roses. Every one reacts differently in a different climate and sometimes even a different spot in the yard.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 2:37PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I was going to mention the Bayer product. 2-3 rounds of it will really help if your client's roses look like many of mine can here in the summer. Then the JBs just totally wreak havoc. JBs may be more attracted to Austins because of their great scents.

You might suggest Milky Spore to your client for her yard, as I've heard that can help with the JBs. And contact (short-acting) sprays or hand-picking is probably what most folks do. Systemic insecticides would hurt the bees too much that still come to the blooms, so I don't like those. I usually cut off my blooms in the summer because grasshoppers and JBs are just so intense here. The LSU and fall blooms are wonderful that way :)

Your client might not realize what an ordeal South-Eastern pests and disease pressures are for roses, lol! That really is true, I think. I love the other 3 seasons (including rosehips in winter) much more than MSU-LSU here ;)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 5:56PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

Thank you seil and meredith for the very good advice. I have notice that these roses seem to want more water Yes Jeri my owner is part of the problem, she is not a gardener and her expectations can be somewhat unreasonable. She has a house in Nantucket and does not understand why her roses here in the hot humid south do not do as well as her roses in New England. I am open to any suggestions of good roses for this area but I am afraid the owner is not.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 9:40PM
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Yep that's has to be hard when clients are not realistic about what would do well in their garden. You can tell her that their are roses more appropriate for her home in the humid south but if she isn't open to that there is nothing you can do. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:38PM
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If she is not there for a long period of time during the summer (Japanese beetle season) why not just disbud the roses? That way they are spending their energy on growth, roots etc. and not on blooms she won't see to appreciate. The beetles will leave without blooms. You can time when you stop disbudding so that on her arrival home she as a flush of blooms on healthier bushes.

Granted if she's home in a couple weeks it's probably too late for disbudding, but it might be a plan for next year.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:43PM
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I guess, you could tell her that SHE doesn't like the hot humid months in the area --- and neither do the roses she's selected.

I wish we all had better suggestions for you. But you DO have our sympathy.

And I think about Mrs. Keays -- a New Yorker who, when she bought a country place in Maryland, dug in and learned about the roses that had grown there for a couple of hundred years, and became a famous scholar of roses.

Too bad you don't have a client like that.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 9:46PM
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omigosh, what a challenging job you have. You have my sympathy too. The older David Austin roses are SO much harder to get them to bloom like the newer ones. I planted some DA roses this spring and the oldies like Graham Thomas, Tamora, and Scepter D'isle (oldies) are doing so much worse and recover much slower than the newer roses such as Queen of Sweden and Lady of Shallot though they were all affected by JB badly. Graham Thomas has yet given me a flower!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 10:14PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

Love the idea of telling her she does not like the hot and humid months why should her roses Jeri. Thanks for your sympathy. Actually the roses are starting to look a wee bit better. I am watering them daily, pruned them lightly and hand picking the last of the JB. The roses are a pain but everything else looks great and is fairly low maintenance. It is such a beautiful property I feel very lucky to have the job. I will get these roses figured out in time. Kousa I have noticed that some of the DA roses are better bloomers than others so that has to do with when they were developed?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 11:38PM
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I also think some DA just do better in certain climates. I have 3 but hose ones that are suited to my hot humid climate and they are thriving, but they are still babies planted this past spring. It could be your client just picked them for their blooms and not for how well they would do in her climate. Glad to hear they are doing better.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 9:56AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

While many older DAs are more temperamental, that isn't true in all cases--nor is it true that newer ones are 'better"--though I will concede that many (but not all) of the newer ones--in general--have improved features such as better disease-resistance. DA has so many roses out there that it is dangerous to make too many broad generalizations--you will miss the amazing variety of his roses if you do. Like people, each rose is unique, although it may have some traits in common with some other DA roses.

You would have better luck if you deal with individual DA roses. If you need a shorter one that is bushy, has dark dramatic blooms, is disease-resistant, is fragrant, and reblooms well, then I can give you a specific recommendation (Munstead Wood, in this case--one of his newer roses).

Or do the reverse and ask about the strong and weak points of Scepter'd Isle (a somewhat older DA), and I can tell you about its beauty and good repeat performance, but how its blooms tend to fall apart rather quickly and it might need occasional spraying for BS, etc.

But when you ask about all DA roses or even large groups of them, most generalizations would be meaningless--except that I will generalize that a number of his newer roses show improvement in certain key areas--such as disease-resistance, but be careful. Some of the new ones need to be sprayed just like some of the older ones did.

The pragmatic question your employer should be addressing is which DAs do better in your region--and collect replies from gardeners in your region. I'm inclined to think that in Virginia, most DAs will need some spraying--but I don't grow roses in Virginia, so what do I know? : )

Good luck.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 11:47PM
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Been on this forum for years ...gone thru condescension, mocking, insults. Etc. have met some kind funny positive generous rosers.. Have the most beautiful roses in my county and I credit the people on the forum. how they communicate with others is their problem, not yours. Just garner the info and keep on keeping on. Try pure bred dog people if you really want to feel put down. They have elevated arrogance to an art. I still like and stand by my original post above. Remember....these are things of beauty gifted to us for enjoyment not contention..

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:31AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

And that is very good information you have provided, susan--very helpful.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:11AM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

Thank you everyone for this great information and support I so appreciate the kindness and advice. I would love a list of DA roses that may do better in this climate than others. I can always try to direct the owner towards roses that may be better choices for our climate, she may be receptive. Ha ha love the comment about pure bred dogs maybe that is why I have 4 mutts.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:50AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Basically, a heavy-duty spray program goes with the territory. I don't imagine there are more than one or two roses that your employer would like that aren't going to need significant spraying. So a 'good' rose is going to be one that does well with fungicide applied at the longest recommended interval, while a 'bad' one defoliates no matter how much stuff is poured on it. Those do exist.

Most repeat blooming roses love heat. They also like humidity, but that can bring blackspot. So the big trick to successfully growing roses in most of the east coast is to figure out how to manage the blackspot. If you control the garden's goals, then managing it by growing carefully selected, highly disease resistant roses is possible. However, if you don't control the goals, that may not be an option (been there, done that, at least they aren't insisting on fragrance)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 11:32AM
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Kate is a great resource. She has a great deal of experience growing roses. I am only a beginner and I have made many mistakes along the way. Though I have learned a great deal from the nice folks on this forum. Their advice are spot on and very helpful.

The two DA roses, Lady of Shallot and Queen of Sweden recommended by Kate are doing very well for me in spite of the JB damage and blackspot. These two recover much quicker in term of foliage and blooms than the other DA roses that I have. The worst ones are Graham Thomas and Scepter D'Isle, very slow in recovering from disease and JB damage. BTW, I am on the east coast in PA near Philly. Best of luck to you. Once you find the right formula, I believe that you will love growing these roses.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 12:01AM
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alameda/zone 8

I am in Texas so am not much help for advice in your climate. But if the roses aren't doing as well as what you would like before your client comes home, what about planting some lovely fall annuals around them - for some color so perhaps your client would understand that the roses are getting ready for their fall show but she will still have some color? Are you at liberty to replace things for her? If so, maybe add something like Belinda's Dream - a bullet proof prolific bloomer for me and many others.

And it is definitely true about dog people - I had a show cocker spaniel once - I couldn't even pet my own dog! Made the trainer mad as a hornet when I took him home after he was "finished" - won all his championships. He made a marvelous pet but I would never subject him to the show ring again. I have showed horses all my life, and horse people [like rose people] are wonderful. I too have mutts! They are the best!

I grow Austins - they are rather persnickety but I love them. I do have to baby them, don't mind as I baby all the rest of my roses. They are lovely, tho. I think my best one might be Tess of the d'Ubervilles......its a climber that blooms all the time and is tough as nails.

Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 1:10AM
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comment removed

This post was edited by molineux on Wed, Sep 3, 14 at 13:58

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 1:02PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Sometimes silence is the better part of valor, Molineux. : )


    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 8:39PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

( Like ) √

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 9:00PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

I just wanted to thank all of you kind people that gave me good sound advice for my problems with the DA roses on one of my properties. They have all recovered beautifully with the cool fall weather and are blooming beautifully. I learned a lot about DA rose from you all and will advise my owner on what DA roses to buy in the future. Thank you again

    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 8:37AM
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That's awesome! Glad to hear that everything worked out for you and the roses. Thanks for the update:).

    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 11:42AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Yes, we do appreciate the update. Nothing more satisfying in the garden than healthy roses, Austins especially, blooming away like there was no tomorrow!

Next time your employer actually asks you for advice on which Austins to plant, come here and ask specifically for the most bs resistant Austins. You may still have to spray sometimes, but at least you improve the odds when the rose itself is bs resistant.

Like, look at Princess Anne, or the repeat ramblers like Malvern Hills or the new Albrighton Rambler, or if you can wait for Austin to introduce it in the next year or so, Olivia Rose Austin--it is a wonderful disease-resistant beauty! And of course I still adore Munstead Wood and Lady of Shalott. And Molineux (though I do have to give him an occasional spray--but not much). Oh, and for a climber, the Wedgewood Rose is doing terrifically well in my garden--disease-resistant and bloomiferous (although not in its first year).

Those right there could give your employer's gardens a whole new lease on life and make your gardening responsibilities a lot easier to bear. : ).


    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 12:36PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)


Thank you for the update.

Although I've been growing roses for a couple of decades, I am always learning something new about roses. They are the best teachers.

You have the added issue of dealing with clients and their expectations, which can be quite difficult, but it sounds like you have a talent for that that I could never possess.

Kate is right in that sharing our experiences with the roses we grow gives us a leg up on which roses may do well in our gardens. I know it has made a difference for me.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 12:54PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

everyone has been so great and informative I have learned a lot from you all. I now have a list of the DA roses that do well here in VA. Your advise and experience with these roses has been incredibly helpful to me again thanks Lynn

    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 6:33PM
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Because your employer likes Austin roses, which are bred to have bloom shapes which resembles that of Old Roses. , you might try introducing your employer to some of the original Old Roses, many of which do particularly well in the South, and hundreds of which
- bloom more often than Austin roses can because they do not have a period of dormancy,
- are beautiful plants, even when not in bloom.
- more information about these on the antique roses page at gardenweb
each of these roses may be seen in photos at helpmefind.com /roses under search and plant.
or on gardenweb under search
-Old Garden "Tea" class ( a totally different class (or group) than Hybrid Tea. Because Tea roses do not go dormant in the winter, and they bloom on short flowering stems, they re-bloom faster than Hybrid Teas or Austin roses, and begin to bloom earlier in spring, and later through autumn.
a few of the more popular Tea roses that I love:
apricot 'Lady Hillingdon' a fragrant apricot rose that I've counted as being in bloom for more than 150 days, ( an average rose flush lasts between 28 and 33 days, during its first bloom cycle of the year with no less than 33% of its full bloom output during that time. (its' pollen is sterile which is why it blooms so much without ever needing to be dead-headed).
'Etoile de Lyon' my favorite lemony yellow old garden Tea, it has a scent which is called "delicious" by one author and to me smells of honeysuckle, and fresh cream with vanilla in it.
Yellow/ with some pink. roguevalleyroses.com
Marie Van Houtte (lovely scent, lots of prickles)
Mrs. Dudley Cross similar hues but nearly no prickles.

Golden Yellow
Reve d'Or' can be grown as a 5 and 1/2 foot tall shrub or a climber so can
Alister Stella Gray which is a creamy yolk hue, and which has smaller roses.
White Tea roses
Westside Road Cream Tea (roguevalleyroses.com)
Ducher' is said to do well in the south,
both are very fragrant, and covered with beautiful white roses most of the year.
Mme. Alfred Carriere, a white Tea-Noisette climber which is very popular.

Pink, or pink blend.
Mrs. B.R. Cant
Le Vesuve (China-Tea) very floriferous, has dainty pink blend roses that seem to alight gracefully on the plant like butterflies.
a very attractive plant.
Maman Cochet large pink and cream roses which show some lavender tints.

Red blend
Monsieur Tillier
this and mrs .b.r. cant can grow to be more than 6' tall in two years.

Noisette class
Rosebushes from this class are particularly well foliaged, and most are fragrant, some greatly scented.
-small flowered
-scent is often sweet and spicy, like cloves and roses.
Blush Noisette is very popular in the American South, it was bred there, in c. 1803, by a rice farmer named John Champneys.
Nastarana a white Noisette.

Rosa moschata is a wild white Musk rose that is very fragrant that was used to breed the first Noisette rose. It too is a wonderful garden plant.

I'd ask locally which roses are most disease resistant in your area. The only reason, I believe, that everyone doesn't grow Old Garden Tea and Noisette rosebushes is that they cannot: roses of the 3 evergreen classes are not cold hardy, but we who are fortunate to live in California or the South can grow such wonderful roses.
Plus, roses from the evergreen group do not need to be pruned to bloom at their best.
One need only to remove diseased wood or wood that is out of bounds.
I water my largest evergreen rosebushes only once a month, because many have deep roots that reach lower levels of water in the soil.

Well thats my tuppunce.

Good luck and God bless, I'm sorry if we were rough with you,

P.S. all in all, I'd say my evergreen roses need about 1/3rd to 1/2 less care than my Austin roses.
another perk, Old Garden Tea roses grown on their own roots can bloom for more than 50 years, Mr. Austin suggests his rosebushes be replaced after ten years.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2014 at 7:00PM
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vasue(7A Charlottesville)

Great to hear, Beige! This was a sweltering Summer with the sun more intense than I recall, though that's been building noticeably for several years now. Felt like being in the Florida Keys many days! Coming on the heels of last Winter's extended cold & delayed Spring, double whammy for plants and those who care for them. That you've successfully shepherded them through this difficult year is a real credit to you & to them. The Austin's seem particularly "vocal" about what they do & don't like as individuals, sulking when unhappy & rejoicing when content. Rather a help in learning each's preference, since they make it clear in no uncertain terms.

The roses here get a generous helping of leaf compost spread at their feet a few inches away from the base right about now, later covered with oak leaves as a tuck in for Winter when those fall. By Spring both have further melted into the soil & another helping of compost alone is applied on top. Can't say if I'm feeding the worms or the roses - hopefully both - along with the soil micro-organisms. Happy worms aerate & till this mineral rich clay-based soil to help keep it from waterlogging, adding their fertilizer in the process. If the roses ask for it or I'm feeling frisky, they receive some fish-seaweed Neptune's Harvest during the growing season (watered in or foliar) & maybe compost if more is ready. Don't treat for fungal or other disease besides keeping the surface cleaned of fallen rose leaves & stripping the occasional affected leaflets, and rinsing foliage touched by rare mildew with a gentle water spray when necessary. With this approach in this climate, important to choose roses with disease resistance under similar circumstances.

A number of Austin's have come & gone through the years, though I'm not familiar with recent releases. Those that endured & thrive include Golden Celebration, The Endeavour & Abe Darby. Abe grows in his own spot downwind of other roses, isolated for his tendency to spot at the base when weather conditions push him, but even he does very well in the main, shrugging it off with a little attention to removing maybe 20% of his foliage showing the beginning inroads. The Endeavour blooms its best with high temps, really loving the heat. Its blooms are spectacular with chameleon hues that change daily & solid perfume. Apparently not widely grown, it's happy here. So is Golden Celebration, which blooms generously & continually from early to late. Another rose which Austin offers & which he's used in breeding is Boerner's Aloha, predating but in the style of his English Roses. Thrives here as a bountiful beauty with strong perfume & highly recommend in similar climates.

Keep in mind these are grown in mixed perennial settings, a garden with roses rather than a rose garden. Wishing you continued success with your roses, and a long Indian Summer going forward in which to enjoy them!

Here is a link that might be useful: The Endeavour

This post was edited by vasue on Sun, Oct 19, 14 at 8:57

    Bookmark   October 18, 2014 at 11:53AM
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